Continue to Love

Perhaps love is only meant for a season. People come into our lives for many a reason but we don’t often know at hand, we just have to trust God’s plan. Dreams are birthed when our feet faulter off the path, turning to hope rather than wrath. They catch our hearts to pull us back to the Way, of finding a love that will stay.

So let’s make a pact… that we won’t take love away when our bodies are gone, but will transform love to a different kind of bond. So that we will not be the cause of the void in someone else’s soul, but will be the reason someone else still feels whole.

Enjoy Simplicity

Nearing 20 years ago, a love once taught me to “Create the capacity to enjoy simplicity.” His words still ring in my ears as a grand symphony peaking to leave me with yet another ah-ha moment. Last week, I was reading Ezekiel 33-35 and it occurred to me that we must still be the watchmen for God’s call. Throughout this pandemic, we’ve been preoccupied with self-preservation, political turmoil, and destructive divisions of family, that we have forgotten to listen for the symphony in life: Create the capacity to enjoy simplicity. I wondered how I – one person- might promote change or give the cry. I spoke with my spiritual comrade (my mother), just trying to voice my concerns with this task. I shy away from public ministry because it is often misconstrued as shoving beliefs down one’s throat or shaming them rather than sharing the Good News. Therefore, my ministry has been through modeled behaviors, attitudes about life, and my writings. I sat with the idea of how I could live up to God’s call yet it was right in front of me the whole time. Pen-to-paper, fingers-to-keyboard, HE has been speaking through me so all I have to do is write.

Create the capacity to enjoy simplicity. We all know the adage, “The glass is either half empty or half full.” I’ve never been comfortable in limiting myself to those two options. I choose to see the glass as partly filled with water- a source of life itself- but it is also filled to the brim with the empty space necessary for the spirit to reside…. after all, it is both the living water and the spirit that gives us our power. My cup is not half of anything…. it overflows!

In the past, I had struggled with the concept of lack vs. abundance. We grew up very poor and so there was this need for conservation of resources. Even though my mother really did an amazing job at modeling her relationship with God so that we lived with all that we needed, we still grew up with the lack mentality. We had “just enough” but- except spiritually- we weren’t living in abundance. I’m not complaining, just stating observations. I suspect that we all had become comfortable in the “limited resources” or “doing without.” Over the past five years, I have consciously been breaking the cycle of lack. I do not want to be more comfortable living paycheck-to-paycheck or without “quality time.”

Side-note:

When I say “comfortable,” I don’t mean that one feels happier in a lack situation. I mean that abundance is such a foreign feeling that we revert to having little or sabotaging success so that we get back to a place of familiarity.

How have I broken the cycle?

First, it is important to recognize the gift of emptiness because this enables us to want to fill that reservoir. Material or superficial things get swallowed up by the void and are a short-lived space-fillers. The spirit of pure Love is the only long-lasting energy that can sustain residence within emptiness. I have allowed the spirit to fill my cup to the brim, nay, I have invited the spirit to fill my cup so that it spills over… and I demonstrate gratitude for these blessings.

What is the difference between “to the brim” and overflowing?

When our cup is filled, our needs are met and we also have a bit extra for the fun parts of life. The fun parts might be family vacations, fine dining with friends, or other activities that could be considered self-care. When our cup is overflowing, we have the ability and the priority (via our connection with the spirit of Love) to reach out and help humanity. We aren’t thinking of ourselves, our time constraints, or our financial “lack,” but are trusting that we have more than enough! This generosity is led by the spirit: It is Christ and God inspiring us to make a connection with humanity whether it be through compassion, time, or money. It is living in the realm of abundance. It is this breath of life- or breath of Love- that leads us to fulfill our mission:

Help others find The Way to create the capacity to enjoy simplicity!

On My Behalf

Stopped. Not by external forces but the internal knowledge that if I don’t stop myself than the universe will stop me… put me on my knees and have me begging for solace and peace. How long did I think I could sustain this pressure? But when I stop… the thinking creeps in, followed by the deep loneliness that likes to push me down into the darkness… I look out for him so that I can dodge his trickery: “I’m not alone!!!” I yell to him before he’s close enough to shove me down. “I’ve got my dreams to comfort me!” But he still advances to trip me up. “I have freedom how I live. No one will stop me from capturing my desires,” except my old friends Doubt and Fear, but I don’t tell him that. Loneliness smirks in a way that lets me know he’s plotting… planning ways to remind me of lost lovers.

My Heart speaks on my behalf: “Love is free. You just have to accept it.” It’s as if he was reminding me, but then I saw that his intensity was directed toward Loneliness. “You know this! Why do you try to toss her to the lion’s of her mind? Don’t you also know she is protected by a Love greater than any of your threats?”

“I do,” replied Loneliness with a mix of angst and a frog in his throat.

“Then why try?”

“You could never understand!!! Love turned its back on me!! It’s not fair that she should have so much when I have none… But you’re Heart… How could you ever get it? You’re filled to the brim.”

