meaningofstrife

Seeing the best in life's challenges

Love: More Than a Feeling

There are so many thoughts and opinions on what it means to love.  This morning’s sermon at church was about loving God’s creation and loving the Earth.  This inspired me to look at Love in a broader sense and what it means to us.

A simple understanding of Love, reflected in most dictionary definitions, is that Love is based in Feelings.  But most would agree that Love is more than just a feeling.

Love is demonstrated by Doing.  People who love others practice acts of kindness, they help each other, and they physically demonstrate their love in all sorts of ways.  If you think about it, much of our “working definition” of love in marriages is based on what marriage partners “should” and “should not” DO and how they should ACT.  We have a virtual rulebook of what it means to Love.

But we all know that just going through the motions doesn’t equal real love.  There has to be Loving INTENT.  Real love means wanting what’s best for the other person or persons.  Real love involves giving without the expectation of something in return.

Love is more than a Feeling

Love is demonstrated by Doing

Love is motivated by Pure Intent.

Sounds simple enough, so then why is Love in real life so complicated??

The root cause is this:  If you do not first love yourself completely and unconditionally, then it is impossible to fully love another.  If you do not understand who and what you are, you cannot fully relate to another human being.  Oh, you can be very functional, but you cannot attain a fully unconditionally loving relationship.

There is a very basic Longing that is shared among all of us, a Longing for One Love, a Longing for “completion” and connection, a Longing for what is missing.  As humans, we “feel” this longing and we dream of satisfying it.  Some have called this “existential loneliness.”

We long, and want, and need at such a level that, if we feel at all unworthy and unloved within ourselves, fear and insecurity kick in, and we seek to fill that void with an-other.  We want to feel validated, affirmed, told we are lovable, and we want to feel needed. We want to feel “good enough.”

The longing that is an unavoidable part of being human can manifest itself in all kinds of feelings that are unbalanced and prompt us to feel and dream of Love that is forced.  Love based on fear manifests itself in possessiveness, neediness, doubt, the need to control, and of getting hurt if things don’t go the way we want them to.

Only when we are fully able to let go of doubt, trust in God’s timing, and allow life to unfold as it will, will our “feelings” be only from the heart and not the fear-based ego.

A recent blog post found here said this:

“When love comes calling for us it will never leave, but when

we seek it out on our own, it will always run away, because we

called on it to come, instead of allowing it to arrive through the

timing of the Divine.”

 –

We must wait on the universe to send a partner of love in our direction, for

if we seek out a sleepless dream, we will fall in love with a love that is not

meant to be.

 

Love will come to us through the winds of the unseen when we least expect

it, and when it arrives the depth our spirit will know that it is a love that is

true, for it will be a love that continues to grow and never leaves.

Seek only love for yourself and then when you are love, true love from

another, will come find you.

 

What about Doing?  The concept of Doing based on Love can be compared to the concept of being saved by Grace.  One is saved by Grace, not by works (Doing) but of course, a soul that is saved will Act based on Love because of its very nature.

“Grace is at the heart of the Gospel message. There is nothing we can do to deserve it.

On the other hand, too many undermine the importance of what it means to accept grace.

To accept grace is to live in thankful response.”    -Jedley Manimtim

A loving, thankful heart will, by its very nature, act lovingly.

In its Doing, a soul that still feels incomplete and unloved, will ACT in ways that are self-serving.  Behaving in ways that seek to control another, acting with ulterior motives, and doing things that elicit certain desired responses are all motivated by Intent that results from a sense of lack.

A person who has worked out all of their own insecurities, who knows that they are lovable just as they are, who is “comfortable in their own skin,” who feels complete in themselves, will choose Loving actions with Pure Intent.

This is not to say that actions based on Pure Intent will always be well-received or properly understood.  This brings us to another truth of understanding of relationships:  a relationship can only rise to the level of the person who is least evolved in their personal journey.

You could be the most loving, kind, tolerant, giving person, but your relationships with others will depend on who they are and where they are.  One person cannot carry a relationship, or force the other person to be something they are not.

The relationships that “work” the best are those between people that are at a similar place in terms of how they view Love, what kinds of Rules they live by, and the levels of personal security or insecurity they hold.  “Balanced” relationships between friends, or siblings, or spouses are the types of relationships that tend to last.  Dysfunctional relationships that are “balanced” can last a lifetime.

