Love Wins. The celebratory statement after the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing marriage equality was handed down this past week. What a beautiful statement in a world that is, as it always has been, burdened by hate. Two simple words that, if taken to heart can transform our existence on this planet.
Which is why I’m here to co-opt that phrase for my spiritually evangelical purposes.
Those two words are what we are missing as we struggle to find our way forward in these very confusing times. The world seems to be exploding in violence and conflict. We are in the middle of another potentially explosive racial divide here in America.
Last week, 9 people died at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina when a young, white man who was motivated by racial hatred, shot them while telling them they “had to go”.
He spent over an hour with them in Bible study, where they welcomed him into their church and their group with open arms. When he was arraigned on these murders, various family members of the victims showed up to tell him that even though their hearts were broken, they forgave him and would pray for his soul. Love wins.
This is what religion teaches. These people live their faith in a way that most cannot or will not. Most of us call immediately for revenge before justice. We want to strike back at those who cause us pain. It’s all about ‘getting even’. Jesus advised turning the other cheek. Buddha said hate doesn’t dispel hate; only love dispels hate. Dr. Martin Luther King told us that only love can drive out hate. Yet, in times of great pain and anguish, we ignore those who we admire for their wisdom.
I honestly believe that some of the events of the past week may be the beginning of a tipping point toward love winning. I’ve felt such despair over so many global events and issues. I don’t even need to list the things that are happening that cause me to want to weep or vomit every time I read or watch the news. You know. You feel it too, but you feel powerless.
This is why this past week is so powerful. In just a few short years, gay marriage has become not only accepted by a majority of Americans, but it is now the law of the land. I know that many are not happy about it and try as I might, I cannot understand their opposition. How can allowing more commitment, more love, more families to form ever be a sin? How can allowing all of our fellow humans to have the same legal protections that straight humans have had, be a bad thing?
You can of course, remain true to your religious beliefs by following them. All of them. Because it seems to me that Jesus’ main message to his flock was Love Wins. In the face of anger, crime, bigotry, hatred, insults, misunderstanding, miscommunication, impatience, somebody cutting you off in traffic or irritating you by paying with a check at the supermarket, Love Wins.
That’s it. Two words that we all need to adopt as our mantra going forward. WE are the ones that have to fix what’s broken. Don’t rely on politicians or pundits or various know-it-alls who populate our media and culture. YOU. ME. We have to start loving our fellow humans, particularly when they irritate or insult or even attack us.
This is the hard stuff that we have to face as spiritual beings having a human experience. You can think and analyze and ask why, as I often do; as I constantly do. Let me do that for you, if you’d like; it’s a dirty job, but I’m happy to carry that burden. The bottom line is that we need to be more forgiving, more compassionate, more kind and more charitable to the other residents of this planet, be they human, animal, plant, etc.
This week gave us a beautiful lesson in the midst of tragedy and triumph for gay rights. Take this lesson and run with it. Spread it around. Re-think some of your beliefs. Share this blog post freely. Let’s start a bigger movement.
I’m thinking a lot about conventional wisdom, mostly because I am rejecting a lot of it. Of course, conventional wisdom morphs all of the time, which makes it hard to even label it anymore. That’s actually a good thing I suppose because we do reject many outdated and often inhumane, oppressive or outdated practices.
But, all too often, conventional wisdom becomes tyrannical group-think. One example is the continuing nonsense that prohibits women from earning their full potential, financially, legally and culturally. Conventional wisdom tells us that women must be very attractive because that makes it easier for the dudes to put up with our ‘crazy emotional side’. It’s all about being hot and sexy and just a little subservient and passive. Don’t be too strident or pushy, ladies. Unattractive. And we gals are complicit in allowing this. Shame on us.
Another bit of conventional wisdom that I reject is that our ‘leaders’ are smarter and more competent than we are. They may have a certain skill set or knowledge base that many of us lack, but they remain human and are often victims of the human condition, i.e. they can be bribed and intimidated. They often put their needs ahead of ours. They often help their friends or sell their influence. They protect other members of their tribe/profession/institution. We see this with most of our institutions anymore. How many bad priests, cops, politicians, corporate boards, teachers, doctors, military personnel, etc. have been protected and surrounded, in order to cover-up immoral and illegal acts?
It kinda makes you want to drop out of the whole system doesn’t it? How many times do you learn of these things and practically scream “What is wrong with people”? If you answered daily, you’re not alone. And yet, we go along to get along, right?
That’s what’s bugging me. Everyone is scared. Scared to go against conventional wisdom. Scared to speak out. Scared of the direction we’re headed. We feel as if we’re caught in the stream of history and can’t do a damned thing. I get it. And I think in a sense that’s true. My latest incantation to myself is “what’s gonna happen, is gonna happen”. Fatalistic. I’ve surrendered. Sort of.
