Monthly Archives: April 2011

SPREADING MY WINGS

April 29, 2011

I hate criticism. I mean the small niggling, fussy-mussy criticism, which thinks it can improve people by telling them where they are wrong, and results only in putting them in strait-jackets of hesitancy and self-consciousness, and wizening all vision and bravery. I hate it because of the potentially shining, gentle, gifted people of all ages that it snuffs out every year. – Brenda Ueland –

I am guilty of living and breathing just this sort of criticism. It was my nourishment growing up – it is what has held me in just such a strait-jacket of fear and doubt and self-loathing all my life. And because it is in the very cells of my body, it naturally is what I speak and breathe into my environment and into the people I love most. For this I am grieved and sorry. For understanding this, now, I am grateful. For becoming free, I am hopeful.

It seems that for all of us, great pressure is coming to bear on those areas in our lives that do not serve us in a healthy or loving way. I feel the Light shining on me…and I have the choice each day, to respond or to hide. When the Light shines on chaos and dysfunction and mucky yucky swampy stinking stagnant debris inside of me, I can choose to celebrate and get out the tools necessary to clean it up and clean it out so that Love can flow. Or, I can choose to succumb to my feelings of shame and despair at my despicable self and run and hide in my Cave in my personal swamp.

I’ve been doing this dance between the Light and the Cave for nearly 20 years now (well, really, my whole life…but…). The dance has become boring. I want freedom and healing. I want to spread my wings and soar into the skies, filled with Joy, riding the waves of Light, able to Love from that deep place inside me.

The lessons have come ’round again. This time I choose to persevere. This time I choose to finish the course. This time, I am spreading my wings and taking the skies. Watch me fly!

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I CHOOSE LIFE

April 4, 2011
My thoughts as I contemplate the destruction our own divisiveness is creating in the world…

“Wide and easy is the road to destruction, but narrow is the path that leads to eternal life.”

Not a hell of eternal burning of the flesh in a lake of fire without the ability to die. Not a heaven of harps and angels and banquet halls.

The destruction is of our own making. The suffering is caused by our own choices, here and now, and stretching into our future—our own future and that of the Earth and other beings, human, animal and plant; perhaps even other beings we know yet not of. We destroy our air, our water, our earth, our food. We destroy health. We destroy lives. We destroy gateways that would have led to incredible opportunities for ourselves and others to learn, to enjoy the abundance of life, to create, to discover. We make rubble of beauty and garbage pits where there might have been paradise. We create hell. And when we die? Do we really “escape” it all? Or, as some believe, do we return to continue to experience whatever we created before? Are we given one life-time after another to continue to destroy, or to repair the harm we caused in previous lives and create a place for life to thrive?

The path that leads to eternal life? Narrow and difficult? Has it not always been easier to knock down the tower than to build it? To trample the garden than to plant it? To dump our garbage out of sight than to invent a way to put it to good use? To strike down our opponent than to sit in counsel and find a way to peace?

When we choose the narrow path that leads to Life, it is not for a heaven that we cannot see that will come to us when our body is dead. It is for the life we experience every day that we choose to walk this path. It is in the harmony lived with one another. It is in the sweet victory of making peace, rather than war. It is in the sight of a clean river and ripening fields and music and paintings. It is in knowing those in authority have the best interests of the people as their call to service. It is in knowing we have enough food for the children. It is in the smile on the faces of the people walking down the street without fear.

Life is eternal. It goes on and on. There is no death. Only transformation. Destroy the living vessel in which life is held, the spirit yet lives on. Destroy that which nurtures life, and there will be a void. But the energy of what was, remains, somewhere, somewhere in the Universe.

Man came to this Earth to be the gardeners of this planet. To be the Guardians of Her resources, to be Wisdom Keepers. But wide and easy is the road to destruction; narrow is the path that leads to eternal life. The experiment in Free Will is not yet completed. I have a choice. What do I want to experience and what do I want to weave into the Net of the Universe: Life or Destruction? Love or Fear? Joy or Sickness? Peace or Hatred?

I suspect that each moment, each decision, is affecting the whole of the Universe through Time and No-Time in ways my limited brain has absolutely no idea of. But the call to choose Life has been coming to us throughout history. The warnings of the unimaginable suffering created by our violence, our hatred, our unchecked greed—even our apathy have also been sounded throughout history. Whether we understand how it all works or not, we have this at least.


