Prose of a Poet

For the Sake of Argument  


 

Ok. I get it. We are largely polarized in Western Culture at the moment. And we all have our reasons. Some because we are educated, some because we are not educated, some because we are merely educated differently, some because we are among those who have earned the right to teach, some because experience has taught us. And some, because we are just plain scared. This applies to all areas of thought, and all strains of thought process. Every single one of us views the world through our own lens. Each person has their own convictions and rationale pertaining to belief. None of us, no matter how much we would love to claim it, came to our conclusions in an entirely unbiased, or uninfluenced bubble. And many of us are free with our thoughts.  

The trouble is, all of this shows, and we have forgotten we are human. Collectively, human. Our discourse is unfriendly, our audience without accessible body language and discernible facial contortion. We have no trouble moving out of the realm of healthy dialogue and into the country of insult, and arrogant judgment… all with the interpersonal aplomb of one who has said their piece and slammed the door for emphasis.  

Take your stance, back it with whatever you may choose to use. You are the boss of you. Absolutely entitled to your island of certainty. However, no other person is you, has your experiences, or education, or trauma. Express yourself freely, but own your bias proudly, and choose to believe the best about the others in the conversation. They too have strong beliefs and opinions. Experience has most likely swayed their perspective. And no one was ever authentically won over to another side by having their intelligence mocked, their bias belittled or their education insulted.  

Today I deleted my own comment. Not because I thought I was wrong. But because I learned from the first response to it that those who read it were looking for confirmation bias. Not perspective. Not even dialogue. Just an “Amen.”  I know, because I’ve done it myself. I want my horse to be the highest sometimes. But I’m usually not at my most generous or kind in those moments.  

We have forgotten our humanity in our social media wars. We have forgotten our right to agree to disagree. When we have an outburst that fails to reflect the dignity of another, we inevitably become what we accuse another of being. Asinine is not a virtue. It is not a quality that promotes unity and understanding. Mockery is not conducive to relational harmony. If one requires these “tools” over the course of conversation it proves only that they are insecure on a human level. That their own uncertainty has shocked them, and they are now reaching for the big guns that with either make you grab your own, or go running away.  

Strength in debate is maintaining perspective. It is evaluating why the view of another is threatening rather than taking our “hammer of truth” out. I can’t count the number of times I have heard people calling someone else weak for their inability to take criticism when that clearly wasn’t what was happening in the conversation. If your boundaries are in a healthy place, you will not speak down to another person. You will behave as though you passed kindergarten. You will ask questions before you assume anything. And, you will think before you judge.  

You will.  

And sometimes you will think “I hadn’t thought of that…” And you won’t die of shock.  

Yes, we are too easily offended these days. But I am of the strong opinion that it is because we are looking for people to identify with, rather than knowing our own identity, and living it out. We are scared of change, because we want to be certain of something. You know what? If I am behaving in a way that is actually senseless, another perspective might be useful. However, if the approach denies our mutual humanity said input it will be automatically rejected. Why? Because I have ears for love. I have ears for your story. I have a heart that wants to know and be known. And that, my friend, starts in a very basic place. Our Humanity. The love available and expressed. The dignity and respect of ALL. Doing unto others… is still, it seems, the golden rule. As unto thyself… Or do you speak that way to you? If so, we have another conversation coming.

 

Should I Stay or Should I Go? 

 

There’s been questions circulating in some of my social media groups about toxic people. When to leave, when to stay, when to run, when to shut someone out. Most of these issues come up when one party in the relationship begins to desire more. It can follow a shift in belief or theology, a personal healing breakthrough, or even a traumatic event that leaves one reevaluating how they have lived their whole lives. I don’t think anyone abandons a marriage or a friendship without thought. We are human, we reason, we weigh the pros and cons. Very often the one who physically leaves is labelled as a quitter, told they are bitter, unforgiving. That is rarely the case.  

I’ve left a few types of relationships in my life, and not one time was it because I ceased to love the group, institution, or individual I walked away from. It also wasn’t because I was bitter or angry or I’d been hurt… It was because I couldn’t heal in that place. Think about trauma for a moment. A soldier sees his brothers blown to bits on the battle field. We take him away from that environment to a peaceful place to heal. A person is in a car wreck, we don’t patch them up and put a bed on the thoroughfare for them to heal in. Someone is robbed at gunpoint in an alley, we don’t set them up in a home where the only way out is a dark backstreet, and make them work the nightshift. A kid just about drowns in the shallow end of the pool, we don’t drop them off the diving board. We can all see the ridiculous nature of those courses of treatment… and yet, people give advice to those in destructive relationships that is equally ludicrous. People in self help retreats and marriage seminars, people in pulpits and counselling offices… people not in these relationships who wouldn’t admit to having difficulty in any relationship and stand outside of the abuse that goes on in them, those people say inane things like “You will never find a better partner than the one you are with, or the one you left. The trouble wasn’t the person, you’ll be attracted to the same sort of person, because attraction is biological, the dysfunction was in the relationship. So fix that. Go back to your first spouse if they are still single.”  

Um, No. Don’t. Unless separation from your abuser had them going into therapy and working on all of their crap and trauma, on their own, definitely not. And even then… it is a new relationship. You will be trying to build a new relationship on a foundation of old trauma and patterns and the trust will have been utterly destroyed. You will have developed coping mechanisms previously so that you will not be “poking the bear” and they will know how to push all your buttons. Especially if there are kids involved, do this only at your peril. This seems extreme. Well, yes, I have a visceral response to this lunacy.  

If you are still actively attached to someone and you were mutually struggling, admitting blame for issues was going both ways. If both parties are at the same place, growing, healing, working on themselves, and that process is bringing you closer and building trust, you have a healthy relationship, even if it is something you are both working on right now. Keep it. You are building intimacy. But this idea that you hurt the one you love, so go back and do it again… No. Don’t put up your convalescent bed in the middle of the scene of your greatest trauma and expect yourself to heal.  