A big part of me still believes that if more and more people start to wake up and question conventional wisdom and authority, MAYBE we can make a dent. Maybe we can start to expose the incredible corruption that is happening to pollute the planet and in turn, pollute everything on it. Yes, that includes us. We are swimming in a toxic soup, 24-7. Our food is toxic, medicine is toxic, our homes/work places/cars/make-up/cleaning products are toxic. Is it any wonder that our politics, global situation, discourse and human relationships are also toxic?
And yet, we float along believing that those who are ‘in charge’ are looking out for us, protecting us from harm. Even though there is a huge body of evidence to the contrary. So, when do we peel off this layer of apathy? When do we shed our fears and begin to reject and question what we are fed, day in and day out?
If you speak of peace and say no more war, you are soft; you are anti-military. If you stand up for the poor and unempowered, you’re a socialist or a nanny. If you question or point out flaws or bad behavior in any powerful institution, whether public or private, you are subversive, dangerous and are shouted down. You are called unpatriotic. So, we hunker down and live with this growing insanity because it’s just too hard to change.
Here’s your call to action and you know, it can be as simple as the food or products you buy. You don’t have to march in the streets, although I think we need MORE of that, not less. Speak up. Share your thoughts and your values and your solutions.
Sit quietly and clear your brain and you will find that many of your entrenched, clingy and often, wrong beliefs will begin to dissolve into more clarity. I know this from personal experience. It’s freeing, but frustrating. Because you will see so much that’s wrong. So much of our lives that are controlled by misinformation, money, power and yes, evil.
Most people are good. Most people are just like you. They want to be good, do good and see the good. Make that your goal. Short term, long term. It will change you. You will begin to look for and appeal to, the good in people. That is compassion and grace and we lack it within our institutions and conventional wisdom.
Question everything. It’s okay to be a pain in the ass. In fact, it’s imperative. Do it.
The old sports cliché is “it’s a game of inches”. If you think about it, that applies to pretty much everything, doesn’t it? Our lives are a game of inches, or seconds. We never know when we’ll be in the wrong place at the wrong time or more happily, the right place at the right time.
My husband is currently obsessed with the randomness of life. Apparently all of the yammering and musing that I’ve done on this very subject has sunk into his skull. He had an irritating example of this last week, when a guy ran into him head-on as he was out running errands. Nobody was hurt and it was the other guy’s fault (THANK YOU!).
We both bitched about the bad luck and the annoyance of having to file a claim, get an estimate, blah, blah, blah. But, the interesting discussion happened when my husband realized that had he just slightly altered his journey, this would never have happened. If he’d asked one more question at the mower repair place; or one less question. If he’d taken another route home that he had considered.
On the other hand, I pointed out that had he done any of those things, he may have been in a worse accident. We just never know. Who’s to say what’s good or bad/right or wrong? Life is random and all of the planning in the world cannot foresee what’s just around the corner.
And then yesterday, we were coming home from the store. Before I turned down our long driveway, I stopped to check our mailbox by the road. As I walked back to the car, an older man was driving out of the cemetery in front of our 10 acre farm. He stopped and asked me if we lived behind it, as his dog had just run off while they were visiting his parents’ graves. I told him to follow me back to our place and we’d look around.
We pulled up toward the garage and didn’t see a stray dog and as I was getting his phone number, I glanced out toward our orchard and there she was, galloping through the trees. A loud whistle and Lucky was back in her owner’s truck. Kismet. Random. Right place, right time. We were that old gentleman’s angels. Had I not stopped to check the mail, our paths would not have crossed.
These are the things we must notice; random moments of tragedy and grace that are delivered to us every single day. I’m honestly thrilled that these lessons appeared in quick succession this week, as I’ve been trying to articulate to my husband that we have to be less cautious and more open to events, both good and bad.
We are both planners, but he plans for the worst, where I often visualize the results that I would like to occur, although I do get caught up in fear-based visions. I am not sure if my visualizations are optimism or intuition, but things usually go my way. I’m starting to think that it’s often my gut showing me a path forward, but that’s another post.
Grasping the concept that we sort of have to just hang on for the ride can be terrifying and/or freeing and empowering, but that is up to us. Life is so random and I know that every one of you is struggling with that right now, whether you’re grieving a terrible loss or struggling with “what if” or just wishing you knew what will happen in the next 5 years or 5 minutes, for that matter.
You can’t. None of us can. But that doesn’t mean we stop being responsible or laying groundwork for paying for your kid’s education or saving for retirement or losing the weight and taking care of your health.
