Thursday, March 25, 2010


Yesterday I watched the movie "The Blind Side" with Sandra Bullock. It's not just a feel good movie.

We have so much coming at us every day of our life. The interactions, the images, the voices and expressions can bombard us with so much negative. What I'm referring to is the News, media, internet, movies. I don't watch the news when Frank is away working. Not doing so releases me from some of the turmoil.

Even so, I often feel upset and conflicted with what I still do see and hear. There's Facebook and John Stewart and Colbert and their highlights of people like Glen Beck and the other Republican antics. The issues that America confronts today (the financial crisis and the banks, health care, the "losses" of the "Middle Class") are portrayed so violently across the media. The rich robber barons are standing firm in their right to steal and call it their due. Those who "had theirs" are screaming and threatening in hatred at those "below" them because they got theirs because they worked and are worthy, while those somewhere below obviously have not and therefore do not deserve - and certainly not from them. Those just below the "Middle Class" and certainly the poor are completely forgotten - except by Obama and those brave enough in Congress to ignore the lies and the threats and push health care through irregardless. Now they turn their focus to the need for financial reform to "save the Middle Class" and America.

Sometimes I feel lucky and sometimes it feels a necessity that I'm home, when it comes to the emotional movements that happen within me on a daily basis. I don't know that I ever made it to the "Middle Class" - at times it felt we were getting close to "having" - when I and Frank were both making good incomes. And then the happenings of this life and the systems set in place moved to return us to "just below" or even in line with the "poor". We've lost two homes, two businesses, and filed bankruptcy over the years. That has reeked its havoc on my self-esteem and self-worth; my ability to believe in a future and my ability to even desire to live this life.

I don't mind being "in line with" the poor.  They're some of the best people I know.  And my personal "drops" have made me realize that all the more.  There but for the Grace of God go I.  Because of my personal life experiences I tend to relate more to the "side" of liberal, not of "higher" economic status, and certainly see myself among them.  And I don't mind that.  What I DO mind are the connotations of lack of worth, laziness, and failure as a result that others apply, and that I have subsequently applied to myself.  My "work" at this time in my life is to remove those opinions and connotations from my mindset.  That is the lesson this life has given me.

This morning I looked at my checking account to verify that my Social Security had been deposited. With that I will pay my rent. As I looked to see "what will be left" the tightening and rolls that have become the norm for my belly threatened to move me from a place of calm to the grips of fear once again.

And I thought of Sandra Bullock in "The Blind Side". Was she what the media calls The Middle Class or the Rich? It was certainly stated that she and her husband were Republicans (they met their first Democrat in Kathy Bates) and they certainly seemed to have "more than enough" with a huge gorgeous home, ownership of multiple businesses, and the ability to buy without question. They didn't seem to question that ability or their right to have all that they had, nor did they know of the poor or their problems - until they met Michael. Often that has been called arrogance.

The difference, I think, portrayed in this story is that throughout all Sandra Bullock did (and her family)they also didn't question right or wrong. They didn't stop to consider what was right, whether or not someone "deserved" or why. They simply acted from what they knew was right, with love.

In looking at the hatred seemingly portrayed by Republicans and the media's constant influence to increase the hatred within me for the extremists on all sides of all America's issues, I have been asking the Universe to help me see differently. It's what I ask for every day in my life - to see and act from the heart - with love - for myself and all things I encounter.

"The Blind Side" is a great movie for our time.  Perhaps that's why it won an Academy award.  Perhaps that's why the Universe helped bring it to us at this time. Sandra Bullock helped me to see that Economics don't matter. It doesn't matter whether you are rich or poor, Middle class or somewhere just below - Republican or Democratic - even liberal or conservative. 

What matters is believing in yourself and in someone else - whoever you encounter. What matters is acting from love as an individual - and ignoring or standing firm when confronted with those who do otherwise. Economics have nothing to do with it.  As they say... Peace begins with US.  Love begins with US.  When the individual makes the individual choice to do what is right, without outside influence, but through Soul Connected Guidance we are all uplifted.  That is what "America" has always stood for.  That is why we say, "In God We Trust".

If you trust in the Divine (whatever you conceive that to Be), that trust will assist you in seeing one another differently.

