It’s Cool To Be Kind

Enlightened beings are magnanimous givers, bestowing whatever they have with equanimity, without regret, without hoping for reward, without seeking honor, without coveting material benefits, but only to rescue and safeguard all living beings.
Buddhism. Garland Sutra 21
There are so many phrases that characterize these times such as, “Only the strong survive,” and, “People mistake kindness for stupidity”. “It is a dog eat dog world”. It seems that there has been a consistently growing trend against being nice. Today if one is too nice, they either need to join some religious order or seek a therapist’s couch.

When I was young, I was deeply affected by the emotional pain experienced by the people around me. I was especially sensitive to the fact that it was not inescapable pain but really self-inflicted. The greatest pain seemed to be caused by those we care for and sometimes even by those who care for us. My reaction to the pain of those around me and to my own, was to determine to live my life in a way which would focus on helping those in pain, and trying not to be the cause of pain for others. I was naive enough to want to see people happy. I grew up in an environment so devoid of trust and faith that I was going to carry enough for everyone. To me, it was so important to trust and to be trusted. Although I was often hurt or disappointed, it did not stop me from being true to the person that I believed I should be.

One day, in my early twenties, I was with a group of co-workers, speaking openly and honestly, when a friend pulled me aside and told me that everyone was not laughing with me they were laughing at me. She told me that I was kind and trusting, and people just saw it as stupid. She said that I had to change to protect myself.

A few years later, I had a friend who started calling me a weak ass. It bothered me but I wasn’t comfortable confronting her about it at first. I knew she thought I was too nice especially to people she didn’t feel deserved it. One day, I asked her why she called me that and she told me that if everyone in the world was like me—it would be a beautiful place, but since everyone was not, I was a weak ass. I respected her honesty and I also knew that in her way, it was a compliment. In the end, my being what she called, a weak ass was the reason she had chosen me as one of the few people that she really trusted.

During my early twenties, I did a great deal of soul searching. The truth was, that people were very difficult for me to deal with. I didn’t find it easy to make friends, because most people saw me as someone to take advantage of. Each group was somehow formed around its sense of superiority to other groups. I didn’t feel superior to anyone, and that affected my ability to fit in. At some point, probably during one of those painful times, I thought of the ways in which I could change and so avoid the endless hurts and disappointments that seemed to be a permanent part of my life. I realized that I could put up a cold wall, I could expect the worst from others, and take before I was taken. I could choose my friends based on how much they had to offer me, or how good it made me look to be with them. I could do those things that I had for so long been advised to do—or I could accept that who I was, was who I had always wanted to be. Because I realized that I was the person I would have wanted as a friend, and that, was the highest goal that I ever wanted to achieve within myself. I would rather have been who I was—alone—than to have allowed the experiences of my life to control me and to determine who I was as a person.

This is what is called dharma. It is living the life that is truly natural to your soul. It is really being your true self and living in accordance with that true self. There is a story of a Bodhisattva who was sitting by the water’s edge. A priest who was approaching him heard him saying “ouch” repeatedly. As he drew nearer, he noticed there was a scorpion that was drowning. As he watched the scorpion and the Bodhisattva he was astonished to see that each time the scorpion began to drown, the Bodhisattva reached into the water and pulled it out. And each time after each time it was being pulled out of the water the scorpion would sting the Bodhisattva’s hand. Afters it was pulled out the scorpion would return to the water and the scenario would be repeated.

The priest looked at the Bodhisattva in frustration and asked, “Master, you know that the scorpion is going to sting you, why do you repeatedly lift it out of the water?” The Bodhisattva responded, “It is the dharma of the scorpion to sting—and it is my dharma to save.” In this lifetime “to save” is not everyone’s dharma. There are even those humans whose dharma is to “sting”. Yet many, whose dharma it is to save, to help, and to love his fellow man—hold back out of fear of rejection or ridicule. So instead, they do what others do and, in acting against their dharma, they sadly create unnecessary karma.

It is my belief, and this is very personal, that it is the innate desire of each person to be loved unconditionally and to be allowed—regardless of past actions—to be the best one can be. I once read somewhere that loving is giving what you most need to receive. And this is why I say that this is personal, because it is what I would want to be given to me. So I chose to give others an opportunity to be trusted, even if they had not shown themselves to be trustworthy in the past, and to create a non-judgmental space for people to feel safe enough to change if they chose to do so. Perhaps, eight out of ten times this proved disastrous for me, but it wasn’t a personal loss because, having given something consciously, it was not taken from me. When I claimed my power, I claimed my right to give, to love, and to succeed in what I measured as success which was to be the best human being that I could. I no longer perceived myself as being a victim because I made the choice. I no longer perceived myself as being used or taken advantage of because I made a choice. Regardless of the perceptions of others, within myself I was becoming successful and that feeling was empowering.

