Friday, November 16, 2012

Champagne Appetite on a Beer Pocketbook

"You've got a champagne appetite on a beer pocketbook".  That was one of my mother's favorite sayings to me over the years.  Depending on the mood I was in at the time, it was met with mild irritation or outright self-righteous anger.

Who the hell was she?!  (to comment on me).  This is MY life, and my decision, and DAMMIT, I have the right to have something nice.  I earned the money.  I deserve quality.  I've had enough of going without or having only the cut-rate, 2nd rate knockoffs that are cheesy and cheap in quality and price.  And then because they are cheap, that don't last or don't work, and you end up spending three times as much to not even get close to what quality would give you in the first place! 

So, yes.  We bought quality, and paid more, and had nicer, better, more pleasing to the eye in everything we could.  Then sometimes over these years, life came in and took those things from me.  Sometimes I voluntarily gave them up.

It was the paying more and the giving up that my mother couldn't abide.  It was the paying more that she derided whenever we were in financial straights and I was crying.  "Your mother has always got to have the best", she said to my daughter one day.  Boy, did that piss me off.

Recently Spirit sent me the thought of 'self indulgent' to work with and mull over.  What I love about ideas from Spirit is there is no judgment attached to them, just love, just saying 'take a look at this'.  So I have been.

I realized I have been self-indulgent all my life.  I have been especially self-indulgent over the last few years when it comes to soothing my pain.  I chose the worst things to comfort myself with - cigarettes, fats and sweets, lazy attitudes and actions - and moved into them with a vengeance, believing that life was knocking me down, there was no one to comfort me, and I might as well comfort myself, in whatever way I chose.

Patrick and I were discussing the other night how little any of us really appreciate all we have in our society; how we are not seeing the extremes of consumerism to which we are moving.  Do we really need a $300 coffee maker that will make a single cup of unlimited flavors 'just for us'?  Do we really envision ourselves enjoying that cup wearing only a towel?

If that is what we want for Christmas, then we have really moved a long way away from what is important, and what we need versus what we've 'got to have'.   I'm not looking to knock anyone or knock Christmas.  I'm still mulling over what Christmas will mean to me this year.  I already know it will be a year of very little or no money to spend on gifts.  We've had those years before, more times than I want to say.

I'm thinking that this year will be a little different.  I sincerely hope so.  In those prior years I cried because I wasn't able to buy that coffee maker if I chose.  (Well, I probably would never buy that coffee maker, but at least buy a good measure of 'quality' gifts for those I loved; be a part of our society's measure of the 'Christmas Season'.)  In those years I grieved and was embarrassed that I couldn't be a part of Christmas the way 'everyone else was'.

As Patrick and I talked, of course we spoke about how much marketing and consumerism has led to not only our, by our society's indulgent attitudes.  We have been told for years we could and should have it.  If we didn't think we could, financially or emotionally, it was pressed upon us how they (marketers) would 'find the way' for us to have it.

In the years of losing all the wonderful things I had gained, it was that last thought that has left me so angry and bitter; feeling used by others for their gain, both before and after the purchase.

This year is different for me.  In looking at my self-indulgence and pain, I of course realize how much I am only hurting myself by the choices I made/make.  I realize that the person I have become because of those choices is the greatest source of my pain.  Angrily blaming the world only leaves me angry and bitter.

A few months ago when my Guides spoke to me of their presence around me and their assistance in my life, they said that my life 'might not change' because of it.  The last few months have been about remembering that no outside assistance, human or etheral, can take over your life and make it a miracle.  Your life is the result of what you have built, continue to build, and the attitudes you take as you walk through life.

I have been especially reminded to look to myself, not with criticism, not with pity, and not with expectation or pleading for special gifts, favors, or more of everything; but with a clear understanding of Who I chose to be.

Along with that, over and over Spirit has guided me to people, places, and themes of love and forgiveness, for myself and the world at large.  The theme of this last six months has been that of returning to love, living from the heart, giving and receiving love as the answer to my own and the world's ills.

In looking at my self-indulgence and what is has brought me to, I remember the person that I always intended myself to be, but somehow lost or misunderstood how to make along the way.  I have never been about the world view or how others do.  I always intended to live from my convictions, to live with love, to be the best I could be, and offer that to others and the world.

Somehow along the way I bought into the hypnotism of society's view and marketing.  Somehow I came to believe that I was powerless under the mountain of  attitudes, ideas, and false beliefs to which we are all exposed and bombarded with every day, from those close to us as well as the 'global' community.  I came to believe that 'they' out there with their attitudes and actions were greatly responsible for the results of certain circumstances and my pain.

I still believe that we all affect our world, are responsible to each other, and that what we do has impact on the other.  But Spirit has reminded me that when it comes to Me and my world, it is my attitudes, my decisions, my thoughts and actions that create it and make it painful or beautiful.  Those same ideals affect the world at large.  If I would have love and beauty I must Be love and beauty.  I must give those things to myself as well as the world.

And so I have returned to love and heart-centered living, for myself and the world.  This is Who I am, Who I always intended to be, and the person I will once again become.  Love for myself allows me to give up the self-indulgence.  Love for others allows me to give up the hateful attitudes.

The world may not change.  Nothing anyone does needs to affect me and cannot, unless I forget to live with love.  It is not my place to make them change or scorn them for anything they are or are not.  It is my place to Love them and Myself to make this Christmas and every Christmas to come blessed.

Much Love,

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Solution

Is there something in your life that is not working?  A person you encounter, an addiction you have, a difficult circumstance that never seems to change?  Perhaps the problem lies not in that person, thing, or recurring problem.

