Saturday, May 28, 2016

(Em)Powering the World

Most of us don't care about how electricity works or how it gets into our houses; we only care that something turns on or off when we hit a switch. We live much like that in the world, too; we don't fully understand the dynamics of what makes the world go 'round, but we expect it to spin.

(Cue The Stylistics:) People make the world go 'round. We 'power' the world; all of us, together. What most of us consider to be total chaos is a carefully orchestrated system that we can't fathom because of our limited view. We look at people, incidents and events as isolated unto themselves with no necessary part of the bigger picture.

Let's bring that thought down to scale:

                                         (photo courtesy of Eric Rasmussen)

This is an electrical panel. To most of us without the necessary knowledge (read: overview or higher perspective) of electricity, this is just a jumble of wires. Different colors and sizes heading in different directions. Chaos.

The skilled electrician can look at one of these panels and read the status of its functionality by being able to observe correct (and incorrect) wiring and connections.

One of these panels can be enough to power a house. A larger house or building may require more than one panel or added subpanels to provide more circuits.

We are like the wires in the panel. We are different sizes, colors, and gauges, and specific to our function in what we give our power to. None of the wires in the panel are insignificant; even the seemingly smallest wire can cause damage to the panel if wired in incorrectly or attached to the wrong circuit. Our power comes from one larger entity that is made up of all of the power combined. We individually sort, filter, and direct that electricity through the circuits and in and out of the groups and organizations we belong to.

One faulty wire or a wire that is the wrong gauge attempting to flow the electricity through to something it is not meant for would get too hot, melt its own insulation, and start a fire. The source relying on that power would be incapacitated, and the entire electrical panel could be destroyed.

One person attempting to be or do something that he or she isn't made for will have the same effect on the whole. It could even be something as 'insignificant' as having a job that is hated. Being in an unhappy relationship, forcing yourself to reside within the limiting and uncomfortable boundaries of others, or living a life that feels unnatural - anything that restricts flow - will eventually cause a meltdown. The resulting fire will damage everything it touches, and the only difference will be the speed of ignition. Damage is damage; its impact ripples outward, affecting the whole. What's the basic difference between a broken leg and an ankle sprain? The time that it takes an injury to heal. It could take six days or six weeks, but the individual will still be unable to walk for a time.

We all draw from the same power source; that is our connection. We are each unique in our talents and abilities, and we work best when directing those talents and abilities towards enhancing the functionality of the combined groups we are wired to. The right wire to the right circuit.

Other people may be wired to the same panel, but each has their own specific purpose. Their sole responsibility is their own hook-ups and they do not dictate the positioning and purpose of the others; that is the job of the electrician, the one who can see the entire panel.

You are a live wire. Be you, whoever and whatever you are. Conduct your best qualities and skills towards empowering the world, ignoring the 'direction' of the other wires. You don't want to melt down.

As long as you are connected to the circuits you were created for, your impact will be positive.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

My Dear Child, I’m Your Mother. What Makes You Think I Left You?

The bond between a mother and child is unbreakable. It doesn’t matter if the physical coming-together came by birth, or simply by the opening of arms to allow the child in – because neither of those is the actual beginning. The beginning is the soul agreement made in spirit. Long before either of us were born of Earth, we lived in spirit in a place of pure love. From that timeless space we were offered choices of experience of life in physical density. It was there that I chose to be your mother, just as you chose me.

However I acted here, if I was at my Earthly worst, I ask only that you understand I had committed to other agreements as well, and chose to honor them. My actions here on this plane, positive and negative, are separate from the Truth that my agreement to be your mother was a voluntary choice of love and love alone, from love and love alone.  Even at my physical best, I couldn’t fully access the level of love my spirit could hold. I can now. Now, with the purest love devoid of judgment, I watch you honor your own spirit-made agreements. I notice the special twists you put on them, especially when you make a conscious decision to improve on mine. That makes me smile.

I watch you mother others. You tell them of your love and that it will always be there for them. Do you believe that you are merely repeating a fairytale? Why, then, would you assume that my very same words to you implied a story that ends?

Physical life is a circle. We begin in eternal spirit, then loop around to eternal spirit again. Circles have no end. You, too, will follow that same loop around, back to where I am. Look at the clock, with the big hand and the little hand. That's you and I circling around continuously, sometimes close, sometimes a little further away - but always in that same circle, and always coming back to each other. 

Try to think about it this way: when you were little I took care of you, but there came a time when I had to let you go off on your own ... to school ... to work ... to adulthood ... to life. And I had to trust that it was the right thing to do. Later in time (as you know it to be), our roles were reversed. You became the nurturer, until it was time for you to let me go off on my own ... and you know what? You did the right thing. I'm fine. Actually, I'm more than fine ... I'm wonderful. I exist in, around, and of Universal Love.

