Trust is Possible: a Thanksgiving Blog

Over the last four and a half years, I’ve written here about the beauty of the broken heart, some painful, enraging truths about the patriarchy and its toxic effect on the 51%, lots of self-reflection, and different stages of my own journey through the tangled woods. Sometimes the tree branches seem to come alive and grab at me, darkly, as if I were none other than silly Snow White looking to be saved by tiny, ineffective fictional creatures. At other times sun dapples the forest floor and shows me the way through, so I can make my own story.

Looking back, most of what I remember about my life is having a hopeful, joyful heart. The bubbling gratitude that returns to me again and again. Not despite the bad stuff of life, but because of the deliciousness that fills in all the spaces around it.

But I still trip and stumble on my way. Identifying my own internal roadblocks remains part of why I’m here.

This year on the day of giving thanks, I am most profoundly grateful for a recent shift inside me.

On a recent Sunday afternoon, my daughter and I lit a small fire in a micro-pit (loaf pan) by lighting baking soda and rubbing alcohol. (Life hack if you need a ceremonial fire and don’t have a fireplace or outdoor firepit.) As the fire flickered on the coffee table, we quietly released into it things that we could identify that were clearly not serving us, and invited into our lives the opportunities, attitudes, beliefs, and people we wished to see manifest. Releasing fears, sorrow, limiting beliefs, and welcoming in joy, transformation, and most of all, love.

As we did this familiar ritual, in companionable silence, I had a serious epiphany. You know how epiphanies can be. A sudden “woke” moment when what you have “known” all along is suddenly clear. For me, it usually means that words appear, elucidating the truth so I can look straight at it. What was an unidentified feeling or belief becomes a statement. The words give the belief visibility and shape. If it does not serve me, the words cause it to lose some of its power so I can deal with whatever it is. If it is an epiphany of empowerment, I can own it and consciously, affirmatively accept it into myself.

On this particular day, these words formed in my mind: “Men always disappoint me.”

Harsh. I might have winced (literally) as the thought formed words and opened up inside me.

Though these words were never spoken by me or even in my head before that moment, I realized that my body lived them. The belief, like a miasma, filled the little innocent spaces in me so that as I opened myself to love, experience, and the men in my life, I was sabotaged by it.

“Limiting belief” is an understatement. This belief was a threat to my happiness and well-being.

Lucky for me, I have a toolbox I can whip out at a time like this to begin the uprooting process. But I knew instinctively that I might need to bring in the big guns this time. I called upon a fellow traveler and dear friend, shaman and healer, to guide me through the discovery, the releasing, and the healing.

Knowing where this belief originated was not technically necessary to expunge it, but I’m a curious sort. I like to know, and, for me, knowing with my head is usually (though not always) a key to a door that allows healing through to my heart and the rest of my being.

My experience, in any particular lifetime (choose one), of being silenced or abandoned or assaulted by a man or men in power, is hardly unique. It is the story of women. We all take these lessons into ourselves in our own ways. But they are just stories and can be rewritten.

The individual men that I love or have loved, from my father, to my son, to my brothers-in-law, cousins, friends, lovers, are inside me. Some have brought me nothing but warmth and love, others have done their worst. But what I realized is that society as a whole, going back to almost the beginning, is so infused with the unbridled, unbalanced energy of the yang, so dominated by the male of the species, that attempts to silence or squelch, deny, ignore, oppress, force, or disempower the yin are all around us. They are the overwhelming, overarching reality for all of us. In some countries and cultures, this energy is more intense and unavoidable than in others, but let’s be honest. It is unavoidable until things change for good.

Those sweet, gutsy, humble, strong men who see the forest for the trees, who understand the toll our world’s way of doing things takes on half the population, they are the ones we fall in love with, right? The ones we want to surround ourselves with. The ones we want to raise, marry, hire, elect, along with the women we also raise, marry, hire, and elect, obviously.

