The Kindness of the Supreme Being

 

The Supreme Being exists ceaselessly, in all things.

The seed of potential for Self-Realization exists in each one of us, relentlessly.

The seed of Bliss.

The seed of Peace.

The seed of Love.

The Supreme Being IS the True Self.

Formless, Ageless, Genderless, Deathless…

Omnipotent and Omniscient.

So many of us are trained from a young age, whether from our families or society at large, that God’s omniscience means that we should feel shame, guilt and fear for our humanness, our mistakes, our “bad” thoughts and behaviors.  Kind of like the old-school Santa story: “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake.  He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!”  I know I’m not alone when I say that the words to this common Christmas song are pretty creepy, and they give the idea of “omniscience” a bad rep.

Let’s get over the old-school Santa-God story, and step into the light.

The Supreme Being is All-Knowing, All-Seeing, Ever-Present, Self-Existent.

The Supreme Being exists in a state of Kindness beyond our comprehension.

If anyone has had experiences with Angels, or dreams with Angels, or are curious if you have (you probably have) – you will recognize them by their kindness.  The energy of an Angel is completely accepting and supportive.  Angels are masters of alchemy; an Angel can sit with you in your deepest pain and transform it into Love.  Angels are teachers and protectors.  Angels carry the message of Cosmic Bliss, and our hearts are filled with joy, humor and pleasure in their presence.

Angels are like tentacles for God.

Call It by any Name.

Just as all rivers lead back to the Ocean, all Names will bring us to the Source of our awareness, the Supreme Being.

*

The Supreme Being is flooding through the hands and hearts of the ones wearing white helmets in Aleppo. 

God’s love is like this – going into all the places where no one else can or will.

The Supreme Being exists in a state of perfect compassion with the women and girls who are choosing death instead of rape and brutality.

The Supreme Being is shooting rays of hope out of the eyes of small children, hungry and traumatized, staring into the lens of a camera with curiosity and wonder – sending a message to all of humanity via the world wide web.

The Supreme Being exists behind my crumbling heart, as I know not what to do.

As I am constantly reminded so deeply that “my” suffering is a story that is being unraveled, unveiled and unencumbered from my soul.  The wheel of Karma that I have been riding is the same wheel that we all ride on, and the only way to change the fate is to stop telling the story of suffering.

That doesn’t mean stop thinking about it.

Don’t watch the news.

Go numb.

No…

My loves, dear hearts.

Tell a different story with me.

Put on your white helmet.

Be the Angel.

Don’t give up on anyone.

Don’t give up on ANYONE.

Life is too short for anything but loving.

*

The story is always unraveling,

unraveling as we tell it.

Breathe in.

Receive.

Breathe out.

Release.

May your heart be pierced like a pearl on the string of God’s necklace.

Namaste.

*

 

Don’t Gaslight Yourself

A friend and I have been discussing the experience of facing the truth – in relationships, in the world, in how we show up as ourselves or not as ourselves, in how we treat our bodies, in how we treat those close to us, and in how we experience the inner-voice.

First of all, any message – within our own minds, from the media, from a lover or a friend or a group or a cause or a family member or a psychic or a guru or a teacher or a guardian – any message we receive that tells us we are inherently bad, or “they” are inherently bad  – is bullshit.

In so many ways – we must re-learn how to trust our gut.

If the message feels bad, that’s our first cue to check it out.  

Why does it feel bad?

Before having another beer or going shopping or watching porn or yelling at someone or going cold inside or eating too much or driving too fast or having disconnected sex or making another compromise or going after more money or proving your point — pause for a minute and ask:  Why do I feel bad right now?  What is the feeling inside that I’m trying to get away from?  What is it, and what is it telling me? 

Is it uneasy?

Is it hard to pinpoint?

Is it grotesque?

Does it contrast (at all) with the feeling of being inherently OK?

Does it derail me (even a little) from knowing that I am good?

What is this feeling that is telling me to escape?

