There is a talented woman named Gaelynn Lea whose life and talents are an inspiration to all of us. She truly shows us ” . . . what can be done with a life.” She has said, “I really want there to be the acknowledgement that life is both difficult and beautiful at the same time.”
I wish to provide my acknowledgement of this truth.
We fear the struggle because that is what we have been taught. In a world where even the poorest of those around me enjoy an affluence that a significant part of the rest of the world can only dream of, people tend to react to their own suffering with shame while the suffering of others is often repugnant and seen as a reflection of lack in their character.
Money can alleviate, hide and even eliminate suffering. What we hold up as evidence of value of human beings is beauty, evidence of money, and a lavish lifestyle. We will overlook character flaws, inner ugliness and even criminal activity in our admiration and pursuit of these things. Parents push their children to win at all costs, to seek careers that will provide them greater status and we seek partners that can either provide us with a free ticket or at least add to our own efforts. Continue reading
Just a reminder what Christmas is all about. Take some time out from your busy day, grab the partner and your kids and watch a couple of videos that will warm your heart and make you smile. Then look at your loved ones, give them a hug, and remember that none of the material stuff will matter to anyone down the road. The only thing we remember is whether or not we were loved and the time we spend with one another says that louder than anything else.
Where is our sanctuary? Where is that space we all need to both find strength and peace? With all the teachers, the methods, the gifted, the people from other dimensions, ascended masters, time travellers, aliens, television and book stars, reincarnated, psychics, shared secrets, special diets, sacred forgotten practices, dreams, special drugs from the rainforest . . . why are we still so lost? Do you know where your sanctuary is?
“Sanctuary” and “Asylum” have become exchangeable words in our ever maddening stampede to dumb down the entire English language. The difference between the two is one of those slight shadings that manages to take a word and deepens and enriches its meaning. “Asylum” is what we seek when we are running from something. It is a place where the protection from that something can be much broader than a finite space and has varying degrees of power – often put in place by power. We are “granted asylum.” “Sanctuary” is more something we seek out when we are looking for something. It was originally intended to mean a religious place but the element of “safety” was eventually added to it and some of its meaning was lost and certainly confused. “Sanctuary” as a spiritual place where we might feel safe suggests that we should seek a religious place that has been created for such a purpose, or a place in nature where we can feel that spirit. It might even be provided by a special shrine or place we create within our home where we go to practice our spiritual endeavours. It refers to a specific contained space that creates a state of being.
Much of what has been presented to us as spiritual or religious has moved the whole journey from being an inner one to being one that engages and involves the outside world. We surrender our self. It has been perhaps, one of the most effective attacks on us as spiritual beings because it has put other people and things in control of our own connection. Continue reading
Sometimes all it takes is a different perspective. This is special.
When I got married, many of my peers had an expectation of a good life ahead of them. It never occurred to any of us that we would not have houses and cars, big TV’s and wonderful vacations. Of course we would. Our parents had those things and so would we. Every generation heads off into the world with expectations that include what their parents had. We all failed to realize our parents worked many years for those things and it was ridiculous for us to feel entitled to them without also working and saving. Life might have taught us some valuable lessons in reality but my generation embraced credit and now a personal debt is an expectation. No-one waits for anything anymore. Immediate gratification was something we taught our kids with every purchase we made. So now, we have grandkids who, like us, feel they have a right to everything their parents have, and their disconnect with the hard work that provides those things is almost complete. Enter the sense of entitlement we all complain about today. Continue reading
The Easter message is that we can be forgiven. It is that we can change. We can take our lives, and all the mistakes, and all our troubles, and choose a different path. We can walk a path that is blessed with the wisdom of the lessons learned, and a better knowing of who we are.
This is how we heal the world. Forgiveness is not just for us, it is not just a gift given by a man who died on the cross . . . it is a gift we must extend to others. Our forgiveness. We must learn to say, “I forgive you” and to make a space in our lives for people to choose a different path. We need to support their struggles to learn and grow. We have to let go of our idea of who they were, and encourage their journey.
All around us are people who have lost their way, who would give anything to have a second chance, to start over with a different ending. People suffer their losses of loved ones, of jobs, of self and they suffer alone, often further burdened by the judgments of the people who surround them. We label people with their mistakes. There goes the “drug addict,” the “drunk,” the “thief,” the “loser.” She had a baby before she was married. His wife left him. He got fired. Years pass, and still, we hold onto those labels, imprisoning people in their mistakes.
Had their mistakes not been made public, they would be safe and secure with everyone else, judging those whose sins are pinned to them in bright scarlet for all to see. Continue reading