Tag Archives: Transformation

HOW STRONG IS YOUR FAITH?

So many people get so upset about our melting pot society and how things are changing. All things change like it or not.

One of the things that people get the most upset about is thinking that your faith/religion is being taken from you. Believe it or not, this county was not just put together by men of the Christian faith. If you are pretty solid in your faith why are you worried that it is being taken away from you? I don’t know about you but my faith is in pretty good shape, after all, it is mine, is it not?  If your faith and belief, whatever it may, be is still in there solid when the winds of change blow, then it is not gone. It may be tested but it can’t be taken away from you. Only if and when YOU want to “update” how you believe or what you believe does it, in fact, change. You are free to go to a church or temple or sit under a tree and meditate if you want to.

Your “religion” or faith is who you are and what you are. It is the blueprint (or should be) for guiding your choices and behaviours. Can that really be taken from you? Whatever happens outside in the society may not be to your liken or hard to get used to but it is within you, not outside in society. Hang out with people who believe as you do but you can hang out with people who do not share your beliefs as long as being a loving human being is the goal. If the goal is to argue about who is right and wrong and what you should or should not believe, then, it is impossible.

What if you knew someone and religion was never brought up and you found that person to be the kind of person you want to be around. Perhaps you have some things in common and enjoy one anothers company and companionship. Then one day one of you mentions what you believe about God. Has that person become the enemy of your believe system? Will that person corrupt you or take away what you believe? If that person tries to, then you either have to suggest that you not go into that with one another or you may have to give up the friendship if they are pushy about it or they tell you how wrong you are. If you both realize that beliefs are not meant to be swords with which to divide but an opportunity to be mutually respected, then what is the problem? Nothing.

So during this time of year when people practice their various ways of celebrating or choosing not to acknowledge the reason for the season, how about putting those swords away or at least think about it? More than anything it is the season of Love that should be carried out all year long. Be thankful  you are still able to practice your faith whatever it may be. They can’t take that away from you. Be thankful that this country allows you to believe what you want even during times of change.

WHO’S AWESOME?

I was just thinking that when Thanksgiving rolls around we make a special effort to remember what we have to be thankful for. This is great but have you ever stopped to be thankful for you, for your very existence? Have you ever thought of the things that you can thank your self for? Maybe today you can thank yourself for all the hurdles you have overcome or at least faced and somehow got through. You could thank yourself for being who your are. You could thank yourself for dancing in the thunder clouds of life. You could thank yourself for doing the very best you could and can even if it falls short of your personal standard or mark of excellence. You could thank yourself for being open to new or advanced ideas and for letting yourself out of the box that someone else constructed for you. You could thank yourself for the times when you loved in a difficult situation. You could thank yourself for the things you may have sacrificed for others. You could be thankful for having given up some addiction or person that was sucking the life out of you and them.

 

You can thank yourself for being willing to step up and heal yourself and the world you live in. Because while you may have help from angels, God, a higher power, others in your life, or whatever power you call upon, you were willing to do what it took and what it still takes.   So this Thanksgiving, I give thanks for myself and for you and what we all bring to the table of life. 

Cinderella Girl

Feet dangling in the adult-sized chair, head bent downward slightly, eyes fixed on a spot in the flooring where an invisible stain nailed her, the demure female child felt small, insignificant, powerless, unacceptable, unworthy, unloved, but worse of all, unwanted and in the way. Her intuition was now tuned into sending feelers out into her environment to see if she could guess the next move and where it might come from. Gut ears reaching out to detect the other shoe dropping. Perhaps she could keep that shoe from dropping. Yes, she could hold onto that hope. The questions above all questions she might ask were the thoughts that never where spoken like What can I do to avoid that tongue lashing or leather belt that bites my flesh? Can I get through the day without breaking some unknown and sacred rule that would invite an unwanted response from the parent? Why did they bring me into this world if they are so displeased with me, especially the mother? Yes, these were the bothersome questions that consciously and unconsciously played in the back of her mind no matter how the day was going. These questions colored her world and made life more difficult than it should be all through her life. Right now, she did not know how much energy that took or how it would influence every thought, every decision, every choice she made for years to come.

Looking upon that child now in my mind’s eye, my heart goes out to her and I want to gather her in my arms, to tell her that she is a diamond in the rough, and that one day she will see herself as I see her now, a pure sparkling jewel that has a tough journey ahead and that it will all make sense one day. I

want her to know, as I look upon her unhappy little face, that it will all be worth it in the end. But, I know I couldn’t change things in that time long ago as it unfolded then and in the growing years to come. I only know that I can finally look upon the face of triumph and be so proud of what she has and is still accomplishing in this future time.

