Before I answer the question about the number one cause of violence in our world, let me ask you a question: Have you had enough of the violence yet? If your answer is YES, then please read on. If you are excited about continuing the cycle of violence in our world by contemplating retaliation and retribution, then don’t bother reading this blog, you won’t get it anyway. Today’s blog is for those who have ears to hear and for those who have hearts that yearn for an end to the violence and who want to play a role in bringing this violence to an end….once and for all!
Short Answer: The number one cause of violence in our world is rage over a world that is too small, and feeling powerless to change it.
Longer Answer: This is not about a world that is literally too small – as in size, shape, volume, etc. Neither is this about a world that doesn’t have enough resources to feed, clothe and house every single human being on this planet (because we DO have enough resources). This isn’t even about the systems of distribution that have failed in their duty to care for even the simplest needs of the beings on this planet.
No, this is about a deep inner knowing of the SOUL that the lives we are living are WAY TOO SMALL!
Even Longer Answer: The Soul knows who we are, the reason we were put on this planet and the mission we are here to accomplish. Throughout our life, the Soul tries to communicate this truth to us and draws into our presence opportunities to nurture, cultivate and ultimately live out this call. The problem is that we don’t know how to listen and the world doesn’t know how to support us in the fulfillment of our Soul’s mission. When we feel thwarted in the fulfillment of our Soul, RAGE erupts and if we don’t have proper tools for processing our deep-seated anger at not being able to fulfill our Soul’s duty, we either do violence to ourselves or to others.
Perhaps the violence we do to ourselves is internal through all the voices that tell us:
- You have nothing significant to contribute to this world.
- Who are you do think you can do/be/…xyz?
- Good girls/good boys don’t do that.
- Your family, friends, tribe, church, won’t understand/love you if you choose this path.
- If you follow the path of your Soul, something in your life will have to change.
Maybe the violence we do to ourselves is the cultivating of resentment, or the suppression, repression, wholesale rejection of our anger – the very voice that is trying to help us understand our Soul’s calling.
The violence we do to others has many faces:
- Seething resentment
- Cultivating inner anger or hatred.
- Making someone else the cause of our world being too small.
- Physical, emotional, mental, sexual acts of violence.
When enough individuals are unsupported in the fulfillment of their Soul’s purpose, the rage that we hold within us individually becomes a collective rage where pretty much everyone on the planet is pissed off because their Soul is being ignored. Yes, we have all sorts of coping mechanisms that self-medicate the pain of a meaningless and unfulfilling life (consumerism, materialism, money, power, achievement, fame, status, drugs, alcohol, sex, war after war after war after war), but there are not enough of any of these things, especially war, to satisfy the ache of a soul unfulfilled. Until we tend to the deeper call of the Soul, we will never be satisfied and will be forever looking outside of ourselves for the satisfaction of that longing. When we find that none of those things satisfy, we either turn toward more violence, or we WAKE UP and turn within to the ONLY source of the satisfaction that we seek. This is as true for the young, dark-skinned men who turn to terrorism, hoping it will satisfy a life unfulfilled, as it is for the pasty white guys gathering piles of wealth as the rest of the world is starving.
Longest Answer: Our world is a mess and it is a mess because for lifetimes, we have not supported ourselves or each other in the QUEST FOR OUR SOUL. Instead, we have turned to outside perceived authority as the author of our lives and have allowed them to create structures while crafting rules, regulations, expectations, etc. that tell us who we are and the roles we will play in THEIR games. (hmmmmm…..sounds like Hunger Games). We have followed their rules because, quite frankly, it is easier. It is way easier to do what we are told and to follow the 10 rules for “happiness” than it is to take the time to BE STILL and listen for the voice of our Soul. It is also easier to follow the herd of sheeple than it is to follow our own inner voice and calling. Listening to the voice of our Soul takes work and it takes, COURAGE. This is not a journey for the faint of heart, especially in a society that mostly wants us to follow the rules – or at the very least, to follow the crowd. “Don’t rock the boat.” “Don’t disturb the status quo.” “Don’t question, challenge, turn away from what WE want you to hear, know, do.” These commands are then followed up with the biggest threat in their arsenal – “Do what we tell you or LEAVE.” And in some places, “leave” means “die”….literally.
The Solution: As much as we would like to cure the world of its violence, the solution to the problem will not be exacted on a global scale (yet). Instead, it starts with ONE person – YOU deciding to make a CHANGE.
