Newsletter July 2008 by Cathy Combs

Courage: Thriving In The Paradox: Creating A New World

I have now finished reading "The Feminine Face Of God" by Sherry Ruth Anderson and Patricia Hopkins. What a colossal statement about the strength of women! What a colossal statement about the spiritual imperative to make time for solitude! What a colossal statement about the spiritual imperative to create a relationship with our own inner beings! The authors made the point that the women they interviewed are creating a new world defining the sacred and spirituality in their own terms beyond the patriarchal terms that are so confining to women. The central human paradox I see so clearly is: How does anyone maintain self-integrity and establish meaningful relationship too? I have asked this question all my life. The women poignantly discussed selfishness as currently defined by our culture. When the women claimed a need for solitude and taking care of themselves instead of being at the beck and call of everyone else they were defined as selfish, even by other women!!! Many of the women flat out said if it has to be a choice between being solitary and being in an unhealthy relationship they choose being solitary! I wholeheartedly honor that choice. I’ve made it many times myself. It’s painful and it’s freeing and life-sustaining. This story reminds me of the quote, “When the millionth women’s circle is created we will have changed the world!” I wonder where we are in that process! I intend to bring us to the millionth circle and beyond! What about you? The paradox I’m living is: Being kind means everything to me, and it infuriates me when anyone expects me to sabotage my own well-being simply for their convenience! I wonder, “Do you not realize your impact on others? Do you not see me at all? Where is your sense of self-awareness and integrity?” I’m asking these questions in all sincerity because for me they form the very heart of healthy relationship with self and others! It takes great courage to live from these questions and risk being labeled selfish when you know in your heart of hearts what you’re doing is being responsible and “response-able.” I am responsible for my own life. No one can or will define for me how I am to live my life. My intensity is the Fire of embodied Wisdom, my I AM statement in the world. I believe it is what will heal our world! It is imperative that we all find our own voice!!!!

I didn’t know I would be addressing these questions when I began this newsletter. I have stumbled right into a central value for my life. I am happy to help anyone anytime when I can. Some people’s idea of “help me” is, “Stop living your own life and take mine up. Yours doesn’t matter!” I have had that said to me implicitly and explicitly more than once. That mindset infuriates me beyond words! It is the epitome of the person saying they’re not willing to do their own work. They’re not willing to take responsibility for their own lives. They don’t recognize how precious they are! Self-recognition only comes from within! I cannot give that to them. I can compliment them until I’m blue in the face and it falls on deaf ears. Only we can heal our own deafness and blindness. Healing is an inside job! That is irrefutably true! My intensity comes from realizing that healing takes effort. Healing isn’t a given! I’ve done my work and I continue to do my work. My work will never be done because I keep growing and changing. We all share that very same heritage. We are enormously powerful! Self-empowerment is not given from the outside! It is a process we awaken to as we connect with our Inner Spirit that is always present as Life Eternal. I am passionately devoted to this gift and this process. I recognize who and what I AM! I believe we are all here to awaken to that precious gift and process in us. Saying all this brings me full circle to another realization again. Self-hatred is a form of violence. Violence enrages me. Violence means we never learned the step by step process of caring for ourselves and each other. It doesn’t matter to me why that didn’t happen. What does matter to me is how can I bring Infinite Love into every situation? There’s only one way I know. I must be Infinite Love in every situation! Is it possible? Yes, it is! Do I do it every moment? No, I don’t. I’m working on it. Being Infinite Love in every moment means practicing the Presence within! It means forgiving myself and others for the illusion of separateness. Does that take courage and awareness? Yes, it does. Am I willing to do it? Yes, I am!!!! Courage means “with heart”. To me it also means with soul-connectedness! We must care about ourselves and our lives. I remember clearly as a teenager my very best friend complimenting me and at the time I thought, “You must be crazy. If you really knew me you wouldn’t say that.” I wonder if we all go through that stage on the way to the decision toward self-love! As a young adult I began the conscious caring process. I remember like it was yesterday the day in 1971 when I said, “I don’t know what’s out there but anything is better than this.” I changed my attitude about myself that day! I dramatically changed my wardrobe. I wondered if anyone would notice. It took six days for someone to say something and then soon thereafter it became the playful office joke, “I wonder what new outfit she’s going to show up in today?” It was fun. I knew they cared about me. It was fun being noticed in a playful supportive way. Three months later I moved to California to “find my dream.” This is important because it’s more than a personal story. It’s a universal story. It is an example of the kind of comfort and power we open ourselves to when we consciously decide, “I’m worthy. I want to love who I am. I want to enjoy my life. I want to be all I AM.” It has been said so often, “We are the Light of the world.” We are mirrors for others. As we shine our Light others take notice. They decide, “It’s safe for me to come out and play and shine my Light too!” This is how we change and light the world. We create a whole new world. Are you in? Here are four words that define “in” for me: Power, Authority, Impact, Responsibility. These words embody some of the cornerstone teachings of Diana’s Grove Mystery School. I began their program in 1997. I completed my Rites of Passage year in 2001. To this day Diana’s Grove,, is a huge centerpiece of my spiritual development. Diana’s Grove specializes in personal empowerment, leadership training, and spiritual community development. For me, Power, Authority, Impact, Responsibility truly are names for God. These words mean living in conscious awareness of the Spirit of Life and Love within each one of us. These words embody enormous passion, energy, time, commitment, awareness, and will. I am one life among many. It matters in what consciousness I do what I do! It matters in what consciousness you do what you do! I love the paradox our minister, Rev. Patricia Bass, shared with us recently, Impossible means I’m possible!!!! Yes!!! I love the passion and faith embodied in this vibrantly enlightened view. All things are possible!!! It reminds me of my beloved motto: Rise up into healing!!! No time like now!!! I accept!!! I enjoy the challenge and the opportunity. I am spiritually fed by the journey. I invite you into the journey with me! May we all light the world with Love and Joy!!!!!!! It is sooooooo very precious that we are here now!!!!!! Namaste!!! Peace to you!!!!!

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