Relationships are messy. Because there are people involved in them. And we all seem to have trauma of some sort. I’ve dated, I’ve gotten married, and divorced, and was single for years, started dating again, and found my first love the second time around. The first “life-partner” I chose couldn’t heal from his past within the confines of our relationship, and I could not heal there either. Our trauma triggers were constantly going off and we were alienated. I wonder if we would have stayed together as long as we did if we hadn’t been so heavily indoctrinated in the belief that our marriage was more important than either of us. I kept trying to change, to be more submissive, more giving, more open, more loving, more of a biblical wife (now your’e certain of my background) …and all I did was get lost in his dysfunction. He was doing the best he could, but his childhood left him void of tools and self awareness. He couldn’t properly husband, or, later, father. I was asking too much. I didn’t leave him because I stopped loving him. I left because we were destroying each other, and our children in the process.  

And then, I put boundaries in place. And I was grossly criticized for them. But they were necessary and useful and allowed me the space I needed to start healing. I was single for a long time. There’s a point though, where alone no longer propels you forward. I actively sought out friendships with women, just to remember how to relate to other humans. And then, I sought out couples to be around… So the only man in my life wasn’t my dad. I needed to see healthy interaction. If I hadn’t done this before I started dating, I would have had to dump a lot more men on my road to “Mr. Right for Me.” I let myself be part of community, learned to say no as well as yes… and then I started dating.  

Dating, and learning about where my personal boundaries had to lie in order to have a beautiful, intimate relationship in which both of us felt loved, cherished, supported, respected, valuable, seen and heard. In short, the relationship needed to create the space in which to be known, and for both parties to engage in self discovery as we healed from our individual pasts.  

So, should I have stayed with the “toxic” person? No. And honestly, I hate that label. All of us have the potential to be toxic to someone. We can live out of our wounds instead of our secure identity and be destructive and uncaring. All of us. I know I drew from my marriage when I discussed this. The initial thought was about if it is ok to walk away at any point. You know, it isn’t about the person you are walking away from, or shutting out, or even just taking a breather from a situation to refuel and come back to. It is about you.Your wellness. Your boundaries. Your healing process. Your ability to love without judgement. Your sense of safety. Your fear. Your unhealed wounds. The person you are conflicting with or just responding poorly to repeatedly may merely be revealing a part of yourself that needs to heal.  

Over the years I have put intentional distance between myself and a few people or situations. I needed to. Some relationships I returned to with fresh perspective. Some were replaced by healthier experiences. But I always made the leaving about my own wellbeing. It was never a judgment call in which I wrote another human being off entirely. Some people you can’t walk away from to the degree you might want to for your own sanity. Parents who are aging and need your help, Ex spouses you share children with, children still living at home… And you do have to work on the relationship. But these are opportunities to establish your boundaries. To learn how to use your voice without making your personal limits be about the other person’s behaviour. Own your triggers. Own your trauma. Don’t identify with it, that’s playing the victim. Just sit with it a minute, ask yourself what you believe about yourself that is a LIE, and why reinforcing that is so effective a tool of control for the person wielding it. And then let yourself heal.  

A tool I learned in therapy, is speaking to the inner child who was wounded first, and, as the adult in loving authority, or, as the primary caregiver, tell that child what they needed to hear and didn’t,  in order to regain a healthy sense of self. For example, many of us stay in relationships that have been destroying us for a while because we don’t think we are worthy of something better… probably because we were never understood by our our parents, so we don’t think anyone ever will “get us.” Granted, for this to have the greatest degree of weight, I have found that it helps if there is a belief in a benevolent, higher power of some sort, an abstract connection to the rest of humanity via spirit, or at least, a universal source of Love, available to all. However, if we think we were not parented well, and would parent our children differently than we were parented, it is possible just to see what was awful and correct the thought. How differently would our boundaries look if this is what we had learned as a child: “Darling, you are loved, your desires and passions are beautiful. You are unique and valuable. No one else in the world can bring exactly what you bring to it. No one else can love like you, see the world like you, or be as perfectly placed in the present as you are in this moment. Please share your thoughts and dreams and perspective, because the world needs you.” I realize that’s rather general, but changing the negative self chatter in one’s own psyche drastically reduces the power another broken human has over you… because you recognize lies and expect more, and your boundaries are in much safer places.  

So, do we leave toxic relationships? Yes. But use the new boundary you create in doing so to heal from the trauma of the experience. Use the new relationships you build to create safe places for yourself and others. Use your alone time to discover yourself. Use the clash with new people to understand what it was about your own person that made that moment difficult. My mom used to say, “water off a duck’s back” when someone was unjustly cruel to me. Well, yes, it works if you’re a duck. Most of us aren’t. We’re human, and far more complex than that. Put your boundaries in pleasant places. Your boundaries… not your labels.

 

Perfect Submission 

Marriage. Submission. Authority. Biblical. Anyone triggered yet? 

Across my facebook feed, in this day alone, I have seen memes in support of “biblical gender roles,” honest questions about how to heal from trauma without having a victim mentality, and further into the fray… What does marital submission look like from a grace perspective? 

O. My. 

Can. Of. Worms. 

I was asked by my pastor, shortly after I left my husband, when I thought submission ought to end. In my churched mind, after a few years of mulling that over from the relative safety of my locked bedroom prior to abandoning marriage for safety, and subsequently arriving in his office, newly separated, I formed an answer. “When one can no longer submit and be holy.” I wasn’t wrong then. But I understand better now what I was saying. Holiness is not a clear conscience, state of sinless, I am living above reproach, publicly confessable reality. Holiness, is life, lived under the influence of Love. It is being in a state of perpetually agreeing with the Maker on your intrinsic worth, value, design and Source. It is embracing one’s oneness and wholeness, and beauty. It is being oneself entirely unhindered. Being Holy, is embracing with Bliss, one’s own unique abilities and gifts, and enjoying, with the Source of All, All. It is I Am, set apart to BE. 