- It starts by turning away from the violence in the world – turn off the TV. Stop watching Fox News. Don’t read (or believe) the newspapers. Find sources of information that are not influenced by the institution of violence and propaganda. If you aren’t sure which ones those are….LISTEN TO YOUR GUT! Your intuition will guide you. (Turning away from the violence doesn’t mean we aren’t informed. Neither does it mean we don’t care, or pray, or hope for a different outcome. We are just choosing not to participate, not to add to it, and not to allow it to harm or influence us toward fear or violence).
- The second step is all about SELF CARE! Turn into your SOUL. Listen as it tries to communicate truth to you, your mission, your gifts, your purpose and your call. Learn how to manage your anxiety, anger, frustration, impatience, sense of powerlessness. Find support in overcoming your fears and resistance to your SOUL and in moving through the societal constructs that week to keep you from the path of your SOUL. Find support for living the path of your SOUL. (PS THIS is what I do for a living….if you want support call (920) 230-1313 or email email@example.com.)
- Find community. You are NOT ALONE in the desire to be free of a world of violence and to live in a world where all people are supported in finding wholeness, meaning, purpose, fulfillment, peace, love, and joy. Find others like you who have had enough of the violence and who are willing to do the HARD WORK of extracting yourself from the herd of mindless sheeple blindly following the voice of fear and who desire instead, to create a new wave – a wave of love that will one day grow large enough to wash the world clean of fear and restore it to the world of love that it was meant to be.
Today’s blog offers a glimpse and some support as we face this current period of Universal change. Big changes are coming….but for now…..we must surrender to the VOID!
Entering the Void
In case you haven’t yet noticed, we are in the void. A time many of my peers are referring to as the “wormhole.” I like to think of it as the birth canal. We have planted our seeds. We have sown our dreams. We have networked, promoted, advertised, shared all we are and all we hope to be. We have dreamed the dreams of a world we want to live in and the people we want to be in that world. Since the beginning of 2015, and most especially the early days of March, we have been busy, freneticly overcome with creative and creating energy. Then suddenly, everything came to a halt. Now, there is nothing we can do but WAIT! Like a seed waiting in the dark soil for the perfect amount of water, sunlight and warmth (and the turning of the year) to coax us out of our shell, we wait.
Nothing and Everything Happens in the Void
The void is a strange time of nothing. Waiting. Being. Resting. Recuperating. Recovering. Restoring. But while the void often feels like nothing, there is in fact, much going on. Resting. Recuperating. Recovering. Restoring. Like the purgatory of Christian-olde (in case you missed the bulletin, the Vatican recently erased purgatory from the books), the void is a time where our past is revisited and every lasting bit of remaining debris is removed. Anything that is not supportive of the new life that is waiting to be born after the end of the void, is being wiped away. And yes indeed, we are feeling it! GRIEF. ANGER. RESENTMENT. Old wounds, old betrayals, past losses and disappointments, are all coming around for one final look. The void is also a time of healing.
Surrender to the Void
Our task, as we wait here in the void is to SURRENDER. Don’t try to start any new projects or make any major decisions. The universe will not support them anyway and if you try, you will only be smashing your head against the brick wall of a world not yet ready for your gifts. In this state of immobility, be attentive to the anxiety, impatience, and restlessness that will arise because you have nothing “to do.” If you are bored, read a book, watch a playful movie, return to the mundane – clean the house, do the mending, sweep your basement, rake the yard. In doing these things, you are clearing the way for the new life that will begin to blossom somewhere around Easter. And if healing opportunities show up, be present to them. When old pain shows up, be with it and let it move through. As we show up to our pain, show up to the feelings around that pain – fear, sorrow, rage, etc., – we are allowing that pain to be healed. Ultimately, our job while hanging out in the void is to take care of ourselves – to love ourselves – to tend to the most vulnerable and fragile parts of our Soul and in doing so, we are creating a solid foundation upon which the new life is coming can take root, mature and bear much fruit.
Hang on…..the new life you have been promised and that you have been waiting for is almost here!
As we enter into the holiday season, it is important to be mindful that while this is a time of celebration, for many, holidays stir up old sorrow, old wounds and feelings of loneliness. This is also true of the midlife journey. As our Soul tries to be awakened and birthed through us, it brings to the surface old wounds in search of another layer of healing. Today’s blog presents a strategy for dealing with these old wounds when they come to call.
