Relationships and Irreconcilable Differences

Irreconcilable differences begin to accrue as soon as a person forgets that being entrusted with someone’s trust, love, self-esteem, growth, and happiness is a privilege and not a birthright.It is a precious gift to love and be loved.

Once we give something a name, we have given it a definition.Once we have defined it, it no longer has room to grow.What we call a relationship and what we call marriage must grow to meet who we have evolved into.When my first husband and I returned home from our marriage I did not recognize him.He had become a ‘husband’, which bore no resemblance to the man that I had been engaged to.I, on the other hand, did not know how to become a ‘wife’.And, I have to add that the husband he became was his father, a man that I would never have married.So even if I had known how to become a wife, I would have had to become his mother to make the institution function.We did not form a relationship, we entered an institution with strictly defined roles, at least, the ones that worked for my husband.

When two people enter into a committed relationship they create an extension of themselves, a midpoint where they unite. So, the relationship is not a thing, or an institution as marriage is called, but a place where lovers join, share, love and grow together. It is the third entity. It is the form of the bond through which their love flows, through which they share themselves and experience each others growth from that sharing and that bonding. This does not describe most relationships and it does not describe most marriages. The reason begins in childhood.

Children have their first and most important lessons in relationships in their family homes. They learn by watching their parents with each other, they learn by watching their parents with themselves and their siblings, and they learn through their interaction with their siblings. One of the first challenges that we are faced with when we enter into an adult relationship is that it is destructible. The relationship with our parents and siblings is indestructible, for better or for worse – they are always there. Even if we run away, they are still always there till death do we part. The relationship between parents and children is the only relationship that is relatively certain to be till death. Yet, somewhere in our subconscious minds we form, and act based upon a belief that a few words repeated before an official creates the same unbreakable bond. It does not and it has not for a very long time.

Divorce statistics show that eighty percent of marriages that end in divorce do so because of irreconcilable differences. Any relationship, including marriage will last as long as the needs of those involved are being met. This makes sense, but understanding those needs, grasping the importance of those needs and realizing how the survival of a marriage can hinge on the smallest thing is a little more difficult. This is because the smallest slight, or cruel word said in a fight never leaves the relationship. It never leaves the memory of the one who was slighted – never – ever, no matter what the person says. Put a person under hypnosis and you will find that throughout that person’s entire life there was not a leaf that blew by that is not remembered. We are, for better or for worse, memory keepers. No one knows for sure where all of the memories go, but what is a fact is that if the incident is repeated, the original one flies out to meet it and grow.

They say God is in the details, well, a relationship is strengthened or weakened by the details, the little tiny details and sometimes no one is aware of its condition until it snaps. One partner says, “What did I do”, the other partner says, “I don’t know, just a lot of things”. It is just a lot of little things. So many people think that the work ends when you say “I do”. This may be when we stop working, but it is also the time when the things that must be worked on begin to accumulate.

From the beginning of any relationship, we need to understand that if we have, ‘fallen in love’, then we are under the influence of a heavy intoxicant, maybe the heaviest.We are not in our right minds.The more that we struggle to see beyond our need for the next fix of the other person’s energy, the better chance we have at success.Clarity is the most important thing in having a successful relationship, make your needs clear – especially to yourself.My hand is a zillion times more mine than my husband will ever be.When it comes to another human being, we can’t take the word ‘mine’ too literally.No one abandons a relationship that makes them happy.No one cheats on a relationship that fulfils his or her needs.No one can be held down, held back, or controlled indefinitely.The only way to guarantee that the one you love is going to be there is to seek to make that person feel important, appreciated, loved, and most of all respected.

There are always two complete individuals and the relationship.The part of you that enters the relationship is the part of you who thinks first of the other – first my love, then us, then me.If you do this there will be times when you sacrifice what you want for your partner, but there will be equal times when your partner does the same for you.You don’t need to be in a relationship to worry about yourself, you can do that alone.

