Queen of Hearts

I think of winter as silent and cold, a time when nature forgets. In the winter, seeds are dormant. Ever been there? Oh, I have. Silent, still, and unmoving. I was young and didn’t know much about life.

Growing up, I didn’t develop well emotionally. I had been asleep. It sounds cliche. Melodrama really isn’t my thing. But, there was a moment when something inside came alive, and the circuits connected. I awoke. That was when I recognized the brokenness surrounding me. And I wasn’t doing anyone good by living in denial. As it says in Genesis, 3: 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Well, I wasn’t naked, but my family wasn’t as perfect as I thought either.

“Images of the Goddess help to break the hold of “male control” that has shaped our images not only of God, but of all significant power in the universe.”

-Carol P. Christ, from: Rebirth of the Goddess

There’s a shame in my family, and it needs to be cleansed. I’ve been trying to heal through journaling, genealogy, therapy, talking with my family, prayer, and meditation. I sincerely hope to trigger healing in others. Hopefully this is helpful for others because I know I am not alone in this sadness.

We’ve had multiple decades of men in battle. Like bricks stacked upon each other, fathers and then sons have waved goodbye to families who wept for them. Women, whether they were mothers, sisters or wives participated as they could. For a family member, waiting would be agony.

Soldiers gave up personal freedom, hopes, and put their personal wishes aside for the call of duty. With their life on the line, and having to overcome fear every day, all they knew was to be strong. Survival was important. There wasn’t time for hope. It was mud, blood, guns, and keep yourself from freezing to death in the winter. Pay attention to their surroundings. Don’t get killed. Hoping and dreaming, that was for later. So, love was put to sleep. Remember the 1950’s? Duty was Queen. And she had no heart.

Generations of war created a lineage of patriarchy and abuse. Hearts were cold. There’s generational rape, molestation, child abuse, and years of silence. Shame. Try taking this history of pathology and develop a healthy person. Here I am, as well as my parents. I took my underdeveloped self and tried to create a healthy marriage with another. I say underdeveloped since I had no idea what love was. In my family genealogy, love has been asleep for a long time.

We know duty. Survival is our best skill. After that, we start having issues. And as most therapists will tell you, a person will gravitate toward what they know. Which is why people return to the same type of relationships over and over, like a reoccurring nightmare. Or you marry someone like your parents. We’re not only comfortable with the familiar, but it feels right. They fit you. They plug that void you need to fill. We call it love. Funny. Is it really love? Maybe.

I’ve been asking this question for years, what is love? Someday I might know the answer. I know what it’s not. Love is not pain. It is open and giving without holding the other person back from their potential. Love is not bullying, pushy, or brutish in it’s giving. Love is a gift. If anyone tells you otherwise, they are lying. If their “LOVE” comes with strings attached, then it is not loving.

Love your people today.

Arna Baartz -Artist (painting reposted from thegirlgod.com)

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Why Bad Times Make for Good Lives

I sometimes call it the leaky life. When your life slips away so un-noticeably, it’s like your storage tank has a leak. It’s just one drip at a time. What causes it? And what can you do to stop it?

Don’t let your life be driven by the automatics.  You turn 16 and buy a car. You get a job. You go to college. Find a boyfriend/girlfriend. Fall in love. Get married. Buy a house. Have a baby. This is a life that ran away, one trickle, one dribble at a time. Stolen away by the force of automatics.

In the case of the automatics, the normal stoppages are considered roadblocks. Bad times. Scary events. We’d like to think that success brings a satisfying life. Winning the lottery or getting a promotion you wanted doesn’t usually bring satisfaction. There’s no feeling at the end of the day that tells you, Completion.

This is why people say strange things like “losing my job was a godsend” or “getting cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me.” It’s not that cancer is something to seek after, we all realize that, but cancer was the tool that helped them notice their own life. Most of us go on with our lives, one event leading into another until the next expected event isn’t there. You’re happily married and planning a family but you can’t conceive. You go the next step. You try fertility treatments, special diets, new positions and still no baby. Frustration sets in. Now you have to stop and really notice your life. You take a good look at what you want. Am I content without a child? Would I like to adopt?