Don’t feel this this.

What is this feeling that keeps me from letting myself pause?

Rest.

Feel.

For many of us, pausing will feel uncomfortable, especially if we’re out of practice.

Pausing can feel downright irritating, painful or even horrifying.

Like the whole house of cards might come crashing down.  

These illusions about what we are chasing and what we are running away from….they might not survive the fire of awareness that exists in one singular pause.

Pausing  and noticing will often sound like a terrible idea (or even a terribly boring idea) when there is inner work waiting patiently for us to show up and buckle up.

For me personally, I don’t know how I would be able to handle the inner work at all without the experience of Guru, without my beloved chant teacher, without the healing love from family and a few close friends.  Although I have been blessed with my share of struggles, I also recognize that my soul was drawn to certain experiences to lead me to Guru, which I understand as Supreme Consciousness and Bliss.  Less of me and more of That,  please.  

And yet, I continue to find myself faced with experiences of needing to create boundaries, dealing with ego, finding out how to become more truthful within myself, how to change patterns, how to pause when I feel angry, how to pause when my heart is closed, how to pause when I feel doubt.

When we follow any train of thought that derails us from knowing that we are (inherently) OK, that we are (inherently) good, and that we are (in fact) the embodiment of pure love — we naturally want to escape.

Because want to feel better.  

And because somewhere, deep inside, we know that those self-destructive thoughts are simply NOT TRUE.

Even our subconscious mind is pulling us back to recognizing our essential nature, and even in our ignorance we are chiseling away at uncovering the true brilliance that is our birthright.

Even self-sabotaging behavior is another way of trying to feel better.  We want to distract ourselves from the real pain and the real feelings by creating alternate overwhelming feelings or numbness to feelings.  We are pulling the wool  over our own eyes.

The common self-sabotaging behaviors that are discussed widely include: remaining in abusive relationships, seeking out abusive relationships, food/eating disorders, cutting, alcohol/substance addiction, gambling addiction, porn addiction, you-name-it addiction, etc., etc.

But it can also look like not speaking our truth in our relationships, and even in our day-to-day dealings with people. It can look like all the little transgressions that we don’t speak up about, that we settle for, that we perpetuate.  It can look like staying on the surface of things and sweeping important issues under the rug.

Smiling when we feel like shit inside.

This kind of self-sabotage, or what I call “self-gaslighting,” can look like experiencing jealousy and not talking about it because I’m not supposed to feel jealousy.  Because feeling jealous is not very cool or evolved or hot or sexy or mature or kind or whatever it is I’m supposed to be.

If I hold that energy inside, I don’t feel good.  If I go into denial about having jealous feelings, I’m suppressing my own awareness.  The more I attempt to numb out to that feeling, the more I am derailing myself.  The mind will likely chip in a few thoughts of condemnation (like “wow, you are so weak for having this feeling” or even “you’re so self-absorbed for feeling jealous; someone more evolved wouldn’t have that problem”). This kind of situation can become its own catch-22, full of feeling bad about feeling bad!  

Anyone who has allowed self-defeating thoughts to derail them a lot or a little will relate to the rabbit hole of self-criticism we can wander into — the checklist of failures appears and suddenly the proof is all there for the various ways that we have somehow not measured up.

In a situation that happened earlier this year, an experience of Grace occurred when I was staying out at my friend’s house on the island.  I had gone there to clear my head and my heart and reground.  It was late, and I was lying in bed under clean sheets in a room that is filled with my Guru’s energy.  Suddenly, I was prompted to energetically pull all of the love that I had been giving back into myself, and I could reach back for years or even lifetimes and pull all that love and all that effort into my current self, the one experiencing the suffering of jealousy.

The love of my ancestors was also present, like love attracting more of itself and pulling even greater love into the receptive vessel that is my heart.  My Gurus and my Angels were in the room, as well.  It was truly bright, and I have never felt so protected.

I suddenly realized: I can trust myself.  

