Parker Curry, age 2, was being difficult.Her mama wanted her to turn around so she could snap a photo of her in front of the regal portrait of Michelle Obama.But Parker ignored her, and stared transfixed at the image itself.In that moment, another visitor, Ben Hines, snapped a photo from the side, revealing Parker’s jaw-dropping awe.
Hines posted his photo on Facebook and it went viral.
Parker has now met and even had a dance party with Mrs. Obama. Suddenly the gates of possibility have been opened to her. This little girl’s entire life will probably be altered by her mama taking her to see a portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama.
When I was 13 I went to “town school” for the first time, after spending my first eight grades in a one room school seven miles outside of our small town.I signed up for Chorus and quickly fell for both the music and the teacher, Mr. Secrest. My whole world opened up with music and by my sophomore year I was in the choir and small groups.All my friendships developed out of choir and I felt at home there, if hardly anywhere else at the much larger school. By my junior year I had a new music teacher, also a man.
Because both my parents were college grads, it was assumed I would go to college (even though it was also assumed I would marry and not need to work – it was the early ’60’s and that was still the expectation where I lived). But what was I going to do?What would I major in?I had no idea. Teaching felt really natural to me, but what would I teach?Obviously I couldn’t teach music.. I was female. It never even crossed my mind.
Until one day in my senior year.
That day my music teacher, Mr. Miller, brought in a lovely young woman and introduced her as our Student Teacher. Really? I couldn’t believe it. Remember Shari Lewis and LambChop? To me she looked just like the beautiful Shari Lewis… how could she be a music teacher?
The days went by with her observing, until one day Mr. Miller left her in charge. And, we sang.We worked together with her, for her, and I loved her in the same way I had loved my male teachers.
But she opened a door for me that neither of the men had opened. If she could be a music teacher, so could I.
I started college in the fall of 1966, majoring in music and graduated four years later with a music degree.None of that would have happened without Miss Vathauer, who was one of my first heroes (she-roes!).
Unbeknownst to her, she lit a light that I followed and it changed my life.
We are watching as powerful men and sometimes women fall from their positions of power.We see the inauthenticity and outright lies and it’s easy to become cynical.Who could possibly be my hero now?!
In the early ’90’s I became obsessed with Styx’s song “Show me the Way.” “All the heroes and legends I knew as a child have fallen to idols of clay….and I feel this emptiness inside – so afraid, I’ve lost my faith.”
But if we don’t require our heroes and she-roes to be perfect, simply authentic and real and courageous – our lives will be richer for having them.
The Superheroes in Black Panther are affecting children of color powerfully.But if you want a new human hero, follow the stories of the real people – like director, Ryan Coogler.Or Lupita Nyong’o.Or Oprah Winfrey.Or… the lists could go on and on.
Who is your hero or she-ro? Who makes you wish you had done what they have done?Who is a shining light? Let someone inspire you. Follow the stories, paintings, songs, songwriters, authors, actors, entrepreneurs… discover the ones that electrify you.That make you believe MORE is possible than you ever dreamed.
There is tremendous power in naming and learning about our heroes. To focus on your heroes is to turn towards what is possible, away from what is wrong.
And you will find yourself someone’s hero one day.
Conversations with Yeshua. This is channeled material, edited minimally for clarity only. It is personal information given to me and my husband Stan, but relevant to many situations and this is one I am asked to share with the world.
Stan: I’m asking about my body… my body’s kind of structural aches and pains that are becoming chronic.
Would you reword that? Becoming implies future, correct?
Can you say something along the lines of “pains that have been with me for awhile and I’m ready to be done with them”?
S: Yeah, certainly.
Can you feel the difference in that?
S: Yes. I’m ready to move forward on healing several aspects of my body and I have different practitioners and different ways forward and I just wondered if there was any guidance.
Yes, we’re glad you asked. So are you ready for some honesty?
The Familiarity of Violence
We believe that you remain unaware of this factor. We’re going to put it into words and ask you to look at it and be willing to heal this first of all. And you will be astonished at how much else heals. That is, you have a proclivity for violence in language, in actions, in thoughts. Because you have matured and grown as a loving being, the damage has been confined to primarily your own body and aches and pains. You have not had a lot of accidents in your life. Violent thoughts can draw to yourself accidents and you have not had a lot of those.
Nevertheless those thoughts are influencing your body. Can you feel the truth in what we say or do you feel resistance?
S: No, I can feel that.
Does it feel extremely familiar to you, that way of being?
What would it take to have that not feel familiar? What would it take to release that?
S: Well, that overarching love feeling (discussed earlier here: Put Joy and Love )–bringing love to bear at every moment and every aspect.
All right, let’s take a moment and just explore that, with no other concerns about healing right now. Just explore. When we use the word violence and suggest that’s a chronic streak in your state of mind, and you can agree that this is so, can you give us a couple of recent examples of this?
S: I spoke of a terrorist that should be ground into pulp. Quite often I react with anger and violence to cars that are speeding. And there’s no love at all.
And underlying the violence would be… is it fear? Can you take it back a layer? Just peel back the layers and see what’s behind there?
