Ah... the complexity of being utterly human with enough consciousness to know just how flawed we ALL are. The "greater" the consciousness (awareness) the greater the capacity to see all the nuances that make up the human being. And, as those who are traveling a path toward understanding and loving self and others, we STUMBLE. Often. And it usually hurts.
Part of this "pain" is KNOWING that we are paradoxically PERFECT and IMPERFECT and that we - as humans - tend to screw up and then judge (whether judging another's screw up or our own). And something about this just doesn’t sit well with a conscious mind. Because what - after all - does it mean to screw up in the first place? Mistakes indicate a "right" and a "wrong." And again there lies a paradox since the "spiritual truth" is there is no duality (and likely no absolute "truth").
Most spiritual seekers understand we are one collective body and there is a longing to be in harmony with the whole. But sometimes - just like our physical bodies - the mouth wants something that ISN'T good for the digestive system. Often there are "conflicts" within the organism that should support the one. Doesn't this seem counter to a Universal wisdom?
Our bodies "fail" us with dis-ease. Our minds have conflicting thoughts... dark ones, altruistic ones. Our ego is both helpful (preserving the system as a whole) and easily crosses the line to selfishness. But WHERE is that line? Who is the judge of the line?
So we shrink back in shame and sometimes despair, not just in fear of making mistakes, but because we inherently LOVE the whole. And often the individuals that make up the whole (or at least we want to) and we simply, sincerely don't want to cause harm.
Our souls are inherently perfect and loving. And through spiritual unfoldment (a natural process) we want that harmony within and around us in this third-dimensional experience. So we strive, we test the waters, we experiment with leaning into our part in the process and we "fail" at something along the way. Oh, but then we remember that it is all an illusion and go lick our wounds, and perhaps the wounds of others. Or maybe we’ve dedicated years to healing the sick and wounded and we wonder and cry for the depths of the human wounds.
For those who are ultra-sensitive, we deeply feel all of it and this can be overwhelming. Again, the intention was never to add harm. Like a child in a play yard, we simply wanted to engage in this Earthly experience.
Intention or not, accidents and harm happen. And this is what we must face: the inevitable "ugliness" of life. Flowers die, fruits whither, branches fall and injure people, words intended to help cut like knives.
Do we retreat in mediation to "fix" ourselves? Do we take another course in x, y or z? Do we stop helping those who trust and admire our ability to meet them – human to human – because we are imperfect and have the capacity to harm?
We could. It certainly feels safer. It’s the thought that counts, right?
So the question becomes, "How perfect or spiritually aligned must I be in order to share my gifts with others?"
Unlike romantic relationships, the stakes seem to be higher in this arena. Expectations for being perfect beings go through the spiritual roof! How can we ever live up to this tall order even if we did make a soul agreement to help humanity before we incarnated?
“Great or small,” each of us is playing a role in this big cosmic game of life. We can take it "serious" and really strive to be "better" than we were yesterday… oh, but better indicates some kind of evaluation. Who is the evaluator again? God? Source? The All That I AM? So does that mean me?
And what was the point of this game? Do we take it all in casually and play merely for the sake of our own enjoyment? Do we compete? Cooperate? Create? Co-create? Win? Lose?
Is game just a metaphor? Isn’t this an illusion? A matrix? A cosmic reality show? And who is directing all this?
So, again, there emerges the mind's evaluation of each of these terms and likely a knee-jerk or emotional response to which "answer" is correct. Feeling "correct" makes us feel safer. And, as naturally cooperative beings, we certainly want to do the "right" thing for the good of the whole. Which brings us back to the terms of duality which merely adds confusion to the conscious soul’s mind.
So what is a wise, flawed spiritual-human being to do in this age of enlightenment on our evolving planet Earth?
Many believe that developing one’s intuition – or getting information from a professional psychic – will ensure that they will “know” whatever they need to know, when they need to know it. There is a false sense of “all will be well once I know the answer” kind of security. This is not only unrealistic; it is a set up for disappointment and can distract you from the deeper gifts available from intuitive insights.
Our intuitive senses are… well, senses. And, given that they are metaphysical (denoting “beyond” or “behind”), they are a bit less tangible than our physical senses – though one may experience physical sensations through psychic awareness. Although it may be mind-bogglingly awesome to have some “spot on” intuitive insights, it’s important to understand that intuitive senses are prone to the same misperceptions as our other senses. When undeveloped, intuitive discernment is tricky to say the least. Yet even as the professional hones in on mastered psychic skills, the information offered may not be accurate all of the time. Why is that?
