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.
The purpose of a midlife crisis, perimenopause and menopause (from a spiritual perspective) is to move us beyond childbearing to birthing ourselves…and this is as true for men as it is for women. During midlife and menopause, we are invited to leave behind the life we have known to make room for the new life that is trying to be born through us. In birthing our new selves, we are birthing our Soul – the unique way we are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose, connection and fulfillment in our lives and the way in which we find fulfillment by contributing to the betterment of our world. There are a whole slew of symptoms that arise to alert us to the fact that we are facing midlife, perimenopause and menopause – anxiety, depression, restlessness, impatience, discontent, sorrow, loneliness, relationship issues and rage. In today’s blog, we explore rage as a symptom of midlife and how to deal with it.
Symptoms of Midlife, Perimenopause and Menopause – Dealing with Rage
In the process of birthing ourselves during the midlife transition, a whole slew of symptoms emerge with three purposes:
1) To alert/WAKE US UP to the fact that we have entered the midlife stage of human development.
2) To let us know that our Soul – the uniquely creative way in which we have been gifted to find meaning, purpose and fulfillment in our lives – is trying to be born.
3) To give us an opportunity to clear out all the old, unresolved and ungrieved issues from our past which might stand as an obstacle to the birthing of our Soul.
Rage, as a symptom of midlife, perimenopause and menopause, does all of these things. Rage shows up to remind us of all the past betrayals, resentments, disappointments, losses and hurts that have not yet been processed, healed and released. While rage shows up to clean our inner house, Rage also has a unique and special purpose.
Symptoms of Midlife, Perimenopause and Menopause – Rage in a Cage
In the lifetime leading up to the midlife (perimenopause and menopause) transition, most of us have spent an enormous amount of time and energy keeping a lid on our truth. Ignoring our needs. Denying our passions. Silencing our hopes and dreams. Putting a gag over our truth. At midlife, our Soul screams, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!” This is where rage steps in. Rage, during midlife, is more often than not, all of our bottled up truths, suppressed needs, repressed passions trying to find their way out. For just a moment, imagine that you are a volcano and all of your needs, truths, secret desires, hidden gifts, passions, hopes and dreams are molten lava….bubbling and boiling and wanting to come forth out of the world, but you have placed 300 tons of stones and rocks on top of your boiling truths. At midlife, the pressure of this boiling mass of creativity, dreams and passions can no longer be contained and will eventually EXPLODE out of you….often in a fit of rage….and if not in an explosion, it will come out sideways in impatience, frustration, seething resentments. The remedy to Rage in midlife…..is to uncover your truths, name and claim your needs, set healthy boundaries for yourself and your loved ones, explore your passions, rediscover your childhood dreams…..and LET THEM SPEAK. In allowing our truths to be known, our rage subsides and we find contentment, peace and joy.
Lauri Ann Lumby offers support for the midlife journey through one-on-one mentoring, workshops and classes. To learn more, call (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
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