Last night, after a beautiful afternoon and evening of celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends, I suddenly found myself feeling sad. Then, as I slept, I found my dreams troubled by stories of frustration, heartache and sorrow. Upon risinng, I realized the source of this sorrow and the troubling dreams. A deep, and apparently as yet unhealed wound/loss had come to pay me a visit. The resurfacing of this wound, I realized, was so that another layer of healing could take place. My job, was to allow myself to acknowledge the wound and then to make time in which I could grieve another layer of this loss.
Midlife and Holidays
We have been speaking much about the midlife journey – the process through which our Soul seeks to be born and through which we have an opportunity to discovery the uniquely creative way in which we have been gifted to realize peace, love, joy and fulfillment in our lives and through which we are empowered to contribute to the betterment of the world. During the midlife transition, it is common for old wounds, hurts, losses, disappointments, betrayals, perceived failures to resurface. The intention of this resurfacing is so that we can find another layer of healing and release from the pain that might otherwise hold us back from the birth of our greatest potential. This resurfacing is especially acute during the holiday season and is not limited to those in midlife. Again, this resurfacing is not there to harm us, but to give us another opportunity for deeper healing. Our job is to allow the healing to take place.
Strategies for Dealing with Holiday and Midlife Pain
In a word: GRIEVE. When old pains, ancient losses, past betrayals resurface and we experience the memories and emotions related to these situations, we need to grieve. And the healthiest and most effective ways we can move through this grief is to provide a space in our lives in which we can grieve, and then we must grieve. These old wounds are here because they are ready for another layer of healing and the best way we can heal these losses is to be present to them and accept whatever face of grief shows up in the face of these losses: sadness, depression, anger, maybe even denial and bargaining. The greatest thing we can do for ourselves is recognize that we have been hurt, that we are grieving and then allow ourselves to stay in bed for a day, find a healthy way to channel or express our anger, or maybe even spending part of a day obsessing about the past hurt and working out plans for how is wouldda couldda shouldda been different. Then, once we have engaged in all the external symptoms of grief, we need to make room for the real emotion of loss – sadness and we need to cry, or at the very least, allow ourselves to feel and be present to our sadness. In this way, we are taking care of ourselves. We are honoring our loss and we are allowing ourselves to heal. And, if the pain becomes too great, seek outside help and support in the form of a good friend, loved one, counselor, spiritual director or Anam Cara (soul friend.). The most important thing to know is that you do not need to bear this pain alone. And if you are a person of prayer, always remember to turn to the God of your understanding for help and support in times of grief.
Lauri Lumby provides support for men and women moving through the midlife journey and moving through the pain of loss. To set up a one-on-one session, call Lauri at (920) 230-1313 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s blog explores the process of grief as it relates to the losses and disappointments of our lives.
Wisdom from a Friend
A wise friend once shared with me regarding grief, “When you are grieving, your emotions are not your own.” How true I have found that to be, both in the process of grieving my divorce and now grieving the loss of a significant relationship. As a Spiritual Director, I know all about the grieving process and have been a source of witness and support for many of my clients as they have moved through the losses, disappointments, changes and deaths in their lives. I should have this all figured out and grief should be easier for me because of my knowledge and experience in this area, right? WRONG! The good news is that I know that I am grieving (which is a far cry from what most people seem to know about their emotions related to grief) and that I have had enough experience in this area to know that instead of resisting the grieving process (as most of us do), I can simply SURRENDER and in surrendering to the process and letting it have its way with me, I will find quicker healing and will be more prepared to find the new life that is promised on the other side of this loss.
The emotions that come with grief are kind of like being the ball on the inside of a pinball machine – getting battered about the walls, getting hit by the paddles of sadness, pummeled against the buzzers of rage, flipped about by the hammer of denial and wishing and hoping you could just sink to the bottom of the machine and that this is really just a dream and none of it has really happened or that you will get that magic email or phone call that says, “I’m sorry, I was wrong, can we start over?” (that is called bargaining…..also a face of grief.) Like the ball inside the machine, we really have no control over where we are getting hit or in what direction we are being thrown. We simply get tossed about in our emotions as the Spirit within us works at healing our pain.