And thus my fear and the nausea in my stomach was moved from a place of fear and hatred to a place of calm.  Regardless of what you see in the media, you can also ask to be shown something different - if you are willing to see something different.  And the Universe will always oblige.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Gift That Costs You Nothing

When we are ill our most urgent need is release from pain.  Friends, nurses, and our mothers have always known this and are quick to respond.  In today's world we have all kinds of medications, treatments, and procedures meant to "heal".  A true "healer" recognizes that the most desperate need underlying the pain is the need for the comfort of love and compassion.

Part of what I've been trying to convey to others through this blog is the understanding that mental (or emotional) illness carries with it a depth of pain that is as severe as the torture of any physical ailment.

How can we compare our pain?  How can we express to another its depth and make them understand?  It's never easy.  Physical pain is mostly understood by all - emotional pain not so well.

Often we are at a loss to know what to do to help someone in emotional pain - especially one in the severe pain that is associated with any kind of "diagnosed" mental illness.  Today NAMI posted info on Facebook about their new Hearts and Minds campaign.   On that page I found a link to a new support site that anyone can use when they're feeling most in need.

You can create an area devoted to any subject; those already done include not only mental illness and addictions but things such as financial difficulties, weight loss, and cancer.  Looking through the posts I was moved by the levels of pain that so many are experiencing in this time.  But I was most struck by the consideration, love, compassion, and understanding of others who replied to help those feeling so lost and alone.

Check out if you're needing a friend, or please if you have a moment to spare to help another who could use one.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

While I've Been Away

March 3, 2010
This morning I was given eyes to see my story, the story.  I decided to work with the Cayce ARE course on Finding Your Life Purpose.  This morning the narrative and work were about recognizing your positive talents.

The 1st exercise was a guided imagery where you think of people you admire, consider why you admire them, and then through “positive projection” recognize that the talents they possess are also in you, some may be actively, some may be dormant, a “seed” you haven’t planted for some reason.

In considering the reason why you may not have planted your seeds, the narrator spoke of the “Jonah Complex”.  I had never heard of this before, and looked it up on the ‘net for further info.  It is the Old Testament story of Jonah and the whale.    What I had forgotten, or not taken away from this story as a child is the reason Jonah ended up in the whale in the first place. 

God recognized that Jonah had a particular talent – communicating to others.  God sent Jonah to tell a certain people’s that their negative ways were horrible – an abomination to Him – and that unless they changed their ways God would destroy them.  Jonah was fearful of this task, fearful of his ability to do it, and fearful of the outcome.  So instead of going to the town, he boarded a ship for elsewhere.  A mighty storm came up, Jonah was thrown overboard and ended up in the whale’s belly for 3 days – time enough for him to consider everything.  When the whale burped him up, Jonah went to the appointed town and completed his task.

The ARE narrator said that the Jonah Complex is about being afraid of our abilities – afraid of the greatness that lies in us, and so we stifle them, and in so doing, we end up frustrated, bored, neurotic – because we aren’t “fulfilling our mission” of being all that we can.

This whole thing jolted me like a bolt of lightning.  I recognized that it has been a major issue in my life, running through it, about going to college, being all I can be when it comes to my relationship with Frank, and in so many other ways.

I was also set back by the realization that over the last few years I have spent no time “allowing” any goodness into my life, and specifically no time recognizing any goodness in ME.

March 4, 2010
This morning I’m thinking about the things that I’ve learned in the last few days about myself and the things that have been presented.  Last night in reading the Course (A Course in Miracles), Jesus showed me again that it’s all about the Love and the truth of Who we really are.

I thought for a little while on how I might offer that to others (like through my blog or maybe even as a counselor or such).  I wondered about face to face relationships versus how I present myself on the internet, and if the face to face was more important.  I guess it was thinking about the face to face that got me thinking about what is most important to me for living my life and feeling okay with whoever I meet, in whatever way.

I remembered the imagery that came to me the other day when I did the exercise in the ARE course that I’m working on – that what is important to me is that I live from the heart – express from the heart in all I say and do.  It’s about the love.  I thought about how that was impressed upon me – from church – from Jesus – and how I took that on from an early age and determined to live that way.  I said, "Yes, that is what is important.  That is what life is all about".  I thought of how that became the longing, the need in me to be the essence of all I say and do in this life.

I thought about the Course again, about the theme that runs through it over and over -  seeing the truth in each person, recognizing their worth and value, their equality to me, our “sameness” in the right to love and forgiveness, our “sameness” in the truth that love is in each of us, a grand worth is in each of us, perfect qualities are in each of us.  That understanding is how I need to “see” each person, bless each person, understand each person I encounter, if I am to live the Truth.

