Thursday, January 21, 2010
I have been trying to remember that this week. When we are unhappy or not satisfied with an aspect of ourselves we can hurt another. Everyone suffers, we all suffer differently. It’s hard to remain spiritual when you misinterpret others, their words, actions or comments that you perceive as a slight. As I write this blog thousands of people are suffering around the world from earthquakes, war, disease and personal loss. It’s almost an embarrassment to admit that something like words can make you narrow your eyes and want to fight with a shoe in a ladies bathroom.
I know that I cannot take anything personally in life. I know that people try consciously and unconsciously to project their thoughts, beliefs and morals to make themselves feel better, but sometimes I just want to flip someone off. I try and picture the Dalai Lama or the Pope doing the same and somehow I just wonder if they have better restraint than I? Maybe, they just don’t frequent women’s restrooms.
Rumi the great Persian poet wrote one of my favorite lines, “Don't turn away. Keep looking at that bandaged place. That's where the light enters you.” Well, I think this week I have been hemorrhaging and if I look at that spot, I might just get blinded by the light. I have so much to be thankful for, I have so many wonderful things to meditate upon and instead I got hooked into my addiction of judgment.
I think I long to be liked and accepted, we all do. I have finally learned to like myself. Every now and then I have what my friend Gladys calls, “a blue funk.” It usually stems from me feeling that I am flawed and when someone pokes at my bandaged place I want to poke them in the eyes. In my rational brain I understand that we operate by cause and effect, we are like lab rats emotionally. I understand why people suffer, I understand why I suffer. I just hate to admit that I am also human and have not tamed my mind.
My shoe throwing, eye poking incident was rooted in me feeling a need to defend who I am and my actions. I never did throw the shoe or poke anyone in the eyes, it was a short lived thought thankfully. I am sure as time goes on with the show being on the air that I will be blogged about as being a fake, a charlatan, a moron and a crazed lunatic, conversely though I will have my friends telling me that I am a size two, amazing and all around groovy gal. It really shouldn’t matter though what other people think about me, good or bad. I know who I am better than anyone. I know what motivates me to react or not react. I know who I am and I like myself as is. I always tell people that other people’s opinions of me are none of my business, but it is difficult if you’re in a blue funk or a place of judgment.
My incident this last week started with another person not feeling sure of herself, and because of that I was seen as a threat. Her misplaced jealously poked my bandaged place and I reacted by having hurt feelings and allowed myself to feel victimized. In retrospect as I write this I am rolling my eyes at myself. I knew better, but I still took the bait. Jealousy is a toxic weed and should be eradicated before it chokes the life out of everything in its path.
One of my dear friends suffers from a huge lack of self worth and needs to feel the positive attention of others to gauge that he is moving in the right direction. Admiration and attention from others make him feel whole. The trap in this of course is that you allow others to tell you who you are. When we are telling ourselves who we are through the eyes of another we tread in dangerous waters. When we don’t receive what we need from others we have a tendency to become jealous and resentful when we see others getting what we want. I have often thought jealousy and an inability to have intimacy in relationships are often linked. Learning to trust is usually the antidote for jealousy.
Usually when we avoid intimacy it isn’t because of a parent or partner not loving us, it’s because we fundamentally feel that we are unlovable. We get it in our head that intimacy is unsafe for our fragile heart. When we get into that mode it’s hard to see that in order to be loved that we must first love ourselves. Jealousy creates a wall that oddly enough prevents us from what we crave more than anything. It is a primal emotion. It makes us feel inadequate, it causes feelings of shame, and we obsess then about what others think about us. Not having the approval of others when you live your life based upon that can be emotionally devastating.
When we don’t like ourselves we find comfort in deflating, criticizing and putting others down to feel better about our current circumstances. It’s easy to sit behind the anonymity of a computer screen to blast complete strangers, or write off people as lunatics. I am guilty of this myself as I had to contain myself from posting about Pat Robertson comments saying the people of Haiti were victims of a curse caused by slaves having a pact with the devil in 1791. I am sure he is a nice person and has done many amazing things for people. I know he loves his family and his family loves him. I know he believes in what he says. I personally just can’t stop thinking he needs a formal education and a clue.
People will think what they want as they will regardless of what I think or you think. You can only control the human body that you were born into. Soften your heart when someone insults you is what I learned this week. It’s easier than unbuckling a four inch heel anyway. Remember you have to generate enough self love not to crave the attention of others. When you are hurt, try not to hurt another and if you have to flip someone off do it with a smile.
It’s not easy to be a spiritual warrior. I know this. A great reference book to read is “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. You might also enjoy the companion book with exercises to help you on your journey.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Many times during readings people have a million questions about relationships, quite often people are stuck emotionally and have not a clue in the world about what to do next. It is easy when the heart is involved in any relationship to feel conflicted, confused and exhausted when trying to make a change.
We are creatures of habit and find solace in the concept of permanence. We generally don’t like change. We unfortunately live in a world where the one thing we can count on is impermanence. Impermanence means nothing ever stays the same. In my job people confess their heartache to me and are searching for the right answers. I do not have the ability to provide answers that is only something that can come from within. I may be able to show a path not thought of before or help someone see their inner beauty, but unfortunately the real work must come from the heart.
A common pattern I find in readings is that people in relationships often become friends over time but have no attraction to one another. One partner generally wishes the other partner would leave them or do something to screw up the relationship so that they don’t have the burden of hurting the other person or have the responsibility of letting their family down.
Sometimes our partners can be mentally unstable and threaten us with hurting themselves if we leave them. Guilt keeps us mired in place.
There is also a pattern that comes up when one partner is verbally, emotionally or physically abusive and because of low self esteem, financial dependency or absolute fear the other partner feels helpless to leave.
When we have been wounded previously we sometimes make the mistake of jumping into multiple relationships to numb the pain of our past. When we are hungry for love or affection it is easy to be drawn to people that are not healthy for us. They may provide instant feelings of happiness or emotional affection but over time those feelings vanish and we are stuck with an empty heart.
I have heard the pain of people who have been cheated on and the pain of the people that cheat. It’s sometimes easier to cheat with a person who is married, as that person meets your emotional and sexual needs and the adrenaline rush numbs any need for long term emotional intimacy. There are also people who suffer from sexual addictions and mistake sex for love.
There are relationships that need to be repaired from infidelity, addictions or gambling issues. People can put their relationships back together after being fractured and can find each others hands to hold once again. Nothing is impossible when the love between two people is strong enough.
Divorce is something nobody sets out to accomplish on their wedding day. Breakups are emotionally devastating, sometimes filled with bitterness and hatred. We lose track of our way on the path together and forget why we ever got together in the first place. Unfortunately all too often divorce provides the opportunity of emotionally sabotaging ourselves until we feel we have adequately beaten ourselves up.
I feel the anguish of clients when they lose their soul mate, their best friend and life partner. When people are widowed their sorrow is intense. Love is a multi faceted emotion. You can madly love someone who doesn’t love you. You can love someone indifferently when they are on earth, and when they die you realize they were so much more. Love can be painful, regretful and unhealthy. Love conversely can be amazing, gentle and whole. You can love all three of your ex’s in a healthy and positive memory and love your current partner completely. Love knows no boundaries.
We don’t choose who we love and if we did life would be easier indeed. Our heart finds a soul recognition with another human being and whether that be good or bad or heart takes over and we become different people. Love can bring us happiness and heartache. The duality of love has been written about for long as there have been clay tablets.
My friend Donna and Gladys one told me independently of one another that they admire my ability to love hard. Sometimes when I give readings to people I don’t know I love them unconditionally because I can feel how loved they are by spirits on the other side. This washes over into my personal life as well. Don’t get me wrong I am not Sister Mary Sunshine and my life isn’t always a bed of roses. I have been through heaven and hell in relationships. I have been a victim of domestic violence, have been hurt to the core of my being, been lied to, disrespected and put down.