Submission in any relationship is creating a mutually safe space in which both parties are perpetually reminded, not of their shortcomings, but of their long-goings. It is not about who bows to whom, but rather about how one might nurture the beautiful being they have been entrusted with into who their Maker designed them to be. It calls one up… much like God did with Adam and Eve, and reminds them that they HAVE been given all they need, and they must embrace it. It is sacrificial, but it is not languishing. It is Love that seeks to know and understand, and to become known, not accommodated. 

When I submit to God (Father, or Mother of All) it is not out of fear, but trust. I rest in that relationship, because I am confident I am known, and will not be asked to do, anything by them that I could not do as them. I trust them to nurture me in safety and abundance, open my eyes to way in which my needs are met, help me to see where I fit within the all. I am asked repeatedly what I want, and my wounds are healed by the experience of living out of them and underestimating my worth and value, not liking the result, and my own heart turning to hear what is true. It is not a relationship in which I am to anticipate harsh discipline, hard experiences, and a lack of peace, or any other thing. I am increasingly revealed as the relationship deepens, I become kinder to myself. As I submit to their view of me I experience the fruit of the spirit… the love and joy and clarity that comes with being in a state of being. 

So, what does marital submission look like? Is it a gender role hierarchy? A chain of command? No. We submit to one another out of reverence for [the] Christ [within]. As in any component of community, practically speaking, we learn the other’s personality, giftings, strengths, weaknesses. We work as a team, as equals. We function as the living beings we are and be equally courageous in our vulnerability, and allow the love we share, from the Source we share, to call the I am we are in the I am to the surface. Anything less, anything that caters to the ego of one over the value of the other, is what causes trauma. It crosses the line into the land of abuse and creates a victim. Stewardship of the heart of another human being is never about authority, its goal is always freedom. 

Marital submission, in a world where the finished work of a Maker who never stopped loving us and being with us is allowed free reign (grace life), is nothing short of Love. It doesn’t need a system, it needs communication, and a desire to manifest wholeness. It seeks healing, not accountability, unity, not uniformity. It is Christ in me, revering Christ in you, and because of this, cherishing one another.  We have all seen a bee with a flower. It always pollenates it, and the flower gives what she has to the bee. It is mutually beneficial. 

Level the playing field. Let’s begin the conversation of submission with Love and see where it takes us. I guarantee, gracious submission reveals in glorious beautiful detail, who we are, and sets us free to be that person. Within this context, no one ever gives up who they are for the sake of someone else’s ego. It is unthinkable. If it isn’t a compassionate love, it isn’t submission in the way of grace. 

So when does submission end? Never. Because it isn’t about authority. It’s about wholeness, oneness, and Love. And dang it, if Love doesn’t think we’re amazing. “Perfect Submission, all is at rest…” I know, I lifted that from a very out of context place, but you know, I think Phoebe Palmer Knapp has a better understanding of that line at present then she ever did on earth.

Influenced 

O, Darling, We aren’t going to agree! 

See, I am me, 

and you are you, 

and Life… well, 

it has not gone the same for both of us. 

And each experience 

forms our response to the next. 

And on 

And on 

And on 

until our final event - 

and then, perhaps 

we might arrive at the same conclusion 

But even then, 

I am me 

and You are you. 

And Life 

Might still not go on the same way 

For both of us. 

Today, I fell down a rabbit hole. It was fast, and panicky, and I felt… Triggered. Defensive, Aggressive. Protective. On the surface… but underneath that I felt unseen, unknown, unappreciated, overlooked, and used. Like a means to an end. For someone else. 

I got to the end of the conversation, and I felt like showering. I have learned something in the last few weeks. I don’t like being told what to do. I don’t like being lumped in as part of the norm. Not because I don’t want to be a part of the collective… but because I don’t want to become another statistic. I don’t want to be the support of the common erroneous narrative. I don’t want to succumb. 

I’m sure my family would say that I have always seen myself as the exception to the rule. I have never wanted to engage in a process simply because it was “process.” With the exception of baking cakes, an endeavour which requires consistency, if not precision (although it is always ok to spill the vanilla, in fact, I endorse this practice), to ensure one does not fall flat in the execution of the process, I feel things are potentially subjective. My mother taught us as children, the “proper” way to do things. My life has been a series of learning and unlearning. Some I have kept, others I have left. I engage logic, reason, ingenuity and assessment of my own success in the determination of future endeavours. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, they say, but what if they don’t know it is broken? That takes the willingness to try it differently and see. Necessity is still the mother of invention. Failure creates ideas. 

Ideas. O, the danger of ideas in the 2020’s. All the way through the 1900’s ideas propelled the free world. Now, they can have you ostracized in 20 seconds. Why? Because everyone knows everything and nothing. People are influenced, not educated. And those who think they aren’t influenced, usually look for someone who is educated to back their ideas. The difficulty? the educated are also influenced. It’s a mess, and we are being raised to believe that there has to be one infallible point of view. The opiate of the masses… certainty. The vulnerability of the masses? Expert uncertainty. 2021, Worldwide: the boat, is rocking. And people are grabbing everything from the mast to the air in the sails. They then pass on their certainty (drug of choice) and talk down to everyone else who grabbed on to something else. 

But what if my experience doesn’t match any of those things considered certain? What, if, I don’t want to be afraid? What, if, I want to be proactive in an alternate direction? What if I already tried what you are handing me, and I have rejected it based on the futility of its use and the void of logic? Does your expert influence trump my right to an experiential analysis and alternate education? 

Enough about that. Here’s what I noticed in my verbal sparring today. It wasn’t sparring. I said what I thought, and then someone’s fear took up the gauntlet. In the vacuum of a social media interaction, I was completely misunderstood, and then bludgeoned, not for the thoughts I expressed, but for the perception of my character according to a stranger. I pointed out the irony of my experience, and the reality that it caused me to question the norm, and I was scorned. I knew from the get go, that I wasn’t going to change their mind, but I wanted to be understood. 

