I see you = I love you

One day, the Magus and I were walking in the dog park.  I had been at church that day, and the speaker had asked us “What is your heart’s desire? What is your soul’s desire?”  At the time, I said that the answer was the same – I wanted to heal the sense of separation between me and the Divine. 

A few years later, I realize I confused my heart’s desire with soul purpose.  I have always had a goal of greater enlightenment, heightened levels of awareness and evolving consciousness.  But it wasn’t until a few years ago that I started to do the work on healing the patterns from childhood that were manifesting in my body, my relationships, and my well-being. I had no idea that the loneliness I felt, had always felt, was in fact invisibility.  Throughout my life, I had submerged my needs and met the needs of others, hoping eventually mine would be met by somebody.  And of course, that is co-dependency and not the healthy way of having an emotional life.  Further, I had hidden my emotional life by developing a powerful intellectual one.  I literally could swallow down emotions.

So, my heart’s desire was to be seen.  For someone to look at me and not see my persona, but to see ME.  In all my pain, and all my glory!  To take on all my ego defenses and say “That is not who you are”, and hold my hand as I did battle with them.  There is nothing more powerful to me than a relationship with another who does whatever is possible to understand me, recognizes that I am on a healing journey, and loves me even when I am un-loveable.  I cannot imagine anything more beautiful than sharing my path with someone who is invested in that journey, who cherishes and carves out the time it takes to connect because it is the sharing and the connecting that are the core of the relationship.  My heart desires a partner who is honest and speaks the truth for the purposes of moving the relationship forward, of creating shared healing, and does so with compassion.

My Magus sent me a text saying the three words that are my heart’s desire: I see you. 

I see you. 

I see you.

So how blessed am I?

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Cloak of Invisibility

In Harry Potter, one of the most mystical objects is the Cloak of Invisibility.  More than once, it was the most important tool Harry had in carrying out one of his quests.  I am sure at some time or another it would be remarkably cool to sneak around completely unseen.

I am a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  In an episode called “Out of Mind, Out of Sight”, a girl becomes invisible when she is treated as insignificant. She simply is impossible to see.  While it is not my favorite episode, it is a metaphor for the elements of co-dependency I have been healing in my life.

Co-dependency was historically associated with family members of alcoholics, but over time the characteristics have been extended into a number of dysfunctional family patterns.

“Codependency involves an habitual system of thinking, feeling, and behaving toward ourselves and others that can cause pain. We frequently react to people who are destroying themselves; we react by learning to destroy ourselves. These habits can lead us into, or keep us in, destructive relationships that don’t work. These behaviors can sabotage relationships that may otherwise have worked.” Melody Beattie, Co-dependent No More.

My mother was raised in a household of violence and alcoholism.  My father was violent, and I became a co-parent at the age of 13.  There were no boundaries in our relationships, and I became responsible for the well-being of the people in the home.  I was on high alert for violence, and later, when my mother would retreat into her bedroom in a fit of her own pain, I would be responsible for my brother and sister. I learned to always be watching people, and to read what was happening in people sometimes even before they knew it themselves.

Like many codependents, I have a hard time saying “No” to anyone. I go out of my way and sacrifice my own needs to accommodate other people. I tend towards perfectionism, because if everything is perfect, I don’t have to feel bad about myself.  I have poor boundaries, and I work hard not to react to everyone’s thoughts and feelings. If someone says something I disagree with about me, I either believe it or become defensive. I absorb their words, because there’s no boundary. With a boundary, I’d realize it was just their opinion and not a reflection of me.

Another effect of poor boundaries is that if someone else has a problem, I want to help them to the point that I give up myself. It’s natural to feel empathy and sympathy for someone, but codependents start putting other people ahead of themselves. In fact, I need to help and feel rejected if my assistance is not needed.  I have taken this to  whole new level, in that I have designed my career to support my co-dependency.  I volunteer for organizations that need to be rescued.  I work at organizations going through significant change.

