Once upon a time in a land far away there was a young girl named Isabel. Isabel was born into a very poor family.  Her parents did the best they could, but circumstances of life kept them stuck.  From an early age, Isabel’s greatest desire was to serve God in this world.  If she could please God, everything would be okay.  She went to church – the right one – and obeyed all the rules. As Isabel got older, she read scripture, and tried and tried with all her might to be good.  She read things that told her if she did the right things, nothing bad would ever happen.  God would protect her.  But bad things did happen. They happened in her life, in the life of those she loved, and in the lives of people she didn’t even know who lived on the other side of the world.  Isabel’s heart was broken and the burden made her very tired. The more she tried, the more alone she felt.  The more alone she felt the more she felt like a failure.  Then the depression set in.   What is the use of all this work if there is only pain?  Where is God in all of this?  What did I do wrong?

One night, while in a deep sleep, a beautiful woman came to Isabel in a dream.  The woman was dressed in the most exquisite blue robe, her eyes were the color of the earth and radiated a compassion Isabel had never experienced.  In her left hand she held three stars, and in her right was a ruby red apple.  The woman smiled at Isabel, and offered her the apple.  Isabel was surprised by this gesture.  Old fairy tales of older women offering young women poisonous apples ran through her mind.  The old woman laughed because she could see what Isabel was thinking.  Her laugh was like water running down a stream; bubbly and light, filled with gaiety.  There was no judgement.

Isabel, she said, the apple has always been thought of as the forbidden fruit that caused all of humanities troubles.  It is the fruit that opened Adam and Eves eyes to the polarities of this life.  As we accept life as life is, our eyes are opened and we have the potential to see a new.  What was once thought of as a curse is actually a blessing.  This is true with much of life.  My daughter, I see that you are hungry and yet not satisfied.  Tonight I come to open your eyes to the three gifts of life and light:

Isabel takes the apple from the woman and bites into it, her seeing begins to shift; her heart opens, her mind becomes clear and Isabel begins to see her life with a new clarity.   The woman invites Isabel to have a seat next to her, and this is what she says.

The three gifts I bring this night are the gifts of Presence, Love, and Wisdom.

The first gift is Presence. We are always in the Presence and the Presence is always in us.  This Presence is the good you desire in your life.  As you take in this truth, your eyes are opened and you see the Presence of God at work in every situation, relationship, and circumstance.  This does not mean that every situation and circumstance of this life will be easy; rather that, your inner eyes will be opened to know that God is in this present moment.  God is absolute good; therefore, everything and everyone has within it at its core the seed of good.  When our eyes interpret something as less than what we would desire it to be, or find difficulty seeing the Presence, it is an opportunity for us to stop and refocus.  As we do this, we may be called into action.  Not action from the standpoint of fighting against what we don’t like, but of drawing forth the seed of good that is already there.

The second gift is Unconditional Love: From a human perspective, what you call love is an emotion that flows through your consciousness and therefore is based on your perceptions of what you like or don’t like, what you find acceptable and what you don’t find acceptable.  Unconditional love is the Presence active in and through you.  As your inner eyes are opened to the everywhere Presence of Good, you open yourself to the everywhere Presence of Love.  One of your biggest blocks that makes you feel as if love is being withheld from you is your belief that you must earn God’s love.  That would be like saying you need to earn air in order to breathe.  All you need to do is accept the love of God that is everywhere present.  One way to do this is by acknowledging no matter the circumstance: God is present here as unconditional love, and that love is being revealed through you in ways that are unmistakable.

The third gift is Wisdom:  This ever present Presence, God, is within us; therefore, we have the power of divine wisdom ALL OF THE TIME.  No matter what the question or circumstance if we stop and be still wisdom will speak within our heart and mind.  This wisdom is the uniting force of the Universe.  Wisdom empowers us to create good wherever we are.  Isabel, this gift of wisdom does not mean that you will not face challenges.  It means you never face challenges alone and without a course of action that will awaken you to deeper truths of who you are.  You are loved beyond measure.  I behold the Christ Consciousness in you.

Isabel was deeply touched, tears of joy and peace flowed down her face for the first time in a very long time.  She looked up at the woman and asked, How do I follow these truths?  What books can I read?  What groups can I attend?  What television shows do I watch?  What teachers do I follow?

You have spent many hours searching for the right answers.  The right way to be and the best actions to take.  Let go, your search is over.  You have found yourself.  You are the Presence, Love, and Wisdom of God in expression.

The woman smiled a big smile and said, stop and listen, your heart and mind will show you the way.  Remember your wisdom lies within.  As you open to this, you will be drawn to those who will support you on this path. And above all remember it’s not about being supported as much as it is about supporting others to know they too have these three gifts within them.  This is how you will strengthen these gifts within you.  Use them in service to your world.  All that you need to know will be revealed to you, as you need it.  Trust in the goodness of God and yourself.

With that, the woman was gone, and Isabel woke up.

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