Nope. This person was influenced beyond their intelligence and, quite possibly, education. I suppose there is judgment in that statement as well, but hear me: if an alternate experience to yours causes you to scorn another human being, you are not going to influence them. You are not going to champion your cause, you are going to inevitably make yourself look asinine. Educated, intelligent people ask more questions than they answer. They seek, not the comfort of their own supported ideologies, but to know the people who hold opinions. 

I miss discussions. Not presumptive conversations, but opportunities to learn from someone else, who is not delving into the hypothetical, but has experience, working knowledge, understanding. These people grow, change, and in the process of interaction, propel me forward. Education has made them open to the wonder, and possibility that all things are not known, rather than validating their insecurity and making them arrogant. 

All of the staunch beliefs we hold should be subject to the scrutiny of context. Politics, religion, morality, perpetuation of cultural norms, approach to health and medicine. If you were born thinking one thing, and can hear nothing else, you are seeing only that the light of the sun, and missing the nuance of the sunrise, or the sunset, the music of the wind, the weight of the clouds. If you live and die in the narrow vision, you have not experienced life. Fear has determined your experience. 

I realized I was afraid of being unknown, and that made me cast some beautiful pearls before swine. It is mine to be secure in the knowledge of myself, only. It is also mine to attempt to know another with whom I seem to disagree. Facts are, Facts.  But how we interpret them is strongly altered by our life experience. Next time you want to squash the insolent bug who disagrees with your expert, ask yourself why you reached for your verbal fly swatter. If it is because you want to be known and understood on the basis of your being, and you want your experience validated… ask more questions than you give answers. Put boundaries around yourself instead of sanctions on them. You don’t have to agree, but it shouldn’t determine whether or not the human in me can meet and greet the human in you. 

You, after all, know how you came to believe what you believe: personality combined with experience provided perspective, exposure to knowledge (education), and the allowance of free thought determines your ability to process. Some people were never given this freedom. Some people never wanted this freedom. And some people become innovators and scientists, changing the world forever, not because they were educated, but because they thought. For themselves. 

You can hate me if you want. But don’t disdain me until you get to know me. But be careful… once you know me, and compassion triumphs over judgement, you might understand me until you like me, and then, you’ll have a friend to discuss things with, and we both might grow. 

Or, keep being influenced. It’s up to you.

Air Lifted 


 

What if the world isn’t coming to an end? 

What if God isn’t “looking on” and biding his time until he rescues you from your misery? 

Does your faith fall apart if your hope of glory is all in the future tense, and he just doesn’t “show up” though all the signs are pointing in that direction? What if you are not seeing with spiritual eyes, but with very carnal ones? 

I do realize that seems utterly judgemental. It seems like some kind of old testament reverse psychology. It seems… well, you know how you feel right now. All that what iffing doesn’t actually leave you with a stable feeling. The world, after all, looks like it’s going to hell in a hand basket, and getting airlifted out of here by a supernatural being who can make sense of the human mess makes you feel protected, vindicated, even elite. Chosen. Who doesn’t want to feel chosen for survival. 

Leave that whole line of questioning for a moment and stop over in Galatians with me. I want to look at the Spirit Tree, and the fruit that is in it. In what part of your end times world view does Love that casts out all fear, fit? ALL FEAR… not just fear for yourself, but fear for others as well, including those you assume are hellbound… Where does that world view land you on the scale of fear, worry, patience, record keeping in the wrongs department, rejoicable truth? Are you able to maintain a feeling towards the rest of humanity of benevolent goodness, gentleness… Or is your inner angst flavouring the perception of every reported event. Could you see Love if it flashed it’s pretty smile or would you scream “prophet of peace when there is none!” and refuse to be comforted? 

I have found, in the understanding of Living in Spirit, as Source of not just my life, but all of life, that fear has no place in a state of rest. It is incongruous too, in a world view in which God is just LOVE. Seeing humanity in a hopeless condition, requiring rescue, discounts the role we were given at creation, not just to be stewards of our earth, but to be co creators in our universe, taking part in the spiritual depths of our shared Life Source… collective consciousness. To believe that we are all going to die negates so much of what life in the Spirit scripturally consists of. Christ said the Kingdom of God is at hand, within us. This was not a “later” or after death reality to him. How, I ask, will we do greater things than “these” if we have passed physically from death unto life? No. That is to claim that we are dead already. Waiting for life and healing past the grave. Understanding and enlightenment, past the grave. Why are we waiting for that? If God, who knew life before he created all that is, requiring no flesh, thought that the ultimate human experience was to be had WITHOUT a body, why did he bother creating a human being manifest in physical form? Why not cut to the chase, and have only spirit children? 

I think it’s time to experience the Life we were created for. Stop worrying about when it’s all going to end, and give in to the Love and Peace we are promised. 

Yes, Lots of things are happening in our world that reflect a crazy, fearful opportunity for frenzied wishing away of it. But what is the reality? We have been given dominion over our world by our Maker. Are we willing to experience the power in our imagination, in our breath, in our words? Or is our thinking so fatalistic that we are subject to every earthly power? 

Just a thought, but is it not more charitable to pray for humanity to awake to the reality of her original design and experience the oneness in the Spirit of Christ? To know the healing love of the Father, and cease striving, to feel at home in the Kingdom, being on earth, as it is in heaven? This is what ALL humanity was meant for. We were designed to abide in this space. Peace, harmony. Agitation, Fear, Hate, not part of our design. 

When we pray for our Rescue, we are denying the finished work of Jesus. We are denying everything he came to reveal about both us and the Father. We are holding on to the traditions of men, rather that the Life of God. 

I choose peace. I choose healing. I choose Life, and Life abundant. Because he was not telling us what heaven was like, he was telling us what life inside the Maker and Source of the universe, who is our very breath and sustenance is like. The One for whom time is immaterial, and the only existence is the ever present now. God is the God of this moment. Why do we think he would wait another moment for the experience of full union with his beloved when the role of Christ Jesus was to end the separation in our minds. The rescue already happened. Be who you ARE. Hands, feet, breath, catalyst of grace. If you are awake to Love, LOVE. It is the kindness of God that draws all men to him, not the fear of what might happen if we misunderstand him. He never misunderstands us. Ever. From his perspective, there is unbroken communication. Hug him back, and allow your friends and neighbours to feel the hug.