Forget about being right and never even consider winning. In a relationship if one person wins the fight, both lose the war. Sometimes we want our partners to think the same way as we do about everything. Only, if they really begin to do that we begin to feel that the person we fell in love with has been possessed by a member of the Stepford community. And sometimes if they don’t, we fear that we will lose our partner to someone who thinks the way that he or she does. If you are on opposing sides of an issue, respect the other’s right to see things from a different perspective than yours. If you have left your ego, and your baggage outside, an explanation, or saying, “These are the reasons that I feel this way…” may or may not convert the other person, but at least that person will have an understanding of why your beliefs are what they are and understanding in itself should make honoring your right to your beliefs easier.

Some beliefs, often religious or political are never going to become one.However, they are deeply charged with emotion and should not be criticized, discussed perhaps, but never critically.If there are little things that your partner needs that to you seem ridiculous – honor them.You will have you own share of ridiculous needs to be honored.

At some point in a relationship we realize that we do not want to continue without the other person. Not too long after that we have our first fight and realize that this unbelievable, one of a kind, made in heaven relationship is not indestructible. This causes that monster fear to raise its head. We become possessive, and jealous. At which point we remarkably do everything possible to alienate the person that we feel we can’t live without. We forget the most important thing, for some reason that can be articulated, this other person decided that he or she wanted to commit to us. What is important here is that whatever made that person, come to that decision was something about who we were, and what we did. It was never a specific thing, it was a mode of behavior, a way of being – what comes from the heart that beats inside of us. If you love someone and want to keep that person by your side till death do you part, be who you were when that person fell in love with you, and even more, when that person chose you to commit to.

We want to go to heaven but we don’t want to die.We want a guarantee that our partner will never leave us, but we don’t want to do the work to make them stay.If you are not sure as to what you should do, or if you have been fighting for so long that you have forgotten, ask your partner this, “What was it that made you want to spend your life with me?”“What can I do to make you want a life with me as badly as you did in the beginning?”This is not asking who else you should become, or, who else you should act like, it is asking what part of who you are that you have not been lately, or you could be more of.

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The Final Lap

When you spread forth your hands, I will hide my eyes from you;
Yes, when you make many prayers, I will not hear.
Your hands are full of blood.

Wash yourselves, make yourself clean.
Put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes;
Cease to do evil.

Learn to do well.
Seek justice,
Relieve the oppressed,
Judge the fatherless,
Plead for the widow.

Isaiah 1:15—17

Jesus said, “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto the Lord what is the Lord’s”.

The Lord gets the soul and Caesar gets the taxes.  This is very important because we have come so far from being able to clearly make that distinction.  It may be easy to say what is Caesar’s—it is the price, in coin, that we pay for anything material. It is the rendering of that which is of the material to the material.  Yet, when it comes to what is the Lords we become a little lost.  So, let us specify some of those things which belong to the Lord.  These things are: our compassion, our faith, our hope, and above all—our adherence to the most important of Commandments, “Love thy neighbor as thyself”.  This commandment translates into the Golden Rule, “Do unto others that which you would have others do unto you”.

When we do not live up to that Golden Rule, then we are rendering unto Caesar what is the Lords.  When our material gain requires the loss of someone else’s faith, or hope, or even life—we are rendering unto Caesar what belongs to God.  So it is also when we are not living our lives with compassion, love and forgiveness.  For what is Caesar’s is not simply those things of Mammon—gold, silver, or wealth.  What is Caesars are greed, envy, judgment, hatred, and revenge.  If we take from others or cause directly or indirectly their harm for the sake of those emotions, then, we are rendering unto Caesar what belongs to God.

