Love With No Conditions

mother teresaWe are so quick to judge and keep our prejudice views without ever hearing the story behind the eyes. We see their actions, hear their words, but keep our distance. We never ask how they truly are. We never ask to share their story. We insulate ourselves from the “world.” I think Christian’s take the phrase “in the world, not of the world” too literal. It becomes something of a righteous thing to say.

Oh, that person has AIDS, I shouldn’t go near them. What would people think? But I’ll pray for them (on the rare occasion they cross my mind).

That person is a lesbian/gay…I shouldn’t interact with them. What if their tendencies rub off on me? What if people call me a lesbian/gay because I befriend them? That would tarnish my “Christian” image…but I’ll mail them a tract and find a self-help group for them.

Her husband is divorcing her…it must be her fault. She must have done something horrible. I won’t call her because someone might get mad at me and think I’m taking sides. She probably already has support. But I’ll put her on the prayer chain and then gossip about her with my “friends.”

Their child has a rotten attitude and no manners. They are so disrespectful and disruptive. They shouldn’t have them in church. They cause a ruckus. I would never let my child act that way. They must be horrible parents. And I’ll tell them so.

and on and on and on and on….

It never ends. Christians shoot the wounded, the hurting, the lost. Instead of loving and helping them, they condemn, judge, ridicule, withdraw, gossip, etc. about them. Why is that? Why has love become so conditional among God’s followers? I’m always lost as to how people can justify the kind of conditional, demanding love that they have and claim they are Christian and acting like Jesus. The Jesus I know loved everyone…regardless of race, status, past, problems, sexual orientation, married, single, widowed, separated, poor, wealthy, in-between, dirty, clean, prostitute, diseased, drug addict, alcoholic, sex addict, lost, and more. He never distinguished between the people that he loved. And no one had to do anything to earn his love. He gave it freely. It doesn’t mean that Jesus condoned or liked what the person was a part of or involved in or where they were at in life…but instead of judging, he loved.

What would happen if more of us chose to love freely instead of beating them up? Instead of wounding those who are already hurting? They don’t need someone telling them their life is screwed up. Nine chances out of ten, that person is already quite well aware of where they are in life. They don’t need to be reminded of it every time they turn around. Instead, they need to be loved, wanted, needed…believed that they are loved in spite of their messy, screwed up lives. People who will love them in the middle of everything…who will be their friend, their confidant, their helper. People who won’t tell them how to fix things, how to change, what to do, how they screwed up, preaching and teaching.

Listen to their silence. Sit with them in their quiet, in their pain, in their joys and heartaches. Hold them in their tears. Rage when they rage. Cry when they cry. Laugh when they laugh. Be quiet when they are quiet. Don’t fill the silence with meaningless words. You can’t fix it. You can’t change it. And don’t try. You aren’t their savior and you aren’t their God. And the relationships aren’t about trying to make yourself feel better, look like a better Christian, earn a ‘notch’ in your belt, be a witness. Instead, you are to love. Read 1 Corinthians 13. It’s the defining chapter of love in the Bible.

Love is meant to be freely given, without conditions. it is a gift that was given to us to give to others. How dare we pick and choose the benefactors as though they must earn it. 

The Joke Is On Us

Lately, I’ve had to stop scrolling through Facebook so much and stop watching the news so frequently. It’s getting to me. All the hate, anger, and evil in the world. I’m not sure how much more I can take. Since Trump took office, I feel like I have been living in the twilight zone. What’s happening in our country, and around the world, is hard to comprehend. It’s difficult to believe that this is the new reality. Our reality.

At first, it was incredulity that he even got elected. We all thought it wasn’t possible, that it was a joke. It was a sure thing that Hillary Clinton would win. No need to sweat it. Well, the joke is on us.

Then it was disbelief at the Twitter rants and attacks. A President of our country would really say these things? Yep.

The President of our country really sexually assaulted those women? He said those horribly demeaning things about women and got away with it? Absolutely.

Russia hacked our elections and manipulated the outcome. Seriously? That doesn’t happen in today’s world. Apparently, it does.

45 puts well-known white supremacists in his Cabinet. We’re outraged. Shocked. But what can we do?

Build a wall is chanted far and wide, spewing hate at anyone who isn’t a white American.

Government agencies are banned from talking to the press.

“Fake News” is used against every journalist and news outlet, except Fox News and a few other extreme right-wing conspiracy sites.