S: Hmmm.. it’s kind of like if I did that I would face certain violence against me. As if I’m saying “Don’t you know that doing this will mean that you will be violently treated — or injured?”
Let yourself explore that for a moment. Just feel it. Any one of the incidents that feels close to you. Just let yourself go there. Let yourself go back.
Love and Violence
Any words, any shapes, any colors, any stories that come to you now, just speak them. If you wish, travel back in time, like you do with Inner Counselor.* There is something in you says “This is the answer to life. This is the answer to difficult, the answer to pain, the answer to problems.”
We invite you to let that unfold..
S: I’m remembering a practice we (my family) had with the dogs and cats we liked — the barnyard cats that were effective, the dogs we fell in love with. We would hold them down and run over their tales with a wagon or a tractor.
How did you feel during that?
S: Very conflicted as a young boy.
What was the conflict?
S: Deliberately hurting the creature.
And calling it Love?
Do you believe it was love?
S: “It’s for your own good.” A phrase I heard a lot. “I’ll beat you now but it’s for your own good.”
Uh-hmm. Let your heart feel that.
A Violent Prescription?
You’ve mentioned experiencing a lack of training, training that leads a young person to a better place. And in place of training was episodic violence.
And do you see how you have matured into a man who controls that violence? You are not a violent person towards other people. But you also haven’t really healed it.
It’s as if there’s a streak of violence and the anguish that goes with it running straight through your body. Vertically. And it can’t just live there peacefully, it has to be expressed. So there’s this violent edginess, watching for someone that needs a violent prescription.
Do you see how difficult it is for your body to be completely at ease, completely healthy? With that streak very present?
So think of any animal or child that you love without reservation. Who comes to mind?
S: Oh… Max.
Alright. Now put him in your arms, in your heart. Would you run over his finger to keep him from doing something that he should not?
S: It’s a bad lesson.
What would you do instead?
Can Love Be the Teacher?
S: I would talk to him. Explain things. Give him examples. Let him practice the right behavior.
And if he failed?
S: I might try it in a different setting.
Do you think love itself can be a teacher? Love and experience and wisdom? Or is violence a necessary part of teaching?
S: It’s not.
We invite you to revisit your own lessons in violence and your own tendency in that direction and put them side by side with Max. And consider if you are wiling to let them go.
This may have to happen over a period of days or weeks. You may even want to have a ceremony of release. You’ll find that when you do this, when you allow yourself to become aware and then choose to release that habitual reaction— that your body will heal so quickly you will be amazed.
A Love Brigade
S: I see a vision of a very strong rigid hedge post somewhere down the middle of my body.
S: And a kind of a love brigade of composting organisms that are starting to turn it into valuable material by slowly digesting it.
Yes. You’ll need to make a commitment to catch yourself because these violent thoughts are aimed at the world at large, at drivers and others, at yourself. They are random grenades that are thrown off. Your awareness is the first medicine.
You have to make a choice that this thought is not useful. It’s not coming from love and it’s not the way you want to live your life. Once your’ve made that intention and decision, your awareness will increase, and then it’s a matter of just breaking those habits.
Have we given you enough of a road map to find your way into healing from this?
Catch all of those thoughts and bring Max into the picture. Ask: “Would I do this to him?”
S: Right. And everyone is beloved of God.
Yes. Alright. We are glad you come to listen. We’re always glad to connect. We are always present, but an intentional connection is different than just vague awareness.
Have a blessed day.
* Inner Counselor is a process developed by Ann Nunley, MFA, Preceived September 9, 2017
Conversations with Yeshua. All rights reserved Linda Chubbuck 2017.
Conversations with Yeshua. This is channeled material, edited minimally for clarity only. It is personal information given to me and my husband Stan, but relevant to many situations and this is one I am asked to share with the world. From a conversation with a client.
Client: I wonder if you have any comments about my writing. Last night I had an experience stimulated by a discussion with a friend who was very troubled. I thought the discussion went pretty well and I was able to support her, but then in the middle of the night I lay awake for more than an hour with this kind of as-yet-unwritten blog post. Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe that this level of wisdom is coming through me. That it’s really trustworthy and it’s not just my ego. This applies also to my poetry. I feel kind of in awe of these things that come to me, and yet sometimes I don’t really honor them by writing them down.
That’s very well put. It is a condition of being human. Some people are gifted with this wisdom from early in life, and some open up to it as they mature and lessen the grip of the ego. Human artists are gifted with wisdom that is unique to them, but comes through many of them with a higher level of understanding, a higher level of awakening than they are ready to live.
This is the normal state of humanity. If you honor that gift and choose to grow with it by writing it down, you still have the freedom to be the Censor. You have the freedom to say, “Well, that one’s not going out into the world!” or “Man, that’s good!” and get feedback by sharing it.
If you commit to doing that, the gift you get is that gradually you have your own coach, your own wisdom, your own counselor. All you have to do is make some effort to open your eyes, and to benefit from what’s coming through you.
You have experienced that people respond to things that have come through you that seem very personal to you, and that to some extent you don’t even feel you have completely got yourself. You’ve stated that you can coach a young person and they will get it and here you are still struggling with the same issue.
