Newsletter June 2006 by Cathy Combs

Moving Toward A Loving Balance                                                               

What a year so far! So many new awarenesses! So many changes being made. My focus right now is truly honoring religious diversity when it seems that some views bring so much harm! How do I truly love them anyway? How do I trust that all things are working together for my good? How do I work with all in the Love, Wisdom, and Power of Spirit? I know so well that trading judgment for judgment is not the way. Love is the way. Putting that into practice in every moment is the story of all time! I am actively engaged in that story now like never before. I ask anew, What is Love? What is Generosity? I know full well that judgment is not the same as discernment! There's plenty of heat in Mother Nature's kitchen on these June days in the Midwest as this Love story unfolds. How our hearts handle this heat is so very key to our happy, healthy, harmonious soul unfoldment. Truly how do we listen respectfully to six billion different worldviews, especially when the word we're defining is God? Doesn't that word bring a little heat into the kitchen? I had a heartfelt discussion with my family recently. Once again I said, “I do not see God as the capricious, vengeful, bearded white man in the sky. I see God as beyond gender, as the Principle of Love in action. I said, “Goddess, Earth-Based traditions are the very heart and soul of my life. These sacred traditions have nothing to do with Satanism and Devil worship. Goddess, Earth-Based traditions are healing traditions that believe, like so many other traditions do, that God is immanent, that God is Love. I am saddened by the damage the patriarchal values of separation have done to our world.” I was hoping to add some light to their understanding of who I am and who I am not! I was happily surprised when my youngest sister piped up saying, “For all I know hell is what we're living right here with all the meanness we do to each other.” We laughed about our shared view. I said I believe heaven and hell are states of consciousness that we live here and now by the choices we make, not places we go when we die. I was thrilled with her understanding of this concept that is certainly not from the religious tradition she was raised in by our parents. I was thrilled by this light shining through! It spoke to me of an openhearted attitude toward life. It spoke to me of the power of having an opinion of our own. It reminded me that the purpose of dualism is to simply acknowledge difference, not make a value judgment about it! Recently I've had some foundation shaking realizations about the purpose of judging, complaining, criticizing. We're trying to control others! In her book, “The Four Spiritual Laws Of Prosperity”, Unity minister, Rev. Edwene Gaines, invites us to take a 21 day fast from judging, complaining, criticizing. I'm struggling to make it past 2.1 seconds! I'm  not kidding either. This commitment has stopped me in my tracks. I'm seriously  looking at what my life could be like if I took all this energy and used it to love  everyone and everything in life. I mean that with all my heart too! I have a lot of work to do! I'm starting again from ground zero and creating a brand new life action plan.

I'm teaching a class in self-empowerment this month to address this very process. See my website at for details if you're interested. One process we will explore is maintaining our self-concept when someone else's opinion is different than ours. Maintaining our self-concept is the very essence of peace. We recognize ourselves as one entity and someone else as a different entity and we're fine with that difference! As an educator and mental health professional this process is exceedingly important to me. Understanding this process is the very root of stopping violence! That primal fear of extinction is not called into the picture when we can hold another's different view respectfully and hold ours at the same time! There's a thinking style that goes along with this process. Convergent thinkers believe there's only one right answer to anything. This thinking style is characterized by fear and rigidity. Divergent thinkers have a much more flexible thinking pattern. Divergent thinkers are creative, confident people who recognize there are many possible realities, many solutions to any situation. This difference in thinking styles is enormously important. It speaks to whether we respond with interest or fear when we hear an idea, or anything, that is markedly different than we are! We must be aware of our fears and how our fears drive us to close down on ourselves and others!

Recently I saw a powerful quote by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow addressing this very issue: “If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.” Imagine how our world changes as we embrace a compassionate view. All “power over” structures crumble under the awesome light of this simple Truth. As we learn to trust our instinctual wisdom we live from Love, from our shared connectedness with the Spirit of Love that is our very life. In that Truth there is no war, no separation, just boundless love and joy! That reality is real! We can live that here and now! That is why I am here doing the work I'm doing! In that spirit I am reminded of one of my very favorite people, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, a Jungian psychoanalyst who wrote the book, “Women Who Run With The Wolves.” Dr. Estes analyzes many fairy tales throughout different world cultures and speaks to the issues of empowerment and disempowerment and what we can do to reconnect! Her work is a hallmark in the fields of psychology and spirituality. I see these fields as simply the flip side of the same coin. I find it fascinating to consider that how we see ourselves speaks to our image of the Divine. I believe our religious views have a biological basis! Biology and psychology are inseparable! I believe our view of God is a direct result of how we see ourselves and others in the world. If our biopsychosocial tendency is toward a fearful separateness we see God as vengeful. If this biopsychosocial tendency is toward an instinctually recognized connectedness we see God as Love. It is imperative to recognize that our thinking can change our biology too. This inseparable body-mind loop is the very essence of the field of biopsychosocial research. What this all means to me is that we are amazingly powerful beings.

We have hearts and minds that can heal or destroy! Clearly the choice is ours. We are not hapless, hopeless victims of our fears or our biological makeup. We can change our lives by changing our thinking. Research has proven this over and over again! We can become more flexible, more compassionate, more loving, more caring. No one can limit us but us! I can have my views. You can have your views. We can choose to cherish our differences. We can listen to each other. We can respect each other. We can choose to live and work together. We can live our individuals lives in peace and love and cherish our vibrant, precious interconnectedness! What a profound comfort this is in these blistering hot days when our tempers could use a cooling balm to bring some peace and perspective to our nights and days of soul growth and compassionate, heartfelt, helpful neighborliness. Howdy, neighbor! Blessings to you! Namaste to you, precious ones!!!!!!! May we live together in love and peace and joy!

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