Rips immigrant children from their parents at the borders, traumatizing them, claiming that this will be a deterrent for any other illegal immigrants coming into our country.

Meets with other world leaders and alienates them, berates them, abuses them, and makes America the enemy of our neighbors.

Meets with Putin and practically kisses the ground he walks on, denouncing our intelligence reports and community, that Russia is innocent. 45 may as well declare fealty to Russia. He’s already committed treason.

Need I go on? If you want a complete list of the madness, click here.

Yet, people still seem shocked that this craziness is happening. They don’t understand. They don’t get it. Even some of those who voted for him are wondering where it wrong. Well, let me tell you…it was all there in the beginning if you were willing to look at it. Willing to listen to it. Willing to open your heart and mind to understand it. Instead, you chose to be blind to the lies, to the hate, to it all. You were stuck on the party line. You were sick and tired of being the underdog in life and hoped for change. You no longer wanted to be the struggling middle class, but the man on top. You bought into the lie that we needed to “Make America Great Again.”

I get it. But was selling your soul to the devil the best way to change your circumstances? Was looking the other way worth the cost? What made you think that we stopped being great? The “Make America Great Again” slogan is a Rorschach test and Trump coasted to victory on the hope that everyone would see in it exactly what they want to see. It’s a good strategy for a campaign.

“Maybe as a country we need to focus less on “Making America Great Again” and more on making America the shining city on the hill that Ronald Reagan spoke so much about. An America where everyone has the same opportunity and access to the American dream regardless of their skin color, their gender, their sexual orientation. An America where the only thing that limits us is the size of our dreams and the intensity of our work ethic. This America doesn’t dwell on the past but looks forward to building a brighter future. It basks in the success of the past and shows an appropriate amount of shame for its errors. And it learns from its mistakes. It uses all of it as a foundation to be stronger for future generations. It’s an America that recognizes that its greatness lies not in an idealized view of the way things used to be but in adapting and adjusting to new realities.”   -Ellen McGirt

In my lifetime, I have never seen Congress, and a sitting President, so blatantly mock our Constitution. It’s especially striking that it comes from the political party that’s always lecturing us about the “rule of law”. What’s worse is that they’re getting away with it. Republicans have turned these Constitutional issues into political footballs and suckered the White House, Democrats in Congress and the news media into playing the game by their rules.

I wonder what other Constitutional mandates Congress and the President could just decide to ignore. Is it possible that the White House, the opposition party in Congress and the news media could be cowardly complacent, too frozen by fear to actually do anything to stop their overreach? It’s all “politics,” they say. Sound familiar? That’s exactly what we said when Trump’s campaign was just a joke. He won once. And could win again.

 

 

-Ellen McGirt, Why ‘Make America Great Again’ Is An Offensive Slogan

 -Tavis Smiley, Why I Fear America Could Enslave Black People Again

What Did You Do?

I revived this blog because I felt there were things that need to be said about today’s world. But I’m having trouble with it.

The past several months, I was angry. I was dumbfounded. I was in shock over the election and was on the attack, defending human rights, women’s rights, our planet, my friends, my loved ones against the Trump and his cronies.

Now?

I find myself in the depths of despair. There is so much wrong, so much hurt, so much anger, so much disbelief…and I am lost. How do I fight against something so strong? Trumpism is railroading everything. How can I help stop it?

Right now, I feel I can’t.

I don’t know how.

I see friends and loved ones who voted for him and I can’t understand why. I see refugees dying because we’ve refused them entry and help. Why?

I see women being trampled on for their right to choose what to do with their bodies. It isn’t just about abortion. It’s the fact that government, and I use the term loosely now, is making those decisions. What gives them the right to tell me what I can and can’t do to myself? It’s my human right, my women’s right, to make my own decisions about my body. And yet, I see women arguing for Trump saying “he’s not taking women’s rights.” Oh really? The fact that millions of women marched, AGAIN, should tell you something.

I hear nomination after nomination of uneducated, racist, extremists for his Cabinet. People who can’t even answer simple questions about their supposed field, yet they’re supposed to run it for the country. I’m looking at you, Betsy Devos, Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, Rick Perry, Ben Carson…hell, all of you! Yet, you think that’s okay?