Sometimes I hated myself for allowing that negativity into my life. I used to beat myself up because I was a strong woman who was smarter than that. I had a million excuses of why I was a victim and how that came to be. I ended up forgiving my abusers and then realized I was more abusive to myself than my partner ever could have been. At my lowest points I thought I was too ugly, too fat and too encumbered by life to ever find someone that would love me as much as I loved them.
When I finally took responsibility for all the good and bad in my life and refused to blame anyone for anything my life magically changed. When I learned to accept responsibility and let go of blame it opened the door for me to finally like who I was at that moment and I learned to love myself. It took me six years to see the process through. When we accept responsibility for our life we get back in the driver’s seat. Blame leaves you at the side of the road with a flat tire waiting for someone to rescue you.
My friend and mentor Joe Magno taught me the beauty of self love. He wrote a beautiful book about how the heart can heal through self love. Self love is sometimes an abstract thought in the West that gets confused with an inflated ego. When we love ourselves and are truly happy we will not harm another. When you can wake up liking yourself you can change your life and others lives for the better. When you love and like yourself you can truly and openly love another.
Self love allows you to give without expectation of return. You can be kind and compassionate to another who is struggling without having to fix them or solve their problems. When you Love yourself and love another you can be a compassionate observer to their pain and offer your hand when they need it. You no longer have to be intertwined in chaos because you know that they are on their own journey and that whatever that journey is you can remain healthy and whole.
Self love allows you to set boundaries, let go of outcomes and expectations and can truly allow you to live in the moment. Self love sets you free from past conceptions and misconceptions. It is so very important to do, and probably the hardest task you’ll ever have to endure. It is not easy and takes practice. Some days will be easier than others for sure.
I wrote a list to the universe on June 3, 2009 of what I wanted in a soul mate in great emotional, physical, and spiritual nature. I folded the paper in half and put it next to my computer and left it there. I had absolute faith in the universe that it would come to me, and three months later it magically happened. I ended up with the person that I custom ordered. I was pleasantly surprised and within two weeks I knew I was absolutely in love. I can’t explain how much my life has changed over the last four months but it has been sheer bliss. I just know that I wish there was a stronger word than love in the English language and that is what I would use.
I never, ever thought that I would find love again or that it would come to me in this lifetime anyway. I was wrong and I am so grateful that I was. I refused to turn inward when I was hurt. I opened my heart even when it was painful and still expected the best. I have given my heart openly to Chad and am so grateful he accepted it. I do not look at the past with upset or hatred. I know I would not be as a compassionate person or understanding as I am without the past. I am not angry with anyone I dated and don’t regret my past marriage and I wish all of them well. All of those experiences brought me to the great love of my life and I am so very grateful and happy.
One thing I am currently working on is allowing myself to receive love. After years of being independent, stubborn and set in my ways, it is difficult for me to allow someone to do kind things for me. Unfortunately in my case I feel awkward when allowing myself to receive. I am learning to let go and to let another help me and that is definately a new sensation. I am a work in progress, and in this case thank goodness for impermanence. Because I like and love myself I am able to love without conditions, there is no selfishness, jealously or worry. I know that I trust him 100% and feel absolutely at ease and safe. I am able to be perfectly comfortable with my best friend and partner. It is amazing and so wonderful. My fairy tale can be yours too.
If you feel lost, confused or hurt pray for yourself and ask for a miracle of insight. Ask your loved ones and God source for help every day. Ask that you receive wisdom to do the impossible or mend a broken road. Know that you are stronger than your greatest fear. You are not too old, too fat, too co-dependent, too poor, or stupid to change your life. Do your best to let go of outcomes and become your own best friend. Learn to live life with an open and raw heart. My hardest days were when I just sat and truly felt my pain. I felt it in the depths of my soul, and what I found was that pain was like a crying baby once given proper attention and respect it stopped crying. When we hold our pain with respect and attention it lessons. I learned the most delicious things about myself one time by dating someone who hurt me deeply. When I opened my heart to the hurt and healed it, I attracted my beautiful soul mate. I am doing the best I can day by day. I am so grateful for all the good and bad in my life and wouldn’t change a thing. I am open and will love hard until the day I die.
I wish when people were suffering I could say, “Okay, you need to do A,B, and C and this is what will happen.” That would be ideal, but then I guess it wouldn’t be living. You may want to seek the advice of a counselor, a therapist, a religious member or a medium, and I suggest doing all of the above, but when it comes down to it, it is something your soul and heart have to agree upon and you’ll have to make the decisions yourself. You may find comfort in writing a journal, spending time with friends, loading your IPod with verve or seeking a spiritual solution. I read books, too many of them I think. There isn’t any clear cut path for you to take other than agreeing to love yourself right now and knowing that love is there for you without a doubt.
It was a life changing experience. My heart goes out to our soldiers and the people of Iraq. I was asked if the war made me nutty. Well, I am nutty but the war didn’t do it. I didn’t agree the decision to invade Iraq for the second war. Nonetheless, we are in Iraq amidst a Civil War and are in a precarious situation. Our troops need our support regardless of whether we agree on the invasion of Iraq or not.
One of my dear friends has come back from the Gulf and has run into the same things I did when I came home. You don’t get other people or understand why they worry about what seems to be the most insignificant of things. I for one to this day don’t care to see any movies about war. I get weepy and emotional in movie theaters just looking at previews to Gulf war movies. When I got home to Fort McCoy, I was asleep in my cot. A thunder crack echoed in the skies and I thought it was a scud missile.
I saw young a young man who survived his friend being killed in friendly fire fight cry from the depth of his soul. I can still see one young man cry as he blamed himself for not being able to save his friend. One soldier lost parts of his extremities and couldn’t write, but when I wrote his mother for him he told me to tell her that I was pretty. It tugged at my heart so that when that boy lay in his cot in pain, he wasn’t thinking of himself, he was thinking of how to make me feel good. These things never leave you.
I remember Iraqi soldiers wanting their pictures taken with me because I had blond hair. I can’t forget the generosity of the Bedouin people in the middle of the desert. They strived to connect with us in smiles and food.
The Iraqi’s suffer too. They have suffered greatly. We cannot forget their pain either. The war isn’t something that can be resolved easily. We have a huge wound that now infects our combined humanity. Our foreign policy is a mess. Countries across the world have lost their faith in us. We as a nation have lost our faith in our leaders. It doesn’t matter what side of the political fence you sit on. War affects all of us regardless of partisan politics.
One in four Desert Storm veterans are now seriously ill. I know we ingested expired pyrostigmine bromide tablets, wore faulty gas masks, and were under scud missile attacks. The chemical alarms in Riyadh went off repeatedly when we were in Khobar Towers. We suffer from Gulf War Illness that gets dismissed as psychosomatic illness. The VA and our government, our elected leaders deny all causes of this ‘alleged’ illness.
I am missing skin pigment in my skin. I have a blotch on my neck that drives me bonkers, two spots on my chin, my arms, and wrist. I am lucky I just lost skin pigment and have a fair completion. I don’t suffer, I just feel unattractive at times. That’s really egotistical in comparison to losing a leg, your brain or your life. When you come home from war a different person, your family suffers along side you. My Vietnam Veteran friends can attest to this.
We cannot abandon our next set of veterans. We now have a need for federal funding for head injuries and closed head trauma for returning veterans. Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and psychological support needs to be offered by veterans for veterans as well. When I returned home from war, nothing was ever said about our ability to cope upon arriving home.