Someone said that there are no bad people—only bad choices. I believe that because society is so fearful and so judgmental that some of us become forced into living out the persona of those bad choices in spite of an inner desire to rise above them. This is what happens to us during the Christmas season. It is a frozen moment in time when we may safely, without fear of loss or judgment, bring out what is best within us. We may experience the joy of giving and of sharing without feeling foolish, without fearing that we will be used or taken advantage of. The fears of our society have made those for whom giving and loving are the source of joy feel weak and defective. We have equated kindness not only with stupidity but with what this society considers to be the most detestable fault that one can have—that of weakness. My own father went to his grave fearing for my survival because of those exact traits that most endeared me to him.

For too long, people who do really care about the welfare of others have been made to feel ashamed of that feeling. They are either labeled, “Bleeding Heart Liberals”, or made to believe that they suffer from some form of inferiority complex. And to a large extent they do suffer from a complex. This is because there has been no place in the everyday world for good people. Even hearing the word in my head as I write makes me almost feel as those I am describing a leper. Good people have to find their own path and fight the world, their loved ones, and even themselves so as to stay on it. It has been very difficult after goodness lost favor with the general public in response to the sixties. So, unless one fits into the category of being an aged hippy, or a left over love child—good people have little or no support for their beliefs about life and the way to live it. I found that it is easy to feel confident when you believe in who you are. It was the believing that took some time, but it always does when you are swimming against the tide. The thing to remember is that it only takes one person to make a path—anywhere—and everyone else will eventually follow. It takes belief to develop confidence, and a willingness to walk alone to make that path, but once the path is made, you are not alone for long.

Now, it is time for all of the bleeding hearts to be proud that their hearts are not too cold, or too hard to bleed. It is time that we acknowledge that it is neither bad nor stupid to be good. It is spiritual. And one does not have to join an order to be spiritual and to live a life that exemplifies the spiritual principals taught by every Light that God has sent down to earth to lead us. For too long, we have bought into that dog eat dog world. We are not animals we are spiritual beings. We are meant to rise above survival of the fittest and that dog eat dog belief. We are meant to love, to care, and to be our brother’s keeper. We don’t have to wait until it becomes cool or in, to be good we have to be good long enough, and with enough courage and conviction that it becomes cool. There are no catchy phrases which praise being a good person. There are only phrases denigrating it. If someone is too good—then they are not true, or they are a stupid, a wimp, an easy mark, or a sucker. It actually amazes me that one can’t be too thin, or can’t be too rich, but one can be too good! We have gone so far down the wrong path that when someone does something right or is too decent, or humane, either their motives or their intelligence are immediately suspect.

It is time to lift ourselves out of the jungle where only the strong survive. It is time to leave the kingdom where dogs eat dogs and enter the kingdom where mankind can love and care for all living things. It is time for us to rise to the position that is befitting those who were created in the image of God, that image of the loving, caring, and forgiving caretaker that God is. How can we speak in His name, when we ourselves celebrate the animal in us and demean the God in us? God is goodness. If enough people find the courage to be proud of caring, proud of giving, and proud of trusting, then others will find it wise and cool to do the same. The world is in sore need of all the loving, giving, caring people it can support. And that does not mean confined in a religious order, but out in the world living an example that others can be encouraged to follow. There is an infinite distance between nowhere and the first step, but once that first step is taken, we find that the universe takes our hand the rest of the way.

Oneness

Each of us is God and all of us are God, in the sense that we are aspects of Him spread out over all of time and space. When we love ourselves we love God. It is not looking up saying “God I love you, you are perfect.” It is looking in the mirror and saying “God I love you, you are perfect.”

We are special; we are all on a mission to spread love and light. If we can learn to love ourselves completely, each part of our being, then by doing that from within we will automatically love each other. It is by loving and accepting all of our different qualities that we will love and accept all of those souls who represent those qualities around us.

That love will infect the energy of the entire planet and the Universe. This is each person’s individual mission. Understand that love and hate are like air born viruses. They travel through the energy field and infect others. As a virus begins first within an organism, so love and hate each begin first within the individual. I cannot spread something I do not have. I must love or hate myself to spread it into the energy environment.

Hate is simply fear. Love is acceptance as oneness. Love is being whole. We do come from one source. We are all different aspects of All that is, and we each contain every aspect of All that is. As we meet others we are meeting ourselves, like the same piece of the cardboard, just cut into a different shape. It is truly, as above, so below, as within without. If I can only love one person, I still am only accepting those aspects of myself that are represented by that one person. If I cannot love a certain person, and worse, if I hate that person, it is the aspect of myself that is represented by that person that I am not accepting.