If, to succeed in the world of Mammon, as it was known then, or Capitalism as it is known now, we feel that we must render unto Caesar what belongs to God, then, regardless of how we justify ourselves we are stealing from God.  This is why Jesus said that man cannot serve two masters:

No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

Luke 16:13

This was not an admonition—it was a statement of fact.  Yet, He also says that if we first seek the Kingdom of Heaven, all else will be added unto us.  What this means is that if we live by the Golden Rule, show justice, compassion, love and forgiveness—whatever material gain we do receive, and we will receive it, will be blessed by the Spiritual.  This is the blessing of the age to come.  It will be that of balance.  All will give and therefore all will receive, all will share therefore all will have—and what they have will be imbued with the qualities of generosity and love.  The Lord and Caesar will be one—the essence of the Lord in the world.

How do we get so lost?  It happens little by little, like all paths that lead away from God.  We make little, almost unnoticeable compromises, that we, perhaps promise ourselves that we will later undo, or make right.  Then it is as if we become lost in a fog that becomes thicker and thicker the farther we go.  Soon, the compromises grow larger and larger and our resolve to make right transforms into our justification that we are right.  Finally, we are either too lost to find our way back or too mesmerized by the glitter ahead of us to want to.

This is where man is today.  We have over the past millennium become so lost in the world of the senses that we have decided it is where we should be.  It makes no difference whether that world consists of our mansions, our corporations and our big cars—or the superiority of our religion over that of any other.  It is only a matter of exchanging one worldly obsession for another because in all cases the cost of sustaining our obsession is born by our souls.  Whether we are willing to kill for oil, kill for country, or kill for God—the result is the same—a broken commandment.

Yet, mankind’s destiny of harmony is fated to be learned through conflict—it is how we grow as individuals, as families, as nations and as a species.  Over the past two thousand years it has been the conflict between the spiritual and the material, and between the heart and the mind, good and evil.  Yet in the new age we will unite heart and mind to form Wisdom and through that wisdom we will unite the spiritual that is within us with the material that we are made of and spirit will truly inhabit the flesh and God will inhabit the world.

The lessons of this age have been carried in through the words of Jesus Christ for He ushered in the age of Pisces.  Many times in His sayings He mentions the “end of this age”, that phrase is synonymous with Judgment Day.  It is the day that this generation graduates.  I believe that this day is not a day but a time—a period of years, perhaps decades—which will fully bring us into the Age of Aquarius.  Christ said, “…For there are five trees for you in Paradise that remain undisturbed summer and winter and whose leaves do not fall.  Whoever becomes aquatinted with them will not experience death”. The trees are Faith, Charity, Joy, Peace and Hope.

His teachings were the same teachings as all of the prophets before him, yet, they were like the mustard seed in their growth around the world. Many people now, in the Christian world are talking about the ascension in flesh.  This certainly seems like the best time to ascend.  I believe that we do not really understand what that means. The physical world is a world of death.  It is the valley of the shadow of death, because death is all around us, yet our souls walk through the shadow of death because our souls never experience it.  By this time many of us are realizing that heaven is within not in some place out there.  Since heaven is within, then we must certainly ascend to Heaven while we are in the flesh.  This ascension is finding God or Spirit within ourselves and living it in our lives.  Christ says, “For he (man) did not find it in the day he was in the body, so that he will not find it in the Day of Judgment”. It is stated in other words in Hebrews 12:14 “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord”

We must live this commandment that was stressed by Jesus Christ:

The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. And then You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

He said, ”Get behind me Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men”.  Here again it is the same choice, either the things of God or the things of Men.  We have been battling this choice over the past millennium.  We reached a point in the 80’s where the God that we worshipped was Satan.

If you look at the devil in the Rider Waite Tarot Deck, you will notice that the devil is holding the man and woman with chains.  However, the chains are not locked, representing the fact that they can leave at any time.  That card called the Devil represents our being chained to the material world.  In reality the devil is not some horned creature in physical form.  It does not require weird ceremonies and the sacrifice of virgins.  The devil requires corporate downsizing to increase profits, factory closings to make more money, and the sacrifice of people’s livelihoods for the sake of greed.  The Devil requires us to build ourselves up by putting others down.  The devil requires that we hate and steal, whether it is a purse or someone’s business, or walking over the homeless on the street without even acknowledging their existence.

