Are You Among the Living Dead?

Napoleon is alleged to have said “History is a lie agreed upon.” But what of your personal history, the one you carry around in your head? Is it a lie? How often in recalling past events have you changed your mind about what you believe happened? Memory can be a funny thing,  allowing doubts to creep in and change your perspective. That’s because you’ve been learning new things, things which should’ve thrown past beliefs into doubt. You’re a living, changing organism, interacting with the world of people and events every day, which allows you to add the new things you’ve learned. If you insist on hanging onto what you once believed to be true in the past, in spite of new knowledge, you’re in danger of dying of old age before you’re old enough to suffer from dementia. Some people die of old age in their thirties or even twenties! You probably know some. They don’t even know they’re dead. They still carry the past, never daring to question what they once believed.

Everything is Beautiful in its Own Way

Remember that song by Ray Stevens?

“Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red and yellow, black and white
They are precious in his sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world

“Everything is beautiful in it’s own way
Like a starry summer night
On a snow covered winter’s day
And everybody’s beautiful in their own way
Under God’s Heaven
The world’s gonna find the way…”

The world has become so much more beautiful due to my recent cataract surgery! I can’t believe how much brighter everything is. When I look around the room or stare out my window I’m amazed; it’s like looking at beautiful paintings in an art gallery. I had not realized a debilitating dullness had crept into my life through a film growing over my eyes. Or that I would become so much happier after the dullness was removed. That everything could be beautiful again.

I can’t help but wonder–if those old guys in Washington DC and others of our leaders who are busy fighting each other had their vision cleared, would they re-discover the beauty they’ve lost sight of, as I did? With clearer vision, would they work together to solve our problems, instead of terrorizing the rest of us?

Welcome to the Age of Dissent

“Dissenters are often portrayed as selfish and disloyal, but Sunstein shows that those who reject pressures imposed by others perform valuable social functions, often at their own expense. This is true for dissenters in boardrooms, churches, unions, and academia. It is true for dissenters in the White House, Congress during times of war and peace.”  Excerpted from “Why Societies Need Dissent” by Cass R. Sunstein

In attempts to explain various periods of time, history books are riddled with AGES: the “AGE of this” or the “AGE of that”.  Will future historians call the times we are now living through the “AGE  of Dissent”? Or the “AGE of Stupidity”?

Being neither a historian nor a genius, I was led to ponder where I fit in until I finally understood I had become a contrarian—one who is, of course, contrary; we do not wish to fit in.

We’ve reached a dichotomy. The time will come soon when we must start anew. Find the best that’s in you and use it to start your New World.

The True Meaning of Unconditional Love

Did you know you’re worthy of unconditional love just as you are now? Even with all of your seeming imperfections and all the unloving acts you do, you are worthy. That’s the real meaning of unconditional, according to the book “Reality Unveiled” by Ziad Masri.

He explains there’s nothing you have to prove to deserve love. You’re already there, at the finish line, behind the illusion. Your only role is to be a conduit of experience to the Infinite Self that you truly are, which wishes nothing but to experience itself from an infinite number of perspectives and to expand from this experience.

And how do you do that? By simply being the expression of the love that you already are as best you can. That is our real mission. And every other mission you may have is secondary to simply learning how to express your Beingness as purely as possible, reflecting the unconditional love that is your ultimate nature.

When you do that you’re being of utmost service to the world and living the awakened life, because you are putting being first and letting doing be inspired from that calm center of the true Self.

“Our greatest service and primary purpose in life is to be our true Self. That’s it.”

The Bully Within

Do you often find yourself being attacked by a bully? I don’t mean the one at the office or the obnoxious one sent by the government to harass you. This bully waits inside you, usually until night when you’re in bed trying to sleep. He sneaks in with memories of your past trangressions (especially the embarrassing ones) using them to shame you. with. You try to chase him away but it doesn’t work. Your face grows warm, becomes buried beneath the covers.

Once this bully has your attention, it’s hard to get rid of him. “There’s nothing I can do about that now,” you say. “It was a stupid thing I did (or said). I suffered because of it.”  Or “It was an accident. I didn’t know a piece of toilet paper was stuck to my skirt. You should’ve told me instead of snickering to each other about it and pretending you didn’t see it,” Etc, etc. The things this bully has collected to shame you with knows no end. What do you do?

If a friend were to confide one of these incidents to you how would you respond? Would you feel compassion for your friend, assuring him or her that we all make mistakes and it was nothing to be ashamed of? How come it’s harder to express compassion for ourselves? Everybody needs support in healing and growth, so why shouldn’t it come from inside us?  You need to be a friend to yourself, getting rid of the bully who is set on shaming you.

The inner bully is a by-product of the lack of self-compassion. We struggle with shame and self-doubt until we are able to bridge the difference between how we treat our friends and how we treat ourselves. So kick your bully out in an act of compassion for the person you’ve become.