I can constantly turn to this Love that is completely free and ever-available.

All I have to do is open my heart to receive it.

I went to sleep content that night, knowing I didn’t have to be or do anything to be cradled by the Infinite experience of Love.  Knowing…in truth….I am That.

And when I woke up, guess what?

The work was still waiting for me.  It was still necessary to deal with that icky feeling.  It hadn’t quite left yet.

Jealousy.

Dammit.  Gross.  

I feel ugly.  

I feel less than whole.

 I feel less worthy.  

I feel unloved.  

I feel abandoned, rejected, lonely, scared.

I feel out of control.

I feel blah blah blah.

It doesn’t matter if I’m in a relationship or not.

I don’t actually need another person to fix this for me.

I need to hear an inner voice (the voice of Truth) say:

I love you.
You’re OK.
Your outer identity is not you.
Your experiences are not you.
Your feelings and thoughts are not you.
The life within you is good.
The life within you is sacred.
You are more than OK.

*

And if you ARE in relationship, having these feelings – hopefully both you and your partner have the bandwidth to hold space for each other when jealousy or other sticky-tricky emotions come up.

When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough to share our truth, however awkward and shadowy it may be, we are honoring the is-ness of our state of being.

When others receive us with love and kindness in our vulnerability, they are also honoring the is-ness of our state of being.

Most likely this comes from their ability to honor themselves.

*

For me personally, telling my shadows to be quiet and invisible has never actually worked.

Telling my uncomfortable feelings and my intuition to shut-up was the self-gaslighting that let me stay in more than one shitty relationship.

It is quite possible to drive yourself mad through self-gaslighting.

*

If you have forgotten that you are OK, don’t run and don’t go numb, just pause and feel for a moment.

Most of us don’t transform our lives and behaviors overnight.

It becomes a series of remembering, bringing our attention back to the truth of our nature, which is goodness and effortlessly deserving of love.

If I am full of bad feelings, I can pause.

I might cry or breathe or cuddle my cat or pray or call somebody or go into a process of self-inquiry, with real curiosity and non-judgement.

From a more loving place, I might still drink a beer or eat more ice cream.  But I might enjoy it more.  I might have less desperate and escapist feelings about it.  I might even consciously free myself of any thought that is not compassionate, kind and loving toward myself.

Eventually, I might not even go for the ice cream or the beer.

But that won’t make me a better person.

The objective is love.

If I can love myself more, as I wake up daily to this thing called life…then I know I am on the right track.

*

Grace be with you.

Namaste.

*

 

 

 

Cultivating Light, pt.2

I’m back on the island for the weekend.  Right now, my only company is my friend’s African-Grey parrot, who I will call Sam.  Sam and I have a very sweet relationship.  Except for that one time last Sunday when she bit me.  That has never happened before and it will never happen again.  I was not pleased about having a bloody, throbbing finger (although it was my fault for trying to pet her cute little head).  I went to bed resentful of her rude behavior and I didn’t chat with her much the following morning.  She is very sensitive to vibes and she quickly caught on that I was ignoring her.  I wasn’t trying to punish her; I just wasn’t ready to talk yet.  My feelings were hurt.

Throughout the day, she kept upping her game with me, saying things like “good morning!” and “how are you?” quite often.  She even started saying “later gater” a lot in this cute robotic voice because she heard me laugh after she tried it out.  My friend has owned Sam for almost 30 years, since she was a 6-month old babe.  He knows her really, really well and is very in tune with her moods and what she is communicating.  He said it was good that I was giving her the silent-treatment to reinstate my dominance.  So I just waited until I was over being mad, and then I was able to re-engage with Sam without a grudge.  She won me back when she said “Night-night, sweetheart” in a loving, lilting voice.  I laughed fully and my heart felt soft and glowing. I asked her that we instate a mutual “no biting each other” agreement, and we moved on.

I wish it was so easy with people!  Specifically, I wish it was so easy with lovers.

I wish I could be more Zen about the whole Sex thing.