It requires that we condemn people because their beliefs are different to ours, or they look different to us.   It is an energy that tempts us with the material world and binds us by our passion and our greed for possessions.  It is that passion for worldly things, and for power over others, that is the fire of hell.  Jesus said, “A grapevine has been planted apart from the Father. Since it is not strong, it will be pulled up by its root and will perish.” Gospel of Thomas

For those things have no soul and cannot lead us in any way to God, but in fact, lead us away.  The devil is all things that are void of love.

Many say that there is a battle going on between the forces of light and the forces of darkness.  This causes a kind of imagery that I am not at this time comfortable with.  Yet, there is a battle being waged now between the Spiritual and the Material.  However we describe it the energy is the same.  Yet a battle between darkness and light feels like a battle that is going on outside of us.  The battle is not outside but is really being waged within.  Energy is energy it has no form.  We give it form and we direct it.  Our choices will decide either which side wins, or if we can find the Wisdom to make peace between the two.  There is an Hasidic Quotation that goes as follows :

On the day of destruction, power lies at the bottom of the deep and grows. If a pregnant woman goes into labor in the eighth month, when the time is not yet come, doctors try to stop her labor. But not so in the ninth month. If the woman goes into labor then, doctors try to increase it, so that she may soon give birth. That is why, formerly, when people called to heaven, begging God to free the earth of some misery, their prayer was granted, for the time was not yet come. But now that redemption is near, no prayer which ascends in behalf of the sorrowful world is of avail, but sorrow is heaped upon sorrow, so that the birth may soon be accomplished.

This is the same as saying that while we are learning, if we ask the teacher a question we are immediately given the answer.  However, on the day of the final exam we will not be given any answers for now it is time for our knowledge and our ability to learn to be tested.  If and how the end comes will depend upon our choices, but it is certainly clear that sorrow upon sorrow is being heaped upon the world.  Yet we cannot pray for God to make things better, we must pray for God to give us a chance to make ourselves better.

Everything is catching up to us now.  We are destroying the earth and the things of God, so that we may make more room and have more resources for the things of the material world.  The more life that we destroy the more nature is destroying us.

Some delusional being decided one day that if we are created in the image of God, then we have to power of God.  Over the past two thousand years we have built our own Tower of Babel.  We have treated Mother Nature as though she were a thing to suck dry.  She lives, and as we are seeing in the Gulf and around the world through disaster after disaster…she reacts.

All of the hatred and prejudice that we each repress is being played out by the racists and terrorists.  Yet they are not acting in a vacuum, they are absorbing what has been hidden, the emotions that motivate those who move to segregated neighborhoods although they do not consider themselves prejudice, those who do not approve inter-racial or even inter-religious marriages, yet they do not consider themselves prejudice.  It is all of these hidden feelings that are becoming manifest.  Christ said, “For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. [And there is nothing buried that will not be raised.]” Gospel of Thomas.  In Ecclesiastes 3, there is a time for every purpose under the Sun.  This, is the time to reap.

There are those of us who realize that in order to effect change we must open our eyes, however unpleasant, to that which must be changed.  There are those who will hide from what is front of their faces and seek a liar to tell sooth them.  The ancient alchemists knew that the world “out there” and the world within ourselves is the same.  They saw that my separateness from you is the illusion.

Most people have resentments and prejudices that they hide, perhaps even from themselves, but now those feelings are being acted out within our society.   We can no longer profess love and compassion we must become love and compassion.  We can no longer consider ourselves alone.  As an astrologer, I am one of those who believe that the Judgment Day began officially on August 11th 1999, the day of the Great Millennium Eclipse.  This is our last chance to connect with our spirit.

We must begin to consider our immediate family one that is global.  This generation of souls entered in the Age of Leo, and it is love in its highest form that we must learn.  Up till now we have been learning to develop our individual abilities and our individual sense of self.  Now in the Age of Aquarius we will be asked to take that love and sense of self and use it to serve the greater good of all.  We were not meant to learn this the easy way.  Yet how hard it is depends upon us.  As it stands, we must learn it through terrorism, disasters, wars, hatred and disease. The good thing is that we still have a choice.  We can still change.  This moment in history is critical.