Only YOU can work on your own issues to elevate the potential level of your relationships.  You cannot do the work of another.

The Ultimate Unconditionally Loving Relationship is only possible when two people come together, who are totally at peace with who they are, totally secure in themselves, and have no doubts or fears.   Only then can they relate to each other with total acceptance and openness to the uniqueness of the other.

P.S.  I am fortunate to have several friends, some new, some old, who are well along on their own personal path.  One is a very recent acquaintance who within minutes I recognized as someone I could relate to in a very trusting and open way.  As you work at this yourself, and practice by opening up to others, all the while listening to your inner voice/intuition, you will be amazed at how easy it is to recognize others who are doing the same. 

bostonfeeling

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Music, Wisdom, Love and Dancing

Concert Review of the Animal Liberation Orchestra, April 27, 2013 at The Blockley in Philadelphia.

backdrop

Oh, you just noticed that I am writing this the day before the concert?  Well, I say, what good is a great review of a great band, the day after the concert – when your reaction is “Darn, I just missed a great time!!”  And since everything is happening in the NOW anyway – time is fluid – it doesn’t matter when I’m writing this.  If you are reading this, then this is the only moment that matters anyway.

But, I digress.  I feel qualified to write a review before the concert because I already know all about how the evening will go.  There will be a very happy crowd, anxious to hear the guys play, all smiling at each other.  There will be silliness, revelry, amazing musicianship, talk of love, fond glances between band members.  The guys will be as happy to see us as we are to see them.   You get the sense that every single time they play, they are humbly grateful that people came out.  No sense of ego.  And these guys would have every reason to be cocky – they are amazing.

The sound will be upbeat.  Zach, Steve, Dan and Dave are four of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet.  Zach and Steve have known each other since they were seven years old, and Dan since they were 12.  How fun is that?  Zach will probably have his little disco ball on the corner of the keyboard, there may be a fun hat or other accoutrement, and don’t be surprised if there are beach balls being tossed back and forth between the crowd and the band.  There will be plenty of banter.

silly

Everyone will be excited to see what is included on the setlist.  ALO always mixes it up, and you never know what will emerge.  They’ll throw a cover in there, and it might be Prince, or Van Morrison, or (what has popped up in the past in Philly) Eye of the Tiger.  Plus, true to their jamband status, there will be lots of Lebo, including time with the lap steel.  Oh and I shouldn’t forget to mention there will be Zach on the uke.  It is impossible not to be happy when watching Zach play the uke.

There is a reason we call ourselves ALOvers.  It’s all about the love, a brotherly love.  In that room, it won’t matter how old you are, what you do for a living, or how you look.  It’s all family and all you have to do is have fun and be yourself.

Want to get a sense of what they sound like?  ALO is super accessible.  Go to www.archive.org and search for Animal Liberation Orchestra in the Live Music Archive.  You will be amazed at the number of shows that are there FOR FREE.  And if you can’t make it to the concert tomorrow, it will be streaming live at rmblive.com at 8:30 pm.

Seriously, the ALO community models a new paradigm of being, and the thing is, it’s totally natural and relaxed.  It’s all about sharing and caring, inclusiveness, having fun and being yourself.  If you are so inclined, it can be about thinking deep thoughts (just spend some time with the lyrics) but there’s no pressure to do so.  One of my favorite lines, from Plastic Bubble, sums it up really well:

It’s a crazy, mixed-up world, full of contradictions

And that’s why it hurts so bad sometimes

But that’s also why it’s fun

You can also check out their website at www.alomusic.com.  There are lots of videos there.

Oh, and they even wrote a song about girls like me, LOL!!

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How to Diffuse Hate and Anger: Can it really be THAT simple??

There is so much hate and anger in the world.  Hate and anger result in a lot of pain.  But we think we are powerless to stop the cycle.

When we encounter bad situations, mean people, things that shouldn’t have happened, things that don’t make sense, we feel sad.  But what do we do with that sadness?  So many of us automatically get angry or want revenge.  We want to fight it to make sure it never happens again, or never happens to anyone else.

When someone says to respond with love, that can seem really naive.  Doesn’t everyone know you have to fight the good fight??

So I challenge you to watch this really simple video.  Watch how these kids respond.  This is basic human nature, and it’s really simple to get the result you want.  The question to ask yourself is, which response do you really want?  Do you really want to diffuse the negativity, or are you subconsciously enjoying the drama of the fight?