Control helps codependents feel safe and secure. Everyone needs some control over events in their life. You wouldn’t want to live in constant uncertainty and chaos (which is what living in a home of violence is), but for codependents, control limits our ability to express our feelings in a relationship. I don’t risk my deepest thoughts and feelings. I am convinced I will be rejected.  Or worse – I will be ignored, invalidated – invisible.

I believe that all dis-ease starts at the metaphysical level.  Dr Christian Northrup says “All illness starts in the electromagnetic field surrounding us– and that field is composed of our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions– and those of our families and communities. Until you understand and work on this level, all healthcare is merely symptom relief!”. The synchronicity of this quotation showing up on Facebook is beautiful, as usual.  Today, I am dealing with fear that I may be sick.  At least, I know something is not quite right.  In the worst case, I could have cancer.  In the best, I may need some form of medical intervention – and of course I hate that. (Just go back and re-read all the elements of co-dependency, and you will get that I would not want to have needs, rely on health care for my needs, etc etc.)

So, here I sit, face to face with the manifestation of my deepest patterns of thinking, as I engage in a profound process of releasing and healing myself.  I would not be a very good Priestess if I didn’t see all the connections.  I am worried, and scared.  And I also know that I am whole and perfect.  I am Divine.  I love this quotation: “You are not just a drop in the ocean. You are the mighty ocean in the drop.” -Rumi

Maybe I am sick.  Maybe not.  That is essentially irrelevant.  I am a spiritual being having a human experience, and in this experience, as in all others, I have the opportunity to express my Divinity.

If you can, I would appreciate it if you would remind me of that every time you see me forgetting.

On the Divine Nature of Relationship

Sometime ago, I attended Marianne Williamson’s teleconference on Love.  I find great consciousness in the Course in Miracles. and I have seen no better teacher of that book that Marianne.  I furiously took notes, and every now and then I re-read them to prompt a new insight.  Here is the one that caught my attention today:

Relationships never end, because they are of the mind; only bodies can separate.  When you are missing someone, know it just means that on a soul level they’ve come to visit.  What God has brought together can never be torn asunder, even by death.” 

I have been in two deep relationships for some time.  Both are changing, evolving.  I cannot pretend I am not afraid – of both relationships, for different reasons.  And while the characteristics of both relationships are very different, I am aware of how similar the relationships are.  Then I came across this quotation by Williamson: “The purpose of loving relationships is to unpack your baggage. ”  I have heard that and said it in different ways before, but today is struck me as significant.  I assumed that the big things that come up in both relationships were because of me, some flaw in who I am and how I approach relationships.  But more importantly, these things come up because they are part of MY healing, and will happen no matter which relationship I am in.  It could be with my sister, my daughter…anyone that triggers the need for that healing, and is willing to work on it with me.  How freeing!  It is not a flaw in me!  It is the purpose of loving relationship.

Williamson also says: “you are born again the moment you don’t take the past with you.” Finally, I feel the release of anxiety from the pain I have caused, or the parts of me that are not whole.  If I am healing in relationship, then the person with whom I am in relationship is also healing.  We have divinely agreed to approach each other with love, to create a place for healing.  And that will continue in different forms in this lifetime, and in all other aspects of our soul’s journey.  This isn’t pain and failure when we struggle with each other – it is our divine purpose to reveal those aspects which are limiting each other from wholeness with the divine. 

I went to a medium a few years ago, who told me an interesting story about the two deep relationships I have.  She said the Magus and I have been together through many lives, that we joined together in spirit to bring healing to the world. She said that Bhikku and I have also wandered in and out of each other’s lives.  Sometimes he has been my parent, and sometimes we have been seekers of spiritual knowledge together.  The Magus and I chose incarnations that suit our natures (I am earth, he is water), but have sometimes caused problems in our ability to be in each other’s physical presence.  She said that in our last lifetime, the three of us were together.  The Magus and I were husband and wife, and Bhikku showed up as my friend to pursue spiritual knowledge.  And while our relationship was innocent, the Magus felt alienated by this relationship and pushed me away.  The Magus died without being able to truly express and fulfil the love of our relationship.  Now here the three of us are again, and I am convinced and sometimes soothed by the idea that we are making our way through this better and with great healing.

