I want goodness to be mine; and I want to be good. This is a thing I want to own; yet it’s impossible. I need to see that all that is good, everything, flows into me and is not, cannot be my own property.
The goodness I think I have all lies in territory I have seized by force; and I am the rebel in it. Always, the territory falls. I can’t occupy this land with soldiers; the people are entirely foreign to me. They have qualities I don’t understand: generosity, compassion. I’m not really like that; and yet only the most deeply searching inventory can tell me about this.
I see this when I open; then, real goodness flows in, even though I generally resist it. It blends with me; and only lives and breathes to the extent I step aside and grant it freedom. But oh, how jealously I guard my stolen kingdom; and how surely I want to be the hero, to own this land of goodness.
I have known real goodness in me; and I know the difference. There is a spark left that reminds me of my inadequacy; why don’t I listen more? I want it as a thing; and yet I would need to un-become myself to own goodness; that is, goodness must own me, a point that is lost on me as I am.
If goodness becomes me, there is none of me left; and then, by not being me, I may become goodness. I can only have what I wish for by not having myself; do I understand that?
Perhaps this is because, as Meister Eckhart and Swedenborg say, goodness is entirely of the Lord, and not in any part of itself a part of me. I want to be myself; and as long as this is the case, goodness is constricted, because I remain an occupying army, rather than the one who surrenders to the force of love.
I know how utterly sweet that surrender is: and yet I cannot do it. This is the mystery that faces me in each day.