My spiritual teacher of nearly 40 years crossed over a few days ago, and once again I find myself dealing with grief. My mother left this earthly life last August, and my best friend left this past March.
Over the years I’ve learned that grief coexists with attachment – attachment to the physical, to an idea, to a belief, to loss, to fear of the unknown. As gravity keeps us grounded on Mother Earth, attachment keeps us grounded on the physical plane. Attachment is a function of ego, and ego’s only purpose is to keep us in form. So I ask myself:
How does one transcend grief and stay in form?
In my younger days, grief would overwhelm and paralyze me. Sleep, the only escape that offered any relief, consumed all my daily functions. Since then I’ve learned that escape, other than in small periodic doses, doesn’t ameliorate or extinguish grief – it merely anesthetizes it, during which time grief covertly wreaks havoc with our bodies, minds, emotions, and spirits. Grief seizes our hearts and holds us in suspended animation until we acknowledge it. Grief demands recognition. It holds us hostage until we feel it, intensely and profoundly, before s-l-o-w-l-y letting go.
The grief I feel today over the loss of my dear teacher is a thin water-colored image compared with the dense oil-based images of years ago. This doesn’t minimize the love and respect I have for her. I deeply feel the loss of her physical presence. I also sense her spirit, playfulness, and joy with heightened awareness. I’ve been clairsentient all my life, so the only thing that’s changed is my perception of grief. While exploring every fiber of its texture, I dove deep and surfaced so many times that I now know grief intimately. It no longer frightens me. It no longer controls me. I can explore its depth and breadth with tears and longing, all without succumbing to the weight of its being. Although my heart aches and reaches out for what has moved on, I can dive deep and surface at will.
So, I suppose the answer to my question is:
Transcendence is transformation, not transmutation.
Meeting grief’s challenge can ignite eagle vision without defying gravity. It can allow us to hover above base emotions without losing integrity.
One of the first lessons my teacher shared with me was:
It’s what we choose not to look at that controls our life. Energy follows thought.
She taught me well. Thank you, Lynn. Travel lightly, dear sister. I will see you again. My heart to your heart 💕
The belief that life begins at conception is not based in science. It’s based in religion. Democracy ceases to exist when religion becomes a controlling part of its structure.
Contrary to what some proclaim, the United States was not founded on Christianity. The framers of the Constitution held the separation of church and state inviolable.
Although the phrase separation of church and state doesn’t appear in the Constitution, it’s a valid concept that’s been used legally and judicially. Right to privacy and right to a fair trial are also absent but are upheld by law and embraced by all Americans. Separation of church and state is implicit in the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
We’ve seen a steady erosion of the Constitution since its inception.
Indigenous peoples were forced to send their children to Christian schools. Under God was inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance and In God We Trust inscribed on all U.S. currency, both of which are faith-based mottoes.
Francis Bellamy created the original Pledge of Allegiance in 1891:
I pledge allegiance to my flag and the Republic for which it stands — one Nation indivisible — with liberty and justice for all.
In 1951 The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic men’s organization, urged Congress to add under God to the pledge. Congress did so on 14 June 1954 under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, despite bipartisan concerns regarding separation of church and state.
The Coinage Act, signed into law on 12 February 1873, mandated In God We Trust be inscribed on all coins. On 11 July 1955 Eisenhower signed into law a bill requiring that inscription appear on all paper and coin currency. On 30 July 1956 Congress and Eisenhower approved In God We Trust as America’s motto, disregarding beliefs of atheists and agnostics among the citizenry.
Historically both Congress and the Supreme Court have upheld the phrases under God and In God We Trust, touting them as benign mottoes while ignoring they had become the law of the land.
A monotheistic ideal inserted into our Pledge of Allegiance, inscribed on our currency, and displayed in our government buildings violates the First Amendment.
Nonreligious and non-Christian children are forced to recite the religious-laced pledge in school. We’re compelled to use currency inscribed with a religious belief. We’re struck by religious mottoes when visiting government establishments.
The United States is a multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-religious country. On average 40-50% of Americans poll as nonreligious, and 10-15% as atheist and agnostic. How would people feel if the words In Allah We Trust were on our currency? My preference is Great Spirit rather than God, but I’d never vote to force my spiritual belief on another.
Which brings me to the subject of abortion . . .
Ninth Amendment: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Tenth Amendment: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Roe v Wade is the Supreme Court’s ruling that held the Constitution protects a woman’s right to an abortion prior to fetal viability.*
The majority of Americans support this ruling, but where is their voice in deciding passage of antiabortion laws?
