Seeing Through Grace

It’s not an easy thing to let go of what seems obvious, especially when it stirs those emotions deep within us. I was given an opportunity to do so last night and this morning following a very unpleasant experience. Our son is home from college, and while visiting with family at our home after dinner last night, proceeded to answer my brother’s question “how are things going with your friend and his dog?’ ‘Oh, well, he went away and locked the dog in the bathroom for the entire weekend, she destroyed it, ripped up tile and chewed on stuff (the dog is a puppy), so he took her out in the woods and left her.’ Ugh. Ouch. Oh, my dear friends, I still feel my heart break as I type this. There was an audible gasp in the room by all who were present, and then an onslaught of disbelief, anger, heartache all directed toward our son. He’d been quite flat in telling us, as though it was of little consequence. Our older daughter is one who will become very passionate and at times quite aggressive in advocating for something she believes in. The heat quickly rose and all that warm family-all-together energy dissipated into heaviness. My brother walked out. He was too angry and hurt to say anything. I finally stepped in and told the two older kids that was enough. There’s no point arguing about it and pointing fingers at one another. 

It was quiet as I struggled to maintain composure while cleaning up the kitchen. I couldn’t do my usual dance of trying to smooth it over without being confrontational. Generally, I can honor both sides and allow them to speak whatever they have and not be too swayed. Not this time. Too close to my heart, and I’ve moved too far away from the ‘usual dance.’ Instead I came upstairs and let the tears come. I could feel my own anger at our son for not having more compassion, not doing something, not at least feeling as heartbroken as I was. Surely from the outside, it looked to everyone in that room that he was cold and didn’t care at all. It definitely felt that way to me. 

When I woke this morning and began writing about it, it became crystal clear. It’s not at all that he’s cold. He’s still the same boy who was terribly disturbed over his friend’s parents happily watching a chipmunk drown in a barrel of water because it had torn up their yard. The difference is that he lives out in the real world now, and has yet to find his own center. He has no idea just how to stand firm in what his heart tells him. Not only is he young, but he’s a male and that makes it ever so harder when it comes to expectations for how to be. We are coming out of a time when men were forbidden to have hearts. My husband’s father told him to stop crying at baseball – there was nothing to cry about. It wasn’t ok. It still isn’t in some environments. At college, away from home and security, trying to just survive, it isn’t ok to have a heart and speak up for an animal who is being mistreated–at least in his perspective at the time. Whether my son knew it or not, that was the defense. He was protecting his own need to survive, to be accepted and be ok. 

It would have been so easy to let my emotions decide how to be with our son, to be angry with him because my spirit was so pained. That would only have served to become a power struggle. My way, my truth pitted against his. Instead, it felt right to share with him how it made me feel and to ease into letting him know I understand how difficult it must be for him to make it at college. He’s been quite homesick over the last several weeks. His whole reality has shifted in a way we sometimes forget occurs when our children leave home. To the world, it may look like an exciting time to get out on your own and have new experiences. But to some of our children, it’s empty, frightening and uncertain. It’s a natural thing to seek the best way to survive and get through it, and I know that’s what he’s been doing. To have responded with harsh judgment would only have created friction between us and deepened the inner turmoil I know is there beneath the self protection. Letting him know I understand what he was feeling and I still love him seemed to allow him to put down his internal weapons and consider some alternate scenarios. 

GRACE is what allowed me to shift my vision. She whispered through my pen, letting me ‘see’ the truth of what his energy was saying. GRACE. A mystical substance with the power to alter our reality. And, I believe, with the power to heal. So I’ll continue to heal my own cracks and wounds, while channeling grace to all animals who are in the way of harm, and to all beings who seek to become whole. This is my prayer. xo 

Creating Balance

I’m struck by the similarity in beliefs about God and Mother Nature as I observe reaction to the tragedies on our planet.  Growing up, we knew a God who ruled as Avenger and Judge.  It was made clear to us that should we not follow the rules of “God” as laid out by the church leaders, there was going to be punishment.  This “God” would not tolerate disobedience or sin.  This belief went so far as to pray from the pulpit for “God’s judgment” on figures in the community who were “sinning.”  Although there were many names on the list, the doctors who were supporting and performing abortions are the ones I remember best.

What the leaders of our church believed was that this “God” was going to punish those who were in the wrong–and anything “negative” that occurred was the result of someone’s sin and thus deserved.  The God I grew up with was easy to anger and meant to be feared.  Of course, this carried over into the homes of the families, creating fear as a basis for making choices.  “God” was always watching and would be sure your sin “found you out” and you were dealt with appropriately.  The idea of following one’s intuition, connecting to a higher Source to understand who you are and what’s best for you on an individual basis would have been the equivalent to some form of witchcraft.