The good news is that while we are getting haphazardly battered about, with every punch of rage, collapse into depression, flood of tears, negotiations in bargaining and denial, strands of what has been fall away from us, like a mummy being unwrapped from its death dressings. Some of these strands are the illusions we might have created around the situation. The things that we may have made up in our heads or the way we wanted to hear or see things fall away so that deeper truths can be revealed. Some of the strands are those of deep pain – rejection, fear, loneliness, rage, anger, confusion. Other strands are the hopes and dreams we had created around the relationship and as we peel away the strands of these dreams, we are prepared for the new dreams in our life to begin to take root. Many of the strands are memories – all the things that made up the relationship – the good and the bad, the joy and the sorrow, the gift and the challenge. All of this unraveling is happening so that we can be cleared of what was, examine it for “what is mine in this” and “what is theirs” and so that we can be made ready for the new life that is promised on the other side of the loss.
It describes the hardest part of this journey for me….and probably for anyone that has been through the loss of relationship – the evil clown demon that seeks to torture us in self-loathing, self-flagellation, relentlessly coming at us with our own unhealed inner wounds. This is the evil clown that taunts us with all the negative self-talk it knows we are expert at inflicting upon ourselves. I will spare you the gory details, just know it is as scary, disturbing and disgusting as Pennywise – the evil clown demon of Stephen King fame. And to me, there is NOTHING more scary than clowns in general, let alone this demon clown!
I Can See Clearly Now
Ok, not yet…..but I know that in addition to the promise of new life, lies the promise of clarity and beyond clarity – compassion. I know that all this grieving will bring healing (and much has already taken place). I also know that it will be greater clarity and understanding – what really happened and why? And even more than this, is the promise of compassion – that moment when the finger of blame that hangs in midair pointing toward “them” and then back at “me” will finally fall to rest at my side. In that moment, I know that I will love myself for all I brought to this relationship, that I will love them for all that they brought, that I will look upon it as a happy and gifted time in my life and that I will be able to bless both of us as we move forward in our own respective truths. And for the record, this is my highest intention in this loss and the ultimate goal that keeps me going even in the face of grief.
In closing, I share a poem that I still believe to be true – if not for a lifetime, at least for a reason and a season….and for this I will always be grateful!
Copyright 2012 Lauri Lumby
They asked them, “How did you meet?”
“We were brought together,” he replied
She stood in stunned agreement, with the truth hanging in the air like
an overfilled raincloud anxiously wanting to quench the earth of its thirst.
How true this feels.
The silent, invisible workings of a benevolent Universe
Answering the deepest longings of their hearts
Across time and space
Through dreams and imaginings
And the supposed haphazard circumstances of life.
More than luck, beyond Karma,
Something meant to be
And in this their deepest thirst was quenched.
Authentic Freedom Ministries
To my regular blog readers: This is NOT the normal tone for my blog and I wholeheartedly admit this. I usually leave these kinds of posts to those who are experts in the field of world changes, prophecy, etc. But it seems the Holy Spirit is calling us all to alert and I’m responding to the needs of my readers who might otherwise be unaware. (or I could just be out of my flippin mind!!!!) 🙂
What Are You Feeling Today?
If today you are finding yourself feeling:
- impatient, frustrated, filled with anger or rage, seething with some yet unnamed inner energy that feels like it wants to EXPLODE out of you like a volcano
- anxious, pacing, suffering from sleeplessness or dream-filled and interrupted sleep
- A feeling like you want to tear your skin off and step out of a too constricted body
- Like you want to kick to the curb the people around you are not “cooperating” with what you want them to do
- Like you want to growl, bite, kick, SCREAM……….
- Your work or personal life feels unusually stressful and it feels like a pressure cooker and the lid is about to blow
- The people in your life (family, loved ones, co-workers) are exhibiting any or all of the above symptoms
YOU ARE NOT ALONE! My phone and email have been ringing off the hook with people suffering the above complaints. Not only that, but I feel it within myself and have observed it in my loved ones.
Shedding Our Skin
I’m stealing this image from a dear friend who saw this in a dream which I would usually count off as her personal thing. But then I got three more calls from people with the EXACT same dream. The dream: themselves as a snake, shedding their skin. This is exactly what seems to be happening to EACH and EVERY one of us. Like a snake shedding its skin, we are being invited….compelled….forced to discard our old, outmoded, no longer life-giving, too small for our truth bodies so that we can more fully embrace (warning….new agey language to follow) the Divine Human Imprint. What the heck does that mean, you might ask? I have no frickin idea……these are the words that were given to me……but in truth I do know what this mean.
The Divine Human Imprint aka LOVE!