Of course, all of that doesn’t have to be literally true.  It can be nothing more than a metaphor of our karma.  But metaphors are how we understand and integrate deeply abstract ideas into our now.

I know that I have a deep sense of “this is going to be ok”, and I feel it about both relationships.  There is a rightness as both relationships are becoming deeper and more healing.  My spiritual awareness is deepening.  I feel forgiveness in a way I have never been able to access before.  I am moving to a higher plane of love and intimacy, and through that I am more connected to the Divine.  So now I get why Williamson refers to relationships as holy. 

To both men, and in fact to all people in my life, I offer this:

Divine Love, I surrender this relationship to you.  I surrender my thoughts about this person.  Lift our relationship to divine right order.

Love this idea.

GYA today

Help start a WONDERFUL new tradition. Tuesday, November 27 is Giving Tuesday. There are so many ways to participate. We each can participate big, little, or in between.

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Season of Light

The winter days are heading towards the shortest day of the year – December 21.  The shorter days always make me want to snuggle up and hibernate.  I also find myself hungry for light.  Not sunlight, which many people need (’tis the season for SADD), but for the fireplace, candles, and of course, Christmas lights.

This season of light may be my favorite time of year.  So many cultures identify with the Light at this time – Diwali, Hanukkah, Wiccan Yule, Kwanzaa, Christmas. And while each of these festivals uses the symbol of light, either through candles or artificial light, they also are about understanding the true nature of light. 

This quotation resonated for me:  Being illuminated or having a luminous soul means understanding the true meaning of life.  Am I drawn to the light because I am inspired towards Enlightenment?  I think so.

Christmas brings out the best of my spirit.  I love baking, as much for the ritual as for the giving of my most creative self as expressed through the love I put into my food.  I play Christmas carols non-stop for the month leading into Christmas. I get inspired to find exactly the right gift for everyone, something that will make them feel like I really know who they are.  My favorite activity is putting up the tree, and I liberally sprinkle strings of lights all over the house. Even when I was a relatively economically challenged student, I bought and hung lights all over my home.

This year, it is the meaning and symbols of the Wiccan tradition of Yule that is calling to me.  I am not Wiccan, but I attend a spiritual community that says “We are a community that blesses other spiritual truths” so I take truth from where ever I find it.  Yule is about rebirth of the Light. In the work I have been doing, I have gradually been clearing the channel between chakras, making a holy pathway for the light.  In fact, the Kundalini dance series I have been a part of is called “Anchoring the Light”. I find myself drawn to using Yule symbols and rituals more than any other in how I approach Christmas this year.

I am undoubtedly in a process of rebirth.  My relationships are changing (and while there is grief, there is also incredible gratitude and celebration), my heart is expressing more fully, my vision for myself is changing, and I am surrounded by light as this happens.  I really do not feel that I am in the “dark night of the soul” any longer.  I cannot help but notice that this is also corresponding with the spiritual time of celebrating the Light.

This Wiccan blessing fills me with hope, and with joy of the Always promise of Rebirth:

“By the blessings of The Winter Goddess, by the blessing of The Oak King, may the rising light of the Sun be in our hearts as it is in the world. May our strength grow with it, from good to good and gain to gain, throughout the turning year. All hail the reborn Sun!”

And while it is a bit too early to offer it to you as a greeting of the season, accept it as an intent to celebrate the Light within us all.

Love Is Not Enough

I was never one to read romance novels.  I was a Sci Fi chick, and read fantasy novels for the most part.  I was in love with Spock, Sherlock Holmes, and Peter Pan when I was growing up.  My favorite books were Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon series, and Tolkien.  I devoured fairy tales from all cultures.  I suppose that I had romantic influences too, as I watched excellent TV like LoveBoat growing up! *L* But for the most part, I was less interested in the romance of stories like Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty as I was in the magic of the fairy godmother, or the dragons. 