“That’s where you are mistaken my dear misguided Loneliness. I am not filled with love! I AM Love! I am the source, the process, and the product.” Loneliness turned away, ashamed of being in Love’s presence… tears… on the brink of flooding the valley of my soul. Heart approached and placed His hand on his shoulder… “And I… give myself to you freely. Can you accept this gift?”

The Mirrored Self

If you’ve loved the ones who reflect who you are right back to you, then you probably have learned to love yourself. Because before that time when you love yourself, they seem to rub you the wrong way, anger you easily, and disappoint you… or rather, you disappoint yourself as you resist the abundance of love that is possible when the reflection shows peace and acceptance.

[For more information on the Looking Glass Self theory, read Charles Cooley’s works]

Ballad

Him: I can’t see you. Babe, I can’t see you. Cause Lord knows I can’t see myself walking away again. You knew me better. Took my soul and wrote it in a letter but something tells me that now I’m a better man. Come home to me.

Her: I’m making it without you even though you’ve left evidence of your craftmanship: You’ve drafted upon my soul.

Him: I can’t stop dreaming. I don’t want to stop dreaming. Cause if I do, I’m afraid you’ll be gone for good. You loved so sweet. Took my breath away and made my heart retreat but now I’m lost and locked without the key. Come home to me.

Her: I’m finding my way without you, darlin’, even though you hold the map: You’re my cartographer.

Him: I want to find you. I need to find you. Cause without your light, the darkness keeps closing in. You brightened my way. Took every ounce to keep my pain at bay but every fiber wants to pull you tighter. Come home to me.

Her: I’m singing my song without you even though we’re the music that makes my heart beat: You’re my perfect harmony.

Him/Her: Come home to me.

Her: But what we couldn’t see is that I never left you and you never left me.

Him: Life is our rhythm and love the melody!

Gratitude for the Man and the Journey: From “Mirrors”

I will forever be grateful and hold you in high regard.

You mirrored my soul’s fears and faults and left my heart jarred.

But without your love to expose my vulnerability

I would not have fought so hard to taste sweet tranquility.

I’ve learned to love deeper without attachment or expecting more

To appreciate God’s gifts, life’s challenges, and the blessings in store.

So thank you, THANK YOU, for helping me to see

That we’re all connected, joy comes from within, and that love is free.

Be Still to Escape

I want to know your dark side.

Let me in!

Not so I can change you… That’s the last thing I mean to do.

Just let me in!!

To quietly sit next to you in the quicksand of your thoughts.

Let me sit in stillness… with silence… while you flail and kick and scream and struggle to get out of the traps you’ve set for yourself.

Let my presence in love reassure you that you are never alone.

That no matter how low you sink and how covered you are in muck…

Hope still exists!

Fighting only makes it worse… so let go.

You have to quiet your mind.

Let go of the struggle…

So that you can focus on the mustard seed lost in the millions of granules of shame, defeat, selfishness, and self-destruction.

When you are still, you’ll find that- somehow, someway- hope becomes magnified.

Let me send my love to lighten your way…

So you can finally see and claim what has been yours all along.

So that together, we can be free.

Legacy of Love

When I can’t be with you anymore, will you hold my frail but soft hand?

When I’m scared because I don’t recognize this cold place, will you sing me my favorite songs?

When I forget you, will you remember all I taught you?

When I run out the door, will you take me back in to put on my pants?

When I get angry and snap at you because I’m ashamed for losing control, will you playfully give me shit for forgetting that I love you!

When the tears fill my eyes because I know that you’re losing me, please just pretend you don’t notice so I can be in denial just one more day.

Take me with you when I am gone.

Debrief

With Alzheimer’s disease, the symptoms progressively worsen. I wrote this piece so that time is going backward with more and more opportunities to make memories and share your wisdom.

Today I read my dad’s birth certificate… It stated that his mother- who later had Alzheimer’s disease- had 3 children already when he was born, but six- yes 6!! who were born but died, it made me wonder if trauma and dementia are linked… Sure enough, there is a higher risk for dementia after trauma, especially childhood trauma.

I always thought Gram got it because there was a life of abuse that she wanted to forget. But now I see more events she may not want to remember. You can’t tell me that losing 6 of your full term fetuses or young children doesn’t rip out your soul… no? Oh no? It doesn’t? Well then you my friend… Go feed yourself to an elephant ’cause you’re nuts!

Even if it was “the norm.”

So… long story short… 1) It runs in my family. 2) Childhood trauma with undiagnosed PTSD. 3) A past of repetitive negative thinking. 4) I’m a woman.

My risk is high….

I better write down what I know about life so that those I love can remember me #LeaveALegacy

What I’ve Realized About Love: From My Heart to Yours.

Leave the Vision to the Divine Feminine. Let her spirit be light and whimsical. You, Divine Masculine are the protect her… protector of this Sacred Union. You trust me, the grace-filled goddess to dream up and manifest a life together of beauty, charity, and peace. I trust you, the mighty warrior, to defend the boundaries of our love. No foe shall surmount these walls, our faultless fortress buckles our enemies at the knees. First we Ascend then we Expand our love throughout the world!