We think that we live in a space in time that spreads out in linear fashion with every step we take along our journey. Of course that is how it seems to us, because when we turn back time in our minds we can almost see the footsteps along a path from our first cry to where we might be now in human years. Yet doesn’t it seem like yesterday when we started our first day of school or had our first kiss or became a parent? There have been moments of my life that seem to have dragged by agonizingly slowly; other times moments went by in a blink. Time, it appears, is what our mind perceives it to be but one thing we can agree upon is that it is ever-moving energy captured in events of shadow and light. Our minds take a photo of these events, these moments, and place in the file called “My Life” along with all the emotion and meaning that we experienced then and placed upon them. This, I call baggage.

The god or goddess of Fate seems to descend upon every little girl and boy from birth doling out perks and punishments without thought or care. It reminds me of the ancient gods of myth who seemed to pick on mortals flaunting their powers and choosing to bless or curse at whim while leaving mortals believing they are powerless in Fate’s quake. For a very few die hard souls, however, with the desire to overcome and break the chains that would bind them, there is a freedom waiting for them that others may never experience before they die.

Rumi the poet wrote, “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I will meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.” In terms of Cinderella she not only gets to go to the ball henceforth known as that pure field but she eventually transforms from that abused little girl to that soul who becomes the princess she always was. The fairy godmother did not save her but supported that girl while she reached for and created the freedom and love that she desired. Prince Charming wasn’t a savior either but rather represents to this Cinderella, me, the love that was in her, outside of her, all around and through her. This was and is her dance partner.

I am evolving constantly as layer upon layer of lies I have told myself drop into ashes from which a new Phoenix is born. Rumi’s field is within reach now. I hear the music at the ball and I want to dance.

I had searched in others for the mother I wanted. I was hoping for direction, support, understanding, guidance, and love. I thought that these had been lacking and withheld from me. The fickle finger of fate had denied me and I knew not why. Now I know that the direction, support, understanding, guidance and love are within me. In a manner of speaking I am my own mother not that I don’t find and enjoy knowing that it is there in others as well. I enjoy sharing the wiser woman I have become and I know that the path that I had taken was not fate but rather mapped out by a higher power than myself to give me the opportunity to bring my bruised little Cinderella self through to self-actualization which is not the same as a damaged ego.

Abraham Maslow a psychologist in 1943 came up with his theory of the Hierarchy of Need . It’s been a hard climb to even get closer to the top of the pyramid where self-actualization abides. Maslow’s pyramid starts at the bottom with a person’s need for physiological necessities like food, clothing and shelter as the first order of need. Once that is met then one may be able to concerns him or herself with safety. From there, the next need is for belonging and from there moving onto the next, is esteem which can begin to catapult a person upwards towards self actualization. But it is not actually an upward movement where you leave one step to go to the next. It is more of spiral of movement where at times you may experience any of these needs to a more then lesser degree as you become more your real self. You are still wanting and needing connection with others but there is a giving and taking inspired by Love Itself. It still takes a village of many people and events in order to climb that pyramid.

Carl Rogers, a humanist psychologist, had a theory much like Maslow’s. He expanded upon self-actualization. He believed that self-actualization was more apt to be achieved if a child experienced unconditional positive regard from parents and significant others. This means that the parents and significant others loved and accepted the child for who and what they were at any given time. This child felt taken care of, supported, and loved no matter what and therefore could feel free to explore life and make mistakes without feeling like love was being withheld or based upon conditions. Rogers believed that a child deprived of positive self regard, particularly in childhood, would be less likely to reach self actualization. I believe it is possible for anyone to move beyond their deprivation of unconditional love if they realize, first of all, that there is anything to move beyond. Secondly they must be willing to do the work. It is hard work and requires an unimaginable desire to shed the shackles of self doubt and unbelievable need to be approved of in order to reach the individual ideal goal. It is the road less taken and there is no map.

So now, I take that little brave and determined little girl that I was into my embrace and no matter what she has thought or done ever that made her feel wrong, at fault , guilty, unworthy or unlovable and let her know that was all a lie. I want to tell her how brave she has been. I want her to know that I honor her efforts to break the chains of abuse. I want her to learn, if she hasn’t already, that she need not seek others approval in order to achieve positive self regard. I give her positive self regard. I love her no matter what and no matter what anyone else may think. I want her to be certain that she was always being the child she had to be in order to survive. Now she is free to be the soul, the person, she was destined to be and that she has and is doing a service to her fellow human beings by doing her part. I think my inner child now know that the adult she and I have become have been teaming up to heal abuse received and given no matter the form in which it came. The chain has been broken. Now is the time for healing..

I love you Brenda. You are a precious human being and I am delighted that you can see and feel the suffering of others even when they do not. Come away from the ashes, go to the ball and dance like everyone is watching but you don’t care.