A fetal heart begins to beat at 5-6 weeks. A heartbeat, however, does not confirm the presence of a soul. Nor does kicking or thumb-sucking. Resembling a human infant doesn’t make a fetus a sentient life form, nor does it confirm the presence of a soul. Some believe a soul enters a body at conception. Others believe it enters when the first breath is taken. Both are religious or spiritual beliefs. Neither is based in science. Therefore, since the First Amendment states that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, outlawing abortion is unconstitutional.
Although Roe v Wade is still constitutional law, several States have passed laws banning abortion – at all stages of fetal development – and more are poised to do so if the precedent is overturned. Women have been imprisoned and charged with murder, regardless of their reason for having an abortion or if the abortion was spontaneous. Incest, rape, trafficking, and serious health concerns are either not addressed or deemed invalid.
The Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v Wade. This would once again objectify women, relegate us to second-class citizens, and deem us property of the state. We’d be charged with manslaughter or murder and sentenced to a lengthy prison term, if not execution, along with anyone who assists us. How is this not tyranny? How is this not the imposing of a religious belief? How is this not violating the Constitution? How is this not pandering to a minority electorate?
Right to Life and Antiabortion are not synonymous.
Right to Life opposes capital punishment. Right to Life includes all creatures and decries vivisection, factory farms, sport/trophy hunting. Right to Life is ensured by the Fourteenth Amendment. Antiabortion is an adverb qualifying an element of one’s religious beliefs.
Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
There’s one more factor that needs addressing . . . the puppeteers.
The power elite are those in the top brackets of wealth who wield political power and control everything across the globe. A pin in a map here and a bribe there maintain their control over the world’s economy, politics, military, businesses, and disposition. They shield themselves behind politicians and others of influence who fall prey to their rapacity and subornation. They leverage ultimatums, tug on the strings, and manipulate the corrupt and ignorant, respectively, into doing their bidding.
Much of this is evidenced by the rise of multinational corporations – which serve as umbrellas for the countless smaller corporations they absorb – and their dominance in the global marketplace. Their goal is a worldwide totalitarian government, one they’ve been methodically working toward for at least 200 years. Despite efforts at diversity – which elevated token women and minorities within their ranks – they remain white, male, and Christian.
Their tacit motto is divide and conquer. They’ve managed to spotlight that which divides us, invoke fear of the unknown, provoke anger as a means of conquering fear, keep us fighting with each other, and incite violence as a means of strong-arming us into maintaining the status quo – all of which ensures their power and dominance.
I have no doubt they’re a driving force behind overturning Roe v Wade. The power of womankind would diminish, become a lesser threat to their dominance, and eventually be silenced. It won’t stop here. All our rights and freedoms are at risk, including the right to vote.** They’ve targeted everyone they deem a threat to their supremacy, using the resolve of corrupt politicians, religious zealots, and white nationalists to achieve their goals – the latter of which wants to transmute the U.S. into a white Christian nation. Many Americans are unaware of the powerful cabal supporting, if not directing these campaigns and the obliteration of democracy that would result.
Personally, I wouldn’t choose to have an abortion. However current law, precedent, and the Constitution grant me the right to do so. Violating a woman’s right to control her own body would strike a death blow to democracy.
Imposition of religion by government upon its citizens is a weapon of autocracy.
It’s purported that upon leaving the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked, “Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?” to which he replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
So, which will we choose: democracy or tyranny?
Much of the turmoil we’re witnessing across the globe is the product of a dying patriarchy. It’s digging in its claws attempting to survive. It will not. How long this will continue is unknown. The amount of carnage the beast will inflict is inestimable. But it will die. Then love and compassion will make way for the light waiting to fill the world.
*The Court based its decision on the three trimesters of pregnancy. First trimester: termination is solely at the discretion of the woman. Second trimester: the state may regulate (but not outlaw) abortion in the interest of the mother’s health. Third trimester: the fetus is viable and the state may regulate or outlaw abortions in the interest of the potential life, except when necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.
**The Fifteenth Amendment ensures the right to vote:
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
It’s been two years since I’ve posted to my blog. The political climate here in the U.S. has aggravated the chronic illness that interferes with life on a daily basis, but I make the best use of time wherever possible.
The wearing of masks during this COVID pandemic has become a contested issue and one I feel compelled to weigh in on. I wrote this article between flareups and would like to share it with you now.
I hope to be back in blogging mode in a few months, when the chaos here in the U.S. sorts itself out. I miss writing and posting, visiting friends’ blogs, and I’ve desperately missed all of you!
FREEDOM IS NOT FREE. It is earned. It is earned by being a responsible member of society.
Under the U.S. Constitution, we have certain inalienable rights. If we break the law – if we commit a willful act of violence – we could lose those rights temporarily or permanently and, thus, lose our freedom.