“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”

deuteronomy 30:19

REVELATION

April 3, 2011

REVELATION


Holding back the storm building inside, I walk the Lakeshore. Mist curls off the water, weaving through the pines and birch. In a scooped out hollow in the rock I hunker down.


My face is wet with mist and tears.


My Soul wanders away.


Suddenly I’m standing before an intricately carved door of dark wood. I brush its smooth surface and it silently swings open. Hesitantly, I pass through. The hush of an ancient Forest surrounds me. A Centaur watches from the trees. He smiles and walks toward me. I’ve said nothing, yet he hears my amazement, throws back his head and laughs—scales played on a bass fiddle.


“Come Little One,” he says. “I was sent to escort you to The Cavern.”


“Me?”


He helps me onto his back. Didn’t I read somewhere that Centaurs do not allow anyone to ride on their backs?


We are climbing, and though still wrapped in the stillness of the trees, I realize we are on the side of a mountain. He stops before the entrance to a cave. “I will wait for you. Go,” he says.


Inside I find a passage that takes me deeper into the mountain. Torches set in the walls light the way. I take one, hoping it won’t go out. After winding about, the passage opens into a cavern so large I cannot see the top or the other side. The air has the rich, loamy smell of damp earth. I breathe it deeply, exhaling all the tension that has collected in my shoulders. Suddenly I hear a thousand exhales weaving in and out of one another.


“What was that,” I ask out-loud?


A thousand voices repeat, “What was that? What was that? What was that?” My skin prickles.

What is this place? I feel the air nibble upon my skin, gently.


My mind begins to run wildly about the cave while the cavern somehow causes every thought to manifest upon my body. The more fearful and impatient I become, the more the pricks begin to sting and the nibbles become bites.


The ground beneath my feet tilts. As I recover my balance I see another “me” about ten paces away. Her face is a dark thunderhead about to unleash its fury. Hot bile boils in my own stomach. The lightening strikes and I see words leaving her lips. Shooting into the air they coil there, forming a whip of words. With an explosion of energy, the whip cracks, striking her Beloved. Welts rise on my neck, my arms, my back. Again and again my Other Self wields this Whip of Words.


Finally, empty of pain and fury, my Other stops. The whip has become thick and corded. It breaks free and flies into the darkness. In the distance I hear cries of pain; whimpers. I feel them in the welts and cuts on my own body.


My Other has slumped to the floor, covered in the blood of her own violence. Around her head a dark fog is gathering. In it I hear her whispered anguish. She loathes what she does; despises what she is. Each whisper is sharp as a razor. Is there no compassion in me for this woman so filled with the rage of confusion and despair? Do I hate myself so much?


The ground beneath my feet tilts. The cavern walls begin to fade until I am once again suspended in silent darkness.


Clutching my torch, I return to the passageway. Faintly I hear water running, like a stream dancing over rock. My heart floods with joy and I realize that I am feeling the thoughts of the water!


The passage opens into another large cavern through which an underground river is pouring itself out through a crevice into the outside world beyond. There is no other way out of the cavern; only the running river. Suddenly I know—this is the River of Life and I am in the womb of my Mother, the Earth. Understanding breaks upon me like the dawn against the dark. I, too, hold within me a womb from which this River flows—whether I am male or female in my Earth body does not matter. Within me are the Springs of Joy and the River of Life. They are held deep underground, waiting release, waiting to flow out from me into the world.


Excitedly I run into the River. It burns like acid on my skin. Desperately trying to retreat, I lose my footing and plunge headfirst into the current of the River. My blood is Fire. I cannot breathe. I cannot see for my eyes have been burned away. I thrash and flail as I am carried in the current, my flesh falling from my bones. My lungs screaming for air, I instinctively draw breath and the waters fill me.


It tastes sweet. I am filling up with Light. Peace-filled, a bubble of pure Joy begins to ascend from my toes. When it reaches my throat I open my mouth and laugh—and am shot through the crevice and find myself sitting in a pool of sweet water, surrounded by the forest.