I wish my heart wasn’t in my vagina.  I wish I could love “casually” without getting too “attached.”

I wish feeling triggered or hurt wasn’t part of my experience.  (No bad feelings, please!  They are so inconvenient!)

And I don’t wish these things because I think it would make me a better person or a cooler person, or even a more desirable woman.  I wish these things because it would be less painful for ME!

However, to my utter amazement, I am finding that I can’t turn away from love anymore.  I can’t turn the lights off and go back to sleep.  I can’t pretend something doesn’t hurt when it does.  I can’t close my heart and cut connections just because I’m scared.  The heart stays open.

By some divine power, my heart is being kept open.  Waves of emotion pass through it.  I’m feeling the truth of painful feelings – what is it about?  I am seeing that some things are about relating, here and now, in present time.  How personalities mesh.  How chemistry is strengthened or weakened.

And I am seeing the trail of thoughts and feelings that are triggered by sharing myself closely with a lover, regardless of the present experience.  The trail keeps leading me back to the same yucky, muddy pond.  The same sadness, the same hurt.

I realized today that I am almost the same age that my mother was when my father left her for another woman.  There had already been infidelities, I’m sure, but the affair that made him leave was the beginning of a hellish time for my mother and my little sister and I.

The story of that challenging time is not what is important.  What matters is the little girl (age 11) who was left to sift through rubble and pick up broken pieces with her mother, for years.  What matters is that she hasn’t healed completely yet, and she is still, will always be, me.  Her healing is intrinsic to my own, as a woman and as a soul.

Little girls are not women.  I am not the only woman walking around with a scared, hurt, confused little girl inside of her.  And there are men, many men, with scared, hurt, confused little boys inside of them.  We are not bad for not being all grown-up and put together.  We do not suck for struggling.

Really, we are being handed keys to our own healing.  Whenever we are triggered, we are given an opportunity to trace it back to a place where we can have compassion for ourselves.  So often, our hurts are left over from our childhood.  We can hold space for that healing to occur in our hearts and minds, just by imagining ourselves as children, innocent and deserving of kindness and love.  (if you can’t imagine that, it’s ok! imagine yourself as a newborn baby.  you were innocent.  you still are, believe it or not.)

Now, we layer the cake of our experiences with the generations who have gone before us, and we see how very deep the suffering goes, how very deep the need for healing goes.

We are all feeling the sadness of world events right now.  There is a collective heaviness, a worn and tired dismay, and a protective urge to shield, to numb and to hide.  There is also a reactive urge for some to lash out and seek revenge.

But we just can’t keep doing that.

I can’t hide from my “daddy-issues” anymore.  It’s not very fun for my dating life.  I can’t just pretend something is working for me.  My temple, my body, is completely divine and anyone who enters my temple is blessed and also carries responsibility.  I deserve care and love and kindness.  I deserve truth and commitment and connection.  When I pretend like I don’t need those things, I feel like shit!

We, collectively, cannot hide from our issues.  We cannot hide from systemic racism and sexism.  We cannot hide from economic oppression.  We cannot hide from gun violence and fear-mongering and hate crimes.

These things are waking us up like an awful nightmare.  Instead of spinning around in debates and defenses, we can just feel this.  Eventually, we are going to feel this.

And then we can stop denying it and pretending.  We can stop blaming and victimizing.  We can stop stuffing our shame and our guilt with bullshit distractions.  We can just stop.

I have to heal my heart wounds in order to love freely and joyously.  Sometimes I feel underwater with the grief I’ve been carrying, but I keep riding the waves and perspective is granted, in big and small ways.  Spirit gives me the experiences I need to grow, and I feel held, even in my despair.

We have to heal our heart wounds.  We have to listen, really listen.

If we are able to act as loving support for others, we are experiencing a great gift.  AND – we still need to work on our own healing.  Martyrs are not going to save the world.  My loving brother Jesus has been misinterpreted again and again – and one very real way is through this idea of “suffering our way to heaven.”  Give me a break!