The earth is attacking us with a vengeance; we are attacking each other in the same way and will continue to do so until we learn what we are here to learn.  Christ said,

Men think, perhaps, that it is peace which I have come to cast upon the world.   They do not know that it is dissension which I have come to cast upon the earth: fire, sword, and war.  For there will be five in a house: three will be against two, and two against three, the father against the son, and the son against the father.  And they will stand solitary.

To stand solitary means to stand united as one.  This is the purpose of what we are experiencing and will continue to experience into the new millennium.

Our collective unconscious, the fabric that holds us together has begun to tear apart, to have holes in it, just as the ozone layer has on the physical plane.  We no longer have agreements to rely on.  We are lost and seeking some firm ground to stand on. People see three sides of every issue, question every rule and break or ignore every law.

Things will change and we will be a part of that change, whether it is through disaster or through love.  We have history for us to learn from.  How many empires crumble because they become too heavy on top for the foundation to support.  We must evenly distribute material of our world because there are cracks in the foundation and it soon will collapse.  We can create that change if we begin within our own hearts.  The world that we live in is the one that we create.  Not merely by our actions but by our true intentions.  We must change the world outside by changing the world inside.  We must become one in truth.   We must find the one truth, because we can no longer agree on any facts.

We are at the end of an Age.  We must connect with those five trees, eat their fruits and become them. So it is important to know what the core curriculum was, and that core curriculum has been taught by sages and prophets since the beginning of time.  It is the Word of God, spoken in all languages and by all of His incarnations.   In this millennium, our teacher in the west has been Jesus Christ.  It is time to love.  Love someone each day, help someone each day and just give of your heart.  We must make the changes in the world by making them within ourselves.  It is never too late, not as long as we are here.  There is no help that we cannot receive for us to be saved.  But we have to choose who we will serve.  Heaven will be on earth when it is alive within the hearts of man hearts.  We must make every season the season of giving.  We are the lost sheep, and when we return to our hearts we will be found.  Jesus said:

The (Father’s) kingdom is like a shepherd who had a hundred sheep. One of them, the largest, went astray. He left the ninety-nine and looked for the one until he found it.  After he had toiled, he said to the sheep, ‘I love you more than the ninety-nine.

And those who assumed the form of my type will assume the form of my Word.  Indeed, these will come forth in light forever and (in) friendship with each other in the spirit, since they have known in every respect (and) indivisibility that what is, is ONE.  (Gnostic Scriptures, The Second Treatise of the Great Seth, Jesus speaking about himself, 65:19-33)

Karma for Dummies

Karma is something that is really misunderstood. It is usually considered something that we earn – we earn good karma or we earn bad karma. Just how do we earn this karma? It seems like we earn it by either doing something good or doing something bad. However, if karma were a bucket the size of the earth, those explanations would be drops the size of mothballs.

Having done a number of past life regressions for people, I have found a whole new appreciation for and understanding of karma, sort of karma for dummies. Karma is really something that we have to learn – plain and simple. Here is an example of karma for myself, in this life. I have carried over into this life a feeling of extreme vulnerability in the physical world. My father was one of those larger than life characters, someone my husband would call a “Mans’ man”. I grew up feeling completely safe with him around. I did not take into considerations his character flaws, I just saw him as a MAN who was tough and strong and so he could keep the monsters away and insure my safety.