I see families torn apart by this “immigration ban” enacted hastily, without thought or consult, and chaotically against seven supposed terrorist countries. But the terrorists from 9/11, Boston Marathon bombing, and more…their countries aren’t banned? Just Muslim ones. Sure, that makes sense. Why not condemn a whole religion over a few extremists who distort the basic tenets of a love and peace to meet their own agenda? Wait a second, though. You didn’t ban the countries you have business ties with AND also have terrorists who have attacked our country? Imagine that. And you’re still okay with all of this? I’m talking to you, my friends.

I read the headlines of the Dakota Pipeline plans being re-established. For those of you who fought so hard for your land to remain sacred, I’m sorry. Trump has an invested business in it so who cares who it affects.

I also read the news of the Keystone Pipeline being re-established. Same problem, different name. But who cares? We need oil to survive, right? We have to be independent from other countries who already supply us with oil. If it destroys the environment, your land, your ancestors, oh well! It’s for the greater good, right?

Guess what? They’re coming after LGBTQ next. Oh, and people of color, too. We all need to be blue-eyed and blonde haired. You’re a woman? Forget it. Didn’t you get the memo?

Who cares if you need healthcare to survive? It’s not that important. Obama came up with it so of course it’s horrible and has to be stripped, regardless of the good it accomplishes. We don’t have a plan to replace it, so say toodles to any benefits you might of had. Let that cancer kill off your friends and loved ones. Let your friends get sick and potentially die because they can’t afford a medication. Send your family to the state hospital because they lost their mind from their mental health. They have no insurance to get help. Let that baby suffer and die an infant because Mom didn’t have health insurance to help her. You’re pro-life, right? Of course you are. I can tell.

How is all this okay with you? Tell me again how he’s going to save the economy and save American jobs, but destroy human life and human rights in the process? It’s really okay with you for a President to deliver false press briefs, narcisstic Twitter rants because his fragile ego suffered, investigates voter fraud because Clinton won the popular vote and he didn’t have large crowds at his inauguration, and fire an Attorney General because she disagreed with him?

Are you seeing it, yet?

I just don’t understand what you saw and continue to see in him. I’m baffled by it. I feel like I’m in a bad dream and never waking up.

I hope you’re happy in your little white privileged cocoon as the world crumbles around you.

But you probably don’t care because it doesn’t affect you, right? What have you got to lose? It doesn’t matter what happens to everyone else while you sit on your high horse.

But the shit is piling up around you. Eventually, you’ll be covered in your own mess.

Those Who Wait

1358A lot has been on my mind lately and I think this title pretty much sums everything up at the moment. I feel like I’m waiting for everything…I tend to get impatient when I want something to happen, and get frustrated when things happen at a slower pace. 

There are times (frequently) where I question whether anything will really happen or not. It’s hard not to get sucked into the vortex of despair and sadness wondering “when…if ever.” I tend to have an all or nothing attitude…if it doesn’t happen now, then it will never happen. Not quite fair to the universe or myself, but it’s a way of protecting myself in case it never does happen. Then I think I won’t feel the hurt, anger, despair, sadness as much. Wishful thinking. 

Sometimes I even wonder if God is listening or am I just blowing hot air into the empty sky? There are only questions and no answers. Waiting sucks. Royally. And I suck at waiting. So all around this just sucks. I start wondering…am I praying hard enough? Am I seeking enough? Am I doing something that is making me wait longer? Am I being punished for something? What more do I need to do? HOW MUCH  MORE DO I HAVE TO GIVE?

Every day I think I’ve hit the bottom of the well. I’ve been sucked dry. My soul is beaten down and I’ve given up. But, my stupid self with my damn eternal optimism wakes with a glimmer of hope every morning. I feel the grounding roots pushing through my feet, drawing on the earth’s energy, Her Sacred Divine, and my soul slowly unfurls to the sunlight, no matter how stubbornly I try to block it out with my misery. Still no answers…and for the time being…that’s okay.

Breathe…

I Hate The Word Submission

I am a woman. I have dreams, hopes, fears, desires, thoughts, opinions, aspirations. I have a voice. But often it is strangled into silence. Submission.

I am a woman. What on earth could I have that’s worth contributing to the world? I watch other women stifle their voice, bury the woman they are at the expense of a man. They were taught that we are less than a man. A woman is made to support a man and be “submissive” to him.

Oh, how I hate that word! Submission. Often times it appeared in life, spouted at me as my role as a woman. It’s the Christian way to be. A wife submits to her husband. It was used against me when I was married eons ago. I was to be quiet, subservient, speak when only spoken to woman.