The best part of the war experience had to be the amazing homecomings by the American people. It makes me tearful even now. Please support our soldiers. Please support the Iraqi people. This situation is near and dear to my heart and I hope it becomes a campaign issue for our professional politicians. We have learned the harm we can cause as a people to what we can do to make the suffering worse of a soldier. I hope to God we have learned from Vietnam. Regardless of what happens in Iraq, we need to support our troops. Please help me in getting support for our soldiers and their families, now and in ten and twenty years down the road.
There was a part in the movie that showed the Japanese scientists Masaru Emoto’s work with water. He says that his studies with water are his proof that thoughts and feelings affect our physical reality. He focused different emotions on the water samples through written, spoken words and music. He had a monk bless one sample, the word love put on another sample and the thought, “I hate you and I am going to kill you,” on another. He presented those feelings to the same water samples. The water appears to "change its expression," and is evident in the photographs of the water molecules.
The premise is that if our bodies are 70% water and we can change water samples with our emotions, what do we do to our bodies with our negative emotions then? I told My Aunt that I was going to start telling myself every morning that I was beautiful and I loved myself unconditionally for one month. I am now doing this each morning and consciously blessing one glass of water that I drink each day with love.
I got home today at 3:00 p.m. from paying my property taxes and just happened to see my neighbor. He asked me if I wanted some tomatoes, so I followed him into his side yard. His wife came out and we started to chat about the long walks I take each day. I told them about this spot of property on the road that is more beautiful than any land I have ever seen. I wrote a poem about it just last week and took pictures of it. My neighbor told me that her friend who she had not seen in years lived there. She told me she had seen her a month ago and told me her son had died in a terrible accident. She said that her friend was not doing well. I said “Well if I ever see her I’ll stop and talk to her.” My neighbor agreed with me.
I decided to go for my daily walk and set off with my new fake pink fingernails down the familiar path. I came to my favorite part in the road where a creek runs under it. It is the amazing property with willow trees and a lovely house. It is the house where my neighbor’s friend lives. I silently said to the woman’s son who died “If you ever want me to speak to your mother, just let her be out in front and I’ll talk to her for you.” I kept on walking a good two more miles and then turned around to go home.
As I passed the front of the house on my way back, I smiled and touched the willow branches. I got to the creek and there was a beautiful woman standing at the fence with pliers and metal wire. I took off my headset and waved. She waved back and said “My neighbors cows just broke through the fence, have you seen any cows?” I shook my head and told her that I would help her find the cows. She told me she had just gotten home from work and was trying to fix the fence. I asked her if she owned the property and she said “Yes.”
I instantly started to smile and couldn’t contain my happiness. She has an amazing teepee on her back property. She asked if I would like to see it. I agreed and we walked to the teepee. I couldn’t hold myself any longer. I blurted out that I was a medium and that I had just spoken to my neighbor and told her I knew about her son. I told her that I had just told him if he had wanted to speak to me to just have her out in front. I loved her unconditionally at that moment and was so honored to give her messages from her son. We held hands and it felt like I had known her all my life. She is such a lovely spirit as is her son. I have never felt so right in the world. It was a God wink from the universe for sure.
The reason I am writing to you is to ask all of you to open yourselves up to the millions of miracles that occur each moment if we are just open to it. Obviously, her son was working overtime. When you open yourself up to love yourself you receive so much personal and emotional abundance that it’s hard to keep your feet on the ground.
I feel truly blessed to have all of you in my life and I feel honored to be alive. I hope that all of you can learn to open yourselves up to this bliss, it’s free and starts with just one glass of water.
Understanding that we as humans are interconnected to every human on the face of the earth is a big step. It is much like the ripple effect in that what I do now affects my sister, which affects her husband, which affects his secretary and so on. To take responsibility for not hurting others and to do no harm is a process that starts with your self. We cannot avoid harming others while we continue to harm ourselves. For example the Buddha once said, "You can search the whole world for someone more worthy of your love than yourself, and you will not find anyone...Whoever loves himself will never harm another."
If we screw up in taking care of and loving ourselves personally and then are asked to help others, that lack of attention to ourselves causes us to harm others and ourselves. Sacrificing yourself to help another is not necessarily a good thing. You cannot give away what you dont have. When you sacrifice yourself to help another, you leave a void. We try to reward ourselves for our sacrifice to fill the void. We can stuff that void with food, alcohol, drugs, or emotions. You have to love yourself and respect yourself first before you can love and respect another. So before you can help another you must help yourself first.
If self-esteem seems to be getting in the way of forgiving yourself, you might want to remember a time when you did something kind or selfless for someone else. When you remember a time where you acted on your God spark it can help you remember your goodness.People sometimes feel that their father and mother did not love them.
The trouble with us is that we live in the past, and waste too much of the present thinking about past suffering. Many of us have suffered, and truly not have had a happy childhood, but that doesn't mean that we should let it mess up the rest of our lives. If your parents did not love you, perhaps it wasnt their fault; maybe they didnt know how to love you, because their parents didnt know how to love them.You shouldnt ever think that your parents didnt love you. They might have loved you the best they knew how and have gone through horrible pain because they didnt know how to share their love to you. Once you can accept this as a possibility, you can develop feelings of love and compassion for your parents.
This does not mean you have to like or condone their actions. Even if your parents didnt love you, that shouldnt make you feel bad, because the love, wisdom and compassion of your god source and universe is infinite, and the love of the universe include all of us in their love, without exception. Simply by invoking the Christ, God, Buddhas, Creator, or Goddess our hearts are filled with love, and we can then share that love with our parents, and heal the relationship that hurt us.
I have included an example of a loving kindness prayer at the end of the blog.This week we had to focus on loving a difficult person and send them loving kindness. During mediations I am good at understanding that I am no different from the person I have feelings of dislike. I can feel that we are indeed part of the whole. I can see suffering in all people, and have no problem with hatred or dislike.
My problem is in the real time interactions when I am upset. When my ex-husband and I argue I get so upset and hurt, and then I lash out verbally. When I do the mediation I can love him or anyone else for that matter with all my heart. I am doing my best to integrate the meditations in my real time life. I focused on my ex-husband this month. Over the last month my ex-husband and I have gotten along better than we ever have, even when we were married. I have realized through this practice that my own preconceived expectations of others have caused me the most pain.
I think that as humans we naturally assume others come from the same vantage point as we do. It is difficult to remember that the only person who feels and thinks the way I do is I. I find it easier to move forward to forgive and not feel resentment when I remember the other person I am troubled with is as hurt or as upset as I am. I have also found such joy in not having to be right or play a victim to my emotions or someone elses emotions.
I used to take other peoples words personally and found I was wounded easily. For the first time in my life it is becoming so much easier not to react to something I perceive as hurtful. I have found myself expressing my feelings with others and myself for the first time honestly. This is a colossal step for me.
I have to laugh when I found that the person I needed to send loving kindness to the most was myself, I guess I am the most difficult person I know. For me to really feel dislike of someone, I have to visualize a pedophile. This is truly difficult for me. I realize that the person harms another because they too suffer, but I must admit it is terribly difficult to send loving kindness to the person. I suppose they are in need more so than anyone is, but nonetheless it is extremely difficult. It is hard for me to see this from a different angle. I am working on it. Ill let you know if I ever get there.
Here is an example of a loving kindness prayer:
As I was digging through his papers, I found a hand written letter addressed to him. The author took some time in writing the letter and went thorough a great deal of trouble to get the letter sent to my grandfather. In 1949 he obtained my grandfathers address from the Adjutant Generals office. Two years later in March of 1951 he wrote my grandfather.