Not convinced?  Check out this one:

b2bposter_final

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What Really Happened in Boston?

What really happened in Boston?  Why would anyone do such a thing?  How do we even go about processing such a tragedy?  If everything happens for a reason, then why?  What are we supposed to learn and what good could possibly come of something like this!?

This post is prompted by two simultaneous conversations I was having this morning about the Boston bombings. I’ve been working on a post about Victim Consciousness but hadn’t finished it, so here it is, in an unexpected form.

Bad things sometimes happen to people, and they are victims, there is no question about that. Victim Consciousness is different – this describes a way of thinking, a paradigm of perspective, or a human dynamic that is followed.  You can be an actual victim of circumstances, yet not adhere to Victim Consciousness.  How we react to the bombing at the Boston Marathon can give us insight into how or whether we are playing the game of Victim Consciousness.

There is an extremely insightful audio file at this link that describes Victim Consciousness.  To get the full idea of what I’m talking about, you really need to listen.  I’m going to summarize here, combining my words and theirs.

Sri and Kira describe Victim Consciousness as a three-legged stool.  The three legs are:

The Victim:  a disempowered, collapsed energy

The Perpetrator:  an aggressive, conflictual energy

and

The Rescuer:  the white knight, needed to balance the triangle.

The stool cannot stand without one of its legs.  It doesn’t matter which leg is missing, the whole thing falls apart without that one leg.  And the triangle that is being held up is FEAR.   FEAR absolutely CANNOT stand without any one of the three energies.

This is really just a game we have all been playing in a world of Duality.  We usually think of the Perpetrator as BAD and the Rescuer as GOOD, and we can all feel sorry for the Victim and feel better than them or be glad we escaped their fate.

Each person can choose to stay in the game of Victim Consciousness and continue to play and explore Duality.

BUT, all of us have the ability to rise above this.  The million dollar question is:  Are you ready?

Let’s use the Boston bombings as an example to look at the ways one can continue to play the game, or choose to see beyond the game.

Let’s talk Perpetrators:  the two brothers, Islamic terrorists, Chechens….ok those are the easy ones. Depending on your perspective, there are more to be found.  Do you know that people were told that there were bomb drills going on that day?  What’s up with that?  Some pictures make one question whether there were actors planted in the crowd to overdramatize the event.  Could you believe that?  Some think the military response used in the chase of the brothers was overkill.  For purposes of this discussion, it doesn’t matter what is true, what matters is that you can identify the perpetrators in your version of the game.

Next, the Victims:  There are obvious Victims who suffered injury in this situation.  But who do you see as the Victims?  Besides those injured by the bombs, there are those runners who were “wronged” because they could not finish this important race.  There were people who suffered not knowing whether loved ones were ok.  There are those who actually lost loved ones, and that includes a mother whose son died in a gunfight and was then run over by a car driven by her other son.  There were many people who could not leave their homes and were scared by gunfire on their streets.  Businesses were victimized by losing a day of business.

Then, there are the Rescuers.  There are the brave men and women who we saw run toward the bomb sites and those who helped the wounded.  There are the police and firemen and medics who did their duty.  There are the runners who kept running to hospitals to give blood.  There are mothers and fathers who hugged each other and hugged their children.  There was the FBI and the law enforcement community who worked together to investigate and find the perpetrators and those who saw the pictures and identified the bad guys.

So now, the “event” is over, and there are many who will continue to deal with it and bring it to some conclusions.  We will continue to relive this tragedy, some more than others.

For most of us, we were not directly affected by this situation.

Stop and think about that.

The only effects on most of us are the thoughts and emotions that our minds have created, based on the input we got from the media or maybe friends that were there.  And we have control over those thoughts and emotions.  How much time do we spend thinking about it?  How much time we spend thinking about the bad guys and how bad they are and how bad the world is and who we can blame for that, is up to us.  We can spend a lot of time thinking about who should do what to fix it all and who should have done what.  Monday morning quarterbacking – it’s a fun game to play, but it doesn’t accomplish anything.

Are you attached to hating the Perpetrators?  You are supporting a leg of the stool.

Are you having a hard time letting go of your sorrow for the Victims?  I am not saying we shouldn’t care or have compassion.  Personally, the situation makes me sad for all the Victims, the younger brother included.  (Does that get you upset?  Do you think he is “all bad” and not worthy of compassion?)  But to dwell on and replay the horror over and over in your head or to become fearful that it will happen to you tomorrow is being attached to the Victimhood.  You are holding up a corner of the stool.

