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“I carried many storms with me. I have washed myself ashore, I have been my tide and lighthouse. Darling, this becoming me didn’t come easy. I have let my demons play. I have cursed God in three languages. Forgive me. I have peeled my flesh to reveal broken angels pressed onto my soul. I am my night and my sunshine. I have let my screams deafen me at night. In darkness, I swear I have seen the devil begging me to end it all. I have patched myself slowly, gone to war and won myself back. So, here I am. Here I am. I am not asking to be validated. Here I am. I am not asking to be protected. Here I am. I am not begging to be loved. I am here. I am here and that’s enough to be celebrated. That is enough. Darling, I am here. I am a glorious cause for celebration.”  Ijeoma Umebinyuo

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“They tell us to wear masks, repress and hide our true feelings, teach us to adapt our personalities to the marketplace, and then they expect healthy functioning. Is that even possible from below a mask? Can it be any surprise that humans are depressed and act out in hurtful ways when they have been conditioned to distort their truths, bury their feelings, grin and bear it? If we want humans to act empathically, we have to model it to them as a society. If we want humans to stop hurting others, we have to support healthy emotional release so that they do not accumulate toxic feelings. If we want humans to move from their most heartfelt authenticity, we have to stop shaming and shunning their genuine expression. If we want humans to move from love, we must love them first. We can’t teach repression and disguise on a society wide level, and then expect loving, compassionate behavior. It’s entirely ridiculous.”  Jeff Brown

You Think You Know

My husband shared this with me and I could not stop thinking about it.

It is interesting at face value but on a deeper level it is everything.

What are we teaching our children?  Do we consider how much we shape their world for them by the experiences they have and the things they learn?  My mind goes to so many instances where children are used to further the adults needs and sick wants.

Can we recognize in ourselves that we get stuck in ways of seeing things, ways of dealing with life, ways of problem solving … and we pass it on to our children.  It is not that how we do things is right or wrong but rather that it is limited.  It is just one way and defending that way as “right” and defending it to the point we “hate” other people who do not share our experiences and therefore thoughts is shallow and debilitating.

I have always NEEDED to understand HOW people think.  I remember being a kid and asking a thousand questions because I could not let something go until I could understand why someone had a different opinion or idea than I did.  Once I could see that path, I was ok with it.  I was ok with that person being different than me.  As an adult, when I cannot understand an action, I start on a journey to find a connection point.  If I can understand how a person thinks then I can figure out why they ended up at the place they are in and I have a bridge from me to them.  It does not mean I agree with them but I guess I have this fundamental understanding we are all human and we are all capable of both good and bad given the right circumstances.  I can understand, for example, that a child who is incredibly abused as a child, might grow up to abuse others.  I do not condone their actions but there is something in me that can say I get why that could happen for some people.

These types of understandings should free us all to realize we are so limited and contained with our own lives and experiences and that there is never an end to learning.  Have we “chosen” to be limited?  Is our comfort, our affluence, our pursuit of physical pleasure, shut us down and numbed us to the whole process of life?  Were we meant to continue to grow and expand and experience instead of settling, switching off, and dying?

I have done things to challenge myself through out my life without really thinking about it.  I move my watch from my preferred arm to my other arm.  I write with my other hand.  I sleep on the side less preferred.  I move things around in my environment.   I am now excited to think about expanding that.  To perhaps immersing myself in different practices that change my thoughts.  How else can this work.

Let me know if you try anything and what your experiences are.

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‘When we speak about reactive tendencies of exaggeration and denial, we may wonder exactly what it is we are reacting to. Think about this. How do you perceive things, and why do you respond to them in the way that you do?

We have different ways of knowing things. Most commonly we know “things” through our habitual objectification of them. For example, we often speak about the objectification of women. When we objectify something, we draw a boundary around it and therefore can only know it in a limited way. Who, for instance, is that sultry woman on the billboard – the one in that cool black dress holding a martini? Who is she aside from the one-dimensional image we have of her, an image based upon our fantasies, our desires or insecurities? Undoubtedly, she has a longing for happiness, like all of us. She also feels the pain that comes with that longing, which is touching and beautiful in its own way.

Human beings are complex: we have fresh moments and rotten moments. We have creative and destructive moments, too. We are crazy and predictable, glorious and miserable. Sometimes human beings seem like the lowest form of life on earth… then suddenly we find someone doing something brilliant, touching, and humane. There is a depth of richness in a human being that we can never capture or pin down. In truth, everything is like this – like shifting sands. Try to find “things” if you can. Try to find them before you objectify them, hem them in with concepts, tamper with them, or embellish them by exaggerating or denying their existence. Do you see what I’m getting at here? No matter how hard we search, in the realms of science, psychology, or otherwise, we will never reach an absolute conclusion in the world of “things.” A full experience only comes from our ability to know the truth of thinglessness. When we speak about the boundarylessness of things, we are pointing to knowing their truth, or essence. As we saw before: we cannot find a true boundary or edge to any thing, because all things exist in dependence upon other things. When we experience the interdependence and boundaryless nature of things, we don’t feel the heaviness of the world against us – the world as opposed to me. Instead we feel the fullness of the world, and we are part of that fullness. When we stop objectifying things, in effect, we have nothing other to react to.’  Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel

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“Our relationships give us a real, powerful opportunity for spiritual growth. Love is designed to initially show us everything that is not love: our relationships will trigger all of our wounding from our past experiences from our family of origin. If we have the conscious awareness, then we can start to heal a lot of these wounds. We can start to change our behavior; we can develop new ways of relating to ourselves and other people that support our spiritual growth. Once we’ve moved through that level of awareness, then love can show us everything that is love. If we can understand that our relationships are designed to show us the reflection of everything that is still unresolved in us, then we have powerful opportunities to use them as a platform for spiritual growth.”  Andrew Barnes

Gratitude for the Spirit of Motherhood on Mother’s Day.