As I began dating, I was attracted to men who could protect me. The type of man that many woman are attracted to – MACHO. I was attracted to dragon slayers. I liked men who kept the masses at bay either through their financial power, or that physical energy that some men just emit. I met these men, and, as was my karma, they were equally attracted to me. We would even fall in love, or, more aptly put when referring to karma, we would fall into obsession. After countless disappointments, and sometimes a little violence, I found that the men I attracted to my life were not strong, at least not when it came to a strength that required more than lifting heavy rocks. In the end it always came back to my own strength. It was my karma to take responsibility for myself. Each time I handed over responsibility for my well-being to someone else, I paid a price, in love, in business, in anyway. Another karma that I had was with my self-worth and my lovability. Each time that I turned to someone else to show me that I was worthy, they challenged my worth. Karma is not necessarily about something that you have done to someone else, or to others in general – sometimes, very often, it is about something that you have to do for yourself.

My grandmother believed that she could not be loved for herself; she believed that she had to buy it, or place herself in a position that others needed her. She couldn’t give, although that is what she thought that she was doing – but there was a debt to pay for her giving and somehow in her mind this exchange was as close as she could come to being loved. My grandmother held on to every penny that she could. She did nothing, went nowhere and only used her money to hold on to the people that she loved. She believed that no one really loved her or could love her so she saved every penny. In her mind, no one would be there for her when she was old so she didn’t want to be in a position to have to depend on anyone, who she believed, would only reject her. After an unfortunate and unforeseen karmic turn of events she lost everything and had no choice but to rely on the kindness of strangers. However, those people that she was so sure would not be there for her when she was in need, turned out with open hearts blessing her with all of the love that she never believed possible in her life. That too was karma. It was the karma of learning. It is all the karma of learning.

I have a friend that I regressed to a number of past lives. In each one she was some kind of slave. Someone who was not given any value, except for one life, in which she did find and relish her own value and her own accomplishments after a childhood of being devalued. However, old habits die hard and she brought that same unworthy mindset into this life and was treated as a lesser being by the same souls who had done it to her in her past lives. However in this life she is learning and beginning step by step to assert her own power. And with each experience in which she does this – she finds that those souls who once intimidated her begin to treat her with greater respect. This is karma also. Perhaps with this karmic reinforcement she will become one with her own power and her own worth and the lesson will not require more lives, the karma will have been released. Most times we return to learn our lessons with the same souls but wearing different costumes in a different set. I believe that we choose to experience these lessons with the same souls not because they owe us, or we them, but because that soul level contact awakens in us those feelings that we need to rise above. We are innately intimidated by those who have left us with scars of feeling less than in past lives. Just as we awaken in them a need to treat us in a way that they may not really understand themselves in this lifetime. It is not so much that they do it to us, and then we do it to them. It is better explained as they do it to us over and over again, lifetime after lifetime until we do not allow it anymore. I have often heard someone say to me, “I don’t understand it, I only act this way with you”. It is because this drama is between us. Generally, this drama, repeated over lifetimes on different stages teaches a lesson to all parties involved, and it is repeated until the lessons are learned.

Of course there are the karmas that involve race, religion, social status, and power. Someone may be very poor in one life, and feel enormous resentment towards those who have more. That person may come back again poor, but in the next life that soul has the opportunity to amass great wealth. The lesson is in how they handle that wealth, just as there is a lesson in how one handles poverty. All roads lead to love, compassion, empathy, understanding, acceptance and brotherhood. All of these things must be learned but not just for the benefit of others but equally for the benefit of ourselves. Karma is ultimately about learning the lessons of unconditional love which inevitably leads us to the knowledge that we are all One, and that the totality of that One of which we all are is God.

We write our karma as we go along. We write the plot for our next life in this one. Reincarnation is about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. Karma is the path that we walk that mile on so that we may learn the true love of God, of other and of self and know that there is not differentiation between the three. That is the trinity that has existed since the beginning of time and before. Karma is not complicated. It contains no judgment, no punishment and no reward, except perhaps the reward of becoming the Love that we so desperately seek.

It’s Cool To Be Kind

Enlightened beings are magnanimous givers, bestowing whatever they have with equanimity, without regret, without hoping for reward, without seeking honor, without coveting material benefits, but only to rescue and safeguard all living beings.
Buddhism. Garland Sutra 21
There are so many phrases that characterize these times such as, “Only the strong survive,” and, “People mistake kindness for stupidity”. “It is a dog eat dog world”. It seems that there has been a consistently growing trend against being nice. Today if one is too nice, they either need to join some religious order or seek a therapist’s couch.

