in One---One In All!!!
Here we are in August, the time of year when the Earth-Based Pagan traditions
that I love so much celebrate the feast of Lammas. Lammas is the second
harvest festival of the agricultural year. Lammas marks the ongoing
cycle of life and death that is central to an agricultural religion.
This time of year is a hope-filled celebration of abundance and connectedness.
This feast day celebrates a definition of Divinity that is wondrously
inspiring to me. As humans it seems to be a mystery to us how we can
be all in one, and one in all, how we can be unique and interconnected
all at once!!! This reality reminds me so palpably of the pebble in
the stream. Abundance for one is abundance for all. Poverty for one
is poverty for all!!! I feel enormous power and response-ability
in that Truth. This Truth speaks to me of our profound connectedness
with all of life. This Truth is what the Pagan/Earth-Based spiritual
traditions hold to be so very sacred!!!!
religion is taken from the root word religio
which means to link. For me the true spirit of religion
is to link harmoniously with all people; to recognize our spiritual
and human connectedness; to live in and from this sacred theme of peace
and harmony! This sacred theme of connectedness, peace, and harmony
speaks to me of a generosity of spirit and an awareness out of which
we care about our impact on others. From this spirit of generosity we
cant possibly consider hurting someone because it would be hurting
ourselves! No one in their right heart and mind deliberately hurts themselves.
No one in their right heart and mind is unaware of how they have hurt
someone else. Isnt the result too obvious to miss? When it isnt
obvious to us what we have done I would have to ask why??? What social
conditions have we put in place that blind us to the pain we have caused?
What social conditions blind us to the suffering of others? What makes
us think we cant fix our own suffering? How did we get so literally
out of touch with our fragile, beautiful, sacred beingness? How did
we forget that first and foremost we all are spiritual beings having
a human experience on our Beloved Earth? How did we forget who we are?
How did we forget our purpose?
context of hurting ourselves and hurting others I want to put an issue
in the spotlight again because so many statistics reveal that this issue,
as horrific as it is, is barely on our social consciousness radar screen.
I was watching an Oprah show that Id seen before. The statistics,
and the mindset they reveal, are startling!!! The issue is childhood
sexual abuse. The statistics are: 1) only 1% of child abusers will be
convicted and serve jail time! 2) We have more shelters for animals
than we have for battered women! 3) The statistics say 1 in 4 women
are victims of childhood sexual abuse but most people believe, as do
I, that the statistics are far higher than that!!! How many millions
are not reported because the victims feel they wont be believed
and they wont be safe if they do come forward? The whole audience
on Oprah today was filled with victims of childhood sexual abuse. These
brave people spoke of the retaliation in their own homes and in their
communities when they did come forward. Bishop TD Jakes, a minister
and a passionate advocate for abuse victims, said statistics like
these wont change until the men are as outraged as the women because
we still live in a society where men listen to men and discount the
statements of women! Oprah added her feeling that the sexual abuse
against female children is minimized because society sees these incidents
as sexual experiences, rather than emotionally abusive incidents, and
society says in effect, so what if a female child has a sexual
experience a little earlier than usual. In contrast when a boy is abused
by a male predator that is viewed with outrage because its viewed
as abnormal. Society does not yet understand the horrific lifelong emotional
impact that childhood sexual abuse has on every victim! Bishop
TD Jakes concurred with Oprahs assessment of this situation and
so do I. As an educator, a mental health professional, and simply as
a loving, sentient human being I am deeply concerned about these issues.
These issues are perfect examples of how we are all in one and one in
all. In order to live in a sane, compassionate society we must all deeply
care about these issues and work to heal a society that turns a blind
eye and heart to this palpable suffering!!! As Dr. Phil so often says,
we must be a soft place for people to fall. He also says,
We cant change what we dont acknowledge! I add
to these two statements that we must reconnect with ourselves and each
other. If weve been injured we dont heal by hurting others!
We must reclaim our lives and begin again. Oprah shared a definition
of forgiveness that she really loves. She said, forgiveness means
giving up the hope that the past will change. I understand that
to mean: Take a deep breath. Release the anger that only hurts us if
we hold onto it! Begin again! Chart a course of deep love of self and
others as our sweet Spirit of Love within us would have us do! Its
not easy. It is doable! It is a profound spiritual necessity to revitalize
we have to look no further than our own mirror to reconnect with the
beauty and sanctity within us and all around us. As we look in the mirror
and say to ourselves I love you deeply. I recommit my life to
being all I truly am, we are connected to all we need to heal
ourselves and our world. This state of grace is the abundance of Spirit
that is needed to live a peaceful, loving, joy-filled life. We can make
a new start! We can make a daily practice of loving ourselves to wholeness!
I believe it is our destiny. I believe it is our response-ability
to love ourselves to wholeness! Moment by moment we must focus on love,
and love ourselves to wholeness. As children we are not to blame for
the horrific things that were done to us. As adults we can reclaim our
lives! We can reclaim our wholeness. Forgiveness allows us the freedom
to live a new future, free from the past! I believe we all are the architects
of our own lives. I believe we were all put here to express the beauty
and wonder of the abundance of goodness we all are! No matter what has
happened to us the abiding Spirit of Love is larger and more powerful
than any outer circumstance. The answer is within us; waiting patiently,
lovingly for us to take up our cloak of love and walk in the abiding
reverence of our true Self!!! We can begin today! Im realizing
more and more each day how precious it is to live in an abiding awareness
of the Presence of Love within me and all around me. Im realizing
more and more how profoundly I am loved by this Abiding Presence of
Love within me and all around me. In this bright, sweet light of August,
blessings of abundance to each one of you! May you activate this Loving
Principle by your awareness of how much you are loved and then complete
the circle by sharing this abiding love with all others. Peace and love
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