I thought about the places in my life where I have been unable to do this.

Whenever Jesus explained that we are all equal – equally loving, of equal worth – and equally deserving of love – I felt that block.   “Yes”, I thought, “but not this person – not in this particular circumstance.”  And I thought, “How can I possibly offer love to this person, this circumstance?  How can you ask me to?”

I’ve spent the last 3 weeks or so looking at my “mental illness” and the circumstances of my life – the things that led to it, that kept it in place, seemed to make it so dire at times, that threatened to destroy my life.  I’ve done so much of that over the years, that this time I found I just didn’t want to relive those circumstances again.  I didn’t want to place myself in the depths of that hell any longer, by reliving the extremity of the pain the memories invoked.

I’ve learned over the years that I no longer want to blame other people, or even the circumstances.  And of course, I don’t want to “blame” myself.  I just want out of the hell.  I just want love and comfort, release from the pain.

Being unable to make others “understand”, feeling unloved and uncomforted, I began again to look at myself – as I always have.  But this time I was able to return to looking at myself with compassionate eyes, to give myself love, rather than blame myself for all the places where I am little, unlovable, and downright mean at times – the places where I fall short.

I thought of the times I acted with anger, explosive, retaliatory, feeling “threatened” by the actions of others, or judging the actions of others, and the embarrassment that brought later.  I thought of the after-effects on me, how the embarrassment turned to a desperate need to explain what I was then feeling:  “You just don’t understand, the pain I’m in, the fear I’m feeling.  You just don’t understand that I’m scared to death - that I’m doing the best I can, that I just don’t know what to do!  I’m sorry if what I did was wrong.  I only did what I knew to do – maybe it was habitual, maybe it was “unthinking”, definitely “inappropriate”.  But maybe it came from pain, frustration, fear – not knowing what to do.  I need compassion.  I need your love, your understanding, and forgiveness”.

Determined to keep the focus on me, (rather than project blame onto others) for the “pain” of my life, I then understood – that, yes, I need compassion.  I need love and forgiveness.  But I need to give these things to myself.  I saw that so many of the events were not what others “had done”, but were the result of how I felt and thought about myself – how I had not only been unloving to myself, but had condemned myself as never good enough, a failure, inept and unable to learn – and how that had led to the fear, the pain, the worthlessness and misery.

Looking at myself through compassionate eyes, I was able to see what we often try to tell others:  “I don’t deserve to die.  I don’t deserve your ostracism, your scorn, your contempt.  I don’t deserve to be hated or rejected.”  When you look through the eyes of love, you make allowance.   You can and do recognize that it was a mistake, a not knowing what to do, a lack of understanding - the need for love and gentle instruction.

And this brings me full circle to my question to Jesus:  “How can I give love and forgiveness to this person, this circumstance?
By giving it to yourself.  By recognizing that those places where you fall short are just mistakes, to be forgotten, and then to move on – with love.  By recognizing your worth and value – your right to all these things, as I do.  As you realize these things for yourself, and accept them for yourself, and keep the focus on yourself, you allow yourself to receive them, you allow yourself forgiveness, and you allow yourself to move on and grow.  Love is the key.

As you accept all this for yourself, and recognize that you “deserve”, you recognize, “see” that so too, do others.  Then you can apply to others – where their actions seemed threatening, unjust, unloving – those actions were just mistakes – deserving of love and forgiveness – deserving of compassion – not hatred.  Accept and give – Love.  
You only need recognize what is needed, and be willing to give it.  If you don’t know “how”, ask me, the way will be provided.  All you need do is be willing – to make the decision for love – in all you say and do.  
These are the things that are important to me:  Living from the heart – Expressing from the heart – Giving and Receiving Love.

In order to give and receive Love, you must keep your focus on Love.  I descend into hell when I make the decision to move my focus there, to see from that point of view.  When I made the decision to move my focus from hell to Love – to the gifts of the Spirit – and from where they are given, I returned to what is important to me.  (I’m reminded of the name of Marianne Williamson’s book – “Return to Love”)

Focusing on Love makes it easy to do all things through love.  When I keep my focus on Love I remember Who I am – and why I am here.  I am given the “how” of how to live.