It is amazing to me what a gift written letters are and how I am afraid, they are soon to be a lost art form. Letters have a way of letting the writer express their soul. Their words breath life on the page. When times are tough or truly horrific it is astounding how one kind word of encouragement can change one persons life. A man named Sergeant Dean Mulhollew wrote this to my Grandfather:
"One of the things I wanted to tell you was that your coming down the ranks that day I left meant more to me than if you had pinned a medal on me. I made myself a promise that some day I would write telling you how much I appreciated those words 'You did a good job!' I remember too that you walked into the ranks and shook hands with one man and myself and then walked out again. It was a pleasure working for you."
My grandfather did not say anything awe inspiring, he just said thank you. I suppose it was the genuine emotion behind it that made all the difference in the world. The letter brought tears to my eyes and allowed me to see my grandfather in a way I had never known him. Fifty-Five years later that letter still had life.
As some of you may or may not know, I was in a different kind of war entirely. I worked in the 13th Evacuation Hospital under 7th Core in Saudi Arabia. The comment I remember most during Desert Storm came from a beautiful young man from Texas who was horribly wounded by a landmine. He asked me to write his mother letters and tell her he was fine when he was not. He would rap songs and talk of happy things. He was truly an amazing soul who touched my life forever. He was in so much pain from his injuries but he never complained. One day when I was writing his mother for him, he asked me to tell her that the girl writing the letter was beautiful. To this day, I still well up with tears when I think of what he said to me. Never did he think of himself.
Our words are so incredibly important. One simple thank you letter can influence generations. How often can you change one persons life by one sentence, a soft smile or a genuine hug? We are here on earth to love one another and it is not always easy or possible. So as you go to the grocery store this week, stop at the bank or are stuck in traffic, remember how much one thought or a few words can change a persons life.
So, pick up a pen and paper this week and tell someone who has done something to change your life how important they are to you. Their grandchildren might read it fifty-five years from now and it may change the way they think too.
Heaven is all around us. I suppose it could be a parallel universe or another dimension, but I strongly feel our loved ones who have died are always around us. I think if we learn to overcome our fear of death and dying we can live more fully. We are born to die. We are spirits having a human experience. It is so important not to be afraid of death but to respect it instead. I have lost people in my life and I still ache for the too. Death is not the same for any of us. Grief is intensely private and personal.
Both of my Grandfatherss died the summer I was eleven. They died within two weeks of one another. At the request of my Grandmother I was not allowed to see my Grandfather in his casket. Adults often fear children cannot handle pain and feel they will be traumatized by seeing a dead body. It is a hard call for parents. I had no sense of closure with my Grandpa. I kept having dreams that he was really alive, and everyone did not know it. I can see now that they were symbollic dreams because his soul really did not die. It was terrible at the time though.
My mothers best friend died two years ago. She was like a second mother to me and I loved her with all my heart. Her Grandson was 5 and my daughter was four at the time. She was in the casket and the room was so silent with grief. Her grandson and my daughter walked up to the casket and touched her hair, nose, and fingers. Cole said to my daughter, "Shes not in there anymore. Her little heart just couldnt take it anymore." My daughter Delanie asked him, "Did you see her wings they are really big?" Cole answered her, "Yeah, I saw them." They put their hands on her forehead and cheek and did not shed a tear. They were amazingly okay with death.
There is a tribe of Native Americans in Florida who would be very quiet and respectful at birth, it was not considered a celebration. They believed the soul took a great sacrifice to be born to leave a place of peace. They celebrated funerals instead knowing their loved one was happy and at peace. Until the middle part of our century many parents lost their children to diseases. Many children knew playmates that had died. Wakes were often held in the homes of families. We as a modern society have sterilized death. Medicine has advanced so much that our infant mortality rate in the US is exceptionally low. We see it as the absolute worst fate in life. We are terrified that the people we love so much will never be with us again. It is a natural fear. I see so many people who have lost their children, spouses, and friends. Death is never easy and all too often devastating. Our love for those we have lost never goes away and there is not a cure in the universe for that heartache.
What do you want people to feel or act upon your death? How do you plan to get in touch with your loved ones from the other side? Will you have a symbol or a codeword? Will you be a smell or a sound, maybe even take form of an animal? Its an odd thought that we never have a plan to contact those after we die. Its food for thought. I think having an open dialog with family members about death as unpleasant a subject as it is, is a beginning. Ask yourself what scares you about death. Why is dieing such taboo a subject? Even if you are an atheist and believe that when you die you are just dead and gone, how is that frightening? Not to exist is a void. If I did not believe in existence of the soul after death Id still be working in television. Our purpose in life is to realize we exist beyond the material plane. Everything in life has a cycle of birth, death, and transition so then why not humans?
I think death though should be talked about. Helping people cross over at the end of their life is just as important as helping people be born. Death is not something shameful, ugly or unnatural. It is a part of life. No one ultimately knows why we check out when we do, or when we will die. It could be in five minutes or in sixty years. Humans dont like change we are creatures of habit and safety.
Impermanence means that everything in life is constantly changing. Nothing ever stays the same no matter what. I encourage you to read about different religious beliefs on death, cultural and historical documents about death, read about near death experiences and mediums. Decide for yourself how you view your God Source and death. Respect death but dont fear death. Realize that you indeed are a powerful spiritual being. You exist beyond your body. Energy never dies it only changes form. Just a few thoughts this week. Be well.
My other girlfriend's son committed suicide when he was 36 years old. She said that at first she did not feel anything after he died, she couldn't feel anything. She spent the first hours trying to comprehend what had taken place. She said that she kept asking herself "why"? She once said to me that when you don't ask why anymore and move on from that need to know it gets easier. This is her advice to other's in the same situation:
BELIEVE THAT THE SPIRIT IS ETERNAL. You will always miss that child, nothing or no one will replace your child. Learn to communicate with that child. I grew up believing that we could not communicate with those that have left this realm, as did my husband. We both now know that that is not true. Though we have not learned how to visualize his spirit, we talk to him constantly, aloud or to ourselves. We include him in a lot of our conversation. Bottom line: learn to communicate with your child –the spirit lives on.
I cannot stress how important it is for all of us to know that though the human body may die, the spirit has eternal life. I know this does not matter when you are no longer able to hold your loved one or touch them. We do have the ability to communicate with them. All of us do.
My other friend's father committed suicide. She has lived in hell since he did so. It's almost as if part of her died with him. I know there is a part of her that blames herself for not knowing.
In 1985, I was a sophomore in High School. That year I for some reason decided that my life was not worth living. I had sunk into a dark depression and tried to commit suicide. I was hospitalized for the attempt and never spoke of it again. As I look back, it wasn't anyone's fault. I had didn't have the best communication skills with my parents or myself. I cannot imagine how much I would have missed if I had been successful in killing myself. It scares me even think about how close I came to not being here on planet earth. I am so grateful I lived. From my experience the only way I can think would have helped me, would have been if there had been an open communication with anyone about my feelings. I just needed to know that my life was important, or that I mattered to someone. I just wanted my heartache to end.
I don't have any answers though. It seems the older I get the less I know to be true. We as humans try to avoid negative feelings at all costs. We are indeed creatures of comfort. We do not like impermanence. Nothing is permanent. One of my favorite teacher's Lama Sura Das once said, "Loss is the elephant in the living room we all ignore or deny. Yet we can't." We cannot protect ourselves or our loved ones from death. It seems to me that suffering and dying are as much as a part of our lives and living and happiness.
I have met so many extraordinary people in my life. I have met so many people that have already suffered more than I ever will. When I watched the coverage of Hurricane Katrina and people were devastated by their material losses, I could not help but think about the people who had lost their loved ones to the hurricane. Our loved ones are truly precious. So if someone you know seems to be struggling for whatever reason, reach out to them. Don't be afraid to be wrong about a gut feeling that something isn't right. I think we all have a tendency to want to sweep difficult situations under the rug. Sometimes you might just have no clue at all that anything is wrong.