Now, the Rescuers.  Absolutely no one can find any fault with those who responded to the situation at the time.  These people are not the kind of Rescuers we are talking about.  Did you notice that many who were interviewed, didn’t think they did anything unusual?

In this situation, see who identifies with the role of the Rescuer and attaches to that part of the story and glorifies it.  They are holding up a leg of the stool.

When you get together with a group of friends and talk about Boston, how does the conversation go?  Does everyone talk about how bad the Perpetrator is, and do you all agree on who that is?  (Nothing brings people together like a common enemy.)  Or do you focus on the Victims, and talk about how terrible it is for them?  Or, do you focus on what should be done to make it right, reinforcing righteousness?  Are you collectively holding up a leg of the stool?

This model of the triangle of Victim Consciousness is so prevalent and ingrained in our global belief system, that most people don’t question it, much less are they aware of it. Moving beyond it is not about judging it or yourself, it’s just about becoming aware of it and seeing it for what it is.

If at this point you think I’m delusional and I don’t understand how the world works, that “that’s just the way it is” that’s totally fine.  I just have one question — did you actually listen to the audio file?  Look, I usually don’t listen to these things myself, but it really does explain a lot.  Even if you did listen and you still disagree — just be aware that you are making the choice to stay there in that world.  Because it IS a choice, and if you choose to work to rise above it, it IS possible.

Not necessarily easy, but it can be done.

For me, the whole situation in Boston felt like watching a movie.  I could identify with all the different people that were there, and how it must have felt for them.  I cringed at the thought of people getting hurt and being scared.  I was thankful for those who helped others.  I wondered why and how in many different ways.

My sister works in Watertown and used to live in Cambridge.  Her friend was close to the late-night gunfire.  He had the SWAT team in his basement that Friday morning.  I heard how it felt to be a local that day.  This was an interactive movie I was watching.

Now the movie is over, with a sequel to come.  I’m still thinking about it, as many people are.  But I don’t feel driven to blame.  I am not afraid.  And I don’t feel the need to have opinions about how to fix it all or who should do what.

Beyond the three-legged stool, the Perpetrators create a Mirror, a picture that gives us an opportunity to see ourselves, see our culture, see the contrasts in the world that allow us to understand what happens when something goes wrong.  The Rescuer energy transforms into Compassion and Helping, without the need to feel superior or condemn.  The Victims are simply those who are facing challenges, inspiring us with their strength and ability to rise above.

Movies can seem so real sometimes, especially the interactive ones.  It’s easy to get sucked in to the game, especially when we are all so used to it.  But now you know:  You get to decide if you are going to continue to play or just watch.

Just remember:  when you stop playing, the fear no longer exists.  Poof.  Gone.  No more.  Done.  No power, no control.  Freedom.  Nothing changes, yet everything has changed.

boston

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Is Modesty a Virtue???

Is Modesty a virtue in the eyes of God?  I’m thinking that’s a No.

I’m thinking about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, before the serpent came on the scene.  From what we are told, the people were all walking around naked and didn’t give that a second thought.  When I say “the people” I am referring to those God made, male and female, in Genesis 1:27.   It’s not so clear in the Bible that Adam and Eve were the only people there in the Garden.  But even if they were, we know that Adam and Eve had no idea about being “Modest” until AFTER the incident with the apple.  (For a related discussion of the creation story, see Adam’s First Wife.)

In the Garden of Eden, a person would stand naked and exposed in front of God and everyone else, and this would be totally natural.  JUST THINK about putting yourself in that situation and see how it feels.  It should feel wonderful (this is what it is like in paradise, right?), yet it probably doesn’t.  That feeling indicates how far we have separated ourselves from the state of grace that is the unconditional love of God.

So, what’s the “right” and Godly way to be?  The way people were before they “sinned” (immodest) or the way they were after that (modest)?

When babies are born into the world, they are not born with a sense of modesty.  They are born INNOCENT, trusting, knowing no other way.  They are comfortable with their little bodies.  As they get older, they naturally explore by mouthing their fingers, touching things and touching themselves.  They take off their clothes and pull their dresses up above their heads.  They have no sense of embarrassment until we TEACH it to them.  We teach them not to touch, we teach them to cover up, we teach them to be private.

