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SHOWER YOURSELF WITH LOVE

revgerry:

This morning’s musings.

Originally posted on IMAGINE YOURSELF HAPPY™:

HappyElephantunderwaterfall_Lise Jacques

Just shower the people you love with love, show them the way that you feel”  James Taylor

I have had a very difficult time with self-love in my lifetime.  It doesn’t matter how it started; it caused me untold heartache and was either at the root of my depression or its most unwavering symptom.  Yes, I know, my neurochemistry.

But still, in my recovery, even when the neurochemistry had been successfully treated for several years – and even to this day, truth be told – self-love requires ongoing conscious effort.  And no wonder I felt “unlovable,” those are the words that accompanied my dark moods, I didn’t love myself and so I didn’t expect anyone else would either.

It is so easy to slip into the “unworthy” mode, and to take the fact that not everybody on the planet likes or loves me as evidence of my being unloveable.

Poppycock! Here’s an exercise I…

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ROBIN WILLIAMS, ANOTHER VICTIM OF THIS CRUEL DRAGON, DEPRESSION

ROBIN WILLIAMS, ANOTHER VICTIM OF THIS CRUEL DRAGON,

DEPRESSION

reposted from my new blog, OpenHeartedMusings.com

I just heard – it’s just coming over the inter-wires,

Robin_Williams_2011a_(2)“Robin Williams, 63, Found Dead At His N. CA Home”

The story says he had been suffering deep depression lately, and it is likely that he committed suicide.

I don’t know precisely what Robin was thinking at that time, but I know he did not want to hurt anyone.  I know he put this day off for as long as possible, just so he would not hurt anyone.  Finally, we can’t know the exact nature of the final battle, but we know the dragon won.

Robin was a fighter, I know it.  Even with all of his talent, all of his resources, his genius, his compassion, the dragon still won.  I am heartbroken.

I know there are people who will see him as a weakling, who will think he had a character defect of some sort to give in,  but do not count me amongst that crowd.    It is exactly as if cancer won or Alzheimers or heart disease.

No one who has not been there knows anything about the darkness that surrounded Robin.  They can’t feel the  dementors tearing away at his soul or know the strength it took to keep them at bay, day by day.

The disease turns off important parts of your brain.  On a brain scan they are dark, just like the darkness around you.  You can see NO options…only despair…always and forever despair…of course there are options, but you can’t see them.

There is no other way that you can see to end the ever-present searing emotional agony, because the disease has obscured your vision and eviscerated your brain, and you long for only release.

God bless Robin and each one who battles deep depression.

Give us strength to fight another day.

Robin Williams gave us all so much of himself.  May there be celebrations in heaven as he comes across the bridge of light and may his burdens at last be lifted as he knows only Light and Love forevermore.

originally posted on my new blog, http://www.openheartedmusings.com


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Morning Quotes

I try to spend the first hour of my day combing some of facebook’s inspirational pages for, well, inspiration.  Sometimes I pass them along on one of my own pages, hoping someone else will find some benefit too, sometimes I just reflect on them for myself.  Hboatingatdawn_SpirosLioriosPhotographyere are a few I’d love to pass along today.

Laugh more.  “When people are laughing, they’re generally not killing each other.” ~ Alan Alda

“All we see of someone at any moment is a snapshot of their life; they’re in riches or poverty, in joy or despair. Snapshots don’t show the million decisions that led to that moment.” ~Richard Bach

“Nothing happens unless first a dream.”  ~ Carl Sandburg

“That which sings and contemplates in you is still dwelling within the bounds of that first moment which scattered the stars into space.”  ~ Kahlil Gibran

“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.”   ~ Buddha

“Detachment is not that you should own nothing, but that nothing should own you.”  Ali ibn abi Talib

“The more you recognize the immense good within you, the more you magnetize immense good around you.”~ Alan Cohen

“The goal isn’t to live forever.  It is to create something that will.”  Unknown


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Twelve-Thirteen-Fourteen – Tell Someone(s) You Love Them

colrfulglassheart_newworldHave you ever seen a headline about human suffering and felt helpless as you asked yourself, “What can I do?”

The enormity of the pain of war and disease and earthquakes and hunger and the astounding cruelty of some humans to others seems too big for one person to affect.

And there is an idea left over from some dark time that some lives just don’t count, and that it is OK to hate the people “like that.”  Some of us may even have been the “people like that” at one time or another in our lives.

The level of need and hate seems too big for one person to even make a tiny dent, although every kindness makes a difference to THAT person and to you…and, I believe, increases the supply of Love in the global human consciousness, no small thing.  I love to read stories of human kindness and goodness and spread them to amplify that effect.

Marianne Williamson shared a letter on Facebook recently from a fellow named Coley Campany who had visited New York City and spoken with a Syrian taxi driver about the situation in his country. The driver could only wring his hands in agitation and say, “What can we do?” over and over.

