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2013: Heretics & Heroes: Part X Of XII - October

by Cathy Combs


Here we are in the Fullness of Mother Nature's spectacular Beauty as we revel in the Awesomeness of Her spectacular color show. I just love this season!!! To celebrate Her Beauty I want to highlight another spectacularly brave woman, Laura Matilda Towne, founder of the Penn School in 1862. She named her school after William Penn and Pennsylvania's Freedmen's Aid Society. Towne was responding to President Lincoln's call for teachers to go to South Carolina to participate in the Port Royal Experiment. The idea was to prove that former slaves could be educated, become land owners and be productive citizens. With her medical training as a homeopathic physician from the Women's Medical College in Pennsylvania and her love of teaching Laura Matilda Towne set out on her life work educating, inspiring and uplifting the 6,000 abandoned slaves she found at Point Royal. I am quoting from the 2013 Spring edition of the UU World, the magazine of Unitarian Universalism: "Towne was a quiet revolutionary; she broke social barriers and attacked the assigned social place of African Americans by fighting entrenched patterns of subservience…" I am so grateful for Towne's social conscience and bravery. Her "work is still going on in what is now named The Penn Community Services Center, still promoting self-sufficiency and the advancement and development of the Sea Island community and its residents." Several hundred of her neighbors from her Sea Island community showed up at her funeral in 1901 to honor her. Penn Center played an important role in the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s serving as a safe haven for Dr. King and the Southern Christian Leadership Council. It is now a national historic landmark district. I certainly want to visit there.

Two quotes I love that are so relevant to her work are: "We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it." Abraham Lincoln spoke those words. In the Abraham teaching of Esther and Jerry Hicks it is said: "The only way we can return anyone to love is to love them." These spiritual Truths are so relevant to the Sacred Abundance class I took at my home church for the third time a few months ago. The work we did on Forgiveness was particularly meaningful to me. I heard the acronym: FUN. I heard Forgiveness Understanding Now. It is fun to live from that Consciousness. It is very freeing. It means a great deal to me to live from this Consciousness. It means being so centered as Presence I don't take offense. I don't give offense. I live as an abiding Expression of Unconditional Love. I live the inside out Life that means so very much to me. I keep learning that lesson at deeper and deeper levels. I hear the constant reminder to look for the positive. Don't label anyone as negative. Hold them in Love so we can all be the Love we are. That is my Purpose now and always. I know I have more lessons to learn, more Forgiveness to feel and express, more Understanding to feel and express in the Now and Always. I look forward to this ongoing unfolding Journey.

These thoughts remind me of the infinite creative power of the words: I AM. I know with all my heart it matters what words I put after my I AM statements. I am a blessing and I am blessed in return is a mantra that means a great deal to me. It's more than a little fascinating what unexpected blessings come as I keep a positive, service-oriented view of my world. I certainly do want to be a service in the world. As we give we receive. As I give generously I always receive generously even if it isn't in the form of what I would perceive as a blessing. Saying that reminds me of one of my favorite mantras: "We are here for only two reasons: Either to give love or receive love. Another rendition of that wording is: Either to be a blessing or receive a blessing. These Truths remind me of the Bounty and Beauty of the world. It so very much matters where I focus. If I focus on perceived evil that certainly is what I will see, feel and experience. It reminds me of the wording I heard as I continue my series on heretics and heroes: "Heretics are those who are so far ahead of the curve they see around the corners where the blind can't see." Heretics and heroes see a world that Thoreau spoke of in his awesome words: "If we advance confidently in the direction of our dreams and endeavor to live the life we have imagined we will achieve a success unexpected in the common hour." It so very much matters whether we call our Life a dream or a nightmare. It isn't what is happening. It's what we perceive. I always think of Dr. Viktor Frankl when I share this thought. He survived the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps because he kept his heart and mind focused on Love. He went on to establish Logotherapy, his work on finding the meaning in life. He said that when we can find the meaning in a circumstance we can not only survive we can thrive. Life is filled with meaning. Life is not meaningless!!! Life is not purposeless. Look for the Beauty. Look for the Hope. Look for FUN: Forgiveness Understanding Now. I breathe so much easier when I focus in the Now. Smiles come easily. I am focused on Resilience. I am remembering and inviting the Essence of my Beingness to speak through me, as me. I like that Voice!!! It's Uplifting & Encouraging.

It is my Place of Power. Your Voice is your Place of Power. It speaks to us about how connected or disconnected we are. Perhaps you're asking connected with what? I'm speaking of being connected with our creative problem solving skills. I'm speaking of how we face each moment. I'm not saying Life is a problem. It isn't!!! I'm speaking of my ability to appreciate each moment. I'm speaking of my ability to see each moment as a resting place and a stepping stone into the next moment. It's so fascinating to me what an infinite paradox Life is. It is a resting place and a stepping stone all at once. As I breathe and rest in the moment nonresistantly I have the Energy, and I AM the Energy, to go forward enthusiastically. That reminds me of Charles Fillmore's amazing words uttered in his 93rd year of life: "I fairly sizzle with zeal and enthusiasm, and spring forth with a mighty faith to do the things that ought to be done by me." That reminds me of a man name Li Chung who lived to be 266 years old. His age is documented. He was born in 1766. He died in 1933.Can you imagine all the changes he witnessed in his life? Holy cow! That's amazing. The article I read said he looked like he was two centuries younger. He was married to his 27th wife who was 60 years old. His life epitomizes what healthy eating, thinking and living can do. It's absolutely astonishing to me to read his story!!! I'll end by highlighting the opposite end of the age spectrum: a young girl named Talia Leman. As a ten year old, after Hurricane Katrina, Talia was inspired to raise money for the victims. She's now CEO of her own nonprofit and has inspired kids in 20 countries to raise more than $10 million and still counting!!! She credits her youth as the reason for her success. She knew it was possible!!! Her message is for all of us. What is your dream? Focus on the Vibrancy of Possibility. Focus on your Purpose as a creative problem solver. Focus on your Presence. You are a healer. I AM a healer. Individually and collectively we are the Power!!! We are all inherently good, inherently worthy!!!