So what the hell does any of this have to do with Thanksgiving? Gratitude, of course.

This year I am grateful that I have transmuted my belief about men to an understanding of my own journey through the eons, and an understanding of something even deeper than that. That though it is difficult to trust, trust is possible. And it is still and always has been, for me, easy to love. Love can heal the harshest ache, and I am grateful for love.

 

 

 

 

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Holding onto My Soul

possible

Hope.

  • Listening to Van Morrison singing “Wild Night” It lifts my feet and pushes up through my floating ribs. It reminds me, outside of consciousness, how I am still that same kid, back when hope was just part of my circulation, even when I had to learn the hard lessons.
  • Even if love is withheld, used as a weapon, or indistinguishable from loss, a cool breeze lifts my hair and brings hope.
  • Remembering to raise up my voice along with my eyes. I will be heard, and I will see you.
  • Road trips.

Love.

  • It is my superpower.
  • It lives in my body and can’t be banished or defeated.
  • Love built my babies, pushed them out, and grew them strong.
  • Love hurt me, and healed me, and taught me how to be strong and soft all at the same time. You too, maybe.
  • There is lots of it in the world. Do you think it’s hiding, or even gone forever? It isn’t. Look inside yourself and you’ll know I’m right.
  • I love the me that loves the you.

Desire.

  • Buddha said it is the root of suffering. Probably. But it fires me up. The wanting and the longing and the excitement. It’s kinda like being on a tall tower, knowing you can fly, and that as soon as you drift off to sleep… you will.
  • I want to hold hands. Whisper into the ear of a lover. Lie on the floor to look up at the Sistine Chapel. Swing my hips. Breathe.
  • Rare air—icy on the mountaintop, salty and soft from the bayou, or warm from the lips of someone who just kissed me for a long time.
  • And then there’s desire for justice, equity, valor, and passion.

Righteousness.

  • Because: it exists.
  • It rolls like water. A mighty stream.

Joy.

  • Hearing music. Let’s start here: STEVIE. Have you listened to “Do I Do” lately? It will make your synapses tingle with happiness. “Hey Nineteen” by Steely Dan. The lyrics really are sketchy but it just feels so good inside my body. What else feels good is “Love (Never Felt So Good)”—that thing Justin made with Michael after Michael was dead. (Must dance.) The Proclaimers proclaiming they’d walk 1000 miles to fall down at my door. (YES, thank you.) “Coyote” by Joni – especially the version from The Last Waltz. (The driving rhythms of this song and the voice—it is a truly flawless thing.) And so very very many more. As George Eliot said, “Life seems to go on without effort when I am filled with music.”
  • Sexual abandon. Rare and exquisite. The certainty that every moment is, was, and will be delicious and full of tangles.
  • The middle of the afternoon. Nowhere to be. A city street, the smell of food, rain, or a woman’s perfume: a faint whiff. Boots made for walking and maybe later I’ll meet up with a friend, a loved and precious friend.
  • The unplanned for.
  • Laughing till I pee my pants. Red faced and bleary teary I am at my best in these moments of helplessness.
  • Road trips (reprise).

Activism.

  • As much as backing into the cave of soft darkness and yellow firelight is a temptation of monumental proportions, being cold and wind-smacked outside the White House somehow feels better, in the end.
  • Speaking my truth.
  • Risking love on the rock-strewn mountainslope of truth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love Trumps Trump

Healing-Heart

Some things I know and feel no need to explain how I know them:

  1. Complaining is not healthy, even though we really want it to be. It can be addictive. It can even feel good… at first. But it’s bad voodoo. (Although I know I don’t need to provide a citation, this is a good article on the subject.)
  2. Love is the shit. Like, The Thing. Like… the ONLY thing. It heals. It feels good. It fixes the world.
  3. All humans on the planet deserve all their human rights, regardless of skin color, genitalia, who they want to love, be, or become, where they live, what god, goddess, Bodhisattva, tree, or higher or lower being they worship, whether they worship anything at all, or don’t.
  4. Generalizing may be convenient when running statistics but it sucks when you are talking about actual humans. It’s called bias. It’s called “don’t be stupid, just because a black gay Buddhist was mean to you in 6th grade does not mean all black gay Buddhists are mean.”
  5. The U. S. of A. has some very powerful and wonderful things about it but it’s in big trouble. Still and all, I love it. (see # 2)
  6. The Maharishi Effect is legit. (Again, here’s a cool article about small meditation groups affecting an entire city’s crime rate!) When you get enough people focused on one idea or feeling, things change. Shifts happen. People feel different. And it affects the world beyond and outside. When people feel different, they behave in different ways.
  7. Our thoughts do change us. Our thoughts—and the thoughts we surround ourselves with—permeate us until they change the grooves in our brain (to use an image from vinyl records) so that the needle now goes in those grooves and can’t, as easily, find the groovy grooves. The groovy grooves are where you find love and self-love, acceptance of others and acceptance of self, optimism and fortitude, joy and courage and laughter. Change your thinking, change your feelings, actions, and outcomes.

Many Americans are disappointed in the folks who hold political office right now, and also in most all of the candidates vying for their respective nominations. The majority seem to be ruled by money, and/or racist/misogynistic/reactionary agendas, and/or a lust for power. Is a single one of them ruled by love (see #2)? Maybe Bernie. But he’s pretty pissed off, too, so I’m not sure.

I started to write a blog that was veering towards complaint, anger, non-love. I was going down the path of “we’re kinda fucked” that would create a groove in my brain if I’m not careful. I could become that person. The person who lives her life from the “we’re fucked” point of view. Who wants to be that person?

Don’t want to hide my head from the facts either, though.

What I was going to write, was about how shocked I am that our country is a place where a hater like Trump has a groundswell of supporters. I guess I’ve been fooled by the veneer of civility that has (barely) covered the actions and agendas of politicians who have been spewing hate for years…just maybe not as openly as Trump does. Maybe there are a lot of folks grateful to have someone just come out and say it. Say the stuff that they want to say, hate the people they love to hate. I’m thinking they don’t like the groups of non-them people who get in the way of their special privilege—or maybe that’s what they’re scared of.

But I want to STOP complaining about the candidates—it’s not good for me. I want to acknowledge that everyone has the right to speak, even if the ideas being spoken are about taking away everyone else’s rights. I want to be part of a GREAT BIG HAPPY GROUP THINK that is about love and acceptance. Then imagine a world where the tsunami effect of love will be so huge that it will push away all the hate.

So here’s my question. If I don’t want to become the hopeless, angry person coming from a place of reaction to evil, and instead want to be the person who operates from a place of love, how do I love Trump? How do I love Cruz? How do I love all those who love them? People who, consciously or not, disrespect me for being a woman. Long to take away my rights, so painfully fought for over my lifetime by people who would not accept the oh-so absurd status quo. People who want to build walls to keep out immigrants (not unlike their own immigrant parents or grandparents who made this country what it is today). People who mostly just hate. Hate people not like them. Hate progress towards equality. Hate having to give up their privilege so the underprivileged can get a break. Hate thinking about what they don’t want to think about, like climate change, gay marriage, domestic terrorism, to name a few.

So I’m looking for a way in. A way in to love.

When my children were little and behaving badly I’d say, “I love you with all my heart and always will, but I do not like what you are doing right now.” It was easy to make that distinction. The person has my love, his or her actions do not.

I am resolved. I will send love. I’ll put it out there into the universe, directed at Trump and all the rest of the haters. I will say to myself, “I love this human being. I love this person who was born to a mother like me. Someone loves this person, so I can too.” If we can love a sister or uncle or friend who makes mistake after mistake simply because we choose to go on loving them, then I can choose to love Donald Trump. Love will be my trump card and I’ll play it every day.

(lovelovelovelovelovelove….)