Sure, it says “submit” in the Bible. I know the verses. And I have an issue with them. Why must a woman submit to anything, especially to a man? But the more I think about it, the more I discern a deeper message, rediscovering the Sacred Feminine, the core of all humanity. And yet we have forgotten or been denied, the depths of this mystery, of how the divine light of the soul creates a body in the womb of a woman, and how the mother shares in this wonder, giving her own blood, her own body, to what will be born.  Our culture’s focus on a disembodied, transcendent God has left women bereft, denying them the sacredness of this simple mystery of divine love.

What we do not realize is that this patriarchal denial affects not only every woman but also life itself.  When we deny the divine mystery of the feminine we also deny something fundamental to life.  We separate life from its sacred core, from the matrix that nourishes all of creation.  We cut our world off from the source that alone can heal, nourish and transform it.  The same sacred source that gave birth to each of us is needed to give meaning to our life, to nourish it with what is real, and to reveal to us the mystery, the divine purpose to being alive.

Because humanity has a central function in the whole of creation, what we deny to ourself we deny to all of life.  In denying the feminine her sacred power and purpose we have impoverished life in ways we do not understand.  We have denied life its sacred source of meaning and divine purpose. 

Did you know that the ancient religions on Earth celebrated women? We were revered, honored, worshipped. God was the Goddess. He and She were one. Women create life. We are the only ones who can do that. It’s a gift from the Divine. We were celebrated for that gift. The Divine Goddess was the Mother of All, Healer, Queen, Giver and Sustainer of Life. She is LOVE.

The feminine IS the core of creation that is LOVE. Every woman instinctively knows that she is at the center of this great mystery of bringing life into the world – the sacred transformation of light into matter. Every woman intuitively knows that nothing can be born without the feminine Creatrix.

Sophia is a very ancient form of the Goddess of Wisdom. She is known in many traditions by different names but she carries the mantle of intuitive intelligence. Sometimes she is Isis, spreading her wings of ascension. Sometimes she is Asherah, the original bread of life. Mary Magdalene is said to have been an incarnation of Sophia.

The Old Testament’s King Solomon had a deep and profound relationship with Sophia. She was revered as the wise bride of Solomon by the Jewish people. In Greek mythology, Athena was the goddess of wisdom and weaving; the owl and the olive tree were sacred to her. 

The symbol of Sophia is the dove, depicted as the bird descending from the heavens, known in Christianity as the Holy Spirit. 

Isis is the Egyptian goddess of magic, fertility, and motherhood. She has gone by many names, such as the Queen of the Heavens, Star of the Sea, Light-Giver of Heaven, Lady of Green Crops, and She Who Knows How To Make Right Use Of The Heart.

She is the Great Mother of fertility, of creation, of life and death. Some see the Mary, the mother of Jesus, as an incarnation of Isis.

Women AND Men need to rediscover the feminine principles of nurturing, of love, understanding, compassion, insight, intuition, creativity, forgiveness, healing, and wisdom.

Women, we need to heal ourselves and allow our Sacred Feminine the breath of life. We need to stop denying who we truly are. We must celebrate our Divine Feminine, give ourselves a voice. Stop thinking you are less than and start believing and feeling you are more than! You are someone. You do matter. You have a voice. You are real. You are valued. You are loved. 

You are a Wild Woman who is free to be who you are in ALL your beauty and glory. 

Who Cares If God is Male or Female?

spiritual beingRecently, I had a discussion with a friend about my journey of finding the Sacred Feminine. They asked me, “Why does it matter if God is male or female?” Good question! Honestly? It doesn’t matter in the actual gender sense. In my opinion, God is both mother and father (see post here where I talked about this). They initially thought that was the point of my journey, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg!

“The Sacred Feminine is a concept that recognizes that “God” ultimately is neither male or female, but a Divine Essence – an essence that is in a unified balance of masculine and feminine principles – a dynamic interdependent ‘immanence’ that pervades all life. The Asian Yin Yang is a good representation of this idea.