There is never a time, a place, or a circumstance where love is absent.  If it seems that there is, then we have forgotten, and chosen incorrectly.  Solution lies in waking up to that fact.

Imagine you're baking a cake - and you reach for the salt rather than sugar as the main ingredient.  The moment you realize you have, you laugh & say:  'What was I thinking!'  Without fear, without judgment,  and with laughter we choose the sugar bowl and are glad we did.  Now our cake will taste sweet.

This is how we apply truth to any situation.  It is the Ho'oponopono process.  It is the Forgiveness & Atonement decision of A Course in Miracles.

Wake up (realize the error)
Be grateful (that we realized/were shown)
Ask forgiveness (that we almost chose incorrectly)
Choose correctly (Love)

The Ho'oponopono prayer & clearing process says:
Thank you
I love you
I'm sorry
Please forgive me

Both Ho'oponopono and ACIM ask us to realize that the error lies not in the other person, the issue, or circumstance.  The error lies within us - within the thought that we thought the error lies elsewhere - and almost choosing incorrectly.

We are glad we quickly realized, grateful we were shown, thankful to the other person or circumstance for giving us this opportunity.  Then we just as quickly release - we ask forgiveness for ourself and them - for almost making a mistake.  And let it go.

A Course in Miracles asks us to see any person or situation we encounter as having the potential of a 'Holy encounter'.  No preconceived notions, no snap judgments, no decision to keep either if they occur.  If/when they do, the way out is to ask for Love for all involved and let Truth be the answer.

This is not a 'new' way but has always been the way.  It is only in our choosing.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The End Days?

Are these the End Days of which the Old and New Testament authors (and other traditions) spoke?  The turmoil of today's world is something we often speak about and question in our house, as it seems many others around the world do also.

Last evening Patrick brought home a video series given him by a friend who is 'deeply into' the ideas expressed in them.  Patrick was also excited, wanting to share, and so we sat together and watched the videos.

I will not state what the series was, nor speak against it - that is not my way.  Each person comes to their understanding in their own way.  I trust in the Source of us all, of which we are all a part, to lead each one to that.

However I will state what I have come to understand as my way and how I strive to live my life.

I call myself Christian - not because I believe in any of the established Christian churches - I personally do not, nor do I wish to be associated with most of them, because of what they have become.

I state this emphatically because the dogma of man & his churches quite often leads people astray from the true message of Christ.

Yes, read your Bible and attend your church if you wish - but beyond that - sincerely ask to know Christ - and He will reveal himself to you.   If you truly believe in Christ and believe that He did not die, then you know that He is alive within this world and beyond this world, has always been, and will always be.  Being alive, He is available to you in a miriad of ways.

I have been on a spiritual journey my whole life - as I believe we all are.  I have not been afraid to question the established norms and ideas.  I have explored many many ideas & teachings of what 'God' is and how we should live our lives.

For me, it all comes down to the Christ - what was taught by the man Jesus - and what continues to be shown me by the Christ Spirit/Consciousness.  (Jesus was the man - the Christ is the consciousness in which he dwells and that we can all aspire to.)

So this morning I looked through my Bible to find some of the passages upon which I base my beliefs.

I found it in Matthew 22:34-40
But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together.  Then one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, testing him, and saying:  'Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?'  Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  The second is like it:  You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments hang all the laws and the Prophets.'
 The answers to much of the questioning that goes on today is given in these verses.  The Pharisees and Sadducees were the two main sects of the established Jewish church.  From my studies, the essential difference is that one believed in Ressurection/Reincarnation, the other did not.  Both taught Jewish tradition/belief based upon the Torah and laws handed down from their history.

If you read Matthew and other books of the New Testament you will find that Jesus questioned and criticized both the Pharisees and Sadducees often, and they him.  Think about it:  if some man came today and said he was from God, that he fulfilled all the prophesies, and that you should listen to him on a new way of living your life and your religion, would you blindly follow him and believe him or would you question and have confusion because of all you had been taught your whole life?  (Sound like anything that's going on today?)

Jesus said he didn't come to tear down the law (their established ways) but he also said he 'came with a sword' and would set father against son, sister against brother - meaning to me that what he taught would and should make us question all that we had previously 'known'.  Jesus said we should not live by the 'letter of the law' but by our questioning to God in our hearts of what it meant.

If you read throughout Matthew you will find that the established church quite often tried to indict Jesus for the places where he seemed to act against their established  law.  The church today continues to do that to people.

In my studies of the various churches and new isms and thought structures that are alive today, I find it curious that they often grab and focus upon literal interpretations and unyielding requirements of living from and by old dogma, ceremonies, ideas.

I believe that Jesus gave answer to old beliefs and dogma in his answer above.  On these two commandments hang all the laws and the Prophets. 

Again, if you read through Matthew you will find many stories of how the established church attempted to discredit Jesus by pointing out the places where he seemed to go against established law.  His response was usually that the ultimate law is of God, our Father, whom we have direct connection to, if we will seek within our hearts and mind to establish it.  He taught that God is not the old idea of a judge that will condemn you to death, but a loving father (Abba) that will forgive you always.

I live my life by establishing and staying connected to my Source and my brother, Jesus the Christ, through love and the Christ consciousness.  I do not worry nor strive to live by the laws of any established or new doctrine, yet honor the truth that resides within them all, in those places where the truth is taught.

I live my life by the two greatest commandments given by the Christ upon which all others are fulfilled:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Are these the End Days of which the Old and New Testament authors (and other traditions) spoke?

For myself I do not worry.  (Well sometimes I do, and sometimes I fall short of all this - but that is what forgiveness is for, and another story).  When I return (work to  stay connected within my heart) through love, to my Source -  I know that all is well and will continue to be.  Heart based living through Love is the answer for me.