There is a great website http://www.theovernight.org/ for suicide prevention. They have yearly walks all over the United States. This year I'll be walking in Chicago, I hope some of you will join me.
We had a regular client who came in weekly to pick up equipment and produce a show. She was very Southern, and walked with a limp. She spoke very slowly and always said, "Thank you Jesus," after every sentence. She was the producer of a very fundamentalist church program. After she would leave, we would all do our best "church lady" imitations and answer each other with "Thank you Jesus," phrases after every statement or question throughout the day.
One afternoon I had to help the church lady with her weekly show, and every time I would help her with an edit, she would say "Thank you Jesus." As I stood by her side that day, the spirit of a deceased woman overwhelmed me. I knew that it was the church lady's mother. I had no idea what to do. First of all, I was on company time, and secondly how was I going to tell a fundamentalist Christian woman that her dead mother was trying to get in touch with her.
I continued helping her to make edits, and for some reason I said, "Is your mom still alive?" She said no, and I hesitated for a couple of minutes, unsure of my next move. I started to explain to her how I could hear people who have died. I told her that her mother wanted to speak with her, and I asked her if she wanted to talk to her mother. She did not hesitate for even a second and said, "Yes, please tell me."
I started to tell her that her mother loved her very much. Her mother did not want her to feel guilty. She wanted to thank her for the pretty clothes, and a beautiful hat with flowers. I looked over at her and she was sobbing. She cleared her throat and told me a story that changed my life forever.
She explained that she had to put her mother in a nursing home and she had regretted it so much. She had children at home, was a hairdresser, and had to drive 60 miles every day to visit her mother. She said she made her mother outfits, and would fix her hair every weekend. One weekend she decided to take her mother to a tent revival. Her mother wore her new outfit and a beautiful hat with flowers. After the revival when they were driving back to the nursing home, her mother turned to her and said "Well, Kitten, we sure did get our whiskers wet in the bible tonight didn't we?" and she answered, "Yes, we did, I love you mama." The next thing she saw was the headlights of a semi truck. They were in a terrible accident and her mother was killed, and she was hospitalized for months. The only thing that survived the crash was the hat with flowers and her mother's glasses.
She told me that the hat now hung on the wall in her house, and she still put her mother's glasses on to see what her mother saw through her eyes. She had a permanent limp from the accident, and could no longer be a hairdresser, because the last person's hair she had done was her mother's, fourteen years earlier. She had never gotten over the guilt of the accident, or the nursing home, and her mother desperately wanted her to be free from guilt.
The following week, she invited me to her house and colored my hair for me. I was the first person she had worked with since her mother had died. The "Church Lady" was one of the most beautiful spirits I have ever met and she permanently left footprints in my heart.The universe may gently remind you when you are wrong, or it may hit you with a wrecking ball. Always admit when you are wrong and never be ashamed of your bad judgment. Learn from your mistakes, but more importantly live by your mistakes. What I mean by this is that you have to apply your new found knowledge to your daily life. I do my best not to make judgments about anyone. It is so hard not to, it's down right difficult. It is hard for me sometimes not to make light of people or imitate their quirks in a joking manner, but all I have to do is think of the "Church Lady" and the desire usually ends immediately
Somehow, I think we all are managing to survive. My other dear friend lost his beloved wife and wonders if she will still be there for him when he dies. He has nightmares that she won’t be there when he dies. I have another friend who is in madly in love with a woman who won’t return his affection and he blames himself for not being able to figure out what he has done wrong.
When things go wrong in our life we have a way of shifting whatever it is that causes us pain to a place of blame. Somehow the rational brain has a way of telling us that when things don’t go our way that we are flawed or to blame for our problems.
Embarrassment, unworthiness, disgrace, and disappointment are all symptoms of emotional shame. I think we all have felt shame. It is one of the most detrimental and self-defeating poisons we can allow to enter our spirit. Shame causes us to feel unlovable, unworthy and tears us away from feeling that we deserve to be happy.
Silvan Tomkins is best known as a personality theorist and he was dedicated to the study of human emotion. He was quoted saying this, “If distress is the affect of suffering, shame is the affect of indignity, transgression and of alienation. Though terror speaks to life and death and distress makes of the world a vale of tears, yet shame strikes deepest into the heart of man. Shame is felt as inner torment, a sickness of the soul the humiliated one feels himself naked, defeated, alienated, lacking in dignity and worth."
My shame is an inner voice that tells me that I am not smart and that I always have to prove myself. I suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder and have always felt I was unlike anyone else I knew. If being disorganized were a sport, I’d be a record holder. The Buddha had a mental battle of wits with his shame known as Mara. Mara is not so much unlike the Christian Satan, but Maras’s powers seduce and tangle the gullible mind. Mara’s poison arrows tempt you into believing all kinds of untruths about yourself. Don Miguel Ruiz the Toltec writer refers to it as a parasite. He wrote one of my favorite books called “The Four Agreements.”
“The Four Agreements,” teaches how to let go of any agreements of what should be and he teaches how to embrace the angel of death to change your life. The book teaches that we all live in a dream, and our individual dream at that. Our soul is tangled with our human mind. Our mind can be a trickster, a parasite, an evil sorcerer who ensnares us to feel shame, disgust, and dislike of ourselves.
Anger is another source of shame. Thich Nhat Hanh says that anger for example is rooted in our lack of understanding of ourselves. He once said that if we were not capable of transforming the pain within ourselves, happiness would not be possible and that many people look for happiness outside themselves, but true happiness must come from inside of us. He feels that within our consciousness, there are blocks of pain, anger, and frustration called internal formations. He also calls them knots because they tie us up internally, that feeling of anger or heat that wells from within when we feel slighted, frustrated, or wounded.
Thich Nhat Hanh said this about anger, “When someone insults us or does something unkind to us, an internal formation is created in our consciousness. If you don't know how to undo the internal knot and transform it, the knot will stay there for a long time. The next time someone says something or does something to you of the same nature, that internal formation will grow stronger. As knots or blocks of pain in us, our internal formations have the power to push us, to dictate our behavior. After a while, it becomes very difficult for us to transform, to undo the knots, and we cannot ease the constriction of this crystallized formation. The Sanskrit word for internal formation is samyojana. It means "to crystallize." Every one of us has internal formations that we need to take care of.”
What is it in our minds that create the feelings of shame? How can we transform feelings of shame into something productive? I think we have to consciously catch ourselves when we begin to feel unworthy or feelings of self-loathing creeping up. We all have seeds of self-doubt that are watered daily. We have to know whatever feelings of shame that we have come from the root seed within ourselves that we are not worthy. Self-love is the easiest concept to understand and potentially the most difficult concept to follow through to completion. I have been so wounded in the past by relationships that I find myself testing the waters sometimes to stay in control of my emotions. I know that Mara is popping up and saying, “You now Moriah, you know you will screw this up, just like always.” Reading that statement, I realize I would never let anyone else speak to me like that, so why do I speak like that to myself?
You might do as I do when I see that my shame is creeping up. I have given it a name. I call my shame Mara. I say in my head “I see you Mara, go away.” Meditation has helped me, I meditate in the form of a walking meditation, and I read, I read all sorts of books on self-love and worthiness. I surround myself with wonderful friends and let others be kind to me. I have decided that I am worth more than my ugly thoughts and feelings of unworthiness. My ugly thoughts are just that, ugly thoughts.
I do feel we need to have a strong community of people around us that consciously lift us up to be better people. It’s imperative to have friends that you can count on. You also first and foremost need to be a friend to yourself. It’s not easy. Know that you have dignity, you have worth and that you have value. Know with all that you are that you are greater than your shame, your parasite your Mara. As my mother always tells me “Believe in yourself.”