When I was young, I was deeply affected by the emotional pain experienced by the people around me. I was especially sensitive to the fact that it was not inescapable pain but really self-inflicted. The greatest pain seemed to be caused by those we care for and sometimes even by those who care for us. My reaction to the pain of those around me and to my own, was to determine to live my life in a way which would focus on helping those in pain, and trying not to be the cause of pain for others. I was naive enough to want to see people happy. I grew up in an environment so devoid of trust and faith that I was going to carry enough for everyone. To me, it was so important to trust and to be trusted. Although I was often hurt or disappointed, it did not stop me from being true to the person that I believed I should be.

One day, in my early twenties, I was with a group of co-workers, speaking openly and honestly, when a friend pulled me aside and told me that everyone was not laughing with me they were laughing at me. She told me that I was kind and trusting, and people just saw it as stupid. She said that I had to change to protect myself.

A few years later, I had a friend who started calling me a weak ass. It bothered me but I wasn’t comfortable confronting her about it at first. I knew she thought I was too nice especially to people she didn’t feel deserved it. One day, I asked her why she called me that and she told me that if everyone in the world was like me—it would be a beautiful place, but since everyone was not, I was a weak ass. I respected her honesty and I also knew that in her way, it was a compliment. In the end, my being what she called, a weak ass was the reason she had chosen me as one of the few people that she really trusted.

During my early twenties, I did a great deal of soul searching. The truth was, that people were very difficult for me to deal with. I didn’t find it easy to make friends, because most people saw me as someone to take advantage of. Each group was somehow formed around its sense of superiority to other groups. I didn’t feel superior to anyone, and that affected my ability to fit in. At some point, probably during one of those painful times, I thought of the ways in which I could change and so avoid the endless hurts and disappointments that seemed to be a permanent part of my life. I realized that I could put up a cold wall, I could expect the worst from others, and take before I was taken. I could choose my friends based on how much they had to offer me, or how good it made me look to be with them. I could do those things that I had for so long been advised to do—or I could accept that who I was, was who I had always wanted to be. Because I realized that I was the person I would have wanted as a friend, and that, was the highest goal that I ever wanted to achieve within myself. I would rather have been who I was—alone—than to have allowed the experiences of my life to control me and to determine who I was as a person.

This is what is called dharma. It is living the life that is truly natural to your soul. It is really being your true self and living in accordance with that true self. There is a story of a Bodhisattva who was sitting by the water’s edge. A priest who was approaching him heard him saying “ouch” repeatedly. As he drew nearer, he noticed there was a scorpion that was drowning. As he watched the scorpion and the Bodhisattva he was astonished to see that each time the scorpion began to drown, the Bodhisattva reached into the water and pulled it out. And each time after each time it was being pulled out of the water the scorpion would sting the Bodhisattva’s hand. Afters it was pulled out the scorpion would return to the water and the scenario would be repeated.

The priest looked at the Bodhisattva in frustration and asked, “Master, you know that the scorpion is going to sting you, why do you repeatedly lift it out of the water?” The Bodhisattva responded, “It is the dharma of the scorpion to sting—and it is my dharma to save.” In this lifetime “to save” is not everyone’s dharma. There are even those humans whose dharma is to “sting”. Yet many, whose dharma it is to save, to help, and to love his fellow man—hold back out of fear of rejection or ridicule. So instead, they do what others do and, in acting against their dharma, they sadly create unnecessary karma.