Love Bubbles  

I have a front door. I also have a back door. And windows, and a yard, and a front street, and a neighbourhood… Goodness gracious, I live in a town, surrounded by countryside, in which the rural extension of my community flourishes. It is in a province, where roads lead to other towns, and cities, and mountains, and provinces not my own, the rest of the country, and countries not my own. And I could take a boat or a plane over an ocean, and find more countries and provinces and territories, states, counties, municipalities, rural areas, villages, towns, cities… EVERYWHERE on earth, one could travel, and bump into humans. Fellow humans. With families, parents, grandparents, children, siblings… friends, neighbours. Community. We all are born into one. Love bubbles inside love bubbles. 

Well, they should be. Love bubbles, I mean. 

I was born into what I thought was a love bubble, but bubbles expand as air is blown into them. This bubble was exposed to wind, and it didn’t expand, it didn’t fly, it built a cage around itself. Equipped with doors, with signs above them, indicating exit, not just of the bubble, but of the protection the bubble afforded those who came into it. But there was no protection for those who left and didn’t return. Exit became the point of no return. If someone did return, there was always a check done about the interim wandering, and a great expression of relief that they returned to safety. 

It wasn’t a love bubble. It was a bubble forced to remain the size and shape of itself by constriction and restriction. I think, if they took the structure off, they would find that the bubble had popped long ago, while a new larger one responded to the Wind outside, but everyone thought that was the only Love bubble, and therefore the only safety. 

But everything that is, exists in the largest bubble of all. And it responds well to the Wind. One might even say, it is One with the Wind, as are all who exist within it. None of us could be safer. But fear is an awful dictator of perception. The unfamiliar a tool of fear. 

I opened the carefully crafted door, labelled exit. I saw the unhindered sunlight. I smelled the fresh air. At times, I even felt the gentle rain. I noted the uninhibited expanse of the sky, and the many who walked unfettered in the wide open spaces. And I joined them. 

The people in the bubble slammed the door. On the outside of the door, they posted the conditions of re-entry, which were, honestly, much more stringent than the conditions of initial entry, or even those requirements for continued acceptance. 

Bubbles look like glass if they are perfectly round and still, they even reflect their surroundings. But it is an illusion. They pop. And the air inside turns out to be exactly like the air outside. Hmmm. 

Maybe there is no “us” and “them.” Maybe my bubble isn’t “right” and your bubble isn’t “wrong.” Maybe it is perspective influenced by indoctrination that creates the bubble we perceive, and not the bubble. 

Have you ever observed a room full of small children? A playground of tiny strangers? My children are brown. I’m not sure anyone of their age noticed until they were in grade two. When they were in preschool, no one said anything. I got asked if they were adopted by other parents and even strangers, on occasion, (definitely not… a mother might forget the level of pain, but she doesn’t forget her birth story). Color consciousness as having any role in friend choosing is influenced by the grown ups. The kids never said a thing about it. Religion, also, never enters the mind of a child, they just want to know if you’d rather swing or go down the slide… 

We grown ups and our bubbles. We grown ups, and our self made prisons. Culture has decided our personal bias is systemic. That would be the end of the discussion if we couldn’t exercise free will. Compassion is always a choice. Empathy is always a choice. Common ground is always a choice. Fear being replaced by love is always a choice. 

I don’t know your bubble. I only know mine. I know the prison of being in it. I know the freedom of having left it. I know the Love of joining the entire human race and embracing the presence of our Source within all that lives, breathes and sustains life in our universe. 

One big love bubble. One. 

Not sure if the analogy holds? Open the door of your home, walk outside, open the gate of your yard and keep walking. Allow yourself the gift of awareness. Smile at the people you meet. Some of them you may have met before. Meet them again as though they are part of your bubble. They feel, hear, love, need validation and acceptance. Don’t confuse unity and oneness with agreement, or a lack of individual perspective. It isn’t that. It is choosing to see in each other the same breath that resides in ourselves. 

Humanity’s schisms are not the result of politically systemic issues, able to be resolved by lobbying for the rights of specific groups, equity is not solved by economic reform… Education can’t “fix” earth’s ills. You can’t alter one’s internal state of being, or sense of belonging by changing the rules for them or someone else. The only thing that does that is embracing One Love. 

It has been said to Love your neighbour as yourself. The only ideology you can change is the one you hold in your own heart. If your ideology won’t let you love yourself without condition, or change without doing penance, or be safe without being a separate unit with no connection to others… it is not the world that needs to change. Love yourself. See Love in yourself. And then look for that Love in others. The results are Divine. 

No bubble. Just a whole lot of wide open doors. Love.

Sacred Space 

 

My throat is tired, 

from crying 

from repetition. 

 

I thought, maybe today 

you asked because you wanted to know. 

I wish you would stop 

until you are ready. 

 

because I am not speaking from the theoretical 

not about these things. 

these beliefs survived 

so much to stay. 

they are linked to me. 

I am not convinced because I am persuaded. 

I am convinced because I have lived this. 

it is not a creed I adhere to. 

or a community I joined. 

I wasn’t vulnerable to lies. 

I am rejoicing in truth. 

I am free. 

 

Here I am seen 

heard 

accurately perceived. 

Loved. 

I am loved. 

Not my work, 

my thinking, 

my integrity, 

my character, 

Me. 

 

I am loved because I Am. 

I always was. 

every time you dealt a blow to my heart 

with a declaration 

or a label 

or a thinly veiled judgement, 

I was still there. 

I just retreated. 

I held myself back from you. 

But here, 

in the place where being is more necessary 

than knowing, or doing, 

here I am loved. 

this place is sacred. 

and you trespassed today. 

invalidation does that. 