LOVE is the long and short of it. We are being invited, compelled, forced to be LOVE. And not just in the little puny ways in which we have been love up til now….this is BIG LOVE……BIG JOY…..BIG PASSION….BIG CREATIVITY….BIG FUN….BIG TRUTH. We are being called to step out of the shadows of our fears, false perceptions, personal contrictions, limiting believes and step into….in a really BIG way……our TRUEST SELVES. What does that mean? It means we are called to EMBRACE our gifts….and our passions and all the things that give us joy. We are called to stop putting limits on our love and on our dreams and on our joys. God didn’t put us here to suffer and struggle and fight….God called us to LIVE and to LOVE and to PLAY! And God called us to do this through very specific and amazing gifts that are unique to each individual. We are all called to build the Kingdom of God on earth using the gifts, passions, joys and talents that God gave us. And we are called to DO IT NOW!!!!!
Where the Push meets the Shove
The problem however, is that many of us are still living within the limitations of our false perceptions and fear-based beliefs. Our lives don’t yet match our joy, our unique giftedness and the ENORMOUS love that humanity is called to be. So what we are feeling RIGHT NOW is the tension between what we are called to be and what our current circumstance seems to be. So if you are not yet doing your joy…..you might feel extra restless. If you aren’t sharing your gifts in the way that your highest self wants to, you might feel an enormous build up of stress in your personal or work place. If you aren’t loving in the way you are called to love, you might find yourself overcome with unexplained sadness or even rage.
Don’t Throw the Baby out with the Bathwater
During this time of enormous tension, there is a great temptation to kick to the curb everything that is irritating us. To this temptation, the Universe says….STOP….WAIT….PRAY….BREATHE. What we think is irritating us might just be a projection of our own inner restlessness. If you are 100% without a doubt sure that something needs to leave your life….then go ahead and get rid of it. If not, wait and see. The truth will be revealed in its own due time. So don’t be rash or make any hasty extractions.
What to Do in the Meantime
- Pray. Breathe. Meditate. ENGAGE your spiritual practice…whatever that is.
- LOVE – be loving toward yourself. Send love to your loved ones, your enemies, the world. Imagine love. Visualize Love. Keep a record of all the times you were loving…if that helps.
- Get out in nature. Hug a few trees. Sit by the water.
- Did I say water? Drink water. Bathe in Water. Be Water.
- ENGAGE the energy. Dance. Make love. Scream. Rant and Rave (to yourself). Pound your fists into a pillow.
- PULL weeds. Go into your garden and get your hands in the soil.
- Did I say make love?
- Do a MASTER cleanse: The juice of 1 lemon, 3 tablespoons of real maple syrup, a dash of cayenne pepper in 16oz of warm water. Drink often and many.
- Clean your house….scrub, polish, discard anything you aren’t using.
And in a nutshell: Hold onto your hat, hold onto your pants and kick off your shoes…..we are in for a wild ride!!!!!!!!!!
Authentic Freedom Ministries
Today’s blog explores the spiritual practice of presence – specifically how the simple act of being present to our pain can bring profound healing, growth and transformation. In this case, “No pain, no gain” is a true statement.
Avoid the Pain
I recently had a really interesting experience where I found myself simply being observer to my journey, instead of my normal role of victim. It was a situation where something very innocent was said to me – something that in and of itself was harmless enough, but of course, my inner victim wanted to make it a threat, a source of danger, another incident where I got to be the victim and someone else the enemy. It was so strange to watch, like a slow motion replay, how my inner self responded to this “innocent something.” As the words left the other person’s lips, I clearly saw a daggar coming through the air and stabbing me in the heart. I felt my being recoil in pain and then sink into the pit of martyrdom and depression. I withdrew. I became silent. I shut down. This chosen response remained until later in that same day when I suddenly decided that the “other” had to be the enemy. I quickly made up in my mind all kinds of scenarios where I was convinced this person was bad, didn’t like me, was rejecting me and how I would decide to not like them in return. Then I went into fear. I went into that place in my mind where I make up stories about what my future needs to look like, might look like, is supposed to look like. And then again, depression, rejection, anger and pain. By the end of the day, I was exhausted from being battered about by my inner thought demons. My typical response to this kind of reaction is to push away the pain, the hurt, the perceived rejection and I usually do this by harboring resentment, anger, rage. I was surprised, however, to find that something else all together began to unfold.