This is not uncommon. You can receive wisdom through you that is a higher level of awakening than you can sustain. That’s the irony. But the benefit is that if you continue to work with what’s coming through you, as your gift to yourself and to humanity, you almost inevitably will grow. It’s very difficult to keep bringing this material through and stay asleep.
C. Well, I’m doing the best I can. I understand.
And so, if it seems worthy, put it down. You still get the right of censorship. But you’ll see, as you did with your poetry book, that there’s value in it, to others and to you. You could read through your book of poetry every few months and let it zing you.
“Oh my gosh… I didn’t understand that back then but now I do.” This is normal for humans. It may not be talked about much, but it is normal.
Artists don’t want to say “I didn’t really understand that when I wrote that book or that song.” And then some of them gradually begin to live into the wisdom of what they’ve been putting down. But it is there for you. It’s also there for others.
Even if it seems foolish, when you have a strong urging to write it down we encourage you to do that and then decide later what is its fate.
C. Well it doesn’t seem foolish, it seems amazing. I’m kind of fascinated by the ideas that are coming. So far I’ve not had the time today to sit down and type it up.
This is how Linda experiences the channeling. It was 23 years ago that we first made contact with her. It’s only been the last couple of years that she really considered the possibility that this connection might have gifts for herself and for the world— in what comes through her. We ask you to consider: if you were to regularly write when something comes to you that seems amazing, whether it’s a poem or a concept or a blog, that you write it down, soak it up, and share the ones that seem appropriate.
Can you consider how over the course of a few months or a year, that your life might change because of it?
This is truly available to humans. But the reason it seems so extraordinary is that so few humans choose to listen. Your sense and Linda’s sense of amazement and shock are multiplied many hundreds of times over in ordinary humans… not that you are not ordinary humans but you understand what we mean. You are both, to some degree, listening.
For most people the sense of immersion in the culture and the status quo are so strong that something that might disturb the status quo is just beyond their ability to see or hear. So the fact that you can both see and hear this is remarkable and you have arrived in a very tiny percentage of the human race. But a very powerful percentage of the human race, as this is where the growth happens. This is where the unconditional love can break through.
Conversations with Yeshua. This is channeled material, edited minimally for clarity only. It is personal information given to me and my husband Stan, but relevant to many situations and this is one I am asked to share with the world. From a conversation with a client.
Client: I have experienced a great deal of sense of separation and I’ve come to understand that it is separation not only from God but separation from my Self. I’ve had glimpses of not feeling that so much, but I still don’t know how to progress in the right direction of my Self or God. I’m asking for direction or teachings or practices that would help me to feel more connected with my Self and with God.
A very beautiful question. We hear the depth and clarity in the question.
C. There’s a lot of pain in that experience.
Yes, we understand that.
So we are willing to talk around this for a little bit, but the simplest answer is one that you already know and that you find difficult to live. Nevertheless we’ll start there and perhaps we’ll find additional guidance that will help.
The experiences you have had are real, in the human sense, and the pain is real… to the extent that the experiences have been real. But all experiences arrive in this present moment. If you don’t retell or rewind and replay the stories, you are safe and connected.
It’s as if the channel is stuck in a groove, a rut of going back to these stories of isolation and separation and aloneness. And injustice. When the channel keeps going back there you replay the pain, renew the pain. But the You that is now in this moment is not so disconnected as those stories are. For a variety of reasons.
You are sharing with others in your work numerous ways you know to be with yourself to experience life. The moments of sitting at a campfire and watching it are a connection with Self and a connection with both the non-physical world and the physical world. In that moment you are present. In that moment you don’t experience aloneness.
The groove of isolation was worn deep through many lifetimes of this. You have brought those experiences into this lifetime deliberately to bring them into consciousness, and heal them.
And in your healing you have gifts for others. Because many people experience it. Many people may not have gone as deep into the aloneness as you did, but they know what it is and they fear it. Your poems are like nuggets of pain wrapped in beauty that you can give to the world, that loosens the grip of that pain for others.
You are reasonably compassionate with yourself. But what is needed is if you can pull yourself into the Light, pull yourself into your own consciousness. Just like an addict who has struggled repeatedly, or a slave who has gone through many lifetimes as a slave, or someone who was brutally put to death – you have a deep groove, you have experienced many lifetimes of isolation and loneliness.
Now you are here, in this lifetime with tools, education, awareness and circles of comfort — resources to find your way out and in so doing leave a trail of light for others to follow.
So as you talk to yourself about all of this — if you say “there’s something wrong with the world, there’s something wrong with me that I had to experience so much desperate loneliness” then that’s part of continuing to make that groove deep. But if you say, “there are mysteries about being human on this planet and somehow I experience a lot of aloneness. But here I am, in a lifetime of healing and empowerment from that, and the more that I remind myself of that, the more that grip loosens, and the more nuggets and tools I have to help others as well.”
If you say that, it’s a different story, it doesn’t deny your pain. But it gives you a different story and a different meaning to it.
C. Well, your image of leaving a trail of light moves me…I feel so humbled that I do see myself doing that. And so grateful that I’m well enough to do that. But I still haven’t found a whole lot of relief in my own consciousness. There’s still just a lot of pain, a lot of loneliness, not very much companionship, not very much love and I’m just in a lot of fear. And I don’t .. I’m not very good at comforting all that.