However, seeing the divine as an abstract concept of overseeing, distant consciousness, or immanence, is a challenge for most humans, myself included. We all have a basic need to put the inexplicable into tangible form in order to explore and understand our relationship to it. Thus we tend to attribute human characteristics to the unknowable. We name and assign form to an abstract concept in order to relate to it at our level. So the Divine Essence or Absolute has become a “Father” God figure that we were taught to visualize, pray to and imagine having a personal relationship with. In and of itself, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Unfortunately, seeing the vast, infinite, absolute and indescribable “God” only in the form of masculine metaphor and symbol has severely limited our human spiritual potential and greatly hindered our ability to live in peace and balance on this earth. For the last several thousand years, the dominant religious belief systems of our world have been patriarchal which sanctioned social ethics that elevated God the Father over Mother Earth and men over women.

But it hasn’t always been this way! It is important to remember that for eons before patriarchy, throughout the Paleolithic and Neolithic ages, there were worldwide “Mother/Female and Earth” honoring societies that lived a more egalitarian, sustainable and peaceful culture that thrived without war for thousands of years. It is urgent to rediscover and rebuild the lost memory of those cultures to inform us and inspire us to construct a more stable foundation for society’s future.

Remembering the lost matriarchal civilizations authenticates and validates the significance of the Sacred Feminine and the importance of women and female values.

It is time to balance the masculine and feminine principles within our belief systems, our religious doctrines, our cultural ethics, and within ourselves.

It is time to honor the Sacred Feminine. “Honoring the Sacred Feminine,” in the spiritual sense, means valuing the feminine principle, along with the masculine principle, as equal and fundamental aspects of the Divine. From a planetary level, it means respecting and healing our Mother Earth. From a cultural standpoint, it means reawakening the archetype of the Goddess through entertainment and the arts and using language that gives equal emphasis to “she” and “her.” In the societal sense, it means re-creating the role of Priestess and respecting the contribution of women in business, science, art, and politics, as well as the home and community. In a religious view, it means offering ceremony and service that reaffirms our connection to the divine, the Goddess, the earth, and each other. In the human sense, honoring the Sacred Feminine means especially valuing the innate worth of woman’s body, mind, and soul, as well as appreciating the “feminine” qualities in the male character. “ (Tate, 2014). This is what my journey in re-discovering the Sacred Feminine is all about, my friends.

 

*Tate, Rev. Dr. Karen. (2014). Voices of the Sacred Feminine, Changemakers Books. ISBN: 978-1-78279-510-0.

I Am Mother

One of the main components of the Sacred Feminine is the mystery of creation. It is the one thing that men absolutely cannot do. It is exclusive to women. Not only is a woman able to give birth physically, but she is able to be a place where the light of the soul takes on human form and remains true to its essential nature. But what about those women who can’t physically give birth, like me? Where is the mystery of creation for us? Are we a “lesser than” version of the Sacred Feminine? Do we still contain the connection of oneness, the connection of heaven and earth within ourselves? Does this exclude us from this divine circle of women?

These are questions I continually ask myself as I delve deeper into the Sacred Feminine and the divine exploration of the other side of my beloved God. I refuse to accept that I am “less than” a woman who can give actual birth to a new life. While I cannot, I can still create. My “I Am Mother” painting was created over a period of six weeks as I explored this concept. It started out as a simple scribble drawing, inspired by Florence Cane in Art Therapy. I used that scribble drawing and discovered the hidden, subconscious images within the scribbles. Over time, it metamorphized into its current state. It is a contrast of light and dark, yin and yang, sun and moon. It is the various faces of Our Mother. 

“I Am Mother” gave me glimpses beyond my individual self into the archetypal world where the symbols that belong to all of humanity also change and transform. I was working not just with the substance of my own soul, but with the soul of the world. The light I discovered in my own depths is a spark of the World Soul, and the world needs this light to evolve. I realized that I am not a mother in the traditional sense, but a Mother in the global sense. It is a much larger concept of Mother that I ever imagined or can fully grasp, hence the glimpses. If all was revealed at once, I don’t think I would be able to comprehend it or become overwhelmed by it. “I Am Mother” showed me that we take on our role as guardians of the planet, and we do so with the consciousness of oneness that includes and connects the sacred and the mundane, the inner and the outer, spirit and matter, the world’s soul and body and our own, the individual and the planet. 

“I Am Mother”

I am life-giving, nurturing, possessive.

I am expansive, embracing, passionate.

I am swirling energy, passive calm, paradox.

I am honest, deceiving, punishing.

I am soothing, caressing, rocking.

I cradle you.

I push you away.

Angry, joyful, ironic.

I am life-sustaining, promising, shelter.

I am all these things.

I am hope.

I Am Mother.