Pull the Plank from your own eye…sister!
Instead of gathering around myself the cloak of protective anger and resentment, I found myself simply being present. I let myself feel the hurt of perceived rejection. I allowed myself to be present to the impatience and frustration of not having “my plans fulfilled.” Instead, I simply sat with the question – what does this mean? And when I allowed myself to be present to this question, several answers began to be revealed. First I saw the “innocent words” and had to admit that I had entertained these thoughts myself on some level and that all they were doing were reflecting my own fears around the particular subject. Then I saw the way that I cling to perceived surety, concrete plans, a “secure” and “predictable” future…..of my own making, of course. Following the clinging, I saw my intuitive knowledge around this subject and the sudden fear, “What if I was wrong?” Then I was acutely aware of two pretty big fears that I have struggled with for as long as I could remember: ok….actually it was three fears:
- The fear of rejection (of not being loved, accepted, understood, etc.)
- The fear of not being right
- The fear of not knowing my future (ie: the need for security, surety, concrete plans)
When I identified these three fears, something amazing began to happen. Instead of running from these fears, pushing them away, ignoring them or bargaining with them, I decided to sit with these fears and see what happened.
Making Friends with our Fears
After turning the finger of blame that I was waving toward the innocent “other” back toward myself, I was able to identify the fears that caused me to hear a simply innocent comment as something potentially hurtful. Instead of stomping away in anger or retreating into the dark coccoon of depression, I decided to sit with my fears. Instead of pushing them away, bargaining with them or denying them, I allowed myself to be present. I allowed myself to FEEL the fear of rejection. I allowed myself to EXPERIENCE the fear of being wrong. I sat with the little girl inside of me that wants everything to be safe, predictable, planned out and HER WAY. And then, I breathed! I breathed these fears into myself and allowed myself to be present to them. Then here was the miracle…….they all went away. I saw the fear of rejection evaporate into thin air. I heard the voice of my truth reminding me of what I know to be true for now. And the little girl stopped clinging to the illusion of perceived surety while she sank into the arms of God and let God carry her to where she needed to be….trusting that all would be well.
How might you become more aware of your own defensive reactions to perceived hurts, etc.?
How do you run from or avoid the pain of loss, disappointment, not being in control, etc?
How might you be present to the pain and allow the possibility of healing and transformation?
Authentic Freedom Ministries
When all the signs seem to be there for a particular outcome and the universe suddenly pulls the rug out from underneath us, what are we to do but shake our fists (or flip the bird) at God.
Today, I am mad as hell at God. I feel a little (actually A LOT) like King David when he moaned, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22).
All the signs were there (or at least I thought they were). The house of my dreams. I had given to the universe a “wish list” of what I wanted in a home for me and our children. I knew the price range that I could afford. I had minimal requirements of 3 bedrooms, a dining room, a living room and 1 – 1.5 baths. Then I added my dreams: hardwood floors throughout, an office on the main floor and hot water heat. Then as I began perusing real estate listings last spring, this house seemed to rise right out of the mist, setting itself above all the other listing. Then, when reading the details….you guessed it, my wish list: a first floor office (which I intended to make into a meditation room/chapel), hot water heat, four bedrooms (yea, an office for me!) and as I later discovered – a place to add a second bathroom very easily AND hardwood floors throughout (underneath 50-year-old carpeting). Then….all the other pieces began to fall into place:
The kids LOVE the house
It is not in the neighborhood I expected, but the kids were excited to be closer to the lake (Oshkosh is sandwiched between two large lakes and separated by a river that runs through the town)
The house needs work….and out of nowhere comes a contractor looking for a portfolio project who offers me a HIGHLY discounted labor rate to start his new business venture.
I end up qualifying for a mortgage (a miracle in and of itself)
Then here is the craziest miracle: The house of my dreams has a bathroom that is in the craziest most indescribable shade of pink – toilet, sink, bathtub and tile – all this weird pink. The sink is shot and I thought I would have to replace a sink and toilet…..when on a whim I stop in the local structural antique shop, Crescent Moon Antiques and they have THE EXACT SINK in perfect condition. WHAT ARE THE ODDS????
