When we let go of trying to get more of what we don’t really need, it frees up oceans of energy to make a difference with what we have.
-Lynn Twist, The Soul of Money
I want some of that ocean flowing through my life. And I’m ready to let go of wanting more of what I don’t need. Fine jewelry, fine wine, exotic vacations, fancy big cars—I can let go of. As twelve steppers say, you can never get enough of what you really don’t want. That chasing after is addiction. I want oceans of energy instead.
So goodbye to more silver bangles and expensive wine, I’m there. And hello to the letting go of all that which allows me to give more of my resources to organizations and projects that support my highest commitments. I can still have a nice red table wine and take a vacation once in a while and enjoy staycations more often. It has become a part of my spiritual practice to use my treasure well, ethically, to try to change the world for the better, even if a little.
As a member of the Fargo Moorhead Unitarian Universalist Church my pledge of resources is added to yours, to all of ours and from our shared commitment, we create a caring , justice-loving community. And we use our shared treasure to get there, day after day, project after project. Now chant with me the highest truth I know:
I put my hand in yours
so we might do together
what I cannot do alone.
I love this simple statement of community. I believe it. It is the purest and truest answer to the question: “Why are you part of FMUU?” I am here because I believe in the works of this church and I cannot do this work alone or in solitude. FMUU organic gardens to provide produce to homeless shelters, we tutor adult new Americans in English, we show independent films and provide ongoing dialogue that honors all religious traditions. We gather around our principles and we gather to grow ourselves into our best selves. That takes community, it takes me showing up and you showing up to be real, to be vulnerable to seek the truth and to celebrate the mystery.
My stewardship pledge is not a footnote to my membership in this beloved community. It is a vital part of my spiritual practice. I give enough that I confront that decision as I navigate my month. I give enough that it changes how I live, it changes my life and it changes me for the better because it tilts me toward my best self.
I think about my commitment to FMUU when I wonder if a white sandy beach or an Italian leather handbag might make me happier. It gives me a spiritual chiropractic adjustment, a realignment on the path. And my path like yours, exists in the midst of almost constant messages that tell me to want what I don’t need and a lot of it. How about in every color and often?
It’s a practice and it’s imperfect and challenging and it grows me, stretches me even and hurts a little. Mostly it feels right, and good. It even makes me happy because it serves my deeper purpose, honors meaning and community. And happiness it seems can’t be approached directly. It isn’t that simple or obvious. Happiness is not a new boat or pitching wedge or car or pendent. As adults, we arrive at happiness always by way of meaning and purpose.Being part of FMUU is one way my life turns toward meaning.
The principles inspire me and each of my co-members teach me and travel with me on this path toward a just world for all. My commitment of resources to this place—both my time and my treasure—keeps me focused on what really matters to me: peace, justice, community, music, food shared and creative thinking of all kind.
Together not only do we have each other’s good company (no small thing to my heart and soul) but we have so much more time, treasure and spiritual energy to change the world. All this makes me happy, deeply, truly happy.