I was having a really bad feel sorry for myself day on Friday. I was in the grocery store, concentrating so hard on my own issues, I didn't take notice of anyone around me. A beautiful elderly lady looked up at me and smiled, she was so pretty. I smiled back at her surprised that I had not seen her. She gave me an amazing gift with that smile. She also happened to look just like my late grandmother. I cried all the way home in the car.
I know the holidays are difficult for so many people. When we have lost people we love, we have a tendency to wish the holidays to go away. Our hurt may visit us as pessimism, ambivalence, or depression. When you have lost your child, spouse, siblings or parents, the holidays can be extremely difficult to say the least.
One of my favorite quotes is by a Jewish scholar named Philo. He once said, "Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." I know this to be true. We are all fighting a great battle. I think one of the hardest things to accomplish after losing someone we love, is just getting out of bed in the morning. No longer does it seem to matter if your hair is brushed or if your clothes match. It's hard to let go of those we love. We suffer the loss of those we love until we cross over. Sure, we know they are in a good place, we know they are okay, but it really stinks for us on planet earth. We can rationalize all we want but the heart and soul know different.
My dear friend who lost her young son said that she missed the weight of his body pressed against hers when she held him. She worried she would forget his voice and his touch. Her worries are everyone's worst fear, the fear of forgetting someone we love. She is doing her best to live for herself, her husband, and her children. It is not easy to heal from the loss of a child, and there are no clear-cut answers. She is my hero. Through all that she has been through, she has never once been unkind, selfish, or self-absorbed. She is realistic about her healing and heals the best she can each day. Yes, she has her horrible down times, but who does not? She would never know that she is a guide, nor want to be one, but she is my teacher.
Lama Sura Das once said, "Letting go means letting come and go---letting be. It means coming to accept what can't be changed even while working for positive growth, change, and transformation. Letting be is a way of oneness and loving life in all it's surprising forms. This is how we befriend ourselves, we befriend the whole world."
Letting other's help us with loss is something we may be uncomfortable in allowing. Loss is a private pain that we think that no one else can understand. Our suffering is ours. It needs to be personal and private sometimes, but not all the time. I think if we could have a special ritual or prayer that we do for our loved ones who have died, the holidays may be a bit easier to swallow. I know that no one dies I know this. It is the one belief in my life that brings me comfort when all else seems lost. Letting others into our hearts and letting them see our pain when we pretend to be strong is not easy.
I wish all of you who are suffering from loss this holiday season to be blessed with comfort and peace. Know that someone in this world understands your pain and suffering. My prayers and wishes are with all of you. You have all touched my heart by sharing your lives with me, and I am a better person because of it. I send love to each and every one of you. Let others in your heart and let them comfort you. Let yourself be surrounded by friends and family, and know in your heart of hearts that you are not alone. Allow your loved ones who have died to come to you in their own way. I'll leave you with a prayer I wrote:
Just for today, just for this moment, just for the now,
may my heart be open to love though I feel I cannot go on.
May I feel my loved ones embrace.
May I find peace and soothe anger with my loss.
May my broken heart be healed.
May I allow myself to be comforted by those who love me.
May I do my highest good today for myself and others.
May I be peace inside and out.
May I not judge myself as good or bad, may I just be.
I allow myself to be healed and accept abundance in all forms.
Please allow me to find comfort today in all that I do.
I send unconditional love to those I have lost and allow them to heal my heart as well.
I speak to the cows and they thoughtfully stare back at me in quiet contemplation. I breathe in the deep musky smell of wood and pine. In the spring, there are honeysuckle blossoms. Once on my way back from the halfway point, a sea of green grass billowed like ocean waves. It is where I find my peace, my center. Several times on this path mystical happenings have occurred. I feel like I get to walk halfway between heaven and earth.
One common feeling I have every time I walk this path is that I am so happy to be alive. I personally believe that we live not just once, but several times and are as old as time. Yesterday as I walked path the bales of hay and fields of dancing yellow butterflies I cried just at the thought of being blessed to live. I would come back to earth a million times over if I could.
It saddens me when people say, this planet is so difficult. I hear the heartache in people who would choose never to return if they had the choice. My life has been no bed of roses. I have been a victim of alcoholism, physical battery, war, death, and suffering. Nobody is immune from suffering. We all suffer.
Yet through all the pain and all the heartache, I love being a member of this planet. An old boss of mine once pointed his finger accusatorily at me and suggested I had a “Pollyanna Complex.” So be it. I will incarnate again and again to live, to die and to suffer just for the privilege of green grass, slow moving creeks and lilacs blowing in the wind. I love my children with the whole of my heart. I love my family and friends with all that I am. I love my life, crap or not. It’s my privilege to be here.
When I was sixteen, I attempted suicide and obviously failed. I was in such deep pain I wanted my misery to end. Depression was an old friend of mine. To this day I am not sure what would have helped me value my life, but I am forever grateful that I did. It didn’t dawn on me until I was in my thirties that I was worthy of not only loving others, but also being loved myself. When I was divorced, I had an affair with Ben and Jerry. They were great lovers but my hips needed their own zip code. I again found that old comforting friend Depression.
I began walking the road outside my house for exercise, but the gravel lane became a spiritual path and afforded me the opportunity to remember who I was. I don’t always like who I am or what I look like, but I am always evolving. I still have bad days and life doesn’t always contain butterflies and daises, but in the core of my soul I know I would come back in a heartbeat.
We can all find a mystical path outside our front door. You don’t have to be my neighbor to find magic. The road is already in place looking for your feet.
When I think of hell, all I can picture is an underground cavern full of fire and boiling lava, surrounded by ugly men in red satin suits and giant tridents. Too many Hollywood “B” movie images have tarnished by brain I think. I have compiled more information on hell than you might want to know about. But try reading it, it could cure your insomnia.
The English word "hell" comes from the Germanic word "hel", which originally meant "to cover". The Teutonic Goddess of the Dead and daughter of Loki was named Hel. She was a Norse god of the underworld and responsible for torture, and punishment. Loki was the God of mischief.
In Hinduism people who sin go to hell and are punished according to the sins they have committed. Some Hindus believe that hell is metaphor for having a conscious. The god of death, known as Yama is the king of hell. Chitragupta is like a secretary or record keeper who keeps a tally of all the sins you have committed. King Yama decides the punishments to be given including being dipped in boiling oil, burning in fire, tortured with weapons and so on. People who have been punished are then reborn according to their karma.
Buddhists believe that there are several hells. Hell is also believed to be a state of mind. The hell realms of scriptures are taken as a metaphor rather than a literal. It is a place of temporary suffering and there is no reason for those spirits to suffer there forever. There are heavens and hells in other dimensions but heavens and hells on earth too. People who suffer in the mindset of hell can move out of ‘hell’ by sending themselves love and kindness and forgiving themselves of their deeds. They believe there are no locks on the gates of hell.
Zoroastrianism is an ancient Persian religion that influenced Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Christianity. They believe that humans bear responsibility for all situations they are in, and the way they treat one another. The word hell means bad existence. The damned descend the into the three levels of Bad Thought, Bad Word, and Bad Deed where they are forced suffer misery and they will have poison for food. In Hell darkness is so thick that it can be held in one's hand, the stench is so strong that it can be cut by a knife, and loneliness is absolute. Personal judgment is not final. At the end of time when all evil has been defeated souls are reunited with God.
In Judaism Gehenna is translated as hell like. The term Gehenna is taken from the name of a valley in Jerusalem. The valley served as a reservoir for temples where offerings of poor quality were thrown. They believe that you go into a sort of a purgatory for about a year. Your soul is purged of wrong for eventual acceptance into heaven. They believe that prior to birth your soul exists a divine spiritual state before it descends into the world. In its pre-physical existence, the soul is prepared with the wisdom and knowledge of God that empowers it in its fight to rise above and convert into the physical body.