You believe in love. You understand that love is something that can only be felt and not physically touched. How can you question my presence, then, simply because you cannot touch me? My touch may feel different now, but it is still there. It is there when you look in the mirror and see a glimpse of me. It is there when you turn your head to notice my favorite flower growing by the side of the road, or when you change the radio channel so you can hear a song that makes you think of me. Do you think those are random occurrences? Do you think I had nothing to do with them? Who told you to look that way? Who suggested you turn the dial? I send you these signs all the time; you just can’t see them because you are too busy looking down.

Please, dry your tears. There is no need to cry, for either of us. Pick your head up and look around; see me all around you. I am there - and I have always been. For you. That which you loved in me is in you. 

I'm not telling you to be patient, either. Patience is needed only if you are waiting for something. I am telling you I am still here with you; there is no need to 'wait' for anything. Enjoy life. Breathe.

Take advantage of the now moment. Know that when you think of me now, when you remember my laugh or my embrace, you are hearing it and feeling it once more. Now. Not 'remembering', but reliving. How have you lost anything when you can have it instantly with a thought?

Oh, Honey, how could you think I left you?

My dear child, I'm your mother.

And I am still here

With you.

I love you.

There is only one thing I want from you for Mother's Day, and you can still give it to me, even now. It is the same thing I wanted from you when I was here:

Your smile.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Long-winded Opinion on Women's Sexuality and The Dress Code

Cher, Madonna, Beyonce, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus … all obvious example of extreme ‘sexual presence’.  Both adored and hated by many. Argued over in nearly every type of social group, because they are examples of extreme behavior.

They shouldn’t dress like that. They are too young to be sexual (or, even better) they are too old. What kind of role models are they for our children?

Ladies, we need them. Like it or not.

Do you know why most little girls want two-piece bathing suits? Because it’s easier to go to the bathroom in them! You ladies know exactly what I’m talking about.  If they are told they can’t have one, the reason is usually something along the lines of “you’re too young for a bikini.” Too young for what? Too young to have others see that she's a girl? Are you going to tell her that?

My older daughter grew at a faster pace than most girls her age. Because of this, she was sent home from school more than once because of an outfit of hers that was deemed ‘inappropriate’ – even though all of the wardrobe guidelines in the school handbook were followed to the letter. Why? The answer I got from the vice principal was that her outfit “looked different on her” than it did on other girls in her class.

I guess that depends on your perspective, doesn’t it? Just how was her teacher looking at her? Is that her fault?

The bottom line is that anything can be taken as sexual, by anyone, at any time. And that is solely the responsibility of the observer, and not what he or she is looking at. It is time to stop giving girls the mixed signals about sexuality and sex, and the blame (and shame) for being female.

Let me tell you a secret: I happen to think that men's forearms can be sexy. Since I may or may not be a sexual deviant, and because I may not be the only one who thinks like this, wouldn't it be wise now to make sure all boys start wearing long-sleeved shirts?

The same people that told us that only women had to protect their own sexuality are the same ones who applaud Hollywood’s sexiest – that is, of course, if they are the right age. The boyfriend or husband who doesn’t want ‘his woman’ to dress a certain way is the same one ogling the girl in the tight skirt. The “gentlemen” of old, who would lay down their jackets over a puddle for a woman had wives and mistresses. The two men who would duel over a woman’s virtue were the two who were interested in getting a chance at taking it – duels were never fought over the honor of a woman the men didn’t know, or just women in general. The fact that we were never told to ‘sow our wild oats’ says a lot. Even in the 50’s, when a man stepped out on his wife, it was her fault. Alcoholism and abuse were not allowed to be spoken about. If a girl was raped, someone always said ‘she asked for it.’ A woman should go to her husband a virgin. If you terrorize people, you will win many virgins. Was a man ever told to worry about keeping his woman happy at home to make sure she didn’t stray?

Sexuality wasn’t something you were supposed to reveal, and sex wasn’t something you were supposed to like (unless you were a slut, of course); it was something you had to keep carefully guarded until the time was right to ‘gift’ it to someone who didn’t need to reciprocate in the same manner. For a long time we weren’t allowed any powers, voices, or freedoms – yet our sexuality would be used against us in justification of the thoughts and actions of others. “Women’s Issues” are now in politics, yet the majority of politicians are men. Birth control is a woman’s concern. The list goes on and on …

Social norms and religions make a big deal about it on one hand, and with the other hand they diminish it.

Nice rack, baby! How’d you like some fries to go with that shake? She’s just a woman. Plays like a girl. Is too emotional. She’s bossy. Penis envy, anyone? Women can’t lead churches.

Or be president … yet … unless she tries to play the “Woman Card” – wait! How many women presidents have we had?

(Silly Hill, The Donald only responds to a certain ‘woman card’!)


No. Not sorry. :)

Hell, the only reason any of us would even think to use sex as a weapon is because we grew up being told that it was an effective one.