What we would say to that specifically is that there are many physical circumstances for humans on this planet that seem to create suffering, and the suffering seems inevitable. When the pain comes and you say “I’m so alone, I don’t have companions, I don’t have a woman that I want,” and you want to say that to yourself because it seems true. And what we will tell you is that as difficult as it sounds, that the answer is… you can speak back to That Voice – and say “I do have friends. I do have people who love me. I don’t have so many friends or I don’t have someone to live with, but I do have people.”
It’s almost as if That Voice is a bully in your psyche, in your Self. And it’s up to you, the Conscious One, to respond with whatever measure of truth you can generate and believe. We know there’s a voice in you that’s screaming “But that won’t help!” and we’re saying that after you do that — respond — for awhile, you’ll realize that you do have more of what your bully was trying to tell you you had none of. And we say — That’s Not Nothing.
That is a way to improve (as Abraham says), to improve your vibration. With yourself you must be sensitive to the fact that you will fail if you say to yourself “I do have the ideal woman. She’s in my life and I’m married to her…” you will fail at that. Because you are not ready to believe it.
But if you instead speak back to That Bullying, Intimidating Voice that says, “You’re always alone. You don’t have anybody. You’re a loser,” and if you say, “No I do have friends. I have my buddy that I can call most anytime. I have G. I have T. I have my Circle.”
Declare the truth about what you do have, as a shield against the accusations, and your energy of being loved will expand. Your energy of being Loved and being part of a community, however small, is ready to grow. But you have to help it grow.
The voices from the pain of the past, the Pain Body, as Eckhart Tolle calls it, wants you to hurt more and forever. And the You that is YOU has to talk back to that voice and to notice what you have, and act on what you have. And what you have will flourish. We won’t try to tell you what could happen or under what timing, but anything that you lovingly tend… flourishes.
C I hear that.
We understand how diabolically tempting these stories of pain are. But we also know that you have a great deal of wisdom. It’s almost like you have to see those stories as the Pain Body, you have to see that Voice as the Devil that Sits on the Shoulder. You have to find your own way that makes sense to you to respond back.
Lest you feel too challenged by that, know that anyone wanting a physical healing has to do the same thing. Anyone who may be imprisoned has to do the same thing. Anyone who may be desperately poor has to do the same thing.
There are many conditions of lack or limitation to which this is the core answer. Sometimes there are people who are successful in saying “yes, I have the woman of my dreams, she’s here,” and in 2-3 weeks she appears.
But for most people the “all or nothing leap of faith” doesn’t work in chronic situations, and instead there’s this gentle slope: first, “I can believe I’m safe. I can believe there are people who love me. I can believe that there are people I can call when I need to.” Then, “I can believe that I have a whole set of activities, which I can write down, to do, to comfort myself when I feel this aloneness.”
You have to believe it until you’ve created this Swirl of Love and Light and Stardust and Connection around you and then it can begin to grow.
We’re showing an image of you, literally in your living room, swirling, twirling with sparkles around you, of the Light and Joy, of Energy, of Intention.
This Swirl is made up both of people who love you, but also of your own sense that you have tools, you have connections.
We hope you hear that not as an indictment of any sort but as a description.
One more image… you have a garden. To some degree you just leave it alone and it does what it does. Think of your favorite plants, perhaps a couple of heirloom tomatoes. One of them you go out and you love. You tell it how beautiful it is and how much you enjoy it and you lapse into paroxysms of delight when it gives you a tomato. The other one you go out and cry to, and tell it how sad you are that it’s not growing very well.
You can say “But I want More, and I want it bigger!” And we understand that, that’s legitimate. But anything will flourish more under gratitude than it will under lack.
Election Harmony? Well, that seems impossible. Just the title is enough to cause scorn. I have friends who just want the election season to be over because of the angst it is causing them.
Me too sometimes. But I keep asking for a higher perspective. And here’s what is coming:
Mr. Trump has unleashed the shadow side of our people. At his rallies and in his arena it’s okay to hate, to put women, minorities, handicapped and many other groups down. If you are not white and male you are in trouble. Physically sometimes.
I’m appalled. I grew up in the after-shadow of WWII and heard and read stories of the Nazis’ gradual rise to power. I get cold sweats when I tap into the similarities with Trump’s hate-campaign.
I realize many of you don’t like Hillary, and I’m not a huge fan either – too much corporate influence. But I would far rather have a corporate-influenced capable and kind woman, than a hateful, ignorant, trigger-happy man. His platforms have no policy content… just racism, misogyny and lies.
Her, we can work with. Her, we can hold to the fire.
Mr. Trump? Don’t bet on it.
The hatefulness is appalling, but in many ways, that shadow side has been underground in our country for as long as we have been a nation. Now – it’s out in the open.
The shadow coming out into the light asks you – and me – a big question:
Who are you?
Are you the hater?
Are you the scorner?
Are you the “Make America white again” voter?
Are you the head-in-the-sand ostrich?
Are you the worrier?
Seeing the Shadow appear in this prominent a way triggers the Shadow in all of us. Fear. Finger pointing. Judgement.
