Light Up the Dark Corners

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Some days it’s hard not to become disheartened by bad news.  I may have stopped watching TV, but still, it’s hard to avoid the stories about customers who verbally and physically attack retail employees, or protesters with oozies out to protect their selfish rights, or governmental corruption, lies, political dirty tricks, and round and round we go where she stops, God only knows.  So much ugliness in the world coming at us from so many different directions.  Heaven help us.

If I were to allow myself to focus on all of this distressing news, surely I would be caught up in a frenzy of hopelessness unable to see a way out, or worse, be sucked into the fray by the unbridled fear-mongering heaped upon us daily by the media.   It’s why I turned off the TV.

We need to see the light.

My mother used to say, “Light up the dark corners.”  When she said it, she meant the room.

When I say it, I mean the world.

Before he died in 1991 at age 40, Lee Atwater, chairman of the Republican National Committee and manager of George Bush’s 1988 successful presidential campaign, took responsibility for his actions of “naked cruelty” by setting out upon a mission of making amends to those who had been hurt by his underhanded political tactics.  “I did not invent negative politics,” he said, “but I am one of its most ardent practitioners.”

His deathbed confessions and apologies, according to some who knew him well, were fueled by his fear that he would go to hell for his actions.  Perhaps this could be considered as an unlikely side benefit that fear provides for motivation for a change of heart.

Whatever the cause of his desire for repentance, it pales in comparison to the implication that change is not an impossible dream, even under the very worst of conditions.  In fact, it may even seem miraculous that a man capable of such incredible manipulation and control might suddenly turn into the poster child for political good behavior and seek forgiveness for his self-serving actions.

It gives me hope.  It gives me the hope that if Lee Atwater saw the light and could change, perhaps others will as well.  It is not an impossible dream.  Minds are changed one at a time.  Perhaps the light might dawn upon one angry customer, or one armed protester, or one corrupt politician and bring about a change of heart.

If one person lights one match in a darkened room, all will be able to see.  If one person turns on one light in one corner of a dark room, the room will be illuminated.  Each one of us who sees and focuses on the light helps to dispel the darkness.  Each one of us can help to change the world, one mind at a time.

When enough of us participate in lending light to the darkness, when the world is well enough lit, we will all enjoy the beauty, harmony, and bounty of a glorious new life on our beloved earth.

So please help in the effort of transformation and turn on your light.  Light the match.  Light the light.  See the light.

Light up the dark corners.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

The Heart Knows the Way

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Yesterday I was broke. Here  Today I am lazy.

The day that I was born, my sister became my mother and adopted me as her very own living, breathing baby doll.  The fact that she was only two years older did not get in her way.  She went about her task with fierce determination, meeting my every need before I needed it,  doing everything for me that I could not do for myself.  She continued her mothering duties well past the years when I was old enough to do for myself.  Not surprisingly, I earned the reputation for being lazy because for some odd reason, I simply didn’t bother to do anything for myself.  Imagine that.

I won’t give her full credit nor blame for my well-earned lazy reputation, because chances are that I showed up in life with lazy as my middle name.  Nonetheless and even so, in her well-meaning mothering helpfulness, she facilitated the process and sealed the deal.  Lazy I was.

My family claimed that I liked to get up earlier so I could loaf longer.   Efficiency experts agree: If you want to get something done, give it to the laziest person in the room because she will find the quickest, easiest, fastest way to get the job done.  So true.  Efficiency equals longer loaf time.

If there is any truth in my belief that we arrive here on classroom earth with a fully loaded curriculum specifically tailored for our soul’s growth, then I was parked in the perfect family to help me realize and understand my need to overcome the obstacles that I brought with me into the classroom.  Broke and lazy.

But here’s the good news.  Like two sides of the same coin, we also come equipped with the wherewithal and the way to grab our demons by the tail and fling them over the cliff of self-doubt and fear.  We have the ability to gain mastery over ourselves and whatever beliefs we hold that cast a shadow over the joy that is our inherent birthright.  It’s all a part of the journey toward wholeness.

Easier said than done, one may say.  How do you erase the pain of the past and heal old, worn out belief systems that stand in the way of personal peace and happiness?  How does one answer such a question in the Reader’s Digest version of a lifetime quest?

For two years I held a grievance involving a husband and a friend.  Not until I was able to see the profound damage that I was doing to myself by my unwillingness to forgive did I begin to realize the benefit of letting it go.  Incentive and willingness became the key.  Dear God, I want to forgive, but I don’t know how.  Please help.