We are here to LOVE OURSELVES, FORGIVE OURSELVES AND HEAL OURSELVES.  From this space and this intention, we can offer our love, forgiveness and healing to this beautiful world.  The personal is still political, people.  Micro/Macro.  And if we don’t receive the grace that is constantly available to us if we but look within, we can’t offer it up, we can’t share it, we can’t BE IT.

You are the light, so be it.

There is no “other.”  Every great spiritual master has shared this message.

Your freedom is mine.  Your happiness, your love, your wisdom and your power are essential to the well-being of this planet.

And when you look around, those fellow humans you see, they are your family.

I love you.

Namaste.

*

 

What If?

 

The light is shining so brightly these days

Upon my very soul

I’ve been moving furniture

Out of my temple and into the yard

The furniture looks like crap

And dammit, now it’s there for all to see

*

Inside my soul is dancing

Something is alive and celebrating the demise

Of the hiding from light

Of the believing of lies

Of the self-created stories that turn into nightmares when I am pretending I am separate

My soul says YES

Even as my eyes release tears and my heart is bursting

Even as I rage and try to convince my lover that I am too difficult, too complicated and too damaged to love

He sees me in a different light than I can see myself

A thick cloud of doubt surrounds me sometimes

When I get very, very close to someone

When I begin to feel trust

My guards want to protect me:

Scared Sally, Angry Annie, Jealous Jenny, Distant Deb, Hateful Helga

The names help **

I say “hi”

I say “Will you walk with me, stay close, but let me handle it this time?  I know you want to protect me.  Thank you so much for arriving when I needed you, when I didn’t know how to handle the obstacles.  I have learned so much since you joined me, though.  I think I know another way now.  You don’t have to leave me, you don’t have to die, just rest now, here – inside my heart.”

And I walk in to his life

And I connect

And I am so close, so close

To peeling back a thick layer of protection that looks and smells like jaded disappointment and cynicism.  It’s heavy and cumbersome, but also familiar like a childhood blanket

I want to open this door, and let all my love pour out onto him

Into his life

Into our moments

Into something real that we are creating

The question for me is “What if?”

Because I’m almost there, but not quite

Maybe I’m someone

Who needs more convincing, reminding and reassuring than others

And maybe

I’m just right

*

 

** The book The Dark Side of The Light Chasers by Debbie Ford speaks extensively on loving our shadows and self-compassion.  I highly recommend it.  The naming of my shadows comes from that book, and I find it to be a very useful tool.

 

Release

 

Why is it that the more I open to the light

And the more I open to love

The more the memories come?

Things I thought were gone are resurfacing

Still ugly, still painful, still totally in my way

*

I called on Krishna

I asked him to play his flute for me

And he did

Sweetly, with passionate reverence

But the sound of his devotion

And the brightness of his love

Reminded me

Of all that I have not forgiven or forgotten

This weight I keep carrying around like a corpse

Dead weight

Dead things

His love is so pure!

And I am so not.

*

Shiva

God of Death and Deathlessness

He is consciousness, unfiltered and undiluted

He is energy, unlimited and unimpeded

He is wild

As in:

Not tame

Not programmed

Not here to please your ego or your sensibilities

No…Shiva is beyond all things

Shiva

I bring him my offering

I go to him with my corpse

I lie down, exhausted and defeated

For I, too, feel dead

*

The fire is burning things:

My heart

This corpse

My story – so perfectly composed

All the rationalizations

All the excuses

Shiva wants my blinders and my escape-routes

He wants my insecurities

He wants my shyness and my hiding

He wants my conformity and any apathy I still harbor

He wants my hurt, my anger, my hopelessness and every shred of my fear

“Come,” he says. 

“I am eternally here.

Walk into this fire.

The diamond of your essence cannot be destroyed.

Come.

Let everything else go.”