You invited yourself over 

to condemn me. 

For learning how to live and love 

and commune with Spirit 

bear fruit, 

thrive, 

benefit others 

to come out of darkness 

into the light. 

I did that. 

 

I chose love over hate. 

I decided the words of the Word were true. 

That I am Loved. 

I am known… hair of my head to deepest depths. 

I am provided for… everything I need for Life Physical, and Spiritual 

I am seen, anticipated…. since the foundation of the world 

I am craved… by one who’s deepest joy is to sing over me 

I am trusted… with what is created, and what I will create 

I am powerful… life and death are in my tongue 

I am heard… from the words to the heart beat, no sound hidden. 

I am designed… flawlessly, with purpose specific and general 

I am child… beloved, chosen, heir, by one who cannot take it back. 

I am worthy… by birthright. 

I am. 

I. AM. 

 

unconditionally I am. 

And it is not within the realm of man 

to override this reality, 

or to cancel by belief this truth. 

 

Many things were left to man 

In fact all things were left to man… 

except this one thing: 

The intention of the Maker in our inception. 

I was conceived in the imagination of the Source, 

Not as an option 

But as a definite contribution to the universe 

And I exhibit that same creative power. 

This is my sacred space. 

And you are not permitted to enter. 

Here, I am, with the I Am. 

We are one, and we are enough. 

I think you will find, 

you have your own space, 

And when we bring what we made 

to community 

I think we will find we are still one. 

I am not you. You are not me. 

Our Source speaks the same story 

in our own tongue. 

I love you. 

 

In the retelling, 

there is harmony. 

Not unison. 

Harmony, 

Hear. it. Resolve.

Tulip Bulbs 

I am impatient for the return of spring. The smell of the earth and the damp, crisp mornings, the expanding light and warmth of earlier sunrises and longer days that call dormant bulbs into beautiful blooms. My flower bed is full of them, I know, because once it was only dirt, filled by default with tree and weed seeds, and because I wanted to be greeted by flowers early in the season without fail, I put perennial bulbs for tulips and crocuses in. Something green would have come up anyway, but I wanted some of the contents of my flower bed to be by choice, and I wanted the garden to bloom for the entire spring and summer, right through to autumn, without having to seed. The patterns, and the colour are predictable. The tulips are always red and yellow. I can also predict that every year I will have elm trees sprout in between the tulips. Not because I put them there, but because the wind blew the seeds off the trees, and they hide in the dirt. One might even say, that in the default setting of my yard, because of the neighbour’s trees I am a tiny tree farm. But was that my intention? Do the tulips now have to lean over and bow to the elms, or do I need to root them out so the water goes to the flowers that are there on purpose?

Humans are a little like gardens in spring... Life is light, it calls out what’s lying dormant, and reveals it. Some of it begins to feel like it belongs, not because it was intentionally planted by whomever designed the garden, but because its presence is so pervasive... Or it has been there so many years one forgets what was planted and what belongs to that which blew in on the wind. Not all seeds that blow in cramp the style fo the intentional design, some might even intensify the striking beauty of the arrangement. But others seem to make claims, and damage the vibrancy and allure of the mix, causing chaos, and unpredictable arrivals. Many of these plants are invasive, and don’t let go easily, recurring unbidden, even after aggressive weeding. They even get trimmed back before they can go to seed, but troubling to the gardener, is the tuber... for even a fragment of the root still encased in soil can have the “wrong” species popping up to say hello. The relationship between our original blueprint and our experience is  the same way. Some behaviours and tendencies have origins we recognize, or forgot, or wish we could forget, some are positive and awake our true personality and gifting. 

Childhood trauma is a thing. And so is emotional experience prior to birth. It’s interesting, really, realizing that the things we find have “always” been true of us might not have been the default. For example, I have had two core issues my entire life: chronic tardiness, and a sense that there just isn’t space for me. Clocks are all set at varying times to keep me on my toes, and I just finally resigned myself to the sad reality that being early was an utter impossibility. Funny though, I’ve been thankful and aware my whole life, that the Maker arranges my schedule much like he moves the (financial) cows when necessary. Cognitively I fear neither financial scarcity, nor the consequences of running behind. However, in the depths of my being there has been a tiny little voice that talks like the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonder Land “I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date...” And I’m somewhat resigned to the “fact” that when I do arrive, my chair will most likely be taken anyway, by someone much more worthy of it. 

There are no indelible memories to back these assumptions. For quite some time I presumed I was just born to a different era, when life ran on a different timeline. The artist in me made this theory plausible, and knowing others who have felt a bit of the square peg, round hole feeling, I just assumed it was the anomaly that would give me commonality in the right group of people. And, in some circles, it has. However, the further along I get in the journey to living out wholeness, the more I realize the discomfort and the fear it walks around with isn’t linked to my original design, for I am perfectly loved, and that chronic uncertainty doesn’t really jive with living out of secure identity. 

I think I may have gone my entire life without questioning these quirks, but finding myself truly loved, and finally safe enough to heal from my subsequent trauma (it could be noted that humans often heal backwards... from the present to the far past, in layers, much like an onion), tangible me began poking at those shadow areas and opening the blinds in some rather dusty psychological spaces. I found, while rooting about in dark corners, that the logic did not follow. If I was indeed, as I am convinced, designed as an image bearer to the perfectly timed Father of All, and purposefully put in the wide universe for this particular moment, by the one who invented both space and time, and for whom there is infinite reason in being, and boundless time in which to be... then it follows that my timing and placement are also flawless. So why then the insecurity surrounding their current “lacking” manifestation? 

I smelled a lie. An OLD lie. This was not a personality idiosyncrasy, it also wasn’t a character flaw. It wasn’t the result of any one event that I could recall and heal associated trauma. It was something that I just always felt. 