Cinderella Girl by Brenda Andradzki Elliott, MSW November 16, 2014

SHOW ME THE MONEY

What Does It Mean to Walk Your Talk

In the movie “Jerry Maguire” the famous words that keeps getting used and repeated is, “Show me the money.” Don’t talk about it, show me.

How many times have you heard people talk about their religion or their relationship with God or Allah or whom or whatever and are so sure that they are walking the right spiritual path? Well for them, that might very well be the right path; but whatever spiritual path a person may take is less important to me than how they treat other people.

Yes, show me the money. Show me in every word, every action. Don’t tell me how great your God is, show me how your God treats others. Don’t just tell me how much better you feel or that your salvation is secure. Show me your love for all people whether you agree or not with their religion, their politics, their sexual orientation, their color, their life style. You don’t have to join them. You don’t have to like it or agree with it but do you allow them loving spiritual space to be who and what they are without tearing them down, fighting them, trying to force them to change, or treating them as what I call, others.

Once you put yourself into one category and put another person or group in an opposing camp, you can easily make them into the enemy. You start treating them as less than human and it them becomes easy to harm them or bully them or cause them grief. It is even easier to kill them if you let your idea of your need to control their behavior reaches that level of righteous intensity.

How do you treat yourself? How do you show love and affection or do you? How do you treat your mate or your children? How do you treat your neighbors? Is your heart tender? Do you see beauty everywhere or garbage or do you even notice? Do you want the best for others or is your goal to win or outdo or outshine or to be jealous? Does your heart go out to others in their suffering? Do you try to smile more and make someone’s day a little brighter by the things you say and do?

Show me the money. Don’t talk about it. Leave this world one day having known you did your best to leave it a better place. Show me a loving, caring, person. Show me a discerning person who knows how to handle the unpleasantness of life. There will be those who cannot or will not respond to love, who are bad to the bone it would seem. You don’t have to love the behavior but love them anyway if you can. Know when to hold them. Know when to fold them. Know when to walk away. But love them anyway. Show me the divinity within you. That’s all I ask of you. Show me.

TAKE ANOTHER LOOK

I took another drive to the Honda dealership today. I got the second set of keys to my car-finally. The Accord to which my books and extra keys belonged is now back with that car and my car’s extra keys and books are back with my car. I was watching myself and wondering why I wasn’t raising cane because I had worked with them for a week or more trying to get this little thing solved. I just felt there was no reason to puff out my feathers and cause a ruckus. It just didn’t really matter in the larger scheme of things. Mistakes happen and no one deliberately did anything to me. Knowing this negates my need for anger and being impatient with the process. It saves wear and tear on me and everyone involved. Also, they were eager to make up for the inconvenience with no prompting from me and no one had to feel upset or blamed. I told my salesman that there was no need to figure out how this happened or put blame on anyone or any thing. I told him that what was important was that we got the right keys and books to the right cars. Ah, blessed peace. We can chose to be peaceful, to be at peace.

As I drove out of the dealership onto the six-lane highway, it seemed to clear quickly and I made a left turn without a problem. I have done it before but not so easily. I had no idea what I was going to do next but I found myself driving into a furniture store parking lot to see if they had platform beds. A lovely, kind, man who gave off honesty and calm, loving vibrations met me at the entry to the store. To make a long story shorter, I not only found out some information about the platform beds, I was able to make a decision that best suited my needs than the original idea that I brought to the store with me and less expensive as well. So now I will be replacing the bed I have with a new mattress set and frame that is lower to the ground for my short little legs. Perfect! My pleasant surprise/gift came as the gentleman and I were talking about various things other than furniture. It was no coincidence that I happened into that store today. He is on the same kind of spiritual wave length that I am on and the knowledge and experience he has, he graciously shared with me. These were things I needed to hear. He reminded me there is only synchronicity at work; not mere coincidence.

There is no way I can truly convey some things or experiences with mere words. How do you put something into words that is really not of the ordinary dimension? It’s like trying to nail jello to a tree. It is something you just “get”. You just know it. You experience it. When you are with someone who is full of unconditional love and presence you recognize it. You also know during the meeting that there are things that need to be said and need to be heard. Two “old souls” meeting is a happenstance that is deeper than words can convey. I will be returning to the store on the weekend to make my purchase. Meanwhile I left the store with a couple of hugs and still feeling that I had had an otherworldly experience. I was so happy to have been able to talk someone who speaks my spiritual language. I got in my car and drove home but I am sure I also was also floating and feeling blessed.

Just so you dear reader know, this is a connection that has nothing to do with a man-woman relationship (he is very happily married and I am happily single). This is a soul to soul connection. There’s nothing like it.