First, notice how often your own senses mislead you…. I swear I heard someone knocking!... I’m sure I saw the light was green!... It didn’t taste spoiled when I ate it!
When filtering extra-sensory perceptive information many things may be happening at once; sounds, words, feelings, body sensations, images, colors, and complete “knowings” can bombard the intuitive, whether novice or professional. Receiving and delivering intuitive information is a multi-dimensional form of communication. It takes practice detecting, interpreting and finally translating such ethereal perceptions. Even the best communicator can sometimes misunderstand what’s being conveyed and respond inadequately.
Another reason intuitive insights can be “inaccurate” is that we are complex human beings with an array of beliefs, feelings, fears, and tendencies. Let’s say you are trying to psychically “peg” another person so you can “know” his or her romantic intentions toward you. A psychic read can tap into another person’s deep-seated fear such as “I don’t trust anyone because I was abandoned” and detect a closed heart. It can pick up on the person’s behavioral tendency; “I love the sexual charge of new attractions.” And, of course, it can read the person from a higher soul level; “I wish to transcend my relationship issues and open to real love.” All of these perceptions may be concurrently true, yet from which aspect the person chooses to act will impact the outcome.
When it comes to psychic predictions and insights, here is a good analogy: If you are driving up a U.S. highway heading toward Canada, you could stop at a gas station and ask, “Am I going to get to Canada?” The local, who might know the route like the back of his hand, could reply, “Absolutely.” Essentially, the local is basing his answer on your intention to get to Canada as well as the highway and direction you are travelling. Noticing that you are travelling by car, not bike, he may also be able to predict how long it will take you to get there. The response is only as good as the considerations at that instance. The local has no control as to whether you decide to turn around and go to Mexico, or if you change course or vehicle and take the long, scenic route to Canada.
Whether they are your own intuitive insights, or those offered by a professional psychic, it is absolutely possible to make fascinating and accurate predictions! Although this can be extremely exciting, and even feel promising, psychic “knowings” don’t mean you will be forever joyful. True joy is not based on having certainties in life.
Sometimes the initial attraction to obtaining psychic information is the sense of security that it might offer, and many of us equate security with happiness. Yet security is an illusion. Sure, we all long for “enough” money, a forever love relationship, a solid roof over our head, and optimal health. As much as these things can make us feel good, they don’t guarantee authentic joy nor are they promised to us indefinitely. Life happens. People get sick, jobs change, lovers leave, roofs leak. Since change is the only constant, we must find ways to unlock joy within us, amidst perpetual change.
You already have extra-sensory perceptions. Whether your own or from a professional, relevant psychic insights generally validate that which you already know on a deeper level. If you choose to further develop your own abilities you – like the professional – will still be perfectly, beautifully human. As with money, relationships and good health, being psychic – acknowledging what your metaphysical senses are telling you – can certainly be pleasurable. A deepening of your senses, psychic awareness expands your capacity to experience the multi-faceted richness of life and can open you up to new aspects of your amazing being.
My day is growing tired.
The fullness of the week rested over the weekend, yet the tiredness is ready for a good night's sleep.
The tiredness is utterly human. My spirit never tires - it always moves with expansions and contractions into eternity. Always. Resting is relative, I suppose.
But the body is subject to tiredness and needs rest and renewal. Rest and renewal... rest and renewal. Each and every night the same, though the amount of rest and renewal can vary. My body may demand a certain amount, but it doesn't always get what it wants. I do have to give in to the tiredness though. No such thing as skipping sleep. Putting it off, perhaps, but sleeping must come.
And then sleeping wears off, and a new day begins. Always a new day. Always more time for waking so I can see, interact and be in Life. I guess I could choose not to interact, but that would require more effort than it implies.
So during my waking hours I try to create a Life of Joy, Love and Purpose. My purpose. What do I want to do with my time that fills me up with Life?
I fill, I do, I Love.
Then it is time for rest and renewal.
"When am I going to get there", I wonder.
I have always been a "futurizer." Since I was young, I have looked ahead, longed for what was to come, lived in the future.
My husband, on the other hand, has reminisced, regretted and spent much of his time living in the past.
Why is living in the present so difficult? Is it so uncomfortable, or painful, or boring to simply be here now?
Ah, such strange behaviors we have taken on as adults.
And although many children talk about what they are going to be when they grow up, or relive precious memories, most of them are well planted in the present moment.