Coley had been studying the powerful effect a Dr. Emoto had showed on water crystals, in “What The Bleep Do We Know”.  Dr. Emoto had proven that our feelings and intentions have a powerful effect on physical reality. He actually  focused different feelings/intentions through written and spoken words and music to the same water samples.   Then he photographed the dramatic effect on water crystals as they changed their physical appearance depending on what was communicated.  This link takes you to his website.

candleKeeping in mind we are all made of mostly water, the question Coley asked is, “What If we could affect our own and other people’s physical reality by focusing Love on them?”

Here is Coley’s idea for12-13-14.  I like it.  It is similar to many other days of global concentration of waves of Love and Peace, but different only in its request for specificity.  He requests we express our love to SPECIFIC PEOPLE, whether we know them or not.

He asks that on 12-13-14 everyone in the world (big dream) say silently or aloud the words “I LOVE YOU” to someone they know or don’t know. It could be a mother, brother, child or friend. Or it could be a child in Africa you’ve never met, a refugee, a person that is fighting on the opposite side you are on. I say especially someone who is fighting on the opposite side you are on, even in a family squabble. It could be yourself. I say, ALSO yourself.  Shower yourself and the person(s) you select with Love.  Capital L Love.

You can paint it, read it, plant it, write it, type it, play it, dance it, build it, give it, receive it.  You can join with others or simply make it your own spiritual practice for that day. His vision included world leaders, spiritual leaders, those with impactful platforms, teenagers, moms, dads, everyone. People can hold concerts, yoga classes, plays, televised events, meditation or prayer circles, sports games. These amplify the message and draw in people who otherwise might not participate. Whatever and however.  NO money is to be made. There is no intended outcome other than” For a holy moment in Love what could we do together?”

So, “I’m in.

By sharing Coley’s idea with you, I am asking you to be “in” too, both on 12/13/14 and in spreading the message to others to help him to succeed.

Of course, you don’t have to wait until December to add this to your daily spiritual practice.  :)

“What if” Coley’s letter to Marianne just resulted in 100 people reconciling their family differences and forgiving each other.  The effect could be MUH larger than that.  But if only that, would your effort to participate and to spread the word be worth it?

To that I say “YES,” and “I Love YOU.”  Yes, YOU!!


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A Little Something About Perception

Tsuga_heterophylla_forestTake a walk with me through the forest.  It’s a fine summer day, the sun is playing with the shimmering aspen leaves and the forest is cool and fragrant.  Pine needles soften your steps; you hear a little stream running cheerfully over rocks in the distance and birds chirping in the trees overhead. As you amble along, your senses are wide open to take it all in.  Each tree, each leaf, each rock is perfect exactly the way it is. You admire some purple wildflowers in amongst the ferns, stop to pick a few wild blueberries, silently greet a squirrel scampering up a tree.

Perfection abounds!  There is so  much beauty in nature, it is healing for most of us.

A walk on the beach or a hike in the mountains, a float down the river, a stroll through the Arizona desert, even a trip to the local park, it all has the same effect.

It opens us up.

We feel our oneness with nature, we accept our place in the scheme of things.  Our usual defenses, our usual monkey chatter, are overridden by the sights, the smells, the sounds of Nature. Even just walking around outside my house, I see the flowers and hear the birds, see the mountains in the distance, and all of it makes me happy, in fact I count on it as part of my daily happiness.

When I catch a ground squirrel stealing bird seeds in the back yard, I laugh and wonder ” who am I” to assign the birdseed to any creature?  The squirrel isn’t stealing, as far as IT knows, it’s enjoying a treat.

I am delighted at the quail, the squirrels, the rabbits…even a red-tailed hawk one amazing day…who all drink from the little birdbath on the ground out in front of my office window.

When I walk in the woods I marvel at the moss-covered rotting tree trunks nourishing the soil for new growth.  Each tree, each fern, each life form is different, based on its own genetics, its own growing conditions.  Is that fern over there smaller because it grows in full shadow of the large hemlock tree?  That tree over there leans to the left!  INTERESTING! AWESOME!  I can EASILY let each one be, just as they are, and give thanks for the beauty they share.

Could I look at other people in exactly the way I look at the trees and the ferns and the squirrels?

We are all just here on the planet doing what we do, and it’s all good, even the headlines reflect nothing different than the squirrel “stealing” the bird seed when you look at it a little differently.  And what if there really was enough for all and everyone could see that? (There is – and as a spiritual teacher, it is my job to assure you of that.)

When I am on a metaphorical mountaintop, it’s easy to enjoy my Oneness with the Universe, so why do I so often catch myself feeling competitive or wary or judgmental with my fellow humans?   How is it that when I am around people, my defenses often come back up and my EGO crowds out my wonderment? Why does my ego suddenly proclaim “ME”  and “MINE” and “YOU” and “YOURS” and “RIGHT” and “WRONG?”    When I consider who we REALLY are, none of that matters.