Sometimes it helps to take a “what’s in it for me” approach.  Focus on the donut.  Seeing the benefit can provide the energy that fuels the desire to make a change, even though doing so may be uncomfortable.  Every situation is different.  Every solution is different.  Every soul is a wise teacher with our best interests at heart.  Follow your heart, ask for help, listen to the teacher, study hard for your tests, and a diploma is your sure reward..  It isn’t easy, but it’s always worth it.  Godspeed.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

Learning Lessons in Real Time

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I just spent a couple of hours writing today’s blog.  I put the finishing touches on it before pushing the publish button, then accidentally pushed the delete button instead.  Shoot me now.  It was all about how everything happens for a reason and that there is a lesson that can be found in every unhappy, unfortunate situation.  Well now.  Didn’t I just give myself the opportunity of a lifetime to practice what I preach?  Back to square one.  Sigh.

Fellow writers and bloggers, can you relate?  Lesson 1:  Save.  I knew that, but I flunked Save.  Some of us are slow learners.

So I suck my heart back up out of my stomach and begin again.  Okay, so where was I?  There was something about learning from my mistakes, about wrenching my elbow out of joint while trying to extract my foot from my mouth, blah blah blah.

It was about converting miseries into miracles.  I felt pretty good about it too, and even managed to find a link to add (a shortcoming, you may recall) but now alas, poof—it’s all gone.  Maybe with luck I can find a new link to the thing about links.  Stay tuned but don’t hold your breath.

Meanwhile, like the kid in the room with all of the manure, I know that there must be a pony in here somewhere.

Well I’m just going to have to fumble my way through this one till I find a point, or come to an end, or figure it out, or giggle my way through this cruel twist of fate, or maybe suss out a lesson, or learn to get by on a hum, a wing, and a prayer.  You know—resort to your basic stream-of-consciousness stuff.  What can I say?

One of the things that I’ve learned along the way is that by the time I’ve pushed the publish button, I feel as if I’ve put in a whole day’s work and it’s only 9:00 a.m.  I’m done.  It’s breakfast first then nap.  Like I always say—we get to repeat our lessons until we learn them.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.

It would really be cool if the missing blog suddenly reappeared like magic but I doubt that’s going to happen.  But the miracle that I was talking about in the missing blog was about finding compassion, love, healing, and happy endings in the midst of what I call the miseries, those life situations that make you want to pull the ostrich act and run off in search of sand into which to stick the head, kind of like now, this moment, when I’d like to run off and stick my head under the covers.

Well so here’s my question to myself.  Have I learned anything here (besides push the Save button, I mean)?  I don’t know about that yet.  It’s a little too soon.  Maybe I’ll figure it out later.  Or not.

Maybe it’s just about another lesson in letting go, and going with the flow, of being okay with the way things are, of loving and forgiving myself in spite of my silly foibles, of making the best of whatever the situation is.  The deleted blog took a lot of time and thought.  This one was whipped off in about ten minutes and was a whole lot more fun to write.  Don’t know about you, but I enjoyed the process.  Hope you enjoyed the read!

Ta ta for now.  Off for my nap.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

In Search of Truth

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My current favorite pandemic meme came straight from of jaws of Facebook and suggests that perhaps God is sending us all to our rooms to give us time to consider what we’ve done.

Oh my.  Well that could be a scary thought.

Oh?  And why is that?

Well, duh.  It could bring up all sorts of hidden stuff like guilt, and what I did wrong, and what I didn’t do that I should have, and what I did that I shouldn’t have.  You know stuff like that.

That is true.  And would that be such a bad thing?

Well it wouldn’t be very much of a comfort.  I mean, after all, who wants to see the parts and pieces of themselves that they’ve been hiding from for a lifetime?

Ah. Perhaps you speak of the ego, the personality, the “small” self of the individual that feels disconnected from the larger Self.  And speaking of disconnection, We sense that you have allowed yourself to drift off into the world of ego and are considering the impact of today’s writing upon the reader.

Oops.  You would be correct.

May we remind you that your task is to simply write?  There is no need for you to judge the words, nor how they may be perceived by those who read them.

Thank you.  But it is still a little tempting to get a bit squirrely about whether or not I’ll be considered nuts.

We understand.  And again, We remind you that what others think of you is irrelevant, for they will see you through the lens of their own perspective.  We know that remnants of self-doubt occasionally rise up and play a role in your actions, choices, and decisions, and clearly, We see that this is one such occasion.  We applaud the progress that you have made thus far in releasing this obstacle that occasionally stands in the way of your peace of mind, and for the courage it takes for your willingness to be transparent.  Under these circumstances it is natural then, that a sense of hesitancy still exists.