Most Christians see hell as a place for sinners, who will be tortured by demons until the end of time. Some different branches of Christianity believe non-believers, unbaptized babies, and believers of different Christian faiths will suffer this torture upon death. Purgatory is a place of judgment with a chance of redemption on Judgment Day. Hell however is a place without redemption.
The Bahá'í Faith believes hell and heaven as a specific place as a symbolic description. They believe hell is a spiritual condition caused by an isolation from God. Heaven is seen as a state unity with God. They believe a soul in the afterlife is beyond comprehension in our human minds and feel that a soul will retain its consciousness, individuality, and memories of their life on earth. The spirit will be able to remember other spirits and communicate with them.
Muslims see hell as a punishment being given dependent on the level of evil done in life, and that works of good are separated into other levels depending on how well one followed Allah. The Qur'an also says that some of those who are sent to hell are not damned forever, but instead for an unknown period of time. When the Judgement Day comes, the spirits in hell will be reviewed and it will then be decided if they are allowed to enter Paradise. So there is a chance that your spirit can be redeemed.
You may have questions about murders, rapists, and criminals, as you should. It is not my wish to turn this blog into a philosophical debate on the issues of religion or consequences for doing harm. I have found through doing numerous readings that many people really need the concept of hell to make themselves feel whole and healed.
Hell is a convenient way for us to deal with our personal pain when we suffer. It gives us permission to feel that things will work out in the end when people hurt us. We know they will suffer for harming others or ourselves. Hell is the idea that a person’s soul will be tortured unbearably.
Hell ironically keeps us rooted to the perpetrator or 'evil doer'. The person responsible for our pain ironically still has control over our life. When we hate, because our hurting is so deep, and we hope our perpetrator will be tortured for eternity, we unwillingly let the wrongdoer have power over our feelings, and allow him to tarnish our spirit. A part of us then becomes the essence of their crime. That essence is hate. Hell is just another tool that causes a victim to suffer even more.
Hell has been explained as feeling every feeling that you have ever had, as well as every feeling that you have caused someone else to feel. You experience every blissful, wonderful, experience, you have had, and every horrible, terrible, experience you have had as well. You go through every feeling that you have caused some one else to feel, good and bad. You experience the joy and suffering through their eyes.
If I am a rapist, and I rape you, I get to experience the rape through your eyes. I will experience all of your pain, all of your violation, and all of your suffering, just as it happened to you. That, I believe, is hell.
Hell does not always have to be a place we visit after death, nor does it have to involve brutal crimes against humanity. How many of us relive situations and feelings from our past on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis? How many times do we punish ourselves for our mistakes? I, personally, have, punished myself repeatedly for things I have done. I have lived in hell. I became my own judge, jury, and executioner. I alone created my own hell, and believed I deserved it on a very conscious level.
The thought of forgiving myself never even crossed my mind. I needed to punish myself for being an ass. I never stopped to think what was causing me to be an ass. I didn’t think it was important. I thought I was the only problem. I hated myself at times. Suffering was the real problem. I did not realize that if I had not suffered, I never would have hurt another person with my actions.
So is hell a state of mind and a kind of temporary existence on the other side? I don’t have any concrete answers. I just thought it would be a topic that makes you think. It probably creates more questions than answers. I found a great website from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on Heaven and Hell. Peruse it if you are so inclined at:
The word “self esteem,” just sounds so co-dependent and Lifetime Network to me that I’d prefer to change the term to something more like self-love. It a nutshell self esteem means to have a realistic respect or favorable impression of oneself. In other words have self-esteem requires you to have self-respect. Self-love allows you to have self-esteem but also allows a person to promote his or her own welfare or well-being.
The best suggestion I have for a self-esteem book is one that you write yourself. All of us have all the answers we need about life within ourselves. It’s so much easier to read a book or ask for advice when we have run out of options. We as humans like the path of least resistance I know I do. When you pour your thoughts on paper, you open your soul to a private confidant that never judges or gives feedback. The paper helps us to remember who we are and sometimes when we re-read things, we have written it’s as if a veil is lifted from our eyes. We see things we have never seen before and our own words serve as that light of the soul.
I know most people are not fond of writing. It pains some to think of forced writing assignments in school or having to write great aunt Bernice to thank her for the raccoon fur socks. Writing does not have to be perfect or meticulous. It does not have to be a chore. You do not have to worry about spelling, punctuation, or grammar problems. Writing is a great tool to learn to forgive yourself of past wrongs and self hatred.
For years self-esteem has been an issue that I have only recently been able to conquer and I must admit I am not completely there yet myself. Words are something I have a hard time shaking from my head. I have a tendency to replay things that were said to me years and years ago. I know that anything anyone says to me is based on how they feel at the moment. I cannot take anything personally, though being human I sometimes do. I know when people are ugly it’s not about me it’s about them.
With that said, I do have trouble of letting go of comments that touch a sore spot in my soul. We all have sore spots. Some of us feel fat, inadequate, cursed or may feel we are bad people. My sore spot is feeling pretty. I have had this sore spot as long as I can remember. I really don’t know where or how it began, but nonetheless it is an emotion I have never felt. I am working on liking what I see in the mirror, but sometimes it is a struggle. So when in my last relationship my ex said that I was so ugly that nobody would ever want me in their life, part of me believed it must be true because it again wounded that sore spot I had built up.
Last week I spoke about the Sanskrit word samyojana. It means to crystallize. We have these emotional formations that build within our consciousness. I recall when I was about six years old a close family member made a reference that my cousin was the pretty girl in the family. That started one small wound or one small formation in my mind. I remember my Kindergarten teaching loathing me and referring to me looking like a boy. That comment made another formation. So as time went on my formations became so strong that being ugly became my Achilles tendon it was my spot to easily wound me with. Because it was something that had crystallized within me, I also came to project my fears outwardly. If anyone knew me when I was a teenager, it would have been apparent that I was not sure of myself.
We all have crystallized formations that have built up over time that affect how we see ourselves. It has been such a blessing that the rest of the world does not see me through my own eyes!
My best advice is to learn to take your emotional wounds and fears as an opportunity for growth. When you are in a low and dark place rejoice that you are at a malleable point to break some of those nasty crystallizations. You can consciously choose to kick your crappy self-esteem in the ass and shout, “Up yours!” What purpose does self-doubt or hatred serve you that could possibly be beneficial in any way shape or form?
I was reading Oprah’s magazine in the tub one day and there was an article about women who were asked to write a letter to themselves. They had to visualize this letter would be sent back in time to their teenage self. It made me think. What would I at now 38 say to my 18 year old self 20 years in the past? This is what I would write.
You are going to have an amazing life. You might be overwhelmed for most of it, but please enjoy every moment of it. Please know that you are smart. You are kind and you are so pretty. Please don’t allow yourself to become a victim of anyone’s words or anger. It’s never okay to be physically abused and it’s not okay to hate yourself for it. Someday you will be a wonderful mother and three amazing children. Your life long dream to write a book will come true and you will open your heart and soul to love and be loved. Your life at times may seem hard but none of it will kill you. You will learn to stand on your own two feet and you will be happy. Please remember to write and walk outside, it will save your life more than you know. Please know that you are never alone and that you are loved. When you are overwhelmed ask for help or hire people to help you. You cannot do everything all by yourself. Be happy.
You might feel like writing a letter to your teenage self as a path to healing. Writing does not require you to sit for hours. You can write a few thoughts or sentences when picking up your kids at school or while having a cup of coffee at Starbucks. You might jot one or two things down before bed or at the kitchen table. You don’t have to do it everyday. When you read through the pages of your journal you get a beautiful picture of your soul your hurts and your worries. When you see your feelings in writing it allows you to free them.