I have been blessed to have many healing conversations with my mother over the course of my adult life. She has been there for many of my most healing moments, not just for support, but in some cases, because we needed to heal together. Our stories are interwoven. During an earlier conversation, we had talked about her hesitancy to embrace her pregnancy. She wasn’t well and already had two children. She was feeling insecure about her mothering and was afraid she would be a bad mother to another child. This had come up while I was healing from some ailments linked to a pervasive feeling of rejection. I had been afraid to begin anything new, thinking I was sure to fail at it... that people would somehow see through me and not like or want me. I always felt somewhat on probation. 

But this time and space thing is different. It’s not really about rejection. When I was looking up connections between kidneys and a cyclical rash, and which chakras might be involved in healing them, I stumbled on a psychological connection between chronic irritation both physical, and emotional linking childhood trauma with assumptions about this sense of lack of deficiency in an area being normalized. As though we just “are.” It is the default setting. I thought about these core fears, and how basic they were. I was trying to deal with a rash that started the same time every year and went dormant the same time every year, peaking somewhere in the middle of the cycle. I’d never thought about the timing before now. But when I counted back from my birthday... when it settles, to the beginning... it was almost 9 months. Those feelings of always arriving in ill timing, and not being a good fit, for, well anything, not even being comfortable, truly in my own skin... and always worrying that “I” would be lost if I let my boundaries soften for a season, as though the things I do outwardly defined me. If I stop, or lose my designated space in which to exercise my particular creative gifting, it would somehow be gone forever. Even if I discover things I enjoy that are not part of the original, understood, validated, template of my being... I felt a threat. Growth, morph, change, all brought about fear that what I was certain about in my character and personality would stop being so real. 

I’m a mother. I’ve been married, divorced, a single mom for years on end and now invested in a new and healthy relationship. Life has seasons. Kids bring about responsibilities that change the ability to maintain consistent creative flow. It happens. And this change always drains me. I feel guilty sometimes for enjoying the moment I am in because I am not doing “that...” Or, I feel ripped off because I am stuck in the necessary mundane of motherhood and the joy fizzles. 

As I thought about childhood trauma, I imagined my mom thinking “not this, not right now,” but there I was, right then: this specific person, in that perfect moment. I. Do. Fit. No one else can be me. I am perfectly on time, all the time. I can even be early, if that is what someone believes “on time” to look like. I am not chained to the expectation that I am without purpose in a place where I have been given no specific responsibility. 

My flaws are not “part of me.” I am not destined to bear the cross of them. They are wounds that need healing, and I can heal from them. It is not just safe to let go, but also a thing of beauty to tend the hope garden and see what blooms. 

While it is true that the fears that drove them were as old as my memory, it is not true that they were there by design. My design is as flawless as the One who created it. Out of his mind, I was  spoken into being. There was not an error. My default setting is perfect. There really is no fear in love. All essential components will remain intact. All outer displays to which my world needs access will still function, even if they are unpracticed for a season. I shall never cease to be. 

We humans resign ourselves to those things that we sometimes consider to be flaws. It’s sad, really, that we choose the ever accommodating “coping” over the very freeing “healing.” If per chance, a part of your existence, physical, emotional or spiritual, gives you cause for discontent, or fear, explore it. There is rarely pond scum if algae isn’t growing on the bottom... or, perhaps, a prettier example: tulips don’t grow unless a bulb is planted. 

And parents... if you felt guilty reading this... be a conduit of healing. Your vulnerability and honesty, even your apology may just free your child from the fears that cause them to make some very frustrating decisions. I’ve been on both ends of that situation. There really is beauty exchanged for ashes. And some wounds, when they are healed, become beautiful scars. But usually because they have been allowed into the light. Exposure leads to development.

It's not in the Fridge 

I can see the mess the world is in. I can see the fear instilled by the thoughts about the virus, and the current political climate, especially in North America. I know the Americans are louder about their opinions, but we Canadians have got a few too. Watching the news anywhere will get the blood boiling. We really want to see the world change, and we keep wondering why those to whom we have granted power don’t “do something” because we don’t see them doing the “something” we think is appropriate. It’s messy. It feels hopeless. Our western culture is so used to looking for rescue and stability outside ourselves, that when the world is unstable, we try and replace the windows, roof and walls, rather than the foundation. We seem collectively confused about how to arrive at our desired destination. We want to be secure, safe, recognized as valuable, validated by our society... We treat our governments as though they have the parental rights to our wellbeing. 

It has me seeing Mel Gibson’s character standing in front of an open refrigerator trying to calm himself down with the perfect self medicating snack, in the movie, What Women Want, saying, “What am I doing? She’s not in the fridge.” 

Humans have habits, we get upset, we eat, or avoid food, depending on our personal tendencies. We get scared, we retreat into our vices, drinking, gambling, excess media… we hide for a while.  We rally the troops in the institutions of politics and religion if the insecurity is great enough. Sometimes, we even run to people, just to vent, silence the inner chatter, if only for a minute. We cope. We do not settle. 

I’m not talking about settling for what isn’t right for us, I’m talking about the settling of finding stillness, a peaceful inner spot, rest, a state of being rather than doing. What that character wanted was to be with the one he had come to know and love. Humanity longs for relationship. The most accessible of all relationships is found in our inner depths. It is oneness on all levels. Complete being as an individual and belonging in unified community all at the same time. It is learning to breathe with our Source, both alone and together. 

The world has been looking in the fridge. It is so convinced that safety and comfort and belonging are somewhere out there that is has reduced itself to studying the mould on the the leftovers pushed to the back, and the condiments long forgotten, crusty and abandoned… Why? Because being ultimately responsible for ourselves isn’t our desire. We have left our nature for our nurture, thinking it was our nature. But it is a lie. What we need is not in the fridge, it is already inside us. 

But all of those things out there affect me. 

They have the potential too, yes. Viruses, politicians, religions, vaccines, scary stories, ghost stories, conspiracies, misinformation, mislabelled misinformation, misinformation to discount real information (that’s propaganda); all of these things can make a mess of the fridge. All of them. If we are looking for life to be made safe based the contribution of external forces, impending doom is imminent. 

But how do we get out of this mess? 