We speak of good versus evil, of us versus them – Satan versus God – these are all imaginary divisions. They are not real. If you look to Satan as he appears in the old testament, he is not the enemy of God. If he is the enemy of anyone he is the enemy of man. The impression is that he just thinks that God gives man too much credit. He doesn’t believe that man is capable of loving God as the angels do. So God gives Satan carte blanche as to how he tests mans love of God with one exception – he can’t kill him. Knowing that Satan, being an archangel, is no dummy – he would use the division and distraction to distance man from God and prove his point, that man doesn’t have what it takes to love God. Religion is the first and the best tool to divide and conquer humanity. It makes sense; people are so busy defending their particular religion from other people who are defending their own religion, that God – becomes an afterthought. The focus becomes the bathwater and not God, the baby in it. If we were to overcome all of our other boundaries – race, nationality, economic status, religion will still remain Satan’s trump card. We commit more actions that distance us from our own loving hearts and God, in the name of religion, than even our greed commands.

Remember that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. We are each links. If we are not individually in love with the totality of our beings, we cannot benefit the whole. I can teach you to understand a concept, even the concept of self-love, but I cannot give it to you or to the energy of the universe until I have it. If we can love ourselves unconditionally – we will see no one as unworthy of our love and embrace the Oneness that we all share.

We are God, in the sense that we are aspects of Him spread out over all of time and space. When we love ourselves we love God. It is not looking up saying “God I love you, you are perfect.” It is looking in the mirror and saying “God I love you, you are perfect.” It is looking at all beings and saying, “God I love you, you are perfect.” When we understand that we need not look to what we cannot see to love God, because we each are a cell in the body of God. We are not born from God; we are each and all forever a part of God.

The “veil,” the “Maya” is what keeps us looking at a liver cell as opposed to a pancreatic cell as opposed to a skin cell when we are all simply and divinely cells of one beautiful body, and our individual work is what keeps the body alive.

We are a part of All that is. This is why there is no death. Even our physical bodies do return to the physical substance from which they came; that is not even dying, it is transforming into something greater than before. When our physical vehicle is no longer of use, we are re-incorporated into spirit. Until we choose to utilize a physical vehicle again.

If we go back to the theory of cells, we can understand that we have an ego, which in its highest sense, is the attachment to our individuality and the experiences we have had throughout our history of incarnation. The Aquarian Age is a time where we do not blend our individuality into the brotherhood of man. We add our individuality to aid the betterment of mankind. It is also about taking that individuality and bringing it into the perfect working of the whole. Just as a liver cell cannot forget it is a liver cell and start functioning as a pancreatic cell. Ideally it should realize that it is a liver cell of the same material and a part of the same whole as the pancreatic cell and without both there would be no body.

Individuality does not mean that we are floating unattached. Individuality means that we have our self, our gift, and our unique identity to contribute to the whole of which we are a part. We are a drop as well as the Ocean. We need each other because we are each other in the greater sense. We need God because we are God.

To say that we are children of God is beautiful and it conjures up a beautiful loving image. Yet it implies that we are separate from God so when we are then told to look within for God, we become confused trying to find something separate but within. My child comes from me, she loves me and I love her, however we are separate physical beings in life and that separateness is what impels her to perfect the gifts that are contributed by her being and knowing her whole self.

My cells and my organs, on the other hand, are a part of me; they bear the same connection to me as we bear to God. I may look at every part of me and say this me in this lifetime. The power and strength of each part of me is at my disposal. So we must incorporate the premise that we are not children of God but parts of the body of God. We do not have to look within to find God, we are God within and without. Not only are we parts of God, but so is everything that exists as far as we can see and as far as there is.

If we can understand this concept and break free of the belief that we are merely creations of God but not God, then we can understand that everything else is connected to and a part of each of us.

God created man in His own image. Perhaps what that is saying is the God created man from His own image, and a soul that is, His own image. Understanding that all that exists is God, as each cell within our bodies are connected to the other and dependent upon the other, and the body upon the whole of all if its cells, so too are we connected to every living organism and in some way, aware of it or not, we are dependent upon each. God is economical. There are no left-over or dispensable parts. Each species, each organism has a purpose, and if we remove one from existence, we will eventually feel the repercussions of its absence.

We cannot pollute the atmosphere without somehow polluting ourselves. We cannot weaken the immune system of the earth without having problems with our own immune systems and the immune systems of every living organism that exists on the planet. Not in just affecting from without, but mirroring the effect within our own organism. We must remember that as above, as below as within as without.
We cannot consider ourselves separate from God nor can we consider ourselves separate from another individual, even if that individual lives thousands of miles away worships in a different church, speaks a different language and has a different color skin. We are all connected by the atmosphere that we all share. We live under the same sky and breathe the same air. We are each connected by air. Everything on earth is made of atoms. How then can we not be connected?

