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Angels Among Us

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I’ve never studied with a guru, master, or spiritual teacher. My early experience with organized religion turned me off the path of following the beliefs of others to forge my own trail. So, my heart-teachers have been real life people who manage to stay loving, peaceful and who find the positive in even the worst situations. One of my most profound teachers was a young woman of 17. When she was raped by a man she considered a safe friend, her response was “what do I have to learn from this horrible experience.”

As you can imagine I was shocked. At first, I did not comprehend how she could not be angry and want revenge? But then I realized she was making an intentional choice to take a terrible situation, one she was powerless to stop or change, and turned it around to find what SHE could do to move herself forward. That level of courage and self-reflection pushed my soul forward to fill my consciousness with a deep level of love and personal responsibility. I knew her strength was directly from God. I chose then and there, if this young woman could find the silver lining in her experience, there is no reason I cannot live the same way. I accepted the only thing standing between our living this way, or not, is a choice. That was the powerful realization that changed my entire perspective and solidified my knowing we are indeed spiritual beings (souls) on great human adventures.

Over thirty years later I am still passionately devoted to finding the light, even in the darkest situations. I am happy to report choosing a positive attitude has served me well; through Barbara’s cancer, the murder of a friend, death of loved ones, living in a world where acts of violence impact innocent people, job loss, relationship break-ups, losing almost everything, and so much more. Yes, I’ve certainly had my share of heart-break and loss. But I credit my ability to bounce back quickly and to remain focused on positive to the angels in my life. Those who taught me I always have the choice to see my glass as overflowing, even when the tap looks like it may run dry.

Love Goes First

God’s fundamental message on how we are to live is simple, universal and has been passed from generation to generation since the beginning of our modern human history. We honor God, one another and our ancestors, by living according to this request from our creator. Namaste

What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. ~ Judaism

Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them. ~ Christianity

Not one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself. ~ Islam

A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated. ~ Jainism

Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence. ~ Confucianism

One should not behave towards others in a way which is disagreeable to oneself. ~ Hinduism

One going to take a pointed stick to pinch a baby bird should first try it on himself to feel how it hurts. ~ African Traditional Religions

Hurt not others with that which pains yourself. ~ Buddhism

Whatever is disagreeable to yourself, do not do unto others. ~ Zoroastrianism

All things are our relatives; what we do to everything, we do to ourselves. All is really One. ~ Native American Spirituality

Be charitable to all beings, love is the representative of God. ~ Shinto

No one is my enemy, none a stranger and everyone is my friend. ~ Sikhism

This is the sum of Dharma [duty]: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you. ~ Brahmanism

An it harm no one, do what thou wilt (i.e. do whatever you will, as long as it harms nobody, including yourself) ~ Wicca

Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss. ~ Taoism

We affirm and promote respect for the interdependent of all existence of which we are a part. ~ Unitarian

Do not do to others that which would anger you if others did it to you.” ~ Socrates 5th century BCE

May I do to others as I would that they should do unto me. ~ Plato 4th century BCE

Let no man do to another that which would be repugnant to himself; this is the sum of righteousness. ~ From the Upanishads — the foundational document for Indian Brahmanism (circa 700 BCE)

A Very Wise Move

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I am not immune to being on the receiving end of behavior from those who attempt to tear me down to build themselves up. So I understand what a challenge it is to remain patient and to not engage when people gossip about you. Or they try and get people you know to side with them by spreading lies about you. Or they shun you without reason or cause.

Over the course of life I learned a powerful lesson that helps keep me in the kind and patient space. LOVE always reveals the truth about who is guilty and who is innocent. It may take time but the behavior we consistently put out ALWAYS returns to us. That is why it is so important for you and me to refuse to get caught up in the lies and drama people create about us in an attempt to elevate themselves.

Here are three truths I know about those who gossip or spread lies –

  1. Anyone who spreads lies about another person will eventually be revealed as a liar and someone who cannot be trusted.
  2. Those who know both parties but choose to listen to the lies one tells about another are themselves prone to gossip and lying to build themselves up. It’s the birds of a feather flock together thing.
  3. The negative things said about another person say much more about the person telling them than it does about the person who is being talked about.

We cannot prevent what people say about us. We cannot prevent people from believing lies or gossip spread about us. Protesting our innocence or getting involved in a defensive confrontation only makes us look guilty and weak. We are the strong one by knowing God, the energy that is love, will in time reveal the true nature of us all. For our peace and happiness it is best for you and me to let the hurtful words and lies of others go. We intentionally stay out of God’s way. You and I ask God for patience and peace as we will to will God’s will and allow the Divine to act in God’s time. That is the self-loving and respectful thing to do. Challenging – YES. Doable – ALWAYS!

Good vs. Evil

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As a child, Satan was real to me. The hell-fire and brimstone sermons I was subjected to in church enflamed my child’s imagination of an evil demon with horns and a pitch fork. I was certain the devil was lurking under my bed, around every corner, just waiting to steal my soul. As an adult, I do not believe in a flesh and blood evil creature who desires to steal my soul or who controls MY actions. BUT, being drawn to the “dark” side is very real, because the temptation to follow self-centered ego, rather than soul, is a challenge each of us experiences countless times a day.

Ego justifies getting what it wants when it wants it. Ego is impatient, prideful, judgmental, selfish, and controlling. Ego blames others rather than assume personal responsibility. Ego fears losing control of others but does not desire to practice self-control. Ego lies, is envious and lazy. Ego projects its shortcomings onto others. Living from ego we allow the worst of ourselves to create our relationships and our lives, in essence, selling our soul to the devil that is self-centeredness, closemindedness and spiritual unconsciousness.

The GREAT news is, we are completely in control of the choices we make because one of the greatest gifts we receive from the Divine is that of free will. So, with the power and responsibility of choice resting squarely on our shoulders, we are the ones who opt to behave from ego thereby, figuratively, selling our soul to the devil. Or, we can choose to overrule ego and act from our higher, wiser, kind and loving soul.

It takes mindful, purposeful and continuous effort to keep ourselves from allowing our thoughts to justify behavior that goes against God, which is Love. Thankfully, the Divine truly wants us to live from soul. That is why God’s gift of free will supplies us with all the power we need to master a mind with a mind of its own. To question our thoughts by filtering them through our soul. Is what we are thinking real, true, or important? Do our thoughts justify actions that can hurt us or someone else? Are our thoughts attempting to limit the cooperative, inclusive, and virtuous motivations of our heart? Stopping ourselves to care about what we are thinking and the motivations (self-centered or selfless) behind our thoughts, is the moment by moment choice we make to either sell our soul to the Devil, or keep our soul aligned with God.