It sure seemed as if this was supposed to be my house….the bonus is that this house would have allowed me to move my office into my home, saving $500.00 per month in overhead costs. So, all that being said, here is why I’m ticked off at God:
God seemed to be giving me all the signs, seemed to be pointing me in the direction of this house and there seemed to be no other interested parties. The road seemed to be made clear. So, I put in an offer. Then, out of nowhere swoops in three other offers. AND……I LOST THE HOUSE. I was (still am) devastated. What the heck, God? Now what am I supposed to do? Then add insult to injury, I finally had the courage to pull up my bootstraps and start looking at other houses. WTH……The houses I looked at that are in my price range (interestingly…..houses prices in the same range as the one on which I placed and offer) SUCK!!!! They are all dilapidated, run-down, condemnable houses. YUK YUK YUK. I came home yesterday after 2 hours of house tours, bawled my eyes out and slept for 3 hours (mind you, I’m also sick with a bad cold).
So today I am darn mad at God. Did I read all the signs wrongly? Was I just making it all up? Am I nuts? Why lead me along this path God only to pull the run out from beneath my feet? Yeah, Yeah, I know…”it wasn’t meant to be….God must have something better in mind…it must not have been in my highest good…” all the things I tell myself in my head and tell clients and students when faced with life’s challenges. But you know what….I’m still dang mad!
I want that house and I want it now! (This is me doing my Veruca Salt dance!)
So, today I’m just going to be mad at God. The good news is that God can take it. Maybe in allowing myself to feel the disappointment and anger a place will be made where I can be open to whatever God has in store for me in this process. In the meantime…I’m just mad and it might be a really good day to put on and jam out to “Ten Thousand Fists in the Air” by Disturbed!
What disappointments have you experienced in your own life that have made you feel angry with God/the universe?
Have you allowed yourself space to feel that anger?
What healing did you experience as a result of allowing space for anger?
Authentic Freedom Ministries/YourSpiritualTruth
Music is said to soothe the savage beast, I have also found it to be a powerful source for healing and release. In this blog I explore the power of music to heal – music of all sorts, including my personal favorite, heavy metal. And I give a shout out to my current musical medication – Disturbed!
Divorce, as many of you know, is NOT an easy process. While there may be a sense of relief in some areas, there is still grief and old, unhealed wounds (some related to the relationship and some not) come home to roost. While this is taking place, we are also visited with the fear and terror of a new life that has not yet been revealed. This is scary stuff! Grief, anger, sorrow, fear, anxiety, worry, rage, resentment, shame, guilt, depression, sadness, loneliness all show up to pay a visit and we have no choice but to do something about it. (Ok, I know we could choose to ignore it, but I have not found that to be a helpful decision as anything I try to ignore will simply show up in some other more painful form…..so…..I try to meet it head on!)
One of the things that I have found especially helpful in dealing with and processing the painful emotions of divorce is music. When I can no longer “think” through the pain, or try to conquer it through meditation, yoga, contemplation, when my fingers are too tired to write, I have sought refuge in music. While music is part of my daily spiritual practice through chant, the kind of music I’m talking about here has nothing to do with the ethereal strains of sacred chant. NO…..the way I have found to move through the painful, dark, scary emotions that are surfacing in this divorce process is Earphones on, as loud as my ears can stand it without bleeding, HEAVY METAL…..and the particular persuasion of this genre that I have found myself drawn to is the musical genius of Disturbed! “Wha ha ha ha!”
For as long as I can remember, without even knowing what it was, music has been a part of my spiritual practice. I remember as a child retreating to the sanctuary of my bedroom to put on my headphones (or not…..sorry mom and dad) and jam out to whatever was my favorite music at the time. Beginning with the Osmonds and the Partridge Family, moving on to Fleetwood Mac, eventually graduating to Led Zeppelin, Joan Jett, Heart, Guns and Roses, Aerosmith and Motley Crue – music has played a role in helping me to move through the painful feelings and experiences of the human condition. And….it has been heavy metal music that has been the most helpful when times are most difficult. I can’t say that I have made it as far as the Berzerker genre of East Germany, but give me a good dose of Marilyn Manson, GnR or Disturbed and I am transported to a place where I can find freedom and release from the dark emotions of hatred, depression and rage. If the movement of the emotions brings me to tears, I know that true healing is taking place. AAAAHHHHH
How does this work? Since I am not a sound scientist, I cannot give you the scientific reason for why sound helps us to find healing, but I can give you my current theory. I believe that music somehow harnesses the power of the Holy Spirit to bring healing and release. In the session that I teach on the Holy Spirit in my program, “Called to Freedom,” I use music to demonstrate this aspect of the Divine. I use music to invite participants to connect with an understanding of the Divine as “Creative Action.” When we listen intently to music and allow ourselves to connect beyond the notes and the words to the movement of the piece, we are able to connect with a place within ourselves where there is movement. In connecting with this movement, we are connecting with the transformational aspect of the Divine that lives within us and seeks movement. The Divine calls us to growth, calls us to movement, calls us to transformation and music has the power to not only connect us with this place of transformation but acts as a catalyst through which this transformation is facilitated. It is in this way that music is a powerful tool for healing and transformation – in divorce or in any other stage of transition in our lives.