To be a part of something larger than ourselves does not make us less in reality it makes us more. When we look at the night sky and see all of the stars and all of the universes, this should not make us feel small and insignificant; it should make us feel great and limitless. Only the belief that one is great can give one the courage and motivation to do great things.

The Only Real World Is The One Within

Man should discover his own reality and not thwart himself. For he has his self as his only friend, or as his only enemy. A person has the self as friend when he has conquered himself, But if he rejects his own reality, the self will war against him. Hinduism.
Bhagavad-Gita 6.5-6
There is a children’s tale about a woman who felt that her house was too small, so she went to a wise man to advise her, and he told her to bring in one animal to live in her house. Each time she felt the house growing smaller, she was advised to bring one more animal into the house, when the house was so crowded that she could no longer move, she was told to take them all out of the house. When she did this, her house seemed large and roomy, and she was grateful for the space that she had.

The house did not change. Her perception of the house changed and the same house that she once hated became a house for which she felt gratitude. That gratitude opened her to feeling joy. Imagine for a moment, that it rains for two weeks straight how beautiful and joyous you feel on the day you look out and see the blue sky and a brightly shining sun. We spend our lives wanting what other people have, the job that provides for the house on the hill, the job that pays for the Porsche or the Mercedes, instead of the job that affords you the junkyard reject on wheels that you are driving. Imagine that you walk in today and you get your pink slip. Now you can’t even pay for the junkyard wreck let alone your rent, food, children’s clothes etc. Go one step further and imagine that the phone rings and they offer you the same job back. Now you don’t care about the house on the hill, you don’t care about the Porsche or the Mercedes, instead you thank God for that phone call, and that dirty office, or that lousy cash register which shines like a brand new penny!!
For a time, generally in proportion to the time that you spent without the job, you are grateful for every difficult day that you go to work and you don’t even give a second thought to what it doesn’t give you because you are so grateful to have what it does. I had some jewelry that had meant so much to me when I received it, but, as time went on, it became stale and valueless to me. Then one day the jewelry was gone, I panicked, and when, after two days of searching, I found it, it was like the first day I had ever laid eyes on it. I felt such overwhelming joy and gratitude that it was actually mine. All of these things, the sun, the sky, the job, the car, those things that shone for one moment in your life and now were dull, overlooked and underappreciated, like the basic fact that you woke up and saw one more day, are always the same as they are in empty situations, like cups to be filled by you with whatever you choose—gratitude and joy or resentment and sorrow. This is life, a chain of consecutive experiences void of emotion until we fill them with whichever emotions we choose.

Man struggles to find life outside himself, unaware that the life he is seeking is within him.’
Kahlil Gibran

Whether we believe that the things occurring in our lives are pre-determined or the result of our free will really doesn’t matter in the end. The indisputable choice that we have is what emotions we fill our experiences with. This is where our free will is at it’s purest. Things don’t fill us with joy or sadness—we fill them. Life doesn’t emote—we do. We enliven our world, we color it, first as individuals, then as generations, as societies, as a species, and finally as souls. Even so, the world in which we are born has been colored, to some extent, by those who have preceded us, our personal world, our subjective world—the world that is there for our particular journey is, for all intents and purposes, colorless and formless until we give it color and form; until we label each person and each experience good, bad, painful or joyful.

‘We choose our joys and our sorrows long before we experience them.’ Kahlil Gibran

My daughter, Lia, told me that she could deal with anything so long as she could label it. This is because “out there” is meaningless until we bring it inside, label, and classify it. We must give it meaning and color within our own description of the world. When we are young, we learn language—we learn the descriptions of the impressions that we receive from the outside world. We are told that a certain object is a table, that a table is a flat surface supported by four legs. In our brain which is our personal computer, we are not able to make infer that all flat surfaces with four legs are tables. Our brains take the labels that we are given for the object as a whole, then they dissect the object into its parts. By doing this, our brains can automatically make connections to things that are the same as or different than.

Labeling and classifying becomes more difficult when we deal with intangibles, such as experiences. When we are very young we dissect, label, and classify experiences in the same way as we do everything else—we record what we are told and what we see, i.e., the reactions of our parents, who are our first teachers, to the appropriate stimuli. When we are faced with situations that our brains tell us match one of the experiences to which we have a recorded parental response, we mimic that response. Whenever we feel a contradictory response coming from within ourselves, we push it away as inappropriate relying on the blueprint of the world that we received as children.