So take another look at your everyday mundane life because if you look and listen very carefully, you may find that underneath it all there are guiding and invisible hands influencing your life and infusing it with something far deeper than the ordinary.

SEEKING HOME

We can’t go back to the places we have lived and find the life that we lived and were. It doesn’t stop me from wanting to go back and visit where I have lived my different lives. Some of the homes I lived in have been torn down, burned down, or are occupied by other families.

We can’t go back really. A good question to ask is why we would want to? For reconciliations? To fix the missteps? To swim in a familiar pond that might have yielded some loving times, warm times, times of feeling loved or okay. To go back and try to see things differently? To laugh or cry with joy or sadness about the way it was at times? To find the answers to the mystery of your self? To have made different decisions? To have stood up for yourself when you didn’t? To once more hug someone you have lost since then? To go around and clean up some of the poop you though was slung all over the house or to realize there was no real poop, only humanity not quite living up to its potential?

Sometimes it might be helpful to go back to the physical house and put the ghosts to rest that way. If impossible to do that, take a mystical, magical, meditation in the quiet of yourself. Ask the questions you want to ask. Say the things you want to say. Ask to see the bigger picture and to understand, to forgive, to let go of that which holds you back. Ask to have your heart opened to loving where the hurt or disappointment might have been. Ask to see all the blessings you did have, the love you did have, the people who gave you hope and encouragement that you may have forgotten and those who did show you kindness. As I write this I am reminded of a teacher I had whom I knew had an idea about the hurt and the loneliness I often felt. He knew I was at the bottom of the elite list of kids who had privileges and money or popularity. He knew that often I came to school with colds and chapped lips that were neglected or unattended as though I had some absences of parental due diligence. I could feel that he was empathetic and caring. I will never forget that.

You can’t go back. Why would you want to? But you can in your mind and heart travels remake, redo, re-evaluate, reconstruct, forgive, remember the blessings, shed any illusions about your worthiness or the poop you though was all around and being flung at you. Visit but don’t go back to stay. Your home is within you and the life you make this very day each and every day. Make it the way you want it but don’t lie about it. Be honest, be loving, and take care of you and remember that home is where your heart is not a building or structure. That’s a house. It is not a home.

MAKING LOVE OUT OF NOTHING AT ALL

 

All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.”  – Leo Tolstoy

There is a song that was recorded by Air Supply in the 1980s called “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All”.  It was one of my favorites and still is. Although I am sure this song was intended as a love song about one human being for another, the idea itself of making love out of nothing at all has always been, to me, about the Creator, the nothing at all out of which comes the everything. Love is the creative energy that wants to give birth to itself in many different forms.

I watched a program about a man who was wrongly convicted of murdering his wife. He had a very young son and a wonderful wife. Life was good for him. She was murdered and due to the investigation being done very haphazardly and years later wrongs being covered up, he was sentenced to life in prison and unable to make any headway in proving his innocence. Over the period of 25 years, he lost his wife, his son, and his freedom. He fared most of these losses well up until his son now grown decided to change his name to the last name of his aunt and uncle who raised him. Then it hit him so hard, he crumbled and cried out to God for help. Now, whether or not you believe in God per se maybe you believe that there is something greater than you or a host of angels or some other Force that has no name. This man whom I watched telling his story was at perfect peace even though he had been wrongly accused and convicted of murder and had lost everything dear to him. How could that be? He had an EXPERIENCE that completely changed him.

When this man cried out in anguish to God for help he was blinded by a light and filled with what he called love but I know that that was a love that was beyond words and you can’t “know it” until you experience it. Once you do, you know beyond any doubt that there is a power, a presence, that you have never really felt before so profoundly. I listened to him try to explain what had happened, I saw a peaceful, loving radiance on his face as he remembered his experience of what he called God. He said being free, being exonerated took second place to this experience he had had. A team came to his resue and worked to prove his innocence and to catch the real killer. A couple of more years after his experience he was found innocent and the guilty man was caught through DNA that had been ignored prior to this time. He was finally released and all he could do was to be thankful for everything. His son who had disowned him was eventually reunited with his father though things were awkward for his son for a while.

Making love out of nothing at all. It can come to you, some inexplicable experience, that is difficult to articulate but which has the ability to completely change your life forever. You know that first of all you are loved in a way you never experienced before and you may come to know that this powerful and perfect LOVE is what you are made of, it is who and what you are. It animates you. It breathes you. After that you can embrace all of life. It all becomes one. It’s all good in ways that escape the unawakened. You are still human but you are an actualized human and your blinders fall away. You question only the lies that you have taken on as truth about yourself and your world. You see with new eyes and yet nothing has changed.

Making love out of nothing at all is a truth that can penetrate the thickest walls and make magical things happen and appear as though it were nothing. All it needs is a heart which has been broken open and ready to receive it..