say it now

You’ve got to love social media (I do not).  The oxymoronic nature of the term, “social media” gives us a hint about how we arrived at the moment in time when distinguishing the truth from the not-so-truth is quite challenging.

But I digress…

Like many of you, perhaps, I have enjoyed Aretha Franklin’s music, her commitment to civil rights and her community over the years. As I was doing some light reading of various news outlets – and I do meant “light” reading, I came across a story about her that included the Twitter posts of many celebrities. Some of them were longtime friends and colleagues and others were, well, I’m not sure they knew her other than her name and some of her famous songs. As I continued to read through them, I started to wonder how many of them had shared their feelings, thoughts and beliefs about her accomplishments with her, when she was alive and well and could appreciate them; and why they felt so compelled to speak about her now. Hmmm…who is served by those “tweets”??

All of this reminded me of a few things:

  • Tomorrow is not promised;
  • We don’t always share our feelings with those we love or appreciate;
  • We are often afraid to speak our loving truth to someone who has made a difference in our lives;
  • The megaphone of “social” media seems an inappropriate place to “scream” our love and appreciation to or about anyone.

Our love, appreciation, compassion are best given directly to the recipient while they are here…now…to receive it. The circle of love is completed in the sharing of our feelings with another.

If a loved, appreciated or revered one has passed, we can offer our love, appreciation and gratitude via a silent prayer or loving thought, soul to soul.

Megaphones are not necessarily.

If you love someone, tell them now.

If you appreciate someone for what they have done – and especially if they are not aware of it – offer that appreciation, now.

If you are grateful for anything that you have, have learned or seen which resulted in opening your heart to another deep truth within you, and you can attribute it to another living, breathing human, tell them, now. If social media is all you have to offer that gratitude, try offering the loving energy of the prayer or silent thought. They will feel that blessing, too.

Say it, offer it, now.

 

 

forgiving ourselves

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”

― Maya Angelou

Forgiveness is a complex topic. Even though you may think you know what it is, consider “googling” the word and see what you get.

Probably the most important quote I ever happened upon was essentially (paraphrased), to forgive another is to set ourselves free. I have also read and heard about the importance of forgiving ourselves.

It is a seemingly simple concept – to forgive oneself. However, it isn’t necessarily easy to forgive yourself when you cannot find what you may have done “wrong” in a relationship or experience. I have spent the last several months reconciling a period in my life where I perceived I was more a victim than one who truly had the ability to make a different choice. My journals are filled with pages of curiosity about this very situation and related forgiveness topics.

So, for me, it all comes down to how I see myself.

I’m quite sure that a few among you are quite good at “shoulding” on yourself. I know that I used to be an expert. I’ve spent loads of quiet time reflecting on  the things I should have done in many roles – daughter, sister, spouse/partner, parent, friend, colleague, and…you get the picture. I was quite good at shaming myself over choices made in the past that if made today, would be very different and might likely have very different outcomes.

Today, after seeing a small group of protestors on a street corner, I was reminded of a choice I made many years ago. I almost went after myself about that choice, when I remembered Maya Angelou’s paraphrased quote – when you know better, you do better. Indeed she may very well have spoken those exact words. However, when I went looking for the quote to use it and properly attribute it to her, I found the one above. In that moment, I knew that I had done the very best that I could – what I knew how to do – in many of the choices I made earlier in my life and even today!

Consider the voice in your head. Mine has been very harsh over the years. Today it is softer  – accepting, supportive and loving – and I have more peace. Until I remember something I did in the past that I would do very differently today, and then I am reminded of another unseen experience, perhaps a wounded place within, that is still awaiting my loving attention to heal it. That voice, with all of its intentions to protect me, can still be awakened!

Today, I forgive myself for choices made which would be different; and for the attendant outcomes that may have left others in less than optimal condition (and I may still be a bit harsh on myself here). After all, healing is a process. I am apparently still in this process as I continue to soften the edges of old beliefs which informed those decisions.

May we soften our perspectives, our beliefs, our judgments – first, about ourselves. For in the softening here, we offer more genuine love to others. And surely we know how much love is needed in the world today.

Whatever you honor or celebrate this weekend – Spring, Easter, Passover – take a moment to honor yourself. Honor your intentions to be the very best you can be – for yourself and for others.

“…behold, all things have become new.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

From my personal photo library.

we are the roots of the banyan tree

Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought.

 – E. Y. Harburg

Every single day, it seems, our nation is plunging into a deeper and deeper darkness which seeks to honor no one. Legalizing mistreatment of anyone who is non-white, lost lives of innocents at the hands of mad men with weapons of war, arrogant leaders believing that the US brand of democracy is the only answer for peace, while it stirs the pot of war elsewhere, and it just goes on and on.

It’s enough to plunge one into a deep depression.

Were it not for my beliefs that these happenings are no more than the desperate grip of the patriarchy, holding on to its money and perceived power for as long as it can, and that the shift to peace is happening within many of us and in parts of the world we will never hear about, I might very well lose my mind. This being human…ugh. Sometimes.

I remind myself that I have my heart. I will be guided by my heart. I will love people where they are…even if it is not where I choose to be.

When I find myself in theses dark places, I seek meaningful, deep, heart-resonant music. Tina Malia is one of my “go to” artists. Whether she is singing beautiful mantras or songs she has written, she offers soothing music for a sometimes weary heart.

I heard this one earlier today, as I was driving home from an acupuncture treatment.

The Silent Awakening

The lyrics are easy to discern as you listen, and are powerful to consider. This part of the song really called to me.

We are only a dream of a dream

This world is not what it seems

We are the wind

That carries the seeds

We are the roots of the banyan tree

 

We are love offered on the wing

That stretches across eternity

We are a chord in

Life’s symphony

We are the silent

Awakening

Although I knew about banyan trees, it has been a long time since I had seen a picture of one and experienced the beauty of the metaphor in Tina’s song. Indeed, as we continue to awaken, we may well see ourselves as the roots of the banyan tree. This link provides ten things for you to  know about the banyan tree.

Together we are amazing. We can rise up and lift others with us. Our individual contributions together affect the entire tree.

Namaste.

“the voice of beauty speaks softly; it creeps only into the most fully awakened souls”
― Friedrich Nietzsche