Standing in front of the mirror one evening, wondering whether I’d added any value to the world that day, I heard these words internally, unconnected to any of my previous thoughts: “and the soul felt its worth.”
The phrase comes from the Christmas carol “O Holy Night,” and the context is “He appeared and the soul felt its worth.” If you can get past the difficulty of humming Christmas carols in May, that’s quite a statement.
Ronald Rolheiser quotes Ruth Burroughs as saying that mysticism is experiencing God beyond seeing, touching, feeling, thinking, or imagining. If we are to follow Christ, then we must aim toward that which Christ’s presence in our life brings—a deep knowing of our own divinity and interconnectedness, “our invincible preciousness,” as Jim Finley would put it, the incalculable worth of our souls.
I forget this approximately all the time. I think I am here to do things, get it right, be good, contribute, but if I am here to follow Christ, to contribute to the evolution of Christ consciousness in the cosmos, then I am here to feel—or to know beyond feeling—the worth of my soul.
When we experience that and stick with it, the rest will follow. It’s impossible to truly feel our own preciousness and not at the same moment be aware of the preciousness of the rest of creation. Meister Eckhart says that God’s ground and our ground are one. When our feet are planted on that ground, we can’t separate ourselves from God or our worth from that of the person next to us, the cat on the windowsill, or the jacaranda just beginning to flower.
If we move from that place, our actions will be true. If we move from that place, we’ll know there’s nothing to add to the world because it’s all already here.