As children, we live in the world of our families. We spend the major portion of our time with them and so, we live in their world. Our survival instincts tell us that we must know and understand the world in which we live. More than a thing or an experience, life is a language. As children we learn the words, the idioms, the nuances of the languages of those around me. That language tells us where to go and what to do so we may find our way around and live as best we can within their world. As we approach our teens, we find ourselves spending the better part of our time in a new world, the world of our peers. And because of the large amount of time that we spend, because of the dictates of life at this point, within our peer group, we must create a new language, one which is distinct enough to distinguish one world from the other. This is generally opposite to the language that we grew up with. This new language is contrary to the language of our family environment not because it is a period of rebellion, but because of evolutionary design. We refuse to acknowledge our initial language, the one given to us by our parents, simply because we are unable to maintain two contradictory beliefs. The language of our parents is a combination of the language of the greater whole, the society within which we live, the language of their generation, and their own personal language.

When we move into our peer group, we learn the language of our own generations, and the idioms of our own peer society. It is only after we have an understanding of all of these languages that we are able to confidently begin to develop, and respond to a reality based upon own personally formed languages. During these teen years we slowly develop a language that comes from our personal responses as they are weighed against the database that we now have of prior learned responses from our families, our peer groups, our teachers and advisors, and the greater society around us. As we develop own languages, we gravitate towards others whose languages are the same as, or similar to ours. We develop a religious language, a philosophical language, a moral language—a language that as clearly as possible distinguishes good from bad, dangerous from safe, and happy from sad. It is vital to understand that it is in our personal language, and not in the object or experience being defined by that language, that our feelings and emotional responses are defined.

When I was young, in my personal language, marriage meant happily ever after. My definition of marriage included love, security, and escape from sadness. From watching my struggle as a single mother to support my daughter Tana and myself, Tana was led to define the word children, in her language, as sacrifice and burden. I only told her how much I loved her, but still, from observing my struggle, she developed her own personal language to describe, and thus create, her reality of motherhood.

The world out there is not alive until we animate it with our personal definitions, our personal language. Nothing out there can make us feel one way or another. The feelings that we get from anyone, anything, or any experience don’t lie within the person, thing, or experience but they lie within ourselves, within our languages and the descriptions that our languages give to them. Often, we will say, or hear someone else say, “I just don’t know how to react to that”. This is because it is a situation to which the person has not yet defined and thus, has not yet attributed an emotion. Or, someone will exclaim, “Oh, that’s what that was!” and immediately they will replay the scene in their minds so that they can label, define and feel the appropriate reaction. Life is a coloring book with only the lines drawn in and we can choose whatever colors we want to fill in the pages. Or, life can be viewed as a book filled with Rorschach images, and it is up to us to write the story for each page.

It is possible for life to be fated, and at the same time, it can be true that we create our own reality. These terms are not contradictory. In life, fate means that we don’t chose the stage, the scenery or the props with which we have to work. We have to utilize what is there. We don’t choose our entrances or our exits. But within those limits, we live, and how we live our lives is determined by the language we use to define reality. There is no such thing as objective reality. And our subjective reality can either be determined by consensus or by personal design. To create our own reality we need to siphon off reach inside, find our own language, our own meaning, and use it. What has been a life well lived, or life wasted lies in the definition and not the life. We must stop seeking the definitions of others when it comes to living our own lives. God has planted within our souls the keys to the kingdom. Those keys are the symbols of the language of our individual souls. Out there may or may not be real. It may or may not be predetermined. Reality, however, is personal, and our definition of it determines the quality of our lives. We can choose to accept the consensus defined reality, or define it for ourselves. If we define it for ourselves, we will never outgrow it, because it will grow with us. We will suffer if we expect to do what others define as the right thing at all times. If our reality is defined by others, simply keeping up with their language of right and wrong will be stressful enough in itself. There is a difference between being right and being true. More times than not, right is defined by consensus, but true, is the cornerstone of integrity and it is defined by self alone. We can be certain to be true at all times, if we live by a reality that is defined by our truth.

My grandmother’s language was designed around two words, usefulness and independence. Indulgence and dependence were at the core of my mother’s language. Within the same week, both my mother and my grandmother became wheelchair bound. My grandmother was destroyed by it. In her language, my grandmother’s wheelchair caused her to be dependent and useless. Her disability placed her into an environment where her language rendered her unable to communicate with herself. Because the foundation of her language defined everything in terms of black or white, she couldn’t label and therefore couldn’t understand this new situation. Before she could begin to function, to heal, she had to learn an entirely new language—an entirely new language for describing – coloring – her life. Once she did this, once she allowed for the expansion of her own language to allow for her physical limitation, rather than exclude it, she found that she could be almost as useful and independent as she had once been. For my mother, the loss of her ability to walk fit perfectly into the language of her reality. It required no adjustments or redefinitions.

