Hello, my name is Roxanne Darling and this is In the Transition podcast.
Today, I’m talking about something I call Godness – or the nature of God, Spirit, Source and how I choose to be in relationship with it.
Listen to ‘God as a Cheerleader, not Helicopter Parent’
In today’s episode, I’m going to attempt to answer a common question: Why did God let this happen? By asking a different question: What if God doesn’t owe us anything? What if we’re here by mutual agreement with God, to have amazing and unexpected experiences?
For first time listeners
Many religions teach people to surrender their own divinity in favor of an all-knowing, all-loving, God figure. They see this God as their protector. They don’t understand when “God allows” tragedies to happen. Their faith is shaken and this is understandable. The premise of many religions is “be a good person and God will take care of you.” It’s easy to interpret that as “God will keep us from having car accidents, will make sure our football team wins, and that we will safe and secure lives.” It has often seemed to me to be a variation of that Faustian bargain, along the lines of, “God, I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.” Except that God holds the cards, makes the calls, and it’s impossible to know when we don’t live up to our end of the bargain or if it was some form of “life happens” when things didn’t go the way we hoped.
Investing in this version of God reminds me of hoping for an extreme helicopter parent – someone trying to prevent the children from having suffering, from having traumas, from having pain, or from having consequences of their actions.
But those things are normal parts of this existence that, as souls, we’re having human experiences, playing with limits and boundaries, space and time. Plus, we can learn from these difficult experiences! They encourage us to go deeper and find more strength, more understanding, more self-knowledge, more self-acceptance, and more acceptance of others. To me, this is powerful nourishment in our lives and one that I don’t want to give up.
Just as parents who allow their children to fail, to take risks, to fly solo now and then, can raise more competent children, so I think that the God nature, or what I am calling “Godness”, understands it is not necessary or relevant to prevent difficult experiences from happening. Children who are often rescued from their mistakes or the mistakes of others, do not easily learn how to take care of themselves. It’s quite straightforward. Our desire to soften the realities of life can actually inhibit one’s ability to handle the realities of life.
If you can handle life, as it is, then you’re better equipped to be true to your own nature. Being aware of cause and effect can give each of us more conscious choices in how to be here now, if we want.
Letting go of good and bad labels
A second aspect to this question, “why does God allow this to happen?”, is the labeling of things as good or bad, right or wrong. I find those labels can actually increase the pain and the misunderstanding of events. Let’s look at a very intense and perhaps example:
I recently learned about a woman her lost her baby right at the end of gestation. The fetus died in utero and the woman had to go through the birth process. What an incredibly difficult situation for her and her family, to have nine months of expectation only to face an entirely opposite and unexpected outcome.
We have ideas and energy and emotions packed into the concept of losing a child. It goes back to similar things we have packed into “creating a family.” And there is the realistic, totally true, 24/7 intense experience of carrying a would-be child for nine months. Nearly impossible, for me to imagine, not to go into the future and create stories about what this new child will be like, what he or she might bring into the world. For this family, these stories were jolted to an abrupt end.
In lieu of “blaming God” for this outcome, or blaming oneself, for this loss, what if we tried to see this experience from the possible point of view of the child, the soul who was in the womb? What if this tiny being wanted to try out the idea of incarnating, of going from pure soul to soul having a human experience? What if that soul then decided that nine months was enough?
Mechanically, it’s like someone thinking they want to climb Mt. Everest. They spend months training for it. But at some point they decide, “that’s enough.” Maybe it’s “I’m not ready” or “this was more effort or fear than I anticipated.” Whatever the reasons, most of us would not blame the person or blame God for deciding to quit. We might instead, think, “Wow! You gave it your all and I respect your choice.” We don’t think that person owes us their mountain ascent – even though we might very much delight in following the other person’s adventure.
So what if this Godness is more like a cheerleader than a helicopter parent, an energy who supports us humans in trying anything we want, regardless of the outcome? What if this Godness respects our humanity to the fullest and knows with 100% certainty that even if we face death, the most final act, that we all will face, that we will then return to the divine and we can incarnate and try again? What if this Godness supports our complete and total freedom to explore the depths of who we are and what we want to try? What if this Godness considers nothing a failure but instead just another outcome?
Yes, certainly different outcomes may generate different emotional responses. There is no right or wrong way to feel. Feelings are precious and personal – no one else’s business, I would say.
Godness is not here to make sure I get my way.
Godness is not counting how many times a day I pray, to decide whether to give me candy or not. Godness is, for me, so much more unconditionally loving and supportive than I likely can even imagine. It’s holding a vision of the big picture when I am staring at the ground in front of me, asking “Why?”
This is, indeed, how I experience the Godness in my life. I can do this because I feel safe. I do not feel I must please this Godness and I do not feel that this Godness would prevent me from having experiences my soul wants to have. The experience of sadness, of tears, of disappointments, of anger, are enriching aspects of being human. When in misery – and I do get there – I try to remember that this is part of me and my soul’s intentions. The life challenges are, I believe, a window into my soul; I can choose to look whenever I want. I can also choose to ignore, as well. As I do so, I find it more useful to think of this Godness as my cheerleader more than my protector, my coach encouraging me to explore my inner and outer worlds, not a policeman keeping parts of this magical – if sometimes painful – world off limits to me.
I’m going to close with a few quotes from others, in case they add some gusto and clarity to this idea of a fearless Godness who can inspire courage and authentic curiosity in each of us. Please keep listening for ways to submit your comments to me. Thank you so much for listening.
Quotes on the Power of Adversity
Helen Keller: When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.
Albert Einstein: Adversity introduces a man to himself.
Beyoncé: The reality is: Sometimes you lose. And you’re never too good to lose. You’re never too big to lose. You’re never too smart to lose. It happens.
Joseph Campbell: Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.
Arthur Golden: Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn so that we see ourselves as we really are.
Maya Angelou: You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are…
Newly added since recording the episode:
Eckart Tollé: The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation, but your thoughts about it.
Thank you so much for listening. If you’d like to share your comments with me, I have several options for you!
You can leave an audio message at my Google voice mail, the number is
You can email me at email@example.com.
You can also tweet or instagram me @roxannedarling.
That’s all for today’s episode. I appreciate you for listening and hanging out here with me, In the Transition! If you liked this, please tell a friend and/or leave a review for me in Apple Podcasts.
And remember, none of this matters! Your most courageous act may be unconditional self-acceptance.
Thank you so much for listening.
If you’d like to share your comments with me, I have several options for you! You can leave an audio message at my Google voice mail,
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also tweet me @roxannedarling.
That’s all for today’s episode. Thank you for listening and hanging out here with me, In the Transition! If you liked this, please tell a friend and/or leave a review in Apple’s iTunes.
Please note: I like to include about a minute of music at the end of each episode to allow listeners to stay “in the zone” of the podcast, giving you additional time to rest and integrate.
Thank you for being You.
Photo Credit: Green Light Bubbles, by Roxanne Darling
God as Cheerleader, Not Helicopter Parent by Roxanne Darling is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.