"What did you do at school today?" we ask at the dinner table. The very young child can scarcely remember the activities of the schoolday; that was many, many moments ago.
"Do we have school tomorrow?" the mid-youth asks. The concept of weekends verses weekdays gets confusing, even though it has been consistent for us adults. We often dredge through, make note of hump day, and rejoice with "Thank God it's Friday!"
But as children grow, the past or future become something to long for as the heaviness of responsibility and duty, right and wrong, and other cultural influences set in.
Do they have to set in? Does growing up have to mean longing for not being in the moment?
The moment... the simple, evasive slice of time (which doesn't actually exist). We can grasp it, make it last, or make it disappear. Although it is evasive, it is truly all that exists in time... the one and only moment; the now.
So, as I look to the future with high hopes or worry, or while my husband dwells on the past, we are always welcomed to the moment by our children. A present that is everlasting and precious indeed.
It's in these spaces of confusion and uncertainty that I try to seek "meaning."
What I'm I "supposed to" do?, I wonder.
What do you want to do?, I hear.
Want? I want the world! My mind spins in and around wish lists that have been forming since I was a child. Sure, I have outgrown some of the things I wanted in my youth, but there are certainly some things that have never changed. I want to live in opulence, contentment and joy!
So, why don't you?
I wish I could!
So, why don't you?
The frustration grows as my mind grasps at the other list... the one with all the reasons why I can't have those dear, sweet experiences in my life.
I don't have enough time or money! are the two things my mind has clumped together and turned into the greatest obstacle in the world.
Oh, I see.
I know I need more excuses! Sure, time and money are the biggies, but this didn't seem to be a good enough reason for lack, longing and such... so my mind digs deeper.
It searches, but all the other excuses seem piddly and really do tie into the two biggies.
I just can't! Life's not fair!, I insist. Although I am alone, I feel the overwhelming desire to cross my arms, stomp my foot and plop down in a funk on the couch.
I hate being conscious enough to know I can no longer fool even myself.
Yet, the confusion reigns. I am utterly wrapped into my mood of stubborn despair.
How can I live in opulence, contentment and joy with little or no time or money?
I hear laughter... a sweet laughter, I admit.
My heart knows I have already been doing so. I whole-heartedly understand that opulence, contentment and joy are matters of perception. I also know, though I try to avoid this truth at times, that time and money are also matters of perception. All of these energies can be perceived, shifted and created into whatever I choose.
Yet, I am also clear that there is a mass consciousness that - like the stubborn, forgetful me - believes otherwise. This belief is so thick and sticky, it has gotten hold of many of us. It has trapped us into a way of life and often results in suffering.
Ah, suffering. I am not a stranger to suffering. There are times I don't want to suffer, and life is simply hard.
Yes, life can be very hard.
I am reassured that my perceptions aren't completely invalid. I take a quiet, deep breath... a sigh of surrender, really. I feel my shoulders drop a bit; my jaw softens.
The frown remains, but I am not as anxious to fight. What I realize is that my mind is still clenching the list of desires. I still do want to have more time and money... especially the money because I believe it will buy me more time.
I can be such a noble martyr. My mind searches for the stories. I have many to choose from; I can dare anyone to pick a theme and I could offer a rich, real story likely to put theirs to shame. This game is getting old, however. I'm bored to tears with my stories, though I do use them, as needed. You know, those times that drama is the icing on the cake and your sweet tooth has become a craving out of control.
Yeah, those moments still happen. I hear myself laughing now.
My reasonable mind simply wants an A to Z answer. How can I make more time and money?
Spirit can't seem to reason with my irrational mind at this point. It is caught in the sticky goo, trying to figure it all out. In fact, it assures me, if it figures it all out, it can sell it to others and then make lots of money off the answer!
My heart simply smiles. It patiently waits for the conscious, wise me to return... to once again be centered in my heart where opulence, contentment and joy have been living all along.
I hear more sweet laughter. I have this funny feeling that my heart knows that time and money are living there, too.
Waking... waking... waking...
How can one awaken if in reality there is only the awakened state?
Sometimes I feel myself as a huge being of light with infinite wisdom. Other times I am a struggling mother with a flabby belly and a messy home.
Of course, I know I am both... all.
Yet, the reality is that this reality is a tricky one. It is so full of potential, that somehow I have created an entire story and made it real. Wow! Now that is powerful.
Yet, the truth is, I don't exactly remember how I did this. Oh, yes, I know people claim to know the "secret," but I don't. Well, I only have a vague memory of the plan, the workings, the so-called truth.