What I find when I answer the question, Who am I? is my voice. I cannot stay silent. Whatever I care about in this land and this world is at stake.
When I watched the Arab spring via newscasts a few years back I was moved to tears by the courage of the people who knowingly risked – and sometimes lost – their lives for this movement towards freedom and justice. As if, their own personal life was less important than the greater cause of justice and freedom.
We are raised on such stories, as Americans. But are we living it? Don’t make your politics party-line. Pray about it. This is not a year for stubbornness… this is a year to ask Who Am I? What is really at stake here and what am I to do about it?
I choose to invite, via prayer, Jesus and the angels to guide each of the candidates and each of the voters.
I choose to stand up to bullies, whether it’s in my personal world, or in the larger world.
I choose to repeatedly turn my fear about this election season over to Jesus, and ask for faith in a joyful outcome instead.
I choose to say – out loud and in writing – you, Mr. Trump and your supporters, cannot take our people back to hate and injustice. I refuse to go and any power I have I will use. I will use my power with respect, but not with timidity.
My hero, Bernie Sanders, fully understands the gravity of the situation. To any of my Bernie-supporting friends I would ask you… if you respect him enough to have wanted him to be President, then respect him enough to take his advice on this choice. He is fully supporting Hillary and asks us to do so, then go on to create and demand progressive policies with integrity.
To vote 3rd party will give Trump an edge that may cost us our democracy and who knows what else. The stakes are high.
The hatefulness that Trump inflames is deeply reminiscent of Hitler. But we, the American people, are not 1930’s Germany.
We are diverse. We are loving. We love justice. We can be kind.
Are we easily led, easily fooled by the media? Are we ignorant and uncaring?
Are you willing to let Mr. Trump run over handicapped people, just because you are not handicapped? To let him ridicule women, because you are not a woman? To let him scorn people of color, because you are white? And more? He already has enough power to create waves of hatred and fear, to command the media. If you vote for him, or let your vote mean nothing because you refuse to acknowledge the system we are in – right now – you are in agreement with his intentions by default. You are giving him more power.
Ask yourself the hard questions this election season: Who Am I?
And please, invoke the angels and your highest spiritual teacher in the name of Love and Light. Choose your words and your vote in the name of Love.
I’m called to speak. Writing this brings me greater harmony. This is part of Who I Am.
—- Linda Chubbuck, September 2016, on RadicalHarmony.com
We are just home from a trip to England, where for various reasons, we rented a car and drove across the southern counties. Yep, on the left side! I was the navigator, Stan was the driver, but we were both involved in safety, directions, etc.
One thing we noticed is that – except for the time when we had a tire blowout and needed help – we never saw a police car. None.
As Americans, we are used to the quick braking when we spot a radar trap or cop car on the overpass, or just over the hill. Where are the cops – or bobbies – in Britain?
Instead we saw road signs with speeds posted just above a camera image. And “HUMP” signs followed by a very large bump in the road – all over, especially around dangerous areas.
After several days we asked a British friend about the no-traffic-police thing.
He told us that in Britain, the belief is that society is best served when police are building relationships with the community, not “policing” the people – rather assisting the people. As to traffic and safety, country-wide speed limits apply everywhere except when marked lower speeds. To enforce the speed limits – rather than radar traps – are a mix of speed “humps” (which absolutely require a driver to slow down or destroy the vehicle), well-marked camera zones, and occasional one lane narrowing where only one driver can pass through at a time. The opposite driver must wait.
Then there are the famous roundabouts, which, after 30 or 40 of these, actually made sense to us and worked well. With only one exception, drivers were polite and safe passing through these.
The license plates are twice the size of US plates, yellow with very large black letters and numbers, and placed on front and back. Easy to read (or photograph) from a distance, when needed. Tickets are mailed to violators, who are held accountable.
How well do these systems work? We cannot say for sure, but we experienced courtesy amid fast-moving but not aggressive traffic. The British traffic system and signage are accountability focused – not shame-based, with an authority figure watching for us to make mistakes.
Shame researcher and author Brené Brown describes the shame cycle this way: the incident, then the loop which encompasses denial, rage, punishment, revenge, resentment, numbing, then repeat behaviors.
Nowhere is there accountability in this.
Stan and I have had many discussions the past year or two about the journey from shame to accountability.
Here’s an example: a 10 year old takes a chunk out of a cake sitting in the kitchen prepared for an event. If shame is the prevailing family dynamic, there is an accusation by Mom or Dad, denial on his part, more accusations and threats, perhaps eventual punishment for him. Shame can settle in with thoughts such as “I’m a bad person, a sneak, a cheat.” With the shame comes resentment and an impulse to alleviate the shame by doing something that “feels good.” Eat cake? Other addictive behaviors? It’s a vicious loop. Acting out, confrontation, denial, punishment, shame, remorse, resentment, followed by another shame-based acting out.
What’s the way out?
The courage to confront behaviors – within ourselves and others – that are wrong or out of integrity, with courage, backbone, and Light. Then to hold ourselves and/or others accountable, rather than shaming.
Here’s how the Cake-Theft incident might go with parents committed to accountability: child takes chunk of cake. Parent discovers and calls him in. Did you take the corner of the cake off? Child denies.