Some of what I’m hearing and reading now about Mother Nature and her “wrath” feels very much the same.  We’ve “misbehaved” here on this Earth and she’s “angry.”  While I agree completely that we have been neglectful and irreverent with the resources and energy of our home planet, I’m not so sure there is an anger and a need for justice that drives the dynamic of the events we are now experiencing.

Perhaps instead there is a cosmic force that naturally exists in the Flow, and when that Flow is interrupted, balance is compromised.  Yet the Flow remains in place, and in order to continue moving in that cycle, that energy field, the balance must be restored.  Relate this to yourself for a moment.  On any number of levels–emotions, health, finance, love, spiritual awareness–we experience flux in our ability to maintain balance.  Balance is neutral, each “side” being equivalent.  And so when we have overspent, for example, and blown our budget, we must then tighten up our spending and perhaps even struggle to get through for a period of time in order to come back to neutral once again.  In doing so, we presumably remember to respect our income, to honor its presence and put more energy and reverence into how we use it to support our well-being.

Our relationship to Mother Earth is much the same way.  As our personal life choices impact our relationship to well-being and create the desire for balance and co-creation, so too do the events we experience on Earth.  One very clear positive result of these recent tragedies is the increase in compassion, love, understanding, connectedness that is occurring around the globe.  We live in a time when we can so easily BE THERE with people who are experiencing pain or loss.  Another part of our heart, our consciousness, our ability to send powerful healing energy AWAKENS.  This is far removed from the anger and justice prevalent in our patriarchal society for hundreds of years, and much more in alignment with the feminine energies of love and compassion for our race.  The pendulum swings, sometimes in extreme, but always in the effort to create balance.

The heart is the doorway into healing–in our lives, in our communities and around the planet.  While we are seeing pain and sadness happening to our fellow beings, we are experiencing an opening that takes us deeper into the sacredness of our soul, expanding our field of grace.  You and I–together, here–we are connecting to that space through listening….to the whispers of our hearts…..

Love to each of you.  xoxo

Dove Peppermint Bark

Today has passed by all too quickly….and I am just now finding a quiet moment in which to share.  It’s the love note wrapped around my delicious little bite-sized Dove Peppermint Bark that strikes me.  Although the theme is holiday, the message is pure:

“If old acquaintances be forgot, give them a call and remember.”

To me, this reads:  “If you’ve forgotten to honor and love yourself along the way, take time out to remember who you are.”

No one – and I mean no one – has the power to make you feel so loved, so revered and dignified as you do.  The affections, kind words and actions of others can certainly brighten our day.  But isn’t it true, when the day is over, and in fact when the day begins again – that it is YOU who stares back from the mirror.  What we most desire to see in that visage is one who admires the person we have become.  If we but take a moment….perhaps clear the fog from the glass….and really look into the eyes of our beholder…..we can remember.  Remember the essence of our soul, Divinely created, here on this journey to become whole, to learn the lessons life offers us.  See into the core of our being, understanding, open to the goodness that is ours.  When we do, in that very second we find within the integrity and honor in being ourselves.  There is no other love that offers us such beautiful, pure, heartfelt acceptance.

Don’t forget who you are.  Remember to find time to see yourself with clear vision.  And while you are looking….listen too, to the whispers of your heart.

Love Cliche’

As I sat down and contemplated what to share here this morning….so many thoughts came through all at once.  Taking a moment to pause….and ask “what does my heart whisper to me?”……there was one clear answer.  It came in the form of a cliche’….of love.

A lyrical gift to us from the Beatles, “all you need is love” begins the dialogue.  Isn’t that true, tho?  When we are feeling fully loved, there is very little that can cause us discontent.  I believe we often KNOW we are loved, but there’s a difference between “knowing” and “feeling.”  Imagine it for a moment….what it FEELS like to be loved.  It’s like the arms of Spirit enfolding you, holding you close and filling you up with its electrifying radiance.  The feeling of love…what a beautiful thing…when we take time and allow ourselves to bathe in its light.  And when we take that moment to remember what love really feels like, on a very conscious level, do we not know….that “love is all you need?”

So for today, perhaps find a quiet space of time – however small or great – in which to allow yourself to become completely embraced by love’s warm acceptance and grace.  And then, let the love flow outward from you wherever it will.  For it’s true that when we are feeling wrapped in the arms of loving gentleness, we naturally offer that same gift to others.  After all…..isn’t a desire for love the whisper of many hearts?