I am also a fan of movies.  There is nothing as relaxing as diving in to a good movie for a few hours and feeling your entire body enjoy the experience.  And THAT is where I learned a very dangerous “truth”: Love is Enough. Don’t get me wrong – I do believe that love is one of the most powerful forces on earth.  I believe it is the energy that overcomes the deepest hurts we have emotionally and spiritually, as well as physically.  But, when it comes to relationships, I do not think love is enough.

We see in movies that when one person ends a relationship, or they need to separate because forces outside of themselves calls for it, eventually there is some motivation on both their parts that drives them to find a way to be together, to fight for the love of the other person if needed.  And as bewitching as that idea is, I have a new insight.  Expecting someone to be motivated by their love to do everything needed to be together is not only false, it is not actually a good idea.

What happens in relationships is about healing, about unpacking your baggage of hurt and issues you have carried that reflect the beliefs imparted to you as a child.  These beliefs can be about being good enough, about abundance, about what partnership means.  And we spend most of our adult lives unraveling them to come to some sort of truth.  I am speaking about spiritual truth.  We peel all these layers of untruth away as we try to heal our sense of separation from the Divine and from each other.

When two people are driven to be together, to overcome all odds no matter what just to be with the other, I am wondering if that is not a version of co-dependency.  Is the purpose of relationship to be together no matter what, or to heal?  Sometimes the healing process requires people to be apart, to trigger the deepest issues so that the light is shining on those pains and cannot be denied or ignored.  It is possible to heal them together sometimes.  And possibly the purpose of the relationship is fulfilled once the false belief is laid out on the table.

“Enlightenment is the key to everything, and it is the key to intimacy, because it is the goal of true authenticity. Moving through the ring of fear that surrounds our illumined self. Working through all the issues that lead us to attack, defensiveness, anger, neediness, controlling ways, grasping, avoidance. Those are all ego. And as we surrender those things which form walls around our hearts, then we attain the true authentic self.

And when we are in that place of illumined authenticity, then we are at our most intimate. Because how much more intimate can you be than the realization that we are each other? And we become more intimate with life itself, because we are truly “naked and unembarrassed.”” – Marianne Williamson, 2012

I know this seems incredibly esoteric.  It does not speak to wine and roses and candlelight. But those have always been the trappings of infatuation, not the deep love I strive for.  I acknowledge that there is also a need for human touch and sexual expression that allow for the whole person to be revealed, for a complete energetic expression.  But it is not dependent on the Other.  It is dependent on two people who are at similar levels on their journey, who can support each other in the path to Enlightenment.

Osho says this about love:

“Love is a rare flowering. It happens only sometimes. Millions and millions of people live in the false attitude that they are lovers. They believe that they love, but that is their belief only. Love is a rare flowering. Sometimes it happens. It is rare because it can happen only when there is no fear, never before. That means love can happen only to a very deeply spiritual, religious person. Sex is possible for all. Acquaintance is possible for all. Not love. When you are not afraid, then there is nothing to hide, then you can be open, then you can withdraw all boundaries. And then you can invite the other to penetrate you to the very core.

And remember, if you allow somebody to penetrate you deeply, the other will allow you to penetrate into himself or herself, because when you allow somebody to penetrate you, trust is created. When you are not afraid, the other becomes fearless. In your love, fear is always there. The husband is afraid of the wife, the wife is afraid of the husband. Lovers are always afraid. Then it is not love. Then it is just an arrangement of two fearful persons depending on each other, fighting, exploiting, manipulating, controlling, dominating, possessing — but it is not love.

If you can allow love to happen, there is no need for prayer, there is no need for meditation, there is no need for any church, any temple. You can completely forget God if you can love — because through love, everything will have happened to you: meditation, prayer, God. EVERYTHING will have happened to you. That’s what Jesus means when he says: Love is God. But love is difficult. Fear has to be dropped. And this is the strange thing, that you are so afraid and you have nothing to lose.”