Parent applies pressure with reminder of values – integrity, honesty are more important than lies and escape. Did you eat the cake? Parent may also apply Love and Connection with the child. Child crumbles and admits to doing it. Parent maintains calm and explains what the purpose of the cake was, and presents problem now – for child to find solution. Or at least to be part of solution. There may be consequences as well, but first priority is to solve the issue of what to do about the event the cake was destined for.
Child is left with perhaps a feeling of responsibility, accountability, partnership, and maybe a little appropriate guilt – “I shouldn’t have done that” – that can help resist next temptation.
No shame is applied. Nothing is said that makes the child feel like a bad person, but merely a person who has made a mistake.
Much of what is destructive in our world is locked in the shame-based loop. Unconscious behaviors and acting out. Revenge. Dishonesty. Denial. Rage. Resentment. Punitive behaviors. Numbing (so we don’t have to see this loop). Self-righteousness.
Accountability on the other hand fosters honesty, partnership, integrity, solutions, compassion. Where needed, protection.
The journey in each of us and our world from Shame to Accountability involves maturity, courage, and clear-seeing. We must resist the temptation to shame ourselves, and others, and yet, at the same time, hold each other accountable. Like Britain’s HUMPS and traffic cameras hold drivers accountable.
In ourselves, we must remember to face the consequences of our choices without going into shame. Then we have all the resources of Love and Light to assist us in finding healing solutions that create peace and harmony within ourselves, and the world.
“What do you need to do to take care of yourself?”
This powerful and lovely question was asked of me so many times by my favorite therapist ever, Norma. It always hit me like a warm and bracing hug. “Oh!” My mind would reset from the panic state I was in to a calming one of self-care. “Uhmmm…. maybe I could write in my journal..”
Contrary to popular belief, this is not a selfish question, but rather, a reflection of self-love. Which by the way, is absolutely essential as a prerequisite to loving others.
Yesterday I had the honor of speaking on the phone with a woman friend who is suffering severe heartbreak at the moment. Once I was there (twice actually if I’m honest), the first time for a number of years. Wow… you’d think I would have known better, but… !
I listened, she talked, then she listened, I talked. I tried to give her a map through the heartache, while still being compassionate with her grief.
It seems to me that, in the case of love lost (a relationship), ended due to one party’s declaration that it’s not right for them, there are often two dynamics at work to create intense pain.
Grief – the honest, authentic feeling of missing the person, the activities shared, the hugs, the laughter. While you can certainly numb the pain of grief (alcohol, brownies, pizza, pot… another quick relationship/sex), the only way to clear it from your life is to go through it, tears and all.
At one time in my life I had avoided feeling the pain of rejection for so long that when I finally determined to stand in the fire and feel it I was afraid I would die from crying. No kidding. (You’re thinking I was in my teens? .. nope – in my mid-40’s if you’re wondering.)
I had done enough 12 step work, some therapy, and lots of reading about co-dependency to realize I had to stop and let the grief catch up to me. To NOT numb myself. To allow all the past rejections and hurts to catch up as well, roll them all into one to grieve.
I cried off and on for weeks. I wrote in my journal, I cried to God. I called a couple of friends. But I didn’t start a new relationship, distract myself with food or sex, or start drinking.
And I noticed something. I didn’t die from it.
I grew stronger. Through standing in the pain and the grief, I grew stronger.
That gave me courage. And the courage lessened my fear. Maybe it was just tears and pain, maybe it wouldn’t kill me.
I realized I could hold my own Irish wake – let myself keen and wail for what I’d lost.
But I had to pay attention to the second dynamic as well: Story.
I like stories. Stories can be healing, inspirational, connective. But they can also be deadly and limiting if you are caught up in a Disempowering Storyline.
For example, in the case of love lost, here’s a common storyline: I drove him away! I’ll never have anyone love me like he did. I’ll be alone the rest of my life. He was the perfect man and I screwed it up. I’m a complete loser and I can never get this right.
These stories and similar ones create the second, truly paralyzing dynamic that operates in a love-lost situation.
Unlike grief, which should be allowed to express fully in safe and supportive environments, these stories need to be outed and confronted.
Author Byron Katie’s line of questions are one of many powerful ways to confront the statements your mind is making: “I drove him away!” Is that true? Where would you be without that statement?
Journaling the untruths, the stories you are telling yourself, then praying your way to a different perception, or talking back to that voice of despair, all are empowering ways to confront this Disempowering Storyline.
Try this on. What if you said to yourself: “I really really miss him. But it’s true we weren’t a totally great fit in some areas. I’m going to practice loving myself so well I will be ready for the right partner to come along before long. I’m going to do my work and strengthen myself, find ways to love my self and my life. I refuse to tell myself stories of scarcity about partners. The right person and I will find each other!”
A cornerstone of self-care and self-love is knowing yourself and what you need. In the case of love-lost, it might be mourning, and it might be telling yourself a new story.
Do you see the news somewhere? Even if you don’t watch TV news, headlines and big stories show up on FB and in conversations. If we are wanting more love, more harmony…well, love and harmony are pretty low volume at the moment. What’s making the noise and the news? Here are some recent voices, my thoughts on what’s behind them, and what we might do.
