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2013: Heretics & Heroes: Part IX Of XII - September

by Cathy Combs


It's my favorite time of the year: Fall. We celebrate the Fall Equinox, a time of Balance: celebrating equal night equal day in our 24 hour cycle. I especially love Mother Nature's spectacular Beauty, all the colors, all the Vibrance of Change. It's so beautiful!!! I'm imagining that Beauty as I look out on a late February version of Mother Nature's 10 inches of snow She gifted us with yesterday. It's melting and I am so grateful for the moisture that we need. That will add Balance to the foundation of my house. Last year was so hot and so dry my house's foundation shifted. That's a big deal.

I'm sharing this as a playful and serious metaphor for how my spiritual foundation continues to shift and grow. I'm rereading Merlin Stone's landmark book, "When God Was A Woman." I am celebrating an awesomely amazing brave woman, Mary Wollstonecraft, who made her mark in 1792 as she continued to stand up to the absurdity of the patriarchy who demanded: "You are a woman. You are to remain silent." She steadfastly and bravely said, "No" and continued her work. As I read this book again I remember someone else's recent words, "There's nothing domestic about domestic violence." I heard like never before how this kind of violence is continuing the horrendous lie about Adam and Eve who never even existed and yet as I've said before the whole of our Western spirituality and psychology is based on this abject lie that women are to be subservient. The sadness about it is men are affected by this lie as well. They are so afraid of their feelings they have incorporated the lie that to cry is weakness and that to beat someone is their unbridled prerogative. I say this also in the context of a minister's comment that the violence of today is nothing compared to the violence of Jesus' day when the Roman soldiers not only crucified Jesus but they crucified thousands of people and hung their bodies on poles all around town as a deliberate message that you dare not speak up against the authority of the day. Then recently I read that in Papua, New Guinea a woman was stripped bare, poked with a burning cattle prod, doused with gasoline and set on fire and burned alive as a witch. I know these details are very graphic. Perhaps you're wondering how can this be inspirational? My Purpose is to acknowledge the enormous expanse of Spiral Dynamics delineating the many levels of our developing Consciousness and how much Paradox we need to hold to keep breathing peacefully and hold the Balance and the Beauty of our lives. There truly is so much Beauty!!!!!!!!!!

I also heard a very meaningful statement: We need to feel in order to have Compassion. Today I realized at depth what this means. I was surprised by the realization I had. I am reminded yet again of the statement: "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." Underneath that I realized in a new way Jesus' statement: "Love your enemies." I remember someone else's statement: "If you love everyone you have no enemies." This morphed into the realization of what all the mystics have said for so many millennia. I consider Marci Shimoff a modern day mystic. Her best selling book, "Love For No Reason", is a constant reminder to me of how to trade Love for fear. When we remain openhearted we live from a constant flowing Unconditional Love. I understand this to mean give up all the ways of tit for tat kind of living. That's not living. It's a living death. I want no part of that. It completely stops the flow of Generosity, Joy, Resilience… all the spiritual gifts that are our very Nature if we will choose to stay tapped into that Awareness. As I've said so many times that's how I want to live. In order to stay there I have to constantly stay in tune with loving myself, keeping myself in a constant Place of Generosity. Compassion lives there too as I realize how blessed my Life is and how blessed I keep it when I can trade Love and Compassion for fear and negative judgment.

These realizations all piggyback into the very necessary understanding of a mantra I love, "Give thanks in all circumstances." Living from Gratitude is living from a constant state of Unconditional Love. It is a profound connection with a Spirit Embodied Identification which is always Unconditional Love. Trading pain for pain never takes me to that Place. That's a key realization I need to breathe into and hold onto at the same time. Even as I type that I realize what a comical paradox that is. When we're breathing we're releasing. This kind of holding onto is a different kind of holding. It's not holding in fear. It's holding the Truth of our Being. That comes from a different Place. That comes from an embodied Knowing, not a disembodied fear-based disconnect that stops our breathing. When we come from Love we come from Peace, Ease, Confidence, Grace. It's a very sweet Peace-filled continuous feedback loop of continuous in-filling blessings.

One more key piece of the eye for an eye kind of illogic is the concept of deserving. It's saying I will give you this minimum if you give me what I want. I hear and feel the fear in that kind of process. I hear the myth of scarcity that seems so very real. I hear the very conditional love that we've been taught is real. It's not. There's no Love there. I hear and feel the concept of "I'm not worthy." We have missed the part where we internalize that we are inherently worthy by virtue of who we are: Embodied Spirit… Embodied Love!!! When we come back to Love we come back to Gratitude, Peace, Compassion, and Ease and all the many expressions of our Unlimited True Nature, our God Self Identity.

All the progressive psychologies and spiritualities constantly speak of the Power of Gratitude. I experienced this Power recently in a very comical way. With all the snow on the ground the roads were virtually impassable. No way I was going out on the road. I was rummaging around in my cabinets for what else I could find to eat. I found foods I'm sure I've had for years. Usually I don't eat stuff that has a lot of preservatives in it but yesterday I was happy there is such a thing as preservatives and that foods last as long as these did. It was either eat that, or nothing. I chose to eat it and to celebrate and give thanks especially since I found things I had no idea were there and that I really liked them. In a much more serious context this reminds me of Dr. Viktor Frankl's story of how his focus on Gratitude helped him survive the brutality of the Nazi concentration camps. This is a real life lesson in where we place our Focus. I know countless people who have experienced unimaginable pain and atrocities and yet they are Joy-filled, sweet and gracious. I know others who feel so disempowered. They are so bitter, rigid, and downright frightening to be around. It is these Paradoxes that remind me time and again how very grateful I am for the Strength, Resilience and Power I AM. It is such a matter of consequence where we place our Focus. I've said that time and again. It doesn't get old to say it. It's a Life changing Truth that is eternal and invaluable. I cherish it every day. So as I walk into this beautiful season I do give thanks in all circumstances. I love my Life!!! I offer Peace, Ease, Grace and Gratitude the very best I know how. Blessings to you!!!!!!!