Again, you would be correct.  But I’ll get over it.  Today for the first time since the pandemic lock-down, there is a bit of structure to my day and I need to get on the move.  But I promised myself that I would blog every day, and today, this is it.  How do I feel about it?  I don’t know.  But I’ll push the publish button anyway, and let the chips fall where they may.  There are lessons to be learned in every situation, and I’m happy to learn mine, no matter now comfortable or uncomfortable they may be.

Thanks Pandemic for this opportunity to stop and consider what I have done.  Oh—and to love and forgive myself for whatever it is that I think I may have done wrong.

Happy Easter everyone.  May we rise up together into a glorious new beginning!

PS:  If you are dazed and confused by what you just read (if in fact you even made it this far), it may be because you missed the last one or two blogs.  Reading them will put this one in context.

Note:  The beautiful image and meme are courtesy of New Waves of Light (NWOL.us).

 

Who Are We?

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When I was a very young child, a puzzling question popped into my mind from out of the blue.  It was a question that I pondered for decades and was the one that started me on my quest to answer the eternal ‘Who am I’ and ‘why am I here’ questions.

While in the midst of playing with a friend from kindergarten one day, I found myself poking my little finger at her small body, and then back at my own asking, “Who is that in there?  And who is this in here?”  I continued the conversation in my head for a bit longer and more questions came to mind.  Why do you live with your family, and why do I live with mine?  Why are you you, and why am I me?  Heavy questions for a five-year old to ponder.

On my spiritual journey decades later, I received answers to my questions.  There is no “you” and there is no “me” because in Truth, we are all One joined in spirit and connected by the same Divine Source.

We are born into different life scenarios designed to provide opportunities for us to move toward our highest possible evolution. We arrive on the planet wrapped in individual bodies appearing to be separate, but beneath the wrappings of so many beautiful hues, the bottom line is that while on this earth, you are you, and I am me, but in Truth, we are We, and We are One.

In closing, a final thought about forgiveness comes to mind.  Whether it is yourself you forgive or another, forgiving one is the same as forgiving all for indeed, Oneness is all encompassing.

Blessings to One and All, dear brothers and sisters.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).   

Return to Sanity

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Photo by MaLeK DriDi on Pexels.com

I’ve been gone for what seems like an eternity—off by myself again wandering around aimlessly in the desert trying to find my way back home.  Another blogger asked a question worth pondering—if I stopped blogging, would anyone notice?  I would.  I noticed that I have gone missing, but I couldn’t seem to find the oomph to get myself back on the return trip toward home.  Perhaps because I temporarily lost the way.  Sometimes it is very hard to return to sanity whilst being on vacation from one’s own head.  When I’m out there doing the aimless-wander dance, I wrestle with feelings of self-doubt and guilt because I think that I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing, whatever that is.  Perhaps you might be somewhat familiar with the feeling?

I don’t quite know what it is that drags me off course, but the one thing I do know is that the real problem here is that I have wandered away from God.  I have wandered away from that part of myself that is the best of me, and collided head-on into the self that I’ve been trying to avoid for as long as I’ve been on my spiritual journey.  It doesn’t usually go very well.  I don’t think that escape is the answer.

When I’m away, I experience lethargy, laziness, sloth (hmm—isn’t that one of the seven deadly sins?), and a general sense of malaise that eats away at self-esteem and sends me straight into the despair of zero self-worth.  Eeks!  That’s not a very nice place to live!  Feelings of low self-worth sneak in while we are looking the other way and inflict torture upon most of us at one time or another whether we are aware of it or not.  Now that’s a condition truly worth avoiding!

Once it finally dawns on me that my sojourn into the desert is a lonely one, and that it robs me of the joy that is my true birthright, it’s enough get me to hop on my camel and gallop out of the desert as fast as I can–or at least as fast as a camel’s legs will allow–and I return happily to my quiet time with God, and yes—maybe even blogging.  But sometimes that realization comes at the speed of molasses in January.  Why is that, I wonder?  And what is it that makes me wander off in the first place?  Maybe that part doesn’t matter.  Maybe I just need to keep my eye on the end goal and enjoy the jagged journey along the way.

My last blog was written nearly two months ago on July 13 and yes, rather recently I have heard from a few readers asking about it, and for that I say thank you for your encouragement.  So often a little nudge from others is all that is needed to provide a wandering soul with renewed faith and the desire to move forward on the path.  So much of life is about intention.  Do I intend to finish this blog, or will I get halfway through, take the dog for a walk, and forget it, as I have so many others?

Will I sit down every morning and spend my quiet time conversing with God, or will I keep Him waiting and instead fritter away precious hours and minutes checking emails, tweaking my daily to-do list, reading negative news, or fretting over undone chores—then suddenly wake up to the realization that I’ve gone missing and lost my senses again? God doesn’t care if the laundry gets folded or if there are dishes in the sink.  God has more important things than household chores on Her mind.