I have chosen to stay asleep to this, however, and I yearn to awaken. Or do I?
Isn't this the glorious experience? To know, but forget you know, and then try to remember?
In the meantime, I am learning to cherish the forgetfulness. To laugh, to play, to be perfectly human. Sometimes the mommy struggles, sometimes she soars. Sometimes the belly squeezes itself into a tight pair of jeans, sometimes it is caressed with love and kindness. Sometimes the house is messy and chaotic, sometimes it is the center of the Universe, filled with love and life and everything outside it disappears completely.
Hm.... a strange, yet fascinating experience full of air, water, earth and fire. The elements of life itself.
Am I awakening? Maybe I have awakened. I seem to know the basics. Perhaps this is good enough.
Children are both our students and our teachers. For those of us who are parents, those lines can be blurred and crossed on a daily basis.
When we became parents, we knew we wouldn't be perfect, but we certainly didn't think we'd "mess up" in so many ways, did we? Likely, most of us went out of our way to read the latest parenting books, connect with "Mom" (or "Dad") groups and find resources that supported our parental values. Our intentions were good and we were focused. At a minimum, we surely knew what we weren'tgoing to do, and that was probably everything that our own parents did do!
Then baby came, began growing ever-so-fast and real life started to happen. Is he ever going to sleep through the night? I can't believe I just yelled at her! They want to do WHAT? What the heck did Dr. Sears know about MY child anyway?! Hmmm... maybe a boarding school IS in our budget!
Whether we are at the wee stages of wobbling toddlers or are trying to keep enough groceries in our fridge to feed that overgrown teenager, we have already learned that our off-spring not only have a mind of their own, but annoying habits that reek of our own dirty laundry! So what can parents to do to guide their children at this bump in the road?
For starters, it's an invaluable gift to hold space for and allow a child's "mind of their own" - as well as their spirits - to blossom. Imagine what you would have felt if your own parents had simply listened to and valued your perspective. What if they had really seen who you were, rather than spent so much energy trying to make you what you weren't? As parents, we can certainly "disagree" with our children - and it is our duty to set loving boundaries to protect them - but to truly see and honor our children for who they are is one of our most challenging and important tasks.
Children have two types of "bad habits" - the first they came in with, and the second is the stuff we've unconsciously handed down to them. The latter is usually what rubs us the wrong way the hardest.
To deal with - and integrate - our children's "faults" begin by seeing them as gifts instead. Perhaps your child is really hard on himself; Oh, he is a perfectionist and likes things to be done well.Maybe she is spacey and can't seem to concentrate at the task at hand; Ah, she has a lively imagination and is still living in the wonders of childhood. If we look closely, we will see that everyone's darkness actually comes from their light! By accepting and loving the darkness, we illuminate it with light which allows it to shine anew. The easiest way to integrate the energies we see as negative is by first seeing them with a positive perspective. From there, we can assist our children in bringing out their gifts in more "acceptable" or "productive" (loving!) ways.
Now for the pesky bad habits that they've taken on from us! Hopefully, reading (and re-reading) the previous paragraph will help this area because the same approach applies. Loving our own darkness can actually be harder than loving someone else's - unless of course that someone else is the one we've raised and is mirroring back to us that really, really dark stuff!
It is common knowledge that children are little sponges and learn by what we do and not what we say. And, unfortunately, most of our own bad habits simply ooze out of us without our awareness. STOP YELLING!, we yell. Why are you so critical of yourself / your brother / others?, we criticize. Or we worry, My child is such a worrier, what should I do?
Once we clearly acknowledge our own issues manifesting through them, we can begin to heal ourselves and support our children. Since much of this stuff is deep-rooted and out of control, seeking professional help from a therapist, spiritual counselor, or other professional may be a great step toward releasing these patterns in ourselves. The key here is to be completely loving and gentle with ourselves as we face and clear our own issues. For our children, when we begin our personal journey toward loving self-care, we are modeling a new behavior for them to follow.
Another place we can make a difference is with clear communication. Verbally acknowledging these similar patterns can help your children understand and embrace their shortcomings. Age appropriate conversations about your common issues of perfectionism, negative self talk, or worrying can help create a bond between you and offer your child a new perspective.
Finally, if and when all else fails - or perhaps this will be the mark of success! - learn to laugh at you and your child's perceived shortcomings. After all, laughter is known to be the world's best medicine!
Our Children, by Kahlil Gibran
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you, but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love, but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies, but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
But seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
And He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
So He loves also the bow that is stable.