We don’t. 

We realize that it is not happening in us. We actually do get to choose our environment. We actually do get to close the fridge door  and look for the love, the safety, the relationship, the sense of worth and wellbeing where it is actually found. Because it isn’t in the cold, cold world, its inside. Deep. Inside. 

Truly. Collectively. Peace is not found in binding together over a common cause. That inevitably leads to an increased agitation and confrontation, discord. Peace is found in understanding our secure innate identity. Our intrinsic worth and value. Because it is basic, because it is shared, because it evens out the playing field and puts us all on the same team. 

Our salvation is not in a politician, a medical system, a vaccine. Humanity is no more doomed now than it has ever been. It just doesn’t trust its Source, neither concerning their design or their sustenance. 

Start with “Who am I?” And then move on to “Who are you to me?” And then answer: “Love” And “Love my neighbour as myself.” Trust me. It’s warmer, brighter, and much more hopeful. The path of peace is within. It always has been. 

It’s time to stop looking in the fridge.

Broken Glass 

O, it’s true, I needed a saviour. Who doesn’t, when one's own thoughts condemn them? Who among us loves to hear the one we love retract the affirmation we give them, recanting all we know to be true of them. Does it not break the heart and leave one bereft, grieving for the pain of another that would discount the beauty of their own humanity? Even the worst parent among us, if a child asked for bread, would give not a stone, but bread. Instinctively we desire to sustain each other, love each other. But, humans… built piles of stones, and put upon them: bread, and bulls, and rams, and birds, and in some cases, their own children. For what? To get the positive affirmation of the best of Fathers. To attempt connection outwardly with one who had already breathed connection into them: Breath that bound body and soul together in life energy, flowing in and out, uniting them with himself and all that is, animating, granting authority, bestowing beauty, splendour, character, the ability to love. 

And be loved. 

Loved. 

It’s the pivotal word in the story of us, really. We confuse it with like. A lot. Or being especially special. We think it always needs a reason. It can’t just be a deep seated understanding. A place of comfortable rest. A given. We also see the displeasure of another at our misunderstood actions and assume love has fled like a doe in the woods. But love is not so. Especially not that between parent and child. It says: You. Are. Mine. Divine declaration of personhood, that, because we do not yet know the personality of the individual. How can you? Their only language is silence and cries, and the ability to clutch and grip. A baby cannot create reasons for our affection, they just Are. Of. Us. Innately born into community, belonging. Set within family. How is it we think creation stopped mirroring the love of the Creator? Why do we think the gospel truth of our unique inception in one magnificent mind was somehow undoable by the strength of one man’s insecurity? All men mired for eternity. Cast aways desperately sending up flares, hoping to be rescued; mostly from each other, if we are honest. Scared of Love entering the room of our shame, in which we embrace self loathing and then wonder why it is so difficult to connect. We expect that everyone else, as they express their own insecurities through judgement, naturally sees us as we see ourselves. 

Now we see through a glass, darkly. Shadows in a mirror. All of us donning the veil of mourning, grieving the loss of our humanity together, and yet independently, as if only we suffer. That too is a guilty pleasure, because we compare our pain to that of another, and realize it could be o, so much worse. We groan, we reach, blindly hoping in our darkness that light will dawn. And it does. The trouble is, we saw it like a halo behind us when we looked in a mirror, and rather than bursting forth from within, it was allowed to only illuminate our shadows. We were handed our birth certificate, pre printed with all of the details of our origin stamped with the approval of heaven. All of this in the person of Christ, made obvious to us by the groans and desires of our own prophecies… not of what the Father would put him through, but what our misunderstandings would lead us to do to him because he did not come to change our religion, but rather to render all religion in all time unnecessary, void, useless. If he had come to change our religion, the leaders might have followed him without needing to slay him. But he pointed out the futility of their office. He told people that the kingdom of God was within them. He took away the “special” status of the jews and made them one with everyone around them. He stole their victim status and their own class system. Anyone could be an active part of the family, even the unclean. 

Jesus didn’t have to die to dismantle religion. He died because he did. To those under the law, a picture was needed to bring a system to a close. Law, and intellect require closure, sense, understanding by way of its own definitions. But to those never under the law, the crucifixion would actually have been optional. The birth of the tangible gift of love and grace would have been enough to see the One who is, the only glass which does not reflect us darkly, veiled by our own shame. I think this is why Paul can speak so glibly of the “unknown” God being the one they sought, without feeling the need to first correct their belief system, and why the gospel can be seen in creation, placed in the obvious view, for anyone with spirit eyes. 

Humanity, in its inception, is good, connected, one. That has always been the perception of the Maker. In the Person of Jesus, we were given the opportunity to see our own potential. One prayer he prayed for us: that we would experience our oneness. Our unity. Our irrevocable In-being. In our origin is the very secret of life. All we need is there. My fears, my shame, my sorrow, my guilt; all garments, torn like a veil, allowing the light to pass through me. All I need for life and godliness. In endless supply. Even the first of us to manifest belonged. Perfectly fashioned of earth and heaven. Flawlessly imagined. Animated and then revealed, and given one to behold and affirm this beauty. Community. 

One does not have to believe that the Way Christ pointed out was to believe his sacrifice was enough in the sense of penal substitution to have reason to celebrate Jesus. I don’t have to believe that the Maker orchestrated such a beautiful incarnation merely to appease his own temper. But to see those he loved returning his gaze, and meeting his eyes without the shame their religions insist they carry… for that he would allow us to do horrible things to the One who lived from the inside out. Never losing connection with Christ within… that Deep which calls to Deep in the roar of the waterfall. Christ our life. Putting to death that which stood between our perception and our true reality. 

Honour the sacrifice this Christmas. Don’t change your religion. Lose it altogether. One cannot “get into a kingdom” they were born in. They simply are. Especially when the mighty Fortress the Maker is, is also the very force of Love that holds all that exists inside himself. The inescapable Christ Universal. Stop looking through the glass darkly, break it all together.