Now, in our world, there is good reason to teach these things, because there are plenty of other people out there who are not comfortable with their own bodies, who have dysfunctional ways of interacting with others’ bodies, sometimes in very destructive ways.  We do as we have been taught, immersed in a dysfunctional system, that teaches various degrees of thinking that there is something wrong with our bodies and their natural functions, and that we should be ashamed of and in denial of what our bodies are and what our bodies do.

ALL of this is a reflection of the unnatural state of being in SIN, or being in a state of consciousness that is SEPARATE from God.

If we are going to work ourselves back to a state of grace, back to a “right” relationship of ONENESS with God, how do we “give up” this dysfunctional thinking about our bodies?  How do we do this, when we are immersed in a culture that is set up to keep that dysfunction alive?

Are we aware of what we are teaching our children?  On one hand, we want our children to honor and love the gift from God that is their physical body.  In a very pure sense, we want them to accept their bodies as they are.  But then we go and get very emotional and judgmental about when they expose certain parts of their bodies.  We are very vocal about those who expose too much, and we are clear that this is “wrong” behavior.  Think about it – this is contradictory and confusing.

When boys wear their pants low, and expose their underwear, why is this such a big deal to adults?  Does this behavior make these boys unlovable?  Why?  Is it because we assume they have certain intent?  I have seen the explanation of how this “trend” started in prisons, as a sexual invitation.  Really, honestly, do you think teenage boys are embracing this fashion trend with a conscious intention like that?  OF COURSE NOT.  But if we are afraid and embarrassed enough about this association, we get very judgmental and uncomfortable when we see a kid’s underwear.

It makes me wonder this:  we all know that children test us all the time.  If I do this, will my mom still love me anyway?  The answer we send to our kids is not one of unconditional love, rather the message is this:  You are bad and unlovable if you show your body in an inappropriate way.  Kids know, deep inside, that they are lovable NO MATTER WHAT, but they test the world about this, and Guess What?  What they learn is that our love is really conditional.  Kids know inside that our natural state of grace is to be accepted by God (and each other) exactly how we are, no matter what.  It’s the adult people that are unable to love this way.

How about girls showing too much skin?  Every school dress code attempts to eliminate the ability to see shoulders, belly, thighs and cleavage.  We ASSUME the worst, that kids are automatically distracted by seeing too much. But are they?  Have humans changed from the days where it was a scandal if a woman exposed her ankles?  Are teenage boys distracted because they are inherently sinners, or because we have taught them to see themselves this way? What if young people are actually REJECTING this dysfunctional state of being embarrassed by God’s creation (their bodies) and they are just being comfortable with who they are?  Have you noticed that “showing more skin” and tighter clothing has become more common, even for bodies that are not model-thin?  MAYBE this is really an indication that young people are becoming more comfortable with their bodies as they are, and rejecting automatic shame.  That seems like a healthy step, doesn’t it?  Also, by looking at other cultures which do not have the same societal “norms,” it is obvious that human beings do not automatically have this dysfunctional behavior related to seeing too much skin.  Our behavior and assumptions are cultural and taught.

The central principle here, to me, is that you can’t ASSUME INTENT by level of Modesty.  You can’t assume a girl is just “asking for it” or looking for attention because she is wearing a revealing or flattering outfit.  This way of thinking IS sinful.  Being immodest was the status quo BEFORE sin existed.  As was the absence of any dysfunctional reactions to seeing a show of skin.

With our attempts to enforce Modesty, are we unwittingly forcing kids back into the mindset of Separation?

Don’t we want to return to a state of Grace, a place where every single human being would honor not only their own body, but the bodies of others?  Where there would be no embarrassment, no threat of physical harm because each and every person would have a respect for all physical manifestations?  Isn’t this the place we want to get back to?

So, how do we get there?

First, we take an unemotional look at our own attitudes.  Are you comfortable with your body?  Why or why not?  What were you taught?  What are you afraid of?  Are you afraid that your child will be harmed by someone with no self-control?  Are you afraid of being judged by others, who will condemn your child (and you) for how they look?  Do you believe the human body is “bad”?  Do you believe God created the human body as flawed, or as a beautiful, amazing vessel for us to enjoy?

How do your views keep you separated from the Garden and the unconditional love and acceptance of God?  A state of grace like what existed in the Garden is a place where one loved and accepted themselves completely without any doubt or second thoughts.

We do live in the REAL WORLD.  Not everyone has an idealistic and respectful view of the human body.  I understand that.