We do have to throw up our hands to fate, but we don’t have to give up. There is a difference. Flexibility is key and we need to be grateful for the opportunities we’re given to be in the right place at the right time. Start paying attention to these little events. Thoughts are things.
Last night after dinner, my husband looked at me and said, “I’m really glad that we helped that man find his dog”. “Me, too”, I replied.
I’ve been on a mission since my retirement. Actually it began well before last November, but since that time, I’ve had nearly 6 months to figure out who I am. I thought that I was leaving a lot of me behind once I left my radio career.
I was saying goodbye to the Jane who was opinionated and vocal and ballsy. I was tired of always having to have something to say. I looked forward to just ‘being’; speaking how and when I wanted to, instead of on cue.
I spent the last 6 months exploring my interest in the sacred and delving more deeply into the metaphysical. I’m even more convinced that we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but rather, spiritual beings having a human experience. There is so much we don’t know, but if we’re quiet, we can begin to feel it.
I’ve dug around hoping to find that ONE nugget of knowledge/insight/enlightenment that would turn on the giant klieg light of my spirit. I hoped that I would suddenly see all and never have to return to the mundane or the old me.
I’m here to report that I’ve determined that is bullshit. There is no nugget. Perhaps a few very devout or lucky people have stumbled into that highest level of energetic vibration and managed to stay there, but for most of us, it’s a process. I’m not saying this in a cynical or defeated way. I will continue my journey and my practices because I see and feel incremental progress.
Meditation is extremely rewarding to me; I’ve gained a great deal of insight into myself and have felt touched and guided by spirit. I’ve learned to ask for help from my spirit guides and they give it. I’ve felt the presence of dear ones who no longer walk the earth and I’ve let go of some longstanding and heavy psychic and emotional wounds. I’ve learned to drop my burdens much more quickly.
I’ve found a community of like-minded seekers and feel welcomed and at home when we meet. I sat in a Native American sweat lodge (loved it!), I’ve studied astrology, aromatherapy, reiki, crystals, esoteric healing, clairvoyance, tarot, grounding, energy clearing, spirit guides, the angelic realm and a little more about Christianity. It’s all fascinating and is part of the divine and mystical stew that I happily swim in.
But, even though I’ve added all of this to my life, I’m still me. I was weeding my garden today on my hands and knees; so calming and soothing to be outside in the sun, digging into the earth, rhythmically pulling and tossing. I was musing about ordering a t-shirt that I had seen online that said “Namaste Bitches” and it hit me: that is my mission. I am a badass, divine warrior.
I realized that I had begun my spiritual study to calm myself. To tone me down. To turn me into a warm, nurturing, earth motherly person, exuding love and kindness and comfort to all. Those are such worthy goals and aspirations, but it’s not me.
Not even down really, really deep. I’m a truth seeker and a truth teller. I have been since I was old enough to remember. I have to know “why” about everything. I have to dig deeper and deeper into everything. It drives my husband (and before him, my mother and teachers) crazy. I’m like a 5 year old. “But, why????”
There are a lot of wonderful, nurturing people in the world. They feed us physically, emotionally and spiritually, without ever asking why. They are unconditionally kind and compassionate and as much as I want to be that person, I am not. And on behalf of other people who are more like me, I will say THANK YOU to all of those who throw that generosity out into the world. Without you, we’d REALLY be fucked.
I’m a loud mouth who must blurt out what many are thinking, but wouldn’t dare say out loud. I question authority and challenge the status quo. I don’t care if “we’ve always done it that way”. If your argument against gay marriage is seriously that we’ve done it one way for thousands of years, I’m not interested. That is ridiculous to me.
So, while I strive to be kind, compassionate and empathetic (I’m really good at the empathy part), I have to be me. I have to fulfill the remainder of my destiny during my time on earth. My radio career was literally written in the stars. After studying my natal astrological chart with an astrologer, we determined that it was just meant to be. That was my purpose, my destiny, my story and my contract.
Moving forward, I feel that I’m here to prod people to think more; to get in touch with their souls and to open their eyes to the truths of modern life.
We are destroying the earth (ever hear that saying “don’t shit where you eat”? Even animals are smarter than we are), we are a country and a world of, by and for the corporation. Whoever has the most money wins. We are being lied to and poisoned and beaten into submission.
My goal is to open eyes and minds. I thought I could go quietly and sneak off to Nirvana, but I can’t. Scorpio sun, Sagittarius moon with Aquarius rising; impossible to just sit quietly.
So, here we go. Look yourself in the eye and figure out how you want to move forward. I’m happy to raise my fist, in the most compassionate and spiritual way possible, and seek and speak my truth.
Let’s do this. Namaste Bitches!