So…..a shout out of gratitude and profound thanksgiving to the guys and gals in the band who have been vehicles through which we can experience profound healing and transformation. And a special shout out to David and the boys in Disturbed – ”Wha ha ha ha !”
PS: You Tube has an official site for Disturbed videos! CHECK IT OUT!
Authentic Freedom Ministries/Your Spiritual Truth
Grief is the medicine that helps us to heal from the wounds of change and loss. When grief surfaces, whether it be sadness, anger, bargaining, depression or denial, surrender to its healing balm. It is only in surrendering to grief that we are able to find the new life waiting to be revealed.
Today my thoughts turn to grief. Grief is the healing process given to us by the Divine to help us recover from the loss and change that are all part of the human condition, and helps to prepare us for the new life waiting to be revealed. While the process of grief is never pleasant, it is only in surrendering to this process that we can find healing, release and the freedom to step into the new. Grief is a journey unique to each individual, yet we all share the same faces of grief, in varying degrees and manifestations.
Rage or Anger as part of the grieving process allows us to purge those parts of the dying situation, relationship or experience that were not and are no longer life-giving. Anger allows us to tap into those pieces within ourselves that need to be transformed into something new. For example, if co-dependency was part of my role in a dying relationship, anger may surface related to situations where I indulged my own co-dependency. This surfacing of anger allows me to examine the parts of co-dependency that need to be released from within me so that I can be open to something new. Anger can also serve as a sort of defense mechanism, protecting us from the hurts of the loss that we are not yet ready to face.
Denial – Denial serves as a form of deep protection. If we do not face the loss or the death, then we do not have to be affected by the pain of that loss. Denial is our companion until we are ready to be touched by the pain of loss and enter into the process of release and transformation.
Bargaining is a close friend to denial. Bargaining allows us to cling to the hope of avoiding the loss. In bargaining we rationalize, justify and make exchanges for what we know on some level really needs to end. Bargaining can surface in the form of these kinds of phrases, “He really is a good provider.” “What if we try this next medication?” “I promise I will try harder.” Bargaining allows us to hold the pending death or loss at bay until we are ready to face the hard and difficult truth.
Depression – Depression in the process of grief (not to be confused with clinical depression which is something else all together)serves two functions. It is frequently said that depression is anger turned inward. This is especially true in the process of grief. When we are afraid of our anger, or have been told that it is not ok to be angry, instead of embracing the anger as it surfaces, we repress and suppress it. Denying the healing properties of anger does not help us, but harms us as the anger is contained within. Suppression of anger eventually turns into depression. We find ourselves paralyzed, trapped and unable to move forward through the grieving process. Depression in this form stalls the grieving process. Depression when it is part of the grieving process can also serve to give us the necessary time we need to really integrate the loss. Depression is like pressing pause on a cassette player. It gives us the opportunity to retreat to a place of silent solitude. It is in this place of guarded silence that the deep inner work of healing can take place. It is in this place of dark mystery that the miracles of the healing process can take root and begin to grow. When we start to feel anger again, that is a sure sign that the depression stage is ready to let go so that active healing can resume.
Sadness Sadness, tears, active grieving, mourning and wailing are all part of the sadness of grief. We need to shed the tears of loss in order to be healed. We need to grieve the pain of loss. We need to join with our brothers and sisters who have or are also experiencing loss give movement to the deep sadness within. Crying, wailing and weeping are all active and beneficial tools of healing.
The invitation as we face the deaths, losses and changes in our lives is to be open to the process of grief – with all its mysterious faces and manifestations. It is only in surrendering to and engaging in the process of grief that we can find the healing that we need to embrace the new life that is waiting to be revealed. While death and loss are never pleasant, we are reminded of the Divine promise that out of every death comes new life. Can we be open to the new life that is waiting to be revealed?
Authentic Freedom Ministries