And that is why we teach our kids to be aware of these issues.  We teach them to be careful where they go and what they do.  We teach them to say “No.”  We teach them to look out for each other.  We can teach them to honor their bodies.  We can teach them that not all people have a healthy attitude about the human body, and that they need to use their own discernment around others.  They need to trust their instincts and know their own boundaries.

To me, expressing distaste and horror at “how kids dress these days” and making assumptions about behavior based on dress, is counterproductive to our culture developing a healthy attitude toward the physical body.  And it’s sinful.

And it’s not just about kids and how they dress.  It’s about how we judge people who are overweight, people who don’t work out, and people who don’t “dress up” or dress appropriately.  It’s about women breastfeeding in public, one of the most natural, loving and beautiful functions of the human body.  We need to be conscious of our own attitudes, examine them, and make our best efforts to act and think from a place of respect.  To move beyond our societal dysfunction and get closer to a right relationship with each other and with God, we need to work to regain that innocence and that sense of wonder.

Think about it.  In the absence of shame, guilt, and modesty, don’t you think Adam was truly able to appreciate, love and admire Eve and her body?  Don’t you think he was totally aware of and able to enjoy her physical beauty?  And don’t you think Eve was able to be completely natural and comfortable in her nakedness, without fear or judgment?  Of course they were, and furthermore THIS IS THE WAY IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE.

If a person today has a totally comfortable attitude toward his/her body, why are we compelled to disbelieve that this is possible?  What are we so afraid of?  Do we realize how entrenched our attitudes are, and do we realize that we have a choice regarding the attitude we take?

In the wake of the Steubenville rape case, the following video was made as a response.  We can assume that all teen boys are up to no good because we have all fallen into sin, OR we can notice that there are those who have risen above and are working themselves back into that immodest, shameless, wonderful state of grace.

http://www.kval.com/news/local/Guess-what-Im-going-to-do-to-her-200096421.html?tab=video&c=y

Check out this blog post:  Naked Children … At School?

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Making Peace with The Dark Side

A “theme of the week” that keeps showing up to me is The Dark SideYour Shadow Self (click to read related article).  The Negative.  The Bad.  All the things we know cause pain, the things we want to be defeated, the injustices of the world, the enemies.  Why can’t they just go away?

The secret to making all this go away, is that we must embrace it.

Huh?

Yes, we must love it all away.  It’s that simple.  But how??

The process must start inside of you.  Unless you have faced your own Dark Side, your attempts to change the external world can only go so far.

What does it mean to face your own Dark Side?  You might be thinking, “hey, wait a minute, I’m a good person!  Sure, I’ve made some mistakes, but I would never do anything really bad or hurtful to others!!  I am not like that!!”

It must be pointed out, that this process means going to a place that most people would rather not go.  We are so used to thinking that being bad is, well, BAD, that it is a scary thing to even think that we have a Dark Side.  It’s much safer to deny it.

Let’s look at a basic assumption:

We are all children of God.  God loves each one of us unconditionally.  We may not all be the same, but we are all equally important.

Do you REALLY believe this?  Is that child molester in the paper really EQUAL to you?  Does that idea make you uncomfortable?  Or do you, deep inside, feel superior because you know you would NEVER do something so awful!!  What else do you know that you would NEVER do?

The hot button issues, the ones that strike up an emotional response for you, the things you know passionately that you would NEVER do, are your greatest clues.  These are the issues you have experience with, either in this life or in another.  If you have experienced a painful situation as the receiver (victim), you KNOW that pain, you KNOW that wound, and as a result, you know that you would never want to inflict that pain on someone else.  If you were the cause (perpetrator) of the painful situation, you have experienced the guilt, shame or denial of that fact, all painful effects of the situation as well, and you probably want to avoid repeating that experience.

What makes all this more complicated, is that since your experiences include those from past lives, most of us don’t remember them.  We live with the effects of the wounds, but since we’re not conscious of why we hold onto this pain, it is much harder to face it and heal it.  This was the central factor described in the book, Many Lives, Many Masters by Dr. Brian Weiss.  (related post here)  His patient had terrible phobias that made it hard for her to live a normal life, yet there was absolutely no reason in her current life for her to be holding these deep wounds.  Without understanding the “big picture” of the purpose of our lives on Earth (here’s an explanation of another way to look at it), we discount and deny that there is “more to it” and we dismiss fears and pain and dysfunction that seem to have no “cause.”  Without facing these things, they only fester.  Denying they exist will not help them go away.

