Monthly Archives: July 2011

Tough Love

How do we discern “tough love?”

Since many of us give it and unconsciously do so out of our own lack of trust, when is it appropriate?

Today, my good friend Maui called me wanting console. He was in the hospital, for his wisdom tooth pain/infection(?). He asked me for some wisdom, a good joke, or some light. I perceive that in the past, I would have fed him through his emotions by consoling him to feel better and telling him it will be o.k. Maybe I would have wanted to jump in and somehow take his pain away by feeling sorry for him…

I realize that whatever I would have said would of been loving, so perhaps “tough love” is appropriate when the intention of love is really present. When we are aware of attachment, and yet not afraid to say what might be of service to them or “we”/us. Tough love is without agenda, manipulation, or fear by the giver, that what will be said will be heard with implicit trust for the greater good and if not, will be considered later down the road, perhaps, or who knows. If we give tough love out of fear and manipulation, there is little doubt that it will come later in return, as something to teach “me” about myself…

Conscious that this was possible, reluctant and nervous by how words might land, I reminded my friend of the buddha who said, “pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.” To some ears, this would have been like saying, “suck it up,” as so often words are misunderstood. What a relief it is to be met with gratitude and to know that words seemingly tough on the ego, can land as they were intended- as love from the heart. And so perhaps, it is also the request, the asking, by way of an open heart communicating, that makes us able to give and receive “tough” love.

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To live a life of service…

Surrender.
Lead.
Inspire.
Moving from self-to-service.

I imagine that nearly everyone has dreamt about living a life of service. We want to contribute our life to serve humanity, to serve something greater, for generations to come. Too often, we get bogged down by money and life circumstances to awaken, to know our dreams as possible and perhaps even, a part of our destiny to fulfill. At the root of our futile dreaming is a belief that we are separate from God and therefore, incapable of being greater than we are. We believe we can not contribute, we forget to trust in God’s grace, the light that is always seen within even the darkest corners of our being.

In leadership training this weekend, Terces and Matthew Engelhart talked about surrendering to living a life of service. To living a life of “we” rather than “ego” (me, mine, I). They acknowledge that the key to doing this is to stay inspired, to do whatever it takes to generate inspiration from within our being and then to build community that creates and supports the vision, the dream.

“Live your life from the pure inspiration of service…”

What would it be like to completely be of service? What is it “I” would want to give my life to?

Ironically, Martin Luther King has been popping up in my mind lately and today, a turkey, the medicine of self-less service, stopped me while I was driving in Berkeley today! I imagine that spirit is calling me or us to ponder the question longer, to keep our eyes open for what it is that we would want to give our life to.

Quotes by Martin Luther King:

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

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BEING vulnerable

I don’t doubt that there are many people in the world, wishing to integrate their spiritual lives into their personal relationships. On one hand we have our desire to love without conditions and on the other hand we struggle with our ego, that feeds on our fear of being vulnerable. Being vulnerable to attack, to judgment, rejection, pain- we find it difficult to accept ourselves and then we forget for a time, perhaps a moment, that we are the source of the infinite, God, unconditional love already!

We are spiritual beings sharing an experience. God sends us gifts so we can learn and grow and practice BEing- communicating, expressing, sharing, thinking, seeing love. We all have a purpose that is creative and unique and in service to our divine nature. When we forget that, we get scared of losing.

The source of our being vulnerable is the gateway to our evolution. If we are not integrating our emotions and thoughts related to being vulnerable into our hearts, then we are more likely to act from our old wounds. While our desire to evolve into the unconditional love that we are takes practice, there will be moments that the ego will want to snap back and pretend to be indifferent or careless. This must be forgiven. Trust!

Practice:

Sit comfortably or lie down. Imagine yourself in a room, where you know no one, and yet you are completely naked. There are people passing you, gossiping, yelling, judging you, objectifying you. You have nothing to clothe you. All you have is trust, love and light protecting you. Breathe into your heart and breathe out love and forgiveness.