Life, out there, is neither good nor bad. It is incapable of doing anything to us. It doesn’t have the power to make us feel happy or sad, valuable, useless, lovable, unlovable, beautiful, ugly, smart, stupid, fat, or thin. We can expect nothing of life and life expects nothing of us. Our lives are determined by the quality of our living. That quality is derived from our personal language, the labels, the meanings with which we color the props and the backdrops of our living. Out there has no effect on us, it’s in here.

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We May Not Need Healing Just Awareness Of Growth

A pile of bricks may look like something that was knocked down, broken, but perhaps it is really something in the process of being completed. Perhaps we can’t heal because we are not broken, just in the process of our own perfection. We are so deeply committed to being broken, to believing that there is something wrong with us because life is not perfect that we miss the fact that everything is part of a process – not yet there is different than being lost.

I am interracial. I learned about the racial separations of people when I watched the movie, “Imitation of Life” This sad movie about a Black maid who has a child by a White man, who worked for a White woman and her daughter. Their lives were doomed because the child who tried to pass for White and was ashamed of her mother and of her own racial identity. After I watched the movie I asked my mother if I was a Negro and she said yes. I asked her if she was a Negro and she said, no. I asked her if my father was a Negro and she said, yes. I told her that I wanted to be White like her. I was devastated. Maybe that was why my mother did not like me. I kept thinking about the pain in the movie. I tried to escape the issue, never using the colors black or white. When I went to the soda shop and asked for a malted I would ask for a blue and blue malted. My mother would whisper to the clerk that I really want a black and white malted so that I would not hear. My world was small, and it was all White except for me. Everyone seemed happy except for me. Maybe there was a connection, there was in the movie.

Interracial sounds like you are part of two races. The true feeling was one of belonging nowhere not a part of either race. I was not Black and I was not White. I was a zebra, an Oreo cookie something that appeared to be feared. I wished that I knew other members of my in-between race. Since I was obviously not White, I tried to be Black; there I met with surprising hostility. I just assumed that Black people would want me. Of course I know now that my personality did not help. It is quite remarkable how we wear our self image on the outside. Thinking that no one knows how much we don’t like ourselves we attempt a mask., a lie, but it doesn’t work.. People end up responding to us in the same way that we respond to ourselves.

I was put into psychotherapy when I was in second grade. The private school I attended told my father that I believed my mother did not love me. He told them that she did not. He told me that it really should not matter. I really tried to get on that page with him but it was a little too much of a reach for a 7 year old. Oh, by this time I had a sister, she was the apple of my mother’s eye. Every day as I drew near to where they were waiting I would feel a black hole building in the pit of my stomach and pulling all of my feelings in. It was this withdrawal that my teachers noticed. I did not have a clue as to who I was, I was so lost and confused about what I was.

Today when people meet me they see someone who has it all together. They see someone who is completely centered. They don’t see the road that brought me here, and neither did I. I did not see that I was not broken, that these were not hazards but learning tools. I was not open to the possibility that there could be good ahead. This was not the end for me it was only the beginning, but I could not see it.

We all start with a different deck of cards, but somehow they are all stacked. I went from therapist to therapist trying to find out what was wrong with me and then fix it. Something had to be wrong with me. Who was I? I was a defective mulatto girl who no one wanted. As time passed, I became very vested in my pain. My ego felt safe in this image. Safe being broken. I was a victim first class. I wore the badge and played the role. I repeated that position in all of my relationships. Years and years of therapy and my situation did not change.

There is an ego death in healing. It requires letting go of an identification that has served well from its inception. This of course is not to say that it was wrong. The fact is that it was the right step for us to be on at the time. And if we have reached an answer it is because of the way that we have taken not in spite of it. Each road that we take is a road that leads us to where we need to go. With so many people seeking to heal, and so many people coming out and speaking about their dysfunctional beginnings and lives, perhaps it is not dysfunctional at all.

If everyone is in some process of healing, perhaps we should realize that it is not healing that we need. In order to build our muscles we exercise, we lift weights, the heavier the weight the stronger our muscles become. This is not just physical. Those things that occurred in our lives that we consider hurtful, those things that we are healing from are merely the weights that in this life we have to lift in order to become stronger, in order to grow in whatever area we have chosen in this life. We are not healing we are growing and it is through the resistance, through the challenges and yes, the pain, that we gain the greatest strength and the greatest power. No one is lost. We do not come here with some sort of map that some of us misplace. We come here with a plan, with a path that is emblazoned in our souls. The markers come along the way from the experiences that we have and the feelings that we experience. We need to let go of our judgment of ourselves and let God lead our way

What impedes us is that our ego, our feeling of security is totally connected with our having been right, even if it hurt. There is the saying, “Better the hell you know than the hell you don’t”, and the truth is that to the ego, the hell you know is better than anything that you don’t know. This block prevents us from being able to receive the guidance that comes from within; we have become so hung up on how we feel now, that we have stopped hearing the wisdom of the Architect of it all. The ego functions in black or white, right or wrong. We need to tell it that it is not an issue of right or wrong it is an issue of right and right, right then and right now. That way was so right that it lead to this way.