Here’s the thing. God gave me an assignment—a job to do—and if I don’t do it, I’m not holding up my end of the bargain. Not that God bargains, mind you—it’s just that I’m the one who entered into the contract.  I’m the one who said, “Okay, God, if this is all you ask, it is the least I can do.”  All God asks is that we be happy, and that we find the joy that dwells deep within our hearts and waits patiently to be found.  The only thing that God asks of us is that we realize that we are loved and forgiven, and that we have no reason to think or feel anything less than that.   I’m the one who lays self-doubt and guilt at my own feet by allowing myself to slip into the false belief of thinking that I am less than I am.

When I am able to remember my assignment, my promise to God that I will love myself as She loves me, feelings of low self-worth,  guilt and self-doubt fade and transform into the remembrance that I am truly a beloved child of God, perfect just as I am.  And so are you.  And so is everyone else, even though sometimes appearances may say otherwise.

This week a little voice in my head suggested that I take my umbrella into Trader Joe’s.  Did I listen?  No, of course not.  When I emerged from the store after all of five minutes, torrential rain was flooding the parking lot.  Clearly, there is something in me that is a whole lot smarter than I am, and one day perhaps I’ll learn to listen.  Meanwhile, I’m going to do my darnedest to quit taking little side trips into the wilderness and make a commitment to honor my prayerful intentions instead.  Wish me luck!

Now I must ask myself the question—am I going to push the publish button now or am I going to make myself crazy wondering if it’s good enough?  Cheech.  There I go again—listening to that pesky self-doubt voice instead of to the one that’s smarter than I am, the one that makes helpful little suggestions, like, “Take your umbrella.”   Whenever will I learn? Or maybe the real question is—when will I not forget?  Does it all have to be perfect?  No.  Does it really matter?  No.  Is it a good thing to be content with whatever is?  Absolutely.

Thank you good readers for the nudge that I needed to get my feet back onto the return–to-God path.  It feels great to be back and God willing, I’ll stay stay put, resist the temptation to wander away again, and see you soon.  It is unbelievably comforting to know that God loves me when I’m ornery.  He loves me when I am small and petty.  He loves me when i procrastinate, when I’m lazy, and especially when I’m behaving like a sloth.  He loves me no matter what.  What a gift.  What a wonderful God!

Yep.  I’m doing it.  There’s nothing quite like pushing the publish button to bring joy and set my feet back on the path.  Before I push it though, just a thought to remember–God loves you and so do I.  What is there to say but Thank You Thank You Thank You God?

To that I say Amen!

 

Seventy Times Seven

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It is not possible to get to Carnegie Hall without traveling the path of practice, nor is it possible to find joy without the practice of forgiveness.  Practice, practice, practice.

In my continuing quest for peace of mind and happy endings, I am more aware than ever of the need to put my money where my mouth is and stop talking and start doing the inner work that is necessary to move forward on the path to enlightenment.

In answer to my impassioned plea for more joy in my life I was rewarded with the opportunity to practice what I preach.  This answer comes to me in the form of a person who is so in-your-face angry and contentious that I want nothing more than to see the back of her head when she walks away. The experience of being in her presence is so disturbing that my heart ties itself into a knot just thinking about it.  Sometimes I think that God has a very mischievous sense of humor.

Twice I have received guidance and insight into the path to forgiveness of her and twice, it has slipped away.  How fleeting these precious thoughts can be, and how quickly I forget!  I need to write it down so that I can remember and practice, but it is so elusive that I ask for help to remember and recapture those ephemeral thoughts.  Help comes in the form of a poem.  Well, sort of.  I’m not a poet.

She is not angry with me
She is angry with the world
Those in her path reap her wrath
Rather than respond with anger
I prefer to offer forgiveness
Yet forgiveness is hard to find

She is not angry with me
The world has done her wrong
Her anger lashes out on others
And she drives them away with her fury
She is in great need of forgiveness
Of herself, of others, of the world

If I cannot find forgiveness
Perhaps I can find compassion
Compassion for her suffering
Compassion for the pain that drives her
And understanding of the intense grievances
That clog her heart with the fear of love

Jesus implores us to forgive seventy times seven
I may find it in my heart to forgive today
Yet tomorrow will bring renewed opportunity
When she stands in my face once again
With a glare, a frown and bitterness in her heart

In her current state of mind
She is helpless to help herself
But I can refrain from my judgment of her
And silently acknowledge her suffering
In exchange for her anger and contention
I can offer compassion and forgiveness
And a prayer of peace and love for her
Seventy times seven