Kryon talks about how we have all had lives where we were the “good guys” and where we were the “bad guys.”  One of my favorite channels (see here) from Metatron talks about lives that were “power set-ups” and “love set-ups.”  I understand that first you have to make the leap to “believe” in reincarnation, and then you have to change your way of thinking to include these possibilities.  It’s a very different understanding of the purpose of life on Earth, a different paradigm.  I’m not telling you that you “should” believe in this stuff……but to be open enough to consider the possibility.  Make up your own mind.  I’m just presenting a change in thinking that, for me, made everything make sense!

So back to your greatest clues.  You might not ever have a memory of why you are so passionate about an issue.  You don’t necessarily have to know the details in order to heal your wound.

Say that the idea of someone abusing a child just overwhelms you.  Maybe this is a clue that you were abused, and you understand this pain, a pain that never goes away.  Only those who have experienced this can understand the far-reaching implications on the sense of self-worth, the self-blaming, the bewilderment of not being able to understand “why.”  But even more difficult to consider, perhaps it is a clue that you were an abuser, that you understand the regret, the self-loathing, the guilt, the shame, the impossibility of healing such a thing.  Either way, we are talking about a very deep, painful wound.

What is the answer?  The only way to heal, is to forgive.  We know that about dealing with others…..but in this case, it is about forgiving yourself.

I think it’s easier to forgive others.  You can get a sense of satisfaction out of forgiving.  You can feel like a bigger person.

But forgiving yourself is pure forgiveness.  True healing, and complete letting go.  Isn’t this consistent with what we are told about God in the Bible?  Total, complete forgiveness and unconditional love.  We are told that we are worthy.  Do you believe you are worthy?  Can you forgive yourself those “mistakes,” even when they are truly awful?

So, maybe in this life, I am the “good girl” and you are the “bad boy.”  That’s just a tiny part of the story.  Overall, we have all been there and done that, on both sides of the coin.  Not to mention, that we all know that even those that appear to do everything right on the surface, can have their dirty little secrets.

This process is very difficult for anyone who is surrounded by Old Paradigm thinking.  For example, those who are involved in churches that preach the “hell, fire and brimstone” way are staying in the fear of being wrong.  But it’s not just religious people who are stuck in Old Paradigm thinking.  It’s pervasive.

If you cling to the Old Paradigm that we are only “good” if we do everything “right” then we are all failures and unworthy.  There’s no getting around that.  Does that even make sense?  Again, it all comes down to whether you believe in an all-loving God or not.  So many have taught that if you are “bad” you deserve God’s punishment.  Really?  If this is true, then logically there is NO WAY OUT.  We should just give up right now.

Sorry, this just doesn’t make any sense to me.

I choose to understand God and Life and Humans according to a NEW Paradigm that is based on LOVE.  This can be hard to believe, because it goes against conventional thinking.  In my opinion, it’s high time to leave that thinking behind.

Only you can look at yourself and know whether you are able

to face your demons and forgive and rise above

to unconditional love of yourself and others.

Only after you can forgive yourself completely, can you love yourself completely, and accept yourself completely.  When you are no longer beating yourself up about the past (what’s done is done) THEN you can begin the process of understanding your experiences and turn that into wisdom.  With wisdom, you can focus on where you are now, and make decisions that will allow you to make the best of what is.

The other side effect or result of this process is that you will have a completely different take on the shortcomings of others.  You will understand that we are all in the same boat.  You will not feel superior to others, and you will not feel inferior.  You will be completely comfortable in being you, and you will feel completely comfortable letting others be who they are.  You will no longer feel the need to judge others, so that you can feel self-righteous.

You can even get to the point where you only feel compassion for those who commit those awful crimes.  It doesn’t mean you like the pain that is caused or condone acts of violence or hurtful situations, you just understand that it is all about the experience, and that even that human being is just doing the best they can. Those who have come to this place, can help create a safe environment for those who have wounds that they need to face and heal.

Just something to think about 🙂

dark side

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Fear of Dreams

Hopes and dreams.  Can you imagine?  How far will you let your dreams take you?  What makes you stop?

We all know how nighttime dreams can be – unrealistic, crazy, make no sense, are hard to understand…..they take us to places we wouldn’t ever go in “real life.”  There has been a ton of research into sleep and dreaming.  Dreaming during sleep is apparently very important.