Life will no longer give us any form of security if we try to live it based upon the tried and true. Life is being reborn each day and with it so must we. Each day there is a new set of questions that yesterday’s answers do not fit. That does not mean that yesterday’s answers were wrong, they were right yesterday. The problem that we are faced with is not that we did anything wrong, it is that we are constantly trying to make what worked before work now. This is a new age, none of the old rules apply. We must lovingly examine our lives in a beautiful new way. If life were a school, what are the lessons that my life would be meant to teach me? Where can I forgive more, love more, care more, feel more for others? How can I apply the spiritual principals that I am here to learn to the experiences that have brought me here? I can look at my life today and fully understand the necessity of the path that brought me here. And I have faith that I may not understand why the things that happen to me now, painful things, are happening, but when I reach the place that they will lead me, I will know exactly why I was meant to travel that road.

We do not need to question ourselves and find fault with the methods we had for dealing with life; we merely need to be open to new methods appropriate to new lives. It is vital that we now open ourselves to the world as it is, changing and adapting with each day.

There are new situations and each of us can face them and find all that we are seeking simply by recognizing that we live a new “now” in every moment. We can satisfy our hunger by being open to the food that we are given. We need to receive answers without judging ourselves for not having seen them before. We did not see them before because they were not appropriate before. We see what we need to see exactly when we need to see it. We prevent ourselves from growing and living in the present because we are tangled up in the judgment of our lives and our actions in the past rather than understanding the importance to our growth of handling our lives the way that did at the time.

Anything new requires us to change something that we thought, or felt before. That change does not mean that before we were wrong, it just means that before was before. There is no reason to apply what we learn today to what we did yesterday. What we need to do is to apply what we learn today to today. We cannot criticize what we did yesterday based on the new information that we have today.

We can heal by realizing that we do not need to heal, we need to learn, we need to understand, we need to release – which is what forgiveness means, and then move on. Living requires being open and able to receive what is here today. The What is new in no way denies the validity of what was old. What we do can in no way reflects badly on what we did, each thing is appropriate to its time, each action was appropriate under the circumstances within which it occurred.

Our lives, when examined well, show us the perfection of our living. If you are reading this, or anything that you have been directed to, it is because there is something in it that is just perfect for where you are now or soon will be. If the information rings a bell, if it feels right, that is because it is the key to the door that you need to open now. It would have never fit before. Each soul has a journey that is perfect for it, and we each walk it perfectly.

Life has changed. Life is constantly changing. We need to be constantly open to those changes. With each new day, our bodies are changing and growing, evolving. So it is that we need to change and grow spiritually and emotionally as well. This is the process of living. Life is not chaos life is growth. My own beliefs, especially my beliefs about God had changed many times, and sometimes I fought the change, but each time I reached a deeper level of love and a deeper sense of awe in the Source of all things, as God changed for me from an old man in Heaven to the most Divine Guiding Loving by mysterious Presence.

In order to heal ourselves and live in the happiness that we all are seeking we need to accept that we have lived our lives well up to this point. We each have battle scars; they are signs of our having lived passed a course. They are not meant to show us where we have failed but where we have succeeded because we went on.

To heal is to grow, to grow is to move forward and use what we have in each moment. Be open to today’s lesson; be ready for today’s gift. Yesterday is complete and perfect unto itself. There are no changes to be made. The cure for the hunger is to be open today to perhaps a new kind of nourishment. Let yesterday’s food pass through us with each yesterday so that there is room enough for todays. Let us not compare today with yesterday and not compare ourselves today with who we were yesterday. They are different.

There is no point in being here if we cannot be open to what it has to offer. Become born again each day. We are to be born anew with each new sunrise. We should be as children each time that we open our eyes and remember that wonder we once felt. Pain is always a part of the past, because each moment is gone as soon as we notice that it is here. Let go and face this day, as if it were your first. In this way we will find healing, even more than that, we will find joy.

As your soul travels its own journey, it will be wonderful, that does not mean only happy, it means full of wonder. You will be open to hear the messages that come to you from the Universe and the help that you will receive from your guides and the Universe itself.