*

So I come to him

Again and again

Offering him the stones in my heart

Offering him my tears of despair

Offering my sadness for this mad world, the killers and the killed

My suffering is so small in the spectrum of Samsara!

All of this, all of this, must go through the fire

All of this, all of this, must stand up to the light

I am standing now, too

The corpse remains at Shiva’s feet

“Leave it,” he says

In order to dance with Shiva

I am completely exposed

My many faces are appearing and disappearing

My desires are awakened

My emotions are free

He sees them all

He is the stillness

He is the fire

He is the death of all falsehood

*

Upon release,

I hear Krishna’s flute again

He is still playing

Blissfully

He wants to adore me

Me, of all things!

He is the lover

Loving the beloved

*

Who am I to say no to this Grace?

*

 

 

 

Ships

 

I am pulling out the fish hooks now

The ones left over

and fresh ones, too

That man had some power over me

*

It feels strange

to find myself here

after quitting

and going back for more

and quitting again

I’m not who I was or who I will be

I’m the mess in between

*

And even though I’m pissed – finally, at last –

and I see him for the scoundrel he is

and I see his selfishness

and his ugly side

Still I know,

I am only ever looking at my own reflection

*

In this moment,

I don’t want the words that make it better

I don’t even want a distraction

I just need a minute

to feel the weight of this

The weight of hitting a wall and realizing

you have to peel your heart off the cement now

It burns a lot this time, this impact

– this letting go of hands –

*

The ships are drifting from their close parallel motion

There is a sadness, and a longing

There is a loneliness,

as I release the bond

Even now as I sit with my anger,

I find that the anger has no fuel

It is dead

just like the lies we told ourselves

to make it last a little longer

*

Grief.  Anger.  Numb.

Rolling like waves

Relief 

Gratitude that it’s finally over

Holding space for him took A LOT of energy

*

The thoughts create a heaviness in my energetic field

The heaviness smells of both sadness and forgiveness

It is a soul-reckoning that defies space and time

The heaviness carries the weight of wisdom,

and it has me digging roots into the Earth

into my core

into the form I have chosen

The heaviness tells me

I am not an angel

or his perfect girl

or any kind of miracle-worker

The heaviness tells me something

I have been needing to know

for a very long time

It speaks to me in a voice from my low belly

It speaks in flashes through my mind

It says:

“You are your own ship.”

*

 

Carry Less

 

Pierce the heart

In all you do

May you pierce the heart

And peer

Into the very light of life that inhabits this form

That form

And every form

*

Can you see

The quintessential hope for recognition?

“See me for what I am!” – we are crying

To do so,

We can soften our gaze

And for just a moment

We let the boundary between you and I cease to exist

*

Now do you remember?

*

A Buddhist teaching says that by now, we have all re-incarnated enough times that at some point, every face you see has been your mother.  And you have been theirs.

Can we even imagine a love this wide?

For one instant, will you contemplate?

And in that moment, will you simply forgive everyone, including yourself?

Will you simply accept everyone, including yourself?

Can you see how hungry this world is for the light of acceptance and love?

Can you face it for one second,

The thought of zero hierarchy happening throughout creation?

I speak of hierarchy of WORTH, not privilege.

There is no one less worthy of love than you.

Truly.

There is no one more worthy of love than you.

Deal with it.

*

At times, I feel myself shaken down to the core of my being.

I have to let so many things go!

It becomes the art of letting go.

I watch the pull to attach

To this reaction and that story

To this narrative that won’t shut-up

To that emotion, swallowing me whole

But none of it holds up to the light of truth now.

*

At times, I fall like Alice down the rabbit hole.

As I fall, I am passing all of these preconceived notions, all these relics from beliefs I once held.

I remember their shape and feel – I reach out to touch –

But they are nothing I can take with me now.

All of it, is only for observation.

The truth lies much deeper

My gravity pulls me to it

And I find myself having

A new kind of adventure

*

Now is the time to carry less

Care more

Carry less

Love more

And let everything else go

*