A little aside about the bible Adam and Eve story.  It was the “KNOWLEDGE” of right and wrong that threw them out of paradise (Oneness).  That is, JUDGMENTS about right and wrong, mine and yours and theirs, is what keeps us out of paradise.

I had a very judgmental mother (who had a judgmental mother and so on) and I have often wrestled with the popular concept “If  I can’t love me, with all my flaws, how can I love others?”  I clearly could not love me because I knew about all the times I didn’t meet my own standards of right and wrong.

Today I understand that the reverse is also true:  “If I can’t love others, just as they are, bent to the left or stealing the birdseed, how can I love myself?”  And, cancel the “with all my flaws” and substitute “just as I am.” No judgment,  no problem.

And if someone does something that hurts my feelings or depletes my store of seeds?

Can I sit here right now and love them just as they are?   There’s the real test and the real spiritual work.

Enjoy the forest

Hugs,

Gerry

 

 

 

 

 

 

anxiety-disorder_knuckles


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Our Family Suffers Our Mental Illness Too.

This is a difficult post.  I have a family member with mental illness, and I myself have recovered from severe clinical depression, a mental illness.    There I said it. Mental illness.  The stigma is humiliating when you call it what it is, but until you do, you can’t deal with it, nor can our society as a whole.

After all, IT ISN’T OUR FAULT we have the genes we have, IT ISN’T OUR FAULT that our symptoms work to shut down our higher order thinking centers and our perceptions of realitybut even our self-judgment is ruthless, much less the judgment of others. it scares people, and this makes our own denial is huge to try to overcome.  We know there’s something wrong with us, but we think it’s in our character, that we just have to “try harder” to make our lives work.

Go ahead, practice.  “Depression.”  “Anxiety”  “Mood Swings.”  “Mental Illness.”  What pictures come up each time????  But also, what remedy comes up?  You don’t just “snap out of” diabetes or cancer or hearty disease.  You might snap out of anxiety or mood swings, but you don’t just snap out of mental illness.

My children (and my spouses) suffered because of my depression and my grown children still have not forgiven me for it.  They keep solid boundaries to keep me at a distance, though I am a different person today.  I can’t really blame them, it’s good self-care, though I grieved continuously about it for years.

Another family member suffers from bipolar disorder…and I do mean suffer..but everyone around him suffers too, including his infant daughter and former spouse…and everyone who loves him and wants his life to follow the path called “normal.”  The rest of the family views him as a pariah, want nothing whatsoever to do with him, but even having to hold that boundary hurts them too.  After all, we are family.

It is difficult to come to terms with mental illness, especially since it seems to become your identity, both to yourself and to other people who suffer the effects of your illness. It incapacitates you in so many ways, most hidden to yourself at the time.  You struggle with your own demons (dragons, I call them), but you also struggle with the effects of the illness on your ability to work, have relationships, especially intimate relationships, and raise your children – and the blowback that comes to you from failures in any of those areas just feeds the dragons of fear, anger, depression, self-doubt, hopelessness.  So many people – far too many people – commit suicide to end the struggles.

I am one of the lucky ones.  I have found real recovery and am very grateful for it.  My children are finding their own recovery, in their late thirties. My own recovery didn’t start until my fifties. The young man with the infant daughter he adores?  He is affected more profoundly by his illness, and I have to pray that by some miracle both he and his baby daughter find recovery sooner than we all did – he is in his early twenties and if you are a praying person, he and she could use a prayer – the Universe knows who you mean.

If you suffer from a mood disorder, which is a mental illness, yes, you have to face it, I want you to know that there is help and HOPE, and that if you can’t bring yourself find professional help for your own sake, please seek it for the sake of your family.

hugs, gerry

OPEN HEARTED MUSINGS.COM


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First post in new, infant, self-hosted blog

Good morning everyone,

I haven’t figured out everything yet about how wordpress.com and wordpress.org work together, but I would like to introduce you to my new self-hosted blog, www.OpenHeartedMusings.com, and my first post, Don’t Let The DRAGON Eat You!

I would love it if you ran over to read it, maybe left me a comment or a smile to let me know you visited?

It won’t appear in your Reader over here I just discovered to my true dismay.  I don’t know yet how WordPress.com bloggers will find it, but I know that some self-hosted blogs do appear in my reader.  If anyone knows how to make that happen, I’d love to know.

I will eventually ask WordPress to direct my followers over there, but not everything is ready yet – but you could subscribe over there if you want to receive those posts.

I have been busy writing for other people, I have sold over 50 pieces so far, and I need to continue that, but I am about to get serious about my own writing, to which I hold the copyright, which is why the self-hosted blog. Hope you are all well and happy this morning, and I’d love to hear from you as always.

Hugs, Gerry

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