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(The Mother’s Hand (1966) by Antanas Sutkus)

I never had a mother.

I don’t know much about her, and what little I was told has proven to be mostly lies.

I had people who raised me. Who showed up, did their job and went home at the end of the day.

So I have never really celebrated Mother’s Day in the sense of being able to tell my mother I love her, or thank her for anything. I actually do not know what it would be like to have a mother who loved and wanted me, who thought I was wonderful, who was proud of me, or cheered for me, or wanted me to succeed but held my hand when I failed.   I don’t know what it is like to have those arms around me.  I don’t have a circle.  I only have my own limited existence and the effort I made to mother myself.  So I have looked long and deep at other women and their families.

I have always celebrated the spirit of motherhood that I see in women as their true creative force. Women give birth, not just to children, but to life . . . in so many different modalities.

I celebrate in terms of appreciating all those women around me who are mothers. I see their struggles and doubts, their loneliness sometimes and the feelings of being unappreciated. I am particularly drawn to those whose children never make the time to ever say they love them, let alone pay any tribute on the one day a year designated for that activity. The fact they are not recognized by the children they sacrificed for does not make their efforts any less than others.

I am drawn to those who never had children and yet contribute to the world in so many ways, and often are the arms and support to other women as they raise their children. The aunts, and sisters and friends who mean so much to us because they always show up and help love our kids and often become good friends to them as well as us.

I am drawn to those whose children are gone and who never had the chance to finish what was started. I hope their children made time to let their mothers know before it was too late, that they cared.

But most of all I look at the young women who don’t yet know how quickly it is all over and who feel like they are drowning and doing a lousy job. You aren’t. Kids say and do things, sometime horrible things, not because that is who they are or even how they feel, but because you created a safe enough place that they are real people who are learning and growing and they know they can be imperfect without worrying about suffering a loss of your love.

I know what I feel as a mother and how much my children mean to me and the blessing – and the sorrows – they bring to my life.  It is the true definition of love.  And I know I am blessed to have children, to be in their lives, and that what I do or do not do has had, and will have tremendous impact on their lives.  At times it is an overwhelming responsibility.  How often I have longed for my own mother to guide me and encourage me.  I did not have that.

So I am thankful to the women who have mothered me in so many ways, sometimes just their example that inspired me.  And I am grateful for those who shared my journey and therefore blessed my life.

Mothering is THE life force.  We share in it collectively as women, regardless of our situations.

Thank you.

Happy Mother’s Day.

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“The act of giving and receiving love is love in itself, where the opposite of love is often associated with hatred; however, in human nature more so than anywhere else is it more closely based on the inability to accept love. The reason of having of low self-esteem varies with all; with some being cracked at an early age and with others with deep underlying scars, but the symptoms remains consistent throughout.

To feel as though one is not accepting of love; one should be no less sympathetic for the one with no love than the one with all the love in the world but cannot accept it as something of their own. The root cause of why one feels stagnation through a natural stream such as love is because of the most violent act against the self, which is self-comparison and being a skeptic of one’s own beauty.

We become increasingly absorbed in our flaws and faults that we forget that it are better to be a diamond with a flaw rather than a pebble without. To have flaws is beauty, a fact so frightening that we hurry to hide them from sight and tarnish the whole in the process. There are only a couple people you cross on your path that you grow to truly know and even then our knowledge about these people is very limited. Whether this be a spouse, parents, or friends; we cannot have omnipotent knowledge about someone no matter how long you have been with them, as we don’t even know everything about ourselves. Apples to oranges, the act of comparing your life to another’s’ is more like comparing an elephant to an apple, it makes no sense to comparing someone’s life that you have no knowledge about to that of your own that you know in all earnest is not completely something that you totally comprehend. When one presents themselves for comparison, they are essentially creating noise in their heads which in turn deafens one from the beautiful song of their own. The mom who raises her kids as a single-parent, the girl having to balance two jobs to attend college, the guy living in an environment not respecting of one’s sexual orientation; we all have hardships in our lives to over come but we are not what they say, what they assume, nor what they want you to be.

We have a beautiful message within us and when we are hurting most it is most necessary to give it away. When you don’t know yourself, you can find yourself through your purpose that interconnects yourself to others. We all have moments where we need to cry like a girl with make-up is smeared all over her face because she cried so hard and hold on dearly to love because life can be so hard, but love is something that must be given away. Love is the message. Love is hard and sometimes doesn’t seem nice, through the giving and accepting of it are we interconnected with the world. Only when you let go of what you have, are your hands free to accept something new. Love with purpose and love without doubt without concern of what may have happened in the past or fear of what might happen. The opposite of love is the inability to accept love. To give love is to accept love.”

 Forrest Curran

Like having coffee with your best friend, providing your friend is opinionated, passionate, and insane.

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