Don’t let the automatics steal your life. You don’t have to wait for a near death experience to get a handle on your life. This moment right here and now can be lived without expectations, without the normal predictable patterns. You just have to wake up. Do the unpredictable thing. Don’t do the beach vacation, give the time and/or money to the homeless shelter. Go overseas and help a small village with their water supply. Or vacation at an unusual spot. World’s Most Unusual Beaches

Wake up!  It’s not about what you do or where you go. It’s about waking up and noticing your life. Are you proud of your life or is it just a life? Just one in a billion normal everyday lives. If all you ever want to do in your life is to read the current best-selling books, make it happen. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing what you want. Myself, I’m not a world traveler. I don’t have political aspirations. I have pretty simple needs and part of them I’ve already experienced. My life is very satisfying to me.

I have people ask me often, don’t you want to get married? My response is, why? I’ve experienced that. Because I have stopped and evaluated my life, I have a better idea than most people what I want. This is my little spark of life force, given to me by the stars and the universe. It was a gift for me to decide what to do with. It’s inherent with responsibility. Just like with our children, there are expectations not to waste our lives. Isn’t that the meaning of Jesus’s parable of the talents? Parable of the Talents

When you see a drug addict, you automatically think it’s a wasted life, and yes I think so too, but what about the person whose whole life wrapped up in becoming famous? Or getting money? If what you want is wealth or fame, it’s all there for the taking. If what you want is a satisfying life, fame and money are not your answer. Decide what you really want or what makes you smile the most and experience that. You don’t have to have a terminal illness to have a good life.

The Price of Being Right

 

When I think about my beliefs on how society functions and what I would like our world to look like, I get this wish to make it happen. Visionaries in our society have often been glorified and sometimes rightfully so. I think of Martin Luther and Mother Teresa who have freed many from the bondage of religious beliefs. There is a balancing act. Churches exist to help the needy. To give strength to the weak. To feed the poor. Somewhere in the process, they become the cripplers, the takers, and the tyrants.

I was speculating recently about my perfect society. The one where we all live together in harmony. The one where goods are shared and all are fed. All are honored. Can’t we all just get along?

Mother-Teresa-collage

I was curious about my hopes for society, how they compared to earlier beliefs and social systems. Marxism was one that stood out to me. And that is disappointing to me since the results were nowhere near what I had dreamed. The dreamer in me, that blonde-haired idealist, wants peace, but so much more. I want children to grow up strong and whole. I want parents to have what they need to raise those children. I want teachers to have tools to teach and children to have the access to learning. I love growth.

It’s not peace I want, not mere contentment. It’s boundless joy and ecstasy for me. -Kugell

Before we all start singing ‘round the campfire and holding hands, fan away the smoke from your eyes. Here is my issue. Yes, I want these things. What I don’t want is another Stalin or Jim Jones. So for a reality check, I have to take a step back. What makes a monster like Hitler? What causes a leader to brainwash his followers? They are RIGHT! They have The Truth.

Leaders take note. If you are headstrong and charismatic, people will follow, regardless of any truth or you even having the people’s best interest in mind. I find this sad. There are many helpful people in our world. These kind folks don’t have the charisma of David Koresh. There are hordes of people running to listen en masse.  Does this devalue their truth? Absolutely not. I think our issue is more that we want a Messiah. We need our white horse riding, strong-armed warrior. We want and crave a leader who is elegant and fierce. And why?

Why do we crave a hero? For the same reason, social systems such as Marxism swerve away from their origin. Social Equality is an important idea. And there are those who could work with each other and make a village style society work. On the other side of that argument, others are afraid without guidance. Not everyone has grown up. Many still believe that we need a church or a government instructing us, or else we would end up in chaos and violence.  Possibly, they are right.

Tweet: The price of being right is tyranny. It’s Jim Jones and his mass suicides. Truth is never forceful.

I don’t wish to push my ideal society or my ideal lifestyle on anyone. The price of being right is tyranny. It’s Jim Jones and his mass suicides. Truth is never forceful. Love is kind and patient. It doesn’t need to use charismatic persuasion to make you believe. And it refuses to allow others to follow blindly.

If there is no savior what will we do? The end of the world didn’t come. The pot of gold was not where we thought it should be. Now we stumble along until enough people wake up. When enough wake-up and realize that maybe it’s time we take care of ourselves, then it’s possible we can discuss this around the table. Then we can treat each other with the respect we all deserve. We are all equals. No one man or one government is RIGHT. Not even ourselves. It’s very tempting to believe that an angel on high gave us the answers, but what made us so special? Isn’t that the beginning of madness? My next question would be, why do I need to feel that special?