It is my belief, and this is very personal, that it is the innate desire of each person to be loved unconditionally and to be allowed—regardless of past actions—to be the best one can be. I once read somewhere that loving is giving what you most need to receive. And this is why I say that this is personal, because it is what I would want to be given to me. So I chose to give others an opportunity to be trusted, even if they had not shown themselves to be trustworthy in the past, and to create a non-judgmental space for people to feel safe enough to change if they chose to do so. Perhaps, eight out of ten times this proved disastrous for me, but it wasn’t a personal loss because, having given something consciously, it was not taken from me. When I claimed my power, I claimed my right to give, to love, and to succeed in what I measured as success which was to be the best human being that I could. I no longer perceived myself as being a victim because I made the choice. I no longer perceived myself as being used or taken advantage of because I made a choice. Regardless of the perceptions of others, within myself I was becoming successful and that feeling was empowering.

Someone said that there are no bad people—only bad choices. I believe that because society is so fearful and so judgmental that some of us become forced into living out the persona of those bad choices in spite of an inner desire to rise above them. This is what happens to us during the Christmas season. It is a frozen moment in time when we may safely, without fear of loss or judgment, bring out what is best within us. We may experience the joy of giving and of sharing without feeling foolish, without fearing that we will be used or taken advantage of. The fears of our society have made those for whom giving and loving are the source of joy feel weak and defective. We have equated kindness not only with stupidity but with what this society considers to be the most detestable fault that one can have—that of weakness. My own father went to his grave fearing for my survival because of those exact traits that most endeared me to him.

For too long, people who do really care about the welfare of others have been made to feel ashamed of that feeling. They are either labeled, “Bleeding Heart Liberals”, or made to believe that they suffer from some form of inferiority complex. And to a large extent they do suffer from a complex. This is because there has been no place in the everyday world for good people. Even hearing the word in my head as I write makes me almost feel as those I am describing a leper. Good people have to find their own path and fight the world, their loved ones, and even themselves so as to stay on it. It has been very difficult after goodness lost favor with the general public in response to the sixties. So, unless one fits into the category of being an aged hippy, or a left over love child—good people have little or no support for their beliefs about life and the way to live it. I found that it is easy to feel confident when you believe in who you are. It was the believing that took some time, but it always does when you are swimming against the tide. The thing to remember is that it only takes one person to make a path—anywhere—and everyone else will eventually follow. It takes belief to develop confidence, and a willingness to walk alone to make that path, but once the path is made, you are not alone for long.

Now, it is time for all of the bleeding hearts to be proud that their hearts are not too cold, or too hard to bleed. It is time that we acknowledge that it is neither bad nor stupid to be good. It is spiritual. And one does not have to join an order to be spiritual and to live a life that exemplifies the spiritual principals taught by every Light that God has sent down to earth to lead us. For too long, we have bought into that dog eat dog world. We are not animals we are spiritual beings. We are meant to rise above survival of the fittest and that dog eat dog belief. We are meant to love, to care, and to be our brother’s keeper. We don’t have to wait until it becomes cool or in, to be good we have to be good long enough, and with enough courage and conviction that it becomes cool. There are no catchy phrases which praise being a good person. There are only phrases denigrating it. If someone is too good—then they are not true, or they are a stupid, a wimp, an easy mark, or a sucker. It actually amazes me that one can’t be too thin, or can’t be too rich, but one can be too good! We have gone so far down the wrong path that when someone does something right or is too decent, or humane, either their motives or their intelligence are immediately suspect.

It is time to lift ourselves out of the jungle where only the strong survive. It is time to leave the kingdom where dogs eat dogs and enter the kingdom where mankind can love and care for all living things. It is time for us to rise to the position that is befitting those who were created in the image of God, that image of the loving, caring, and forgiving caretaker that God is. How can we speak in His name, when we ourselves celebrate the animal in us and demean the God in us? God is goodness. If enough people find the courage to be proud of caring, proud of giving, and proud of trusting, then others will find it wise and cool to do the same. The world is in sore need of all the loving, giving, caring people it can support. And that does not mean confined in a religious order, but out in the world living an example that others can be encouraged to follow. There is an infinite distance between nowhere and the first step, but once that first step is taken, we find that the universe takes our hand the rest of the way.