Donald Trump on Mexican immigrants: “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
I don’t even want to quote the racist comments being made by people with a public platform. Or hateful remarks made towards the gay community. Or the trans community. But they cross my desk/screen/awareness all too often.
I’m into positive thinking and “looking for the good.” I truly am. My heart starts to hurt when I see the hatefulness, the efforts to control or shame or ostracize others “unlike us,” as it were. We, in this country, have been heating up the hatefulness these past few years.
Much of what is being spouted in hate lately masquerades as some “right” or other, loud voices shouting about rights and pointing fingers.
My dad was a thoughtful man who did his best to live an ethical life. One of many things he often said about freedom and human rights was this: “My right to swing my arm ends just a little short of your nose.”
I call it the Disease of Oppositionalism. Many people are eagerly engaged in finger-pointing, blame, judgment and other forms of hatefulness. How are we different from the hotspots of the world that have suffered for years with warfare and the inevitable poverty, displacement and destitution that follows war.
Researcher and author Brené Brown learned in her extensive interviews with people about issues of worthiness, joy and shame, that the research proves this: we are inclined to judge others most harshly in areas where we feel unsure of ourselves.
To see someone doing “worse than we are,” in an area that we don’t feel very secure in, is a perfect opportunity to judge. Add in hatefulness for good measure – to further distance ourselves from “those people.”
This explains why someone like Josh Duggar, while lecturing others on family values, gets caught in a commercialized affair through Ashley Madisondotcom. Oops! Maybe he was feeling just a bit uncertain of his ability to remain faithful and honest with his wife and family? So, hey, let’s just find someone/some group to judge and “Take a Stand for Clean Living!”
Like the minister’s note-to-self: “Your point is weak – POUND the podium here.”
Who amongst us is not a bit timid about having a real conversation with someone we disagree with? About abortion rights, immigration, guns, gay rights, trans-sexuals, even religion? Do we feel safe or are we afraid we’ll be shouted down? Or shamed? It’s easier to talk about something inconsequential, like the weather, or sports, or… Then everyone goes back to their own safe corner and stews in their own opinions.
Watching our world through the screens of online news and Facebook, it’s painful to see that isolated hatefulness simmer and stew until finally it boils over into a desperate act of some sort. Or in some cases, a really foolish and inflammatory remark made by a newscaster or a public figure.
If you are thinking I’m coming to some sort of awesome answer by the end of this blog, sorry to disappoint you. I dreamed last night of watching a news story of a group of gang members, including a young boy, with bombs strapped to their bodies, who blew themselves up in the street because of the chronic anguish of living with violence and hatefulness. I was grieving to watch it.
Just a dream, I know.
The Course in Miracles says that everything is either an act of love, or a cry for love. NO one does not want love. But so many of us are walking through life so immersed in shame and self-loathing that we must find someone else to dump it on. To blame. To hate and demonize. Only creating an enemy can make us feel one-up, a bit better about ourselves.
I don’t know the way out. But I have a hint of the direction. And I’m doing the best I can to move in that direction. Here are my suggestions to turn the cries for love into Love itself.
Confront bullying wherever you find yourself facing it. Your spouse? An encounter at the store? Politics? You may or may not be the target. Especially confront it if you are in a position of power/influence and someone without that power is being bullied or shamed (white privilege can be useful… use it for good). WARNING – don’t risk your life or injury to do this. Be smart.
Expand your heart. Love bigger. The bullies are doing it to deflect or numb their own sense of shame and fear. Love them too. But don’t let them get away with exercising their “rights” while denying rights to others.
Forgive someone you need to forgive. In time, forgive everyone. Don’t stay in unhealthy situations. Sometimes you need anger to get out, like rocket fuel. But once you are safe, set about the business of forgiving.
Watch your own tendency to judge others. Might your temptation to judge be concealing an issue you could stand to do some healing work around? Ask for help from trusted people.
Talk with safe people about these issues and develop language that you can use when you need it. We must speak out against hatefulness and oppositionalism. Dissolve it.
Lastly, watch for opportunities to connect and have respectful, honorable conversations with people you disagree with, first maybe on neutral topics, then eventually on the hotter topics. Find a way to build bridges.
My rights should not take away your rights, nor vice versa. These are hot topics and need to be discussed by people who are not afraid of knowledge, truth, and honoring each other. Our country was founded on principles of respect, freedom, cooperation and responsibility. Also knowledge. Hiding in corners nurturing our grievances and nursing our prejudices until they explode into the light in pain and judgment is doing nothing good for our world.
Everything is either an act of love, or a cry for love. Find a way to build bridges.
Honestly I want to write about positive uplifting things, but I seem to keep hitting obstacles. Like I cannot get on the freeway because of accidents and stalled vehicles scattered across the on-ramp. Bummer!
So here’s the biggie – the obstacle – for me. I’ve been struggling for many years with a sense of lack… about money and time. Despite all my Course in Miracles work and my spiritual practice. I’ve disguised the struggle by calling it “being responsible.”
There’s not enough money… I need to work harder. I need to spend less.
And of course there are lots of judgments that go along with that lack statement.