The Centaur is waiting on the mossy bank, but I do not want to leave; not yet. I swim in the pool. My skin is new and glowing. My eyes see rainbows of energy filling and surrounding everything around me. Faintly, a chorus of notes harmonizes on the edge of hearing—heard but not heard. The water is sweet—I want to drink the entire pool, to become the water itself. The Earth’s scent—soil and wood, pine and blossom, fruit and heat and snow and fire fill me, and my scalp prickles in delight.


Finally I am ready. I go to the Centaur who sets me on his back. We ride the wind.


We are at the Door. The Centaur bows slightly. “Remember this place. Remember what you have learned,” he says.


I step through the Door.


My Soul is riding a wave of water that breaks upon the rocks where I am huddled, hidden in the mist. Filled with Love and Light she crashes into me. The storm dissolves.

THAWING OUT…

April 1, 2011

“Figure out the Route you take that brings you repeatedly to this place you don’t want to return to. Then, once you become conscious of it, create a new Route—one that will take you to where you wish to go!”

Dr. Jean Houston


That was her challenge. The idea intrigued me. Well-known sayings came to mind such as, “I can get there blind-folded!” and “I’m stuck in this same old rut.” “I’m going in circles,” “Caught in a loop…”

I do indeed know the way to depression and to discouragement so well I can get there blindfolded. Certainly I know the cycle of anger and rage, whether or not I let them out—Button X gets triggered, Responses Y & Z erupt. I do go in circles sometimes—looping through the same lessons, stuck in familiar ruts. My heart is leaning toward the Light like plants lean into the sun. But still the webs of my own darkness cling to me.

***********

Maybe it isn’t about the road or the ruts in the road. Maybe it is simply about waking up.


I am watching the Earth wake up these several weeks now. The snow and ice are shrinking, leaving behind a sludge of dirt and debris. The world that was grey and white and sometimes sparkled under blue skies has given way to a world that is brown and dirty; colorless and lifeless.

But, the other day I found tulips peeking above the ground, wondering if it was safe to come out yet. (It wasn’t. The deer had them for salad.) There are buds on the azaleas. The pussy-willow tips are soft. Everything alive is waking up, however slowly. A few weeks from now the world around me will have transformed itself into a pageant of color and scent. We will put the seed into the ground for the summer harvests of beans and tomatoes, corn and zucchini.

Maybe the more I wake up, the less inclined I will be to keep retracing the ruts I’ve worn sleepwalking the paths of my life’s journey. Surely I have cycled through many figurative winters and springs, summers and autumns. There has been planting, growth, harvest and retreat many times before. My life is not the same and the paths are not the same that I once walked. I have had seasons of being awake, my spirit as alive and alert as the rest of me.

But yet, always it seems I come back to these particular familiar roads that are rutted and in disrepair. It seems the same monsters come out of the same terrible tangled woods in which I am once again lost; I fall back asleep and I am caught again in the same bad dreams.

But I must come here. For it is here, in this place, that the secret of my freedom lives and breathes.

Always when my journeys bring me back to this place, I can go no further. The way is closed to me. But I have always known that it is only here that I will find the way through. Here that I will set myself free. It is here that the Light will transform this dark and tangled part of my Heartscape, here the Healing will flow through the pathways of my mind. And finally, finally it is here that Love will fully bloom and the River of Life will be released from deep within me.

If I could just find the courage to stay awake, here in this place of monsters and darkness.

Perhaps the monsters are really of my own making. Perhaps the only one not allowing me to pass further on, is myself. Perhaps it is easier to follow the same rutted roads and just talk about the Light, than it is to build a new road and live in the Light.

If I could just find the courage to stay awake.

***********

A long time ago I made a decision to get well. I said that I would find my way no matter how long it would take and no one would stop me, not even God. Funny declaration that; why would God try to stop me from getting well? I have often wondered what was rising up inside me that day, as though shaking the bars of some prison cell, a cage perhaps. Why in that moment did it seem that God might try to stop me? Why did I feel like it would be me against the world just to try to get well?

I believe I changed the course of my journey that day; like a river will shift and cut a new path for its flowing to the Sea.

************

One thing I have learned on this journey of mine, there are no true shortcuts. Those who promise such things have not actually traveled the routes themselves and have no idea where you will end up.