But I’m thinking about the dreams we have when we are awake.  How many dreams do you have that are unrealistic, crazy, make no sense, are hard to understand…??  How do you view this kind of thinking?  Do you let yourself think creatively?  Are you comfortable considering crazy thoughts and pondering possibilities?

How do you feel when others come up with ideas that seem unrealistic?  Does this make you feel uncomfortable?  Do you discount this kind of thinking if it’s too “out there”??

Tristan Prettyman says, “Love is a crazy dream.” (War Out of Peace)

Seems to me, that in our culture, there is a lot of pressure to be realistic and practical when considering possibilities.  It’s one thing to be creative with art and design and dance and things that we think of as “the Arts” but it’s quite another to be creative with how we live our lives.   The rules of behavior are much more entrenched with “shoulds.”

If a friend told you they were going to sell everything and go live in Africa to work with the people there, what would you think?  When you hear of the young man who seemingly has a very bright future, who risks it all to come out as transgender, does this make you uncomfortable?   When you hear the story of the woman who meets and falls in love with a Sherpa from halfway across the world, does this seem strange?  How willing are you to support and embrace others who are willing to step out of the comfort zone and live their dreams?

What if a friend shared a crazy dream they have?  Would you immediately judge it as unrealistic or silly or delusional?   Would it make you uncomfortable?

The ability to think in dreams is exhilarating, if you can do it without the fear of disappointment that the dream won’t come true.  How will you ever know that “dream come true” feeling, if you never allow yourself to dream?  Are you too afraid of the potential disappointment, to allow yourself to hope and dream?  Can you support others, to help enable them to engage in dream thinking?  Why not?

No one ever changed the world without dreaming.  Case in point:  Martin Luther King Jr. and “I Have a Dream.”

I allow myself to have some really crazy dreams.  I love to “play” with dreams — why not?  (Actually, I prefer to move at The Speed of Dreams!!)  But I only share these dreams with a select few people, who I know will not have knee-jerk reactions to these ideas.

I don’t think you can say it much better than Zach Gill and ALO in the song Barbeque:

The road is long and windy like a good mystery unfolding

It twists and turns in colorful subplots and sunburns and fake out endings

And sometimes my patience in the whole process starts bending

As I attempt to unravel the web

by traversing and rehearsing and perversing

along the doubt-laden extension chord thread of my life

 

And in this life we’re free to dream whatever we want to

But that doesn’t mean that your dreams are gonna come true

Instead as a way of getting us to move

Life dangles your dreams in front of you

And unable to resist the temptation, we continue

 

And it’s clear to me that this life is gonna be

All about the dangling possibilities

that keep turning in and turning out

Yes it’s clear to me that this life is gonna be

All about the dangling possibilities

 

The road is long and windy

Full of twists and turns

But before you can rise from the ashes

You’ve got to burn baby burn

 

Welcome to your barbeque

Where we roast all the dreams

That never came true

Welcome to your barbeque

Pig out and dream anew

I challenge you to dream…..what are you afraid of??

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Girl Power!

The following was forwarded to me by a friend.  Apparently it has gone viral, and I’m not sure of the source (if anyone knows, let me know!)  Is it true?  Not sure.  Doesn’t matter, it’s a great thing to think about — the positive effects of spending time with the divine feminine!! 

Notice it says that the best thing for a guy’s health is to have a close relationship with a girl — ’cause it’s good for every human being to be in touch with feminine energies! 

This is Taught at Stanford

“I just finished taking an evening class at Stanford. The last lecture was on the mind-body connection – the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman, whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends.

At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.

Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically this quality “girlfriend time” helps us to create more serotonin – a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well being. Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities. They rarely sit down with a buddy and talk about how they feel about certain things or how their personal lives are going. Jobs? Yes. Sports? Yes. Cars? Yes. Fishing, hunting, golf? Yes. But their feelings? Rarely.

Women do it all of the time. We share from our souls with our sisters/mothers, and evidently that is very good for our health. He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym.

There’s a tendency to think that when we are “exercising” we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged—not true. In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking!

So every time you hang out to schmooze with a gal pal, just pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for your health! We are indeed very, very lucky. Sooooo let’s toast to our friendship with our girlfriends. Evidently it’s very good for our health.”

Forward this to all your girlfriends!

Fishing trip 07

 

 

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