Not wearing a mask during this COVID pandemic is a willful act of violence, even if we tested negative a day ago or an hour ago. Why? 1. False negatives can and do occur; 2. We can contract the virus between the time we were tested and when we encounter others. If we do not wear a mask and then transmit the virus to another, this translates into criminally negligent homicide. Why? Because we have ignored the science and the health experts who repeatedly inform us that COVID is extremely virulent and masks should always be worn while we are in public. Thus, we willfully endanger the life of another.
If you say to me: “My freedom doesn’t end where your fear begins,” then I say to you: “My life doesn’t end where your denial begins.” If you say you have a right to freedom, then I say I have a right to life.
If you say I should remain isolated for fear of contracting COVID, then I say I’m not the anti-masker who could conceivably infect hundreds, if not thousands of others; and because I wear a mask, I’m not the potential living, breathing pathogen – you are. In our society, we quarantine those who are a danger to the lives of others.
I worked as an RN for decades and saw first-hand how quickly contagion spreads. I initiated isolation protocols more times than I can count. I sat with patients dying without the comfort of loved ones at their bedside. Thousands of COVID patients and their families have endured this. I do not want to be complicit in this tragedy.
Rights and freedoms coexist within a democratic society. They become mutually exclusive when one threatens the other.
Freedom is not free. Our right to freedom must be earned by respecting the rights of others and accepting responsibility for our actions.
My country, the United States of America, is teetering on the brink of plutocracy. Our current President, a clever but ignorant aspiring autocrat, feeds the racist and misogynist proclivities of a minority demographic on a daily basis. I’m tempted to qualify these statements in detail, but fellow blogger Gronda Morin already has.
‘Good’ and ‘evil’ are relative terms. I see ‘good’ as that which advances the growth of the spirit, and ‘evil’ as that which subverts it. Manipulating the bigotry of others to suit one’s own purposes falls under the latter. I’m ever reminded of this quote attributed to Edmund Burke:
My country has awakened to the dangers of apathy, as evidenced by the plethora of activism across the nation. We have to keep our thumb on the pulse of current affairs, but we must not feed the beast of bigotry. I’m focusing my energy on the change I wish to see. My eyes are open, as my heart has always been.
Thanks so much for stopping by❤️
Max Boot: President Trump Has Been Working To Normalize Racism
As a former republican until 2016, I have become painfully aware that there is a racist living in the white House but President Donald Trump could never have been elected without the help and support of the current republican party which created the environment to guarantee his success.
In 2013, I had started to become painfully aware of a strain of racism that had permeated the republican party to where I finally left it in 2016. It started with the Trayvon Martin case. Too many in my former party (2012-2013) were propping up as a hero the likes of a bum, George Zimmerman. Then there was the demonizing of Trayvon Martin as a pot smoking thug when he was just a kid walking home from a store. When George Zimmerman was declared “not guilty” by a Florida jury, a Pew poll indicated that the vast majority White older republicans favored this vote. This was my wake-up call.
Along came the democrat President Barack Obama (2008-2016). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to push back on fellow republicans when they would spout their talking points, like President Obama was a Muslim, born in Kenya and not really an American. With rare occasions, did “we the people” hear FOX TV folks, and/ or republican leaders/ lawmakers out-rightly and firmly denouncing this talk?
I recall one example when Senator John McCain was running for the presidency in 2002 when he graciously corrected a woman in his audience who referred to President Obama as a Muslim who hates the USA.
Emily Gmitter shares her memories of and love for her elder sister, Marion, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge a short while ago. Losing a loved one can be devastating and makes us consider our own mortality; but Emily lightens this weighty subject with humor and beauty. #Recommended ❤
“Sing it out … sing it out!” My sister Marion would encourage me as I practiced a song I’d hoped to perform at karaoke some night. “That was beautiful! You should absolutely sing that one!” she continued, scrunching up her face and pumping her arm in the air with earnest enthusiasm.
Then came the day when I realized she was tone deaf. How did I learn that? Well, we had another sister, Lena, who, age-wise, fell between Marion, the oldest of eight children, and me, the middle child. Lena encouraged me just as Marion did, but Lena loved to sing, too, although we’d never heard her do so.
One day, Lena decided she would take singing lessons. Marion and I were then routinely treated to Lena’s practice sessions which consisted of repeated—and memorable—renditions of You Light Up My Life.“Sing it out … sing it out! That’s beautiful!” Marion…
An American lady who felt compelled to write a novel of hope and who want us to keep our hearts open and act within love instead of reacting out of fear looks at her own country where some one pulls the strings in a dangerous manner.