May we be reminded of the tools to love under all conditions.

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Tears are our medicine

Embrace ToTaL experience.

How much are we suppressing within ourselves and each other when we say, “don’t” or “should?”
The other day, a son broke a glass and he wanted to cry. His mother said, “DON’T CRY!”
Perhaps the son cries over all his mistakes. Perhaps he has a crying “dis-order,” nothing can stop him from crying. Although, I am in no place to judge, is it not our relationship to ourselves that are in conflict? When things happen, we create a story about ourselves that feed a belief that becomes our perpetual reality. Until that relationship is strong, until the love for self is known, perhaps crying is our souls greatest gift. Our job as “other” is to simply hold space and ask questions.

Tears cleanse the soul, especially when we cry with an intention to acknowledge our hurt and let go and release that hurt to God.
I truly believe this is “truth,” tears are our medicine.

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Reflections

Can we look in the mirror and see our reflection?
What story are we telling, what view of reality are we accepting?
Do we see our beauty or focus on our worries?
Do we see scarcity? Do we see abundance?
Joy or suffering?

How much is it CHOOSING?

Do we listen to the inner knowing
Do we become afraid of the answer?

Do we fear aloneness, feed shame and the belief we don’t matter?

Do we powerfully choose what life has to offer?

Choose. Choose. Choose.

Let us accept what life has to offer.
Let us forgive the ego for trying.
Let us forgive the past
Let go.
Embrace.

Let us embrace the beauty and laughter.
Let us embrace what life has to offer.

And cry and scream and yell in between!
To release.
Always- to ground.

We are grounded.
We are rooted in the earth.
We are all things-
Joy, pain, and sorrow.
We are loving mother earth.
We are accepting.
We are loving.
We are forgiving.

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The Righteous Warrior.

What beautiful gifts/mirrors the universe bestows onto us. Everyone of us is a mirror and can teach us some aspect of ourself, whether it is something we wish to change or cultivate within ourselves, mirrors are expressions of our divine nature expressing itself in myriad forms. Whether it is someone yelling at us, judging us, seemingly not liking us or another whom gifts us with presence, acceptance and forgiveness, they are all gifts not to be denied, but fully received. Perhaps they show us difficulty and challenge to see where we could use healing and perhaps they reflect our most divine nature, our destiny, where we are heading- in the light of God. If we did not have mirrors, we would not be able to see ourselves or learn or grow. Thank Creator! I thank God for it all!

To be righteous is neither right or wrong. To be righteous is to love God, to praise God for everything that can be learned and that we can grow from. To be righteous is not the same as self-righteous. It is nothing of this material plane, not of what we think we see, but of the essence it brings, the beloved, that can be reflected in it all. To see God is to know God.

May it be so always.

Amen.

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Acknowledging an old memory

Yesterday, I was suddenly reminded of the abuse I had done to animals. As I was petting this dog, all of a sudden the memory of how I was once so mean to my animals showed up…

Dear dog and cat.

I realize yesterday that there is an old contract that I must revisit. When I would get angry and frustrated, I would take my anger out on you. When I would get sad, I would want you near me. When I experienced you as being in my way, I would take my frustration out on you. I would yell at you and I was abusive sometimes. I imagine how confusing that would be and I remember how loyal you always were. I want to thank God for how you expressed your love always and despite, how mean I was, I want to thank God for teaching me that you too are a messenger of God. Thank you for loving me and forgiving me. While you were crying for my attention, when I would get mad, it was God, disguised as you, telling me to slow down and to love myself by loving you. Thank you.

I am seeing that this is what we often do when we are angry at ourselves or when we feel separate from God. Instead of receiving God, who is love, we act out aggressively and reject God. We act out toward the things that love us most.

I am relearning love and I know that love would not be abusive. If I feel aggressive, I need only to acknowledge my feelings and let go.

I thank God for revealing to me this memory to heal. While I let go of the shame, I acknowledge the hurt..

LOVE

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