If you still need a book to help heal, I suggest, “Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha.” It’s an amazing and powerful book by Tara Brach. I also suggest “The Four Agreements,” by Don Miguel Ruiz or “Letting go of the Person you used to be,” by Lama Sura Das.
I send all of you much love and happiness.
I know that some of you who are learning to give readings might run into the same kind of ordeals that I have. The hardest chapter when writing my book was about when readings go wrong or your intuition is off. This was by far the most difficult chapter to write. In doing so, I had to admit that my intuition has been wrong and some times skewed. It was important for me to admit this because it seems that psychics and mediums like to see themselves as all knowing and right at all times. This is just not the case.
If a psychic or medium were always 100% on the money, wouldn’t we as a society seek him/her out to run the country, or be more respectful of their places in society? I understand that being a psychic or a medium means that, when giving a reading, the information is correct to the reader at that moment. You can only tell people what you see, hear, and feel.
Understand that we, as humans, have free will and can change our futures by the minute. I always tell people their futures look like a bowl of spaghetti. Whatever strand you pick is whatever path you take. You can change anything, by any one thought, word, deed, or action. Nothing is written in stone. Your and my future is malleable at all times.
Psychics and mediums are the butt of jokes and stuff of hocus pocus partly because of the shams and con artists in the profession, but I also strongly feel that, as a whole, psychics and mediums cannot admit they are wrong. Let’s face it; no one is infallible at anything, whether that means you’re a doctor, parent, or a New Age guru. Sometimes I am wrong, absolutely off.
A couple years ago, I gave a reading to a woman who had walked in off the street when I had my bookstore. I was about 10 minutes into the reading when she became very angry with me. She said, “I don’t know who you think you’re trying to fool! This has nothing to do with me!” I apologized to her, and told her there was no charge. She really hurt my feelings, because I honestly told her what I had heard and felt. I explained to my friend how bad I felt about the whole thing, and thought about it all night. The next morning the same woman came back in and apologized to me, and asked if we could finish the session. She said she thought about it all night and she knew the information was correct. She even left me a tip. Sometimes, when confronted with information, people get angry when they think about the possibility of having to change, or to think differently of situations in which they are involved.
If you give readings with compassion, respect, and love, you can never go wrong. You do not have to prove anything to anyone. If you believe in what you have experienced, then that is all that matters. You will not always be right, nor will you always be wrong. You need to have balance in judging your readings. I hope that fear never blocks any of you from practicing your spirituality. If you can admit when you have been wrong, people will respect your opinion even more the next time. If you believe in something and act on it from the basis of compassion for others, it does not matter if you were right or wrong. If you follow your heart and do what you think is best how can you put yourself down for it? I have nothing to fear in my career as a medium. I have been embarrassed and humiliated more than I thought possible. Nothing can top people being unkind when they are upset. My being wrong has become a gift in the lesson of learning failure and success.
I know that everyone who believes they can communicate with spirit guides, angels and their God source can. I know what I have to share will be important for many, and I refuse to let anything stop me from sharing this. I am human and therefore prone to making mistakes. Your intuition and experiences may not always come to be you might not always be correct. You may be off sometimes, and it’s more than okay to admit when you are wrong. Being a psychic or medium is not black and white or a precise science. Always use your own best judgments. Don’t be afraid to admit when you are wrong, and similarly don’t be afraid to shout when you are correct. It’s all about trial and error and faith in yourself.
Remember that some of your own fears and ego may surface as truth. Do not be tempted to take information from guides, angels, and those who have crossed over as gospel. You always need to remain objective. Take the information as advice. We do not have to act on advice. It is information with which can do whatever we like. We can use it to help ourselves or we can ignore it without guilt or question. Do not get frustrated with yourself. If the information is overwhelming or confusing, come back to it later, or let it go. Accept only what feels right and comfortable.
As a rule of thumb, you know you are speaking with a positive source when they lavish you in love, compliment you, and irritate you with kindness. If there are any fears, any criticisms, or judgments, it is not energy that is useful or beneficial. Root yourself in the highest power, take in a deep breath, and start over again.
The universe may gently remind you when you are wrong, or it may hit you with a wrecking ball. Always admit when you are wrong and never be ashamed of your bad judgment. Learn from your mistakes, but more importantly live by your mistakes. What I mean by this is that you have to apply your new found knowledge to your daily life. I don’t make judgments about anyone, or I do my best not to anyway.
So do not be upset when the information you hear changes, because there may be good reasons behind it. You may never know the reasons why the information changed, and it may not even be important. If you are honest in what you perceive, then you have acted out of honesty, and no one can fault you for that. Believe in yourself and you will never be wrong.
Have you ever had one of those days where everything goes wrong? Just a casual trip to the grocery store can incite a rotten day. It all starts when you need a box of dog food. You get in your car and instantly meet a jerk in traffic. The kind of jerk who tailgates you so closely, that when you stop he almost crashes into you and then manages to flip you off. When you get to the parking lot of the grocery store, someone pulls into the stall you were waiting for. You find another space, get out of the car, and accidentally bang your door into the car next to you. You look over and there happens to be someone in the car, glaring at you. You apologize and walk into the store and see your landlord, who loudly asks you if you’re going to make a rent payment this week and as if it couldn’t get any worse at the checkout counter with a smirk on her face is your most loathed co-worker.
Some people believe that we attract to us exactly what it is that we need at the time. I have also heard theories that our emotions and thoughts are more powerful than we know, and what we think and feel becomes our reality. Our future can be changed by careless thoughts or controlling emotions. By seeing and understanding what we think or noticing how thoughts flow through our brain can be an eye opening experience. By taking control of our thinking, some say that we will be able to start clearing away thoughts that hold us back. If you start choosing thoughts that will create happiness and well-being in your body, mind and life, you will create it.
The theory goes that if I wake up in an irritated mood and am mad as hell that I ran out of dog food, my negative energy will attract infuriating situations to me. If I woke up happy and decided to go to the grocery store in a peaceful manner, I would most likely have attracted calm situation. If you sit back and think about the last two weeks, two months, or two years, what do you think you have created with your thoughts, and what have you attracted to you?
I do not believe that we attract disease or violent crimes to ourselves. I love the movie “The Secret,” but I must disagree with the theory that we attract other’s violence, or malevolence to us. I don’t agree that we attract disease to ourselves. Sometimes bad things happen, and yes in the end, there might be an answer and again there might not be. I read an interview with the author of “The Secret.” I can’t agree with Rhonda Byrne that the people of Darfur attracted genocide to themselves. I can’t imagine that eleven million people attracted their death during the holocaust either. I think its irresponsible thinking. Furthermore, no one attracts his or her child’s death. No one attracts that, no one.
Positive thinking is imperative to have in your life. Compassion and understanding of others is essential as well. When we are full of love and happy, we too can make others happy as well. If you are a happy person who is content with life, you will not harm another. Money is great but it doesn’t solve any inner issues. When you ask for money from the universe, you have to realize that the cash you are asking for has to come from somewhere, from someone. You are taking the energy of money from someone and giving that energy to yourself. So, when you do receive abundance be grateful for receiving it.
Sometimes when I give readings to people, I decide not to charge them. Sometimes I know they are in a hard place in their lives, sometimes people can’t afford readings, and I have no problems helping them. We can all be philanthropists. Whether that means leaving groceries on someone’s stoop, smiling kindly at someone who is having a bad day, or giving $80,000.00 as an anonymous donation to an animal shelter.
When you actively give to others, you will actively receive back. What you put out to the universe is what you receive back. We are not separate form anyone in the universe we are a part of the whole and are responsible for the wellbeing of the earth and others as well.