My Course lesson the other day was this: “Let miracles replace all grievances.” That started me wondering. In my prayer/channeling time I asked “how is this attitude of mine linked to grievances?”
The Voice that I hear in my mind responded: You tell yourself that the world refuses to compensate you adequately for your labors, or provide what you need. That you are doomed to remain in lack because somehow the fit is wrong, the “rules” don’t work. You work and work, but you never have enough.
This is your grievance. Is this true?
That was 4 days ago. I’ve been facing this head-on and chose to write about it, rather than something purely uplifting today. My Inner Bully gets going here as well.. “Why don’t you focus on the good stuff? What about positive thinking and all that blather that you usually are into?!”
But somehow, this is where I am. I’m somewhat comforted by Brené Brown’s statement about why she chooses to study shame: “If we want to live and love with our whole hearts, and if we want to engage with the world from a place of worthiness, we have to talk about the things that get in the way – especially shame, fear, and vulnerability.” (From The Gifts of Imperfection, p 36)
“the things that get in the way…” (like a chronic belief that the world refuses to provide what I need.. )
And the Course (A Course in Miracles) begins with this introduction: “The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance.”
“removing the blocks to love’s awareness…”
This is your grievance. Is this true?
My longstanding conviction of lack is standing in my way, a block to Truth and love.
The world doesn’t provide enough…I can’t figure it out well enough… I’m not enough.
These last few days I’ve been confronting this belief – can you guess how many times a day?
Despite living a respectable life in a nice home with a husband who loves me and money in the bank – I lost track… but somewhere around 50-100, and that doesn’t count the ones I failed to catch.
Yep. Despite all that good stuff, I’m spending a lot of my day, my mind energy – my creative energy OMG! – telling myself untruths about lack.
I guess it’s a bit like anorexics, who see themselves and tell themselves they are fat when anyone else can see they are skin and bones and even in danger. But they “see” a lie and believe it.
Intermittently over the last 35 years I’ve done a lot of prosperity work. I’ve seen other dreams of mine manifest… a lovely sacred private organic garden; a wonderful husband and singing partner; a small harmony group I love; singing lead onstage; healing in my children, and more.
But the prosperity/lack issue has continued to challenge me, offering me evidence that I don’t “get it,” and cannot make these principles work for me.
So I’m coming out of the closet, and am going to write about this more. I’m standing up to my Inner Bully. Michael Beckwith says that the world is suffering from a massive belief in the illusion of lack. It’s an epidemic. Despite evidence to the contrary, despite personal experiences that belie that.
So while I practice the prosperity principles, I’m going to face the Dementors directly – stand up to my inner bully: No. That is NOT true.
I’m asking my highway roadside assistance crew (angels et al) to clear the road with me, as often as needed so I can get on the onramp.
I know divine help is available. I’ve had my share of miracles and interventions. And I never forget to ask in crisis situations. “Help, God!” is an intuitive reaction in me – I’d say it in a milli-second if I was sliding on ice into a semi, or if I was being mugged, or worse.
But you know, I have a lot of trouble with to-do lists, computer problems, housecleaning, problem solving, etc. This stuff wrecks my peace on a regular basis. I probably had a past life as a monk meditating on a mountain top. I didn’t HAVE to-do lists and email and phones ringing and text messages coming in.
So the last few weeks I’ve been practicing bringing these two worlds together – divine intervention with ordinary life challenges.
I forget a lot. But today I remembered. Here’s the story.
Last week I connected with a client who wants me to photograph his place of business. On one condition – that his duplicate Google+Local pages be corrected and the old one deleted.
Well, that’s easier said than done. I know how it is supposed to work, but…
So, we’ll call him Greg. Greg told me when he called Google Support for the last year, he was repeatedly disconnected – “hundreds of times!” he says.
Strangely, when I called on his behalf, so was I. Four times in a row. Next I was unable to complete the form, asking for support to call me – the blank-to-fill-in wouldn’t fill.
I put out a call for help from other Google photographers, and got a lot of great suggestions. The best one was “Go to the business, walk him through it, let HIM talk with support and you support him.”
I put it off for a week. Me? Solve a tech problem? For someone else? You’re kidding… I was afraid we’d get disconnected again, or they would deny his request.
But today, I set up a meeting with him, and prayed all throughout the 30 minute drive asking for divine help. I saw it going well, felt the satisfaction, and thanked God.
So together we filled out the form asking Google Tech Support to call us. Immediately his phone rang. I held my breath – would he be disconnected? I was praying.
The call held – from India, or somewhere exotic. Greg explained. The guy listened and they had a real conversation. I stood nearby while he talked, for nearly 30 minutes. Gradually, Greg became more and more verbally grateful, even chummy with the tech guy. The call held through all this. I was quietly elated! Problem solved.
Now he is ready to do the photoshoot, happy with me, with the situation and immensely grateful. We shake hands, and I walk out into the sunshine with that same gratitude.
My leather soles hit the tile walkway and send a vibration through my body. I am happy to be alive, to be me. I am thrilled that this client is happy, the problem is solved, and I have another job to do.
All things work together for good! I’m in a groove. And it was my angels who helped me get it back.
I’ll be asking for help with my accounting now. Oh, and housecleaning… and kitchen cleanup… and…