So, the only love that is enough is love based on that type of love.  Bhikku and I have separated, and we are going through a process of “I love you and I release you.”  It is painful, and it is healing.  It is uncovering all the things we did not say, all the fears and beliefs we let create the relationship we have today.  And yet in this process of separation, we may be closer to our spiritual truth and enlightenment than we ever have been before. 

I am not sure where this path will go. I am not sure how I will get through it, to be honest.  But, I do know that I am grateful for the excavation process that is crumbling away the false beliefs that have been manifest in our lives.

Hope Changes Everything

The universe has put the issue of hope front and center in my thinking this week.  A board I serve on has had to reflect on its hopes for the future.  The Hope Foundation of Alberta is closing. And yesterday I heard Steven Pinker speak on “The Better Angels of our Nature” at the Festival of Ideas. In one week, I have wrestled with losing hope, and being inspired by hope!

“…the quantitative study of history provides some pleasant surprises. Abominable customs such as human sacrifice, chattel slavery, and torture-executions for victimless crimes have been abolished. Homicide rates have plunged since the Middle Ages, and rates of battle death in armed conflict are at an all-time low. Whatever causes violence, it is not a perennial urge like hunger, sex, or the need to sleep. The historical decline of violence thereby allows us to dispatch a dichotomy that has stood in the way of understanding the roots of violence for millennia: whether humankind is basically bad or basically good, an ape or an angel, a hawk or a dove, the nasty brute of textbook Hobbes or the noble savage of textbook Rousseau. Left to their own devices, humans will not fall into a state of peaceful cooperation, but nor do they have a thirst for blood that must regularly be slaked. Human nature accommodates motives that impel us to violence, like predation, dominance, and vengeance, but also motives that — under the right circumstances — impel us toward peace, like compassion, fairness, self-control, and reason.” (Steven Pinker, December 2011). To me, there can be no greater source of hope than knowing that humans are gradually moving away from violence and towards peace and compassion.

Viktor Frankl saw hope as one of the main forces for how people survived the Holocaust.  Hope has been linked in many studies to cancer survival.  To me, hope is truly eternal, as eternal as love.

I have had very insightful conversations with Bhikku about hope.  To him, hope is a weak word, or at least not the most powerful word when it comes to using our spiritual power to create.  From the Science of Mind perspective, we want to KNOW that which we create.  So, if we are creating and manifesting something like a greater degree of financial freedom, then we must KNOW it to be so in how we think, act and speak.  It is not enough to HOPE for abundance.  One needs the powerful emotional energy of knowing to take full advantage of creative potential.  On this point I agree with Bhikku.

Where we may differ is that I find hope to be a powerful energy and emotion.  I think there is a difference between hoping for something (which conveys a sense of “it could go either way”) versus living in hope.  When we live in a state of hope, I think that is living in the state of pure potentiality.  It is a firm belief that anything is possible.  And that to me is why hope allows us to create in a powerful way. 

Consider the energy of these quotations about hope:

“When you have lost hope, you have lost everything. And when you think all is lost, when all is dire and bleak, there is always hope.”
Pittacus Lore, I Am Number Four
 
“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.”
Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams
 
“Remember, Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
Stephen King
 
As I read these, you could as easily replace the word “hope” with “love” or “God” or “Consciousness” or “knowing”.  It is from this source of knowing that I think hope manifests miracles.  A person may not know the language of Affirmative Prayer, and yet that light that comes from within when we live in hope is surely strong enough to create.  That light surely must be our own sense of the Divine, wrapped up in the inspiration, peace and confidence that comes when we find hope.  How different is it really to go within and listen to the Divine Consciousness than it is to go within and find a sense of hope?
 
Today, I am inspired to be full of hope, living in hope.  Not as a wish, nor as a chance that things are ok.  I am living in hope, as I live in connection with Divine Source.