In ‘The First Wives Club’ Goldie Hawn plays an actress in her mid-40’s, who is facing the end of her career due to her age. When her plastic surgeon suggests she play parts her own age she says, “There are only three ages for women in Hollywood – Babe, District Attorney, and Driving Miss Daisy.” That movie was made only 20 years ago in 1996, and that line was an apt summation.

It’s kind of ironic that Hollywood is the one place where women had the best opportunity to step out of the shadows and assume any kind of power, yet even there the battle for equality is still strong - and the first way a woman gets noticed is for her sexuality.

What this has done to us is to make us afraid for our daughters, attempting to curb their own exploration of body-consciousness and self-esteem by instilling in them that girls always have to worry about what and how other people are going to think about them. Only a mother would understand the torment of trying not to come out and say, “You can’t wear that because men might look at you the wrong way.” How do we raise girls that are brave, with a strong sense of self and positive self-esteem, if we instill the fears on them that we were brought up with that other people’s thoughts and actions are allowed to dictate their lives?

The worst of the fallout over women’s sexuality is the in-fighting that is happening between women. The social, familial, and religious imprinting of what is ‘proper’ for a woman is so generationally ingrained that many of us are unaware of how much we’ve bought what was sold to us. We then attack each other for breaking the unwritten laws of others that should have no bearing on how we live our lives. You aren’t beautiful unless you are a certain size and look a certain way. Self-expression, self-confidence, and self-esteem are not as important as what others think about you.

Sex and sexuality is a natural part of us, Ladies. We should be giving ourselves the permissions and respect of honoring what we were born with, however that may be, and give other women that same permission and respect as well. Many times that we criticize another woman’s outfit it is because:

·         We were sold a vision of how it was supposed to look and who was supposed to wear it, and how dare she attempt something that Macy’s says she’s not qualified for?
·         We are jealous – not because she ‘looks better’, but because we don’t have appreciation for our own body type. We envy her confidence more than her visual appearance.
·         We worry that she in that outfit could steal our man. (Forget that you are blaming her for the fact that your relationship is not stable.)

I hope you all noticed that none of these reasons had anything to do with why she should or shouldn’t have dressed like that.

Ladies, do you remember when you were younger and thought everything was possible for you? Even if your childhood was not rosy, didn’t you believe deep down inside that you would still win out in the end? Do you remember the joy in wearing an outfit you felt really good/beautiful/confident in?

Do you remember, too, if you were made to feel any shame in it? What did that do to you? If that happened to you, then you must be totally aware of the power you have over your own daughter’s self-view.

Every single group that has been under a forced oppression of any kind will usually reach a point where they fight back, and the weapons they use are those qualities or aspects of theirs that had been specifically denigrated.  And they will do so in a big way. How many jokes had there been many years ago about how easy Catholic school girls were outside of school? Or divorced women?

Why do women call each other ‘Bitches’? Part of any fight against being marginalized is to first take over the language and wording. A woman was called a bitch as an insult. Now, we have taken that word, mocked it, and made it our own. There is no power to it anymore. (Think about that; there are other words that have been appropriated for the same reason. It’s quite effective.)

The best way to fight anyone is to use their own words and weapons against them.

Another method is to take the unwanted thoughts, behaviors, and speech to the extreme. You may not want to be as overtly sexual as Beyonce, but she’s doing you a great favor by helping to desensitize the stigma against you being as sexual as you want to be.

I’m not condoning the fighting, either, I’m just pointing out the obvious. Race and gender rights … human rights … are being fought for. That really is a shame.  It would be nice to live in a world where we are all accepted for who we are, and allowed to shine as bright as we were meant to, however we feel we were meant to, without being told we were wrong for it. These battles are signs of people’s desire for that change to occur. Eventually, we will work our way back into love. I do believe that.

I'm sorry; I know you are a girl, but people mustn't be allowed to see you as a girl. Hey, Lady! Aren't you a little old to try to look like a girl?

Which is it? When is it okay to look like a girl, boobies and all?

Miley Cyrus and her dyed armpit hair. (That still kills me!). Cher and Madonna, daring to look sexy when they are old. Beyonce, making sexuality look like a normal trait of a strong woman. My goodness!

You go, girls! You've given us all a little more room to move freely around in.

You, too, ladies. Be who you are, who you want to be. Dress how you like. Enjoy sex. Know that other people’s opinions about you are their own problems, and their actions are their own responsibility.

I know of a few who would immediately argue the fact that there are bad people out there. Yes, there are people who operate out of negative thinking. However, we can acknowledge the existence of the negative without marginalizing ourselves and our actions in deference to them. Remember that by validating the thoughts and actions of others, we are feeding their power over us. In any area.

I’m sitting here drinking a delicious cup of coffee while I write this. I can name five people off the top of my head who disagree with the way I think, the way I act, the way I dress, and my views on sex.

And I still love them.

And my coffee still tastes delicious.