Destiny Confronts us with Choice – choice creates destiny

There is no reason to feel robbed of choice by destiny, or to worry that the wrong choice will ruin our destiny. All choices accomplish our destiny. It is through the choices that we learn, and it is because of the ability to make choices that we come to this particular planet. It is our journey that sets up the situations in which we must make the choices and it is through making the choices that we reach our destiny.

One thing that we cannot deny is that there are many synchronicities in our lives. These synchronicities show us that there is a plan. There is destiny, which is a destination. However there are many ways to reach it. There are many rivers that empty into the same ocean. Those many rivers in our lives represent our choices. In every moment of our lives there are choices that we make, those choices determine the experiences that we will encounter on our way to our destination, but they do not change the destination.

Those synchronistic moments are destined points. Each path that we take, each choice that we make takes us on a journey towards our destination, however no one way is longer or shorter although some may be easier than others. This is where our free will comes in. We come here with certain karma and certain things that we must learn. We can learn them the hard way or we can learn them the easy way, each way represents a path that we take, but neither path changes the destination. If, for example one has to learn patience, one would be in such a hurry that corners would constantly be cut and experiences rushed through. One would be faced constantly with choices that would give the impression that there is always a way to cut corners and skip steps to get ahead. Each fork in the road would provide all that would be needed in order to take the easy way out. It would always be the most apparent option. That choice will always seem so tempting and so obvious.

Along that path if one takes the easy way there will always be traps, which will begin to appear as soon as one is too far in to turn back. Always ending up working twice as hard as would have been the case had the task been handled slowly and with patience from the beginning. One would notice at one point that this scenario exists and perhaps choose to do it the slow cautious way from the beginning, therefore changing the path from one that is difficult to one that is smooth. Thus now creating a path in which everything falls into place.

One may on the other hand continue choosing the apparent easy way believing that just changing one thing will make it right. However, each time there is one different thing that will go wrong because the destination is to learn patience. I always believed that I had to find the perfect job. I went from job to job never staying more than one year in any place. Each time I was disappointed to find that I was no further ahead than I was at the job before that one. Finally it dawned on me that it was not being in the right place that was the problem; not staying in one place long enough for growth to happen was my problem. When I committed to staying in the next place that I landed regardless of how much I wanted to move on, my life changed. This was a part of my process.

There are many lessons in our lives that we must learn and the paths that our lives take depend upon our learning those lessons. An easy life is not the birthright of the majority of souls here at this time.
We learn our lessons regardless of what choice we make. We teach what we are here to teach no matter what we do. We are each the student, the teacher, and the lesson. In spite of how we react to our lives on earth, our souls are learning. All of the lessons are predestined. It is through the soul’s journey that we meet each lesson. The journey is the lesson and each lesson is the adventure. We always get where we are supposed to go, even though many times it is not exactly where we planned to go. It is however exactly where we agreed to go before we incarnated.

The clock that we are on here is not a clock marked by seconds, minutes and hours; it is a clock marked by lessons, agreements and destiny. It does not matter how long it takes us to reach a certain point, all of the things that we consider wrong turns and dead ends are merely the places we had to go to get the tools and the emotional strength that we needed to move to the next destination.

There are special relationships that we are here to have. Most of them are not to be permanent, but all of them have a specific lesson within them for us to learn. We are never with the wrong person, each person allows us to perfect some part of ourselves. Each person in our lives reflects those things in us that we need to focus on. We come from one Source and we journey towards returning to that Source. While we are here on earth, we are learning that we are one. All of the souls that we meet, and all of the souls that inhabit the planet with us along with the ones who have left us here, are one.

People risk destroying themselves and their lives in order to “fix” their bodies to make them more attractive to others. They change their faces, blow up their lips, and vacuum out their stomachs to attract someone who will love them. But if they are attracted by the things that we do to change ourselves – it is the change and not us that matters to the other person. So the feeling of being unloved remains. If there is something about ourselves that we want to change for ourselves this is fine. Yet if we are changing our bodies in order to attract that special someone who will love us, we are missing the point. When we meet someone special we feel a sense of fate around the meeting and this is because it is a fated meeting. been a feeling of fatedness about the meeting. We can fix our bodies to attract other bodies, but it will never attract someone’s heart or soul. What I see around me are a million lonely Barbies looking for their Kens. When we work on the inside, on who we are, we will attract to us someone interested in who we are. That special someone will love us, that love will be love soul to soul. Even more importantly, that person is destined to be with us when we are ready, not ready on the outside but ready on the inside. There are many superficial experiences that we have and learn from. Yet what affects us on the inside, those things that touch our souls are the things that are in our destiny. We do not make them happen we can only grow to meet them, and make sure that we are prepared for them when we do.