Believe me when I tell you that living in the U.S. right now is like being on a nonstop roller coaster ride, minus the thrill. I don’t understand the mindset of those who think our current POTUS is America’s savior. Perhaps they’re not dependent on healthcare for their lives. Perhaps they don’t live paycheck-to-paycheck. Perhaps they’ve never experienced having the rug pulled out from under them. Or perhaps they’ve experienced all of these and are so desperate for change that they cannot see through all the lies.
One has only to read how Hitler came to power in 1930’s Germany to see…
The Winter Holiday Season brings joy, peace, love, and laughter to many of us worldwide. Compassion for our fellow beings would urge us to share this good will with those less fortunate.
National Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day is observed annually on the first day of winter. In the northern hemisphere, this is on or around December 21st (June 21st in the southern hemisphere). Known as Winter Solstice or midwinter, it is an astronomical phenomenon marking the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year.
Living on the streets is difficult enough in warm weather; but the harshness of winter claims many lives. If you would like to do something to help ease the suffering of our homeless sisters and brothers ~ or if you’d simply like to learn more ~ click on the links below. No manner of participation is too small, for kindness is not bound by the limitations of conscience.
Gallybloggers is a blog dedicated to the homeless and posts the writings of many living on the streets. I do hope you’ll visit, comment, and share. It is administered by Dewin Nefol, a compassionate and talented writer and artist.
We must also remember the nonhuman beings who share our Mother Earth. Learn how to help stray animals survive the winter. Hopefully, all will find loving homes ❤
In this article, Debby speaks about the spirit of friendship and how neither time nor distance need alter its integrity. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did. Now over to Debby, and more about her at the end of this post.
Friendships – Online and Otherwise
I’m wondering if the old stigma is still attached to the concept of online friends. Do you ever find yourself feeling as though you have to explain some of your online friendships when talking to the people in your ‘real’ world? Have you ever been told that ‘those people’ aren’t real friends because they’re online?
Some people think that our online friendships are just that – online only, and when we’re offline, those friendships are out of mind. But that couldn’t be further from the truth for me with the many friendships I have made online. There, I said it again, I hate that term ‘online friend’. It’s that term that gives the friendship that feel that we’re only friends when we find each other online. That’s like saying, our real-life friendships are only friendships when we’re actually spending time together with those friends and when we don’t see them, there’s no friendship, now that’s just ridiculous thinking.
Many people physically go to their jobs where they interact with co-workers on a daily basis. Others, work from home on their computers where their daily working life is spent online, like mine. As writers and bloggers, we live in two worlds, both the physical world and online. We engage with others in writing groups, social media, on blogs, and with other creatives in our field. So just as people make friends with co-workers in the live world, it would only make sense we also form friendships in the online world.
Writers in particular, work in solitude creating, and I couldn’t imagine my world where I spend most of my waking hours, without friends. Only other writers understand our world. And after spending so much time with those we interact with daily, it only makes sense that we also form friendships with many people, and more intimate friendships with some. The beauty about the friendships we make online is that we become friends with like-minded people. And just as in our real worlds, we eventually gravitate to certain people that we have things in common with, and thus, friendship bonds are formed.
In actuality we probably spend more time with our “online” friends than we do with our real-time friends. We take some of those friendships to a higher level by communicating about more personal things that friends share through emails, instant messaging, phone calls, Facetime, Skype and various other methods of chatting live. Heck, I do that more with my friends across the miles than I spend time visiting with friends in my actual world. We share thoughts and opinions, help each other out with dilemmas on our work, promote each other’s work, laugh and sometimes even cry together. We even send virtual hugs after conversing, just as we’d do when we’re parting with a friend in our real world. That’s what friendship is all about.
Some of my best friends now were made online. Those friendships are no different than the ones I have with some of my old real-world friends, which some of them too just happen to live across the miles. How do we communicate with our loved ones who live far away in a different country? Exactly, through the same means we communicate with our friends in our online community.
So yes, I don’t care much for the term ‘online friend’. I don’t like to justify to someone in my actual world when I’m talking to them about a friend I have online. Those friendships I’ve made with people I met ‘online’ are just that – friends – who I happened to have met online. I ‘met’ them online, they aren’t just my ‘online’ friends. The geography between us has nothing to do with the value of our friendship. See the difference?
I am blessed to have a large and wonderful circle of friends I just happened to meet online. I don’t refer to them as ‘my online friends’. And when I’m chatting to my husband or a friend in my actual world about one of those friends who happens to live in another country, but I have the luxury of being able to communicate with them at the stroke of a keyboard, they are simply referred to as my friend.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on friendships made online.
Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.
D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.
When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
Why I Write
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”
“For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”
When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.
John Fioravanti has written a brilliant article on the troubled times in which we live, suggesting that the choices we make will determine whether or not we survive as a species. I couldn’t agree more. #HighlyRecommended
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