The Greatest Love of All

Today’s Soul Report: Love & Projection

The inspiration for today’s post began with a tweet from Oprah. She was responding to a man, who I now see from his twitter page is obviously trying to get attention by being really, really mean.

Here is the conversation: @Oprah- To me Whitney was THE VOICE. We got to hear a part of God every time she sang. Heart is heavy, spirit grateful for the GIFT of her. In which man who I won’t name says: I did not know God condoned illicit drug use. #Hypocrite. In which @Oprah responded: What I know for sure: God is love. Love does not condemn. I did not know God was in the drug law business.

There was also another conversation on Facebook after Madonna’s Super Bowl performance. A few people felt the need to condemn Madonna and make comments about who she is a person and so on. I felt a need to defend Madonna, maybe to defend the part of me that feels judged, knowing that we are not just what we show- that we are so much more, and at times, so much less. I also responded because I am so over seeing others (and myself) talk shit about people, especially, as a culture, celebrities.

The excuse, as I defended Madonna, is this is what happens to them because of the attention- they get admired and ridiculed, but this doesn’t make it right.

Oriah Mountain Dreamer, on her Facebook page, made an interesting comment about Whitney’s death- she called it “Death by Perfection.” As I thought about this further, the Whitney I loved in the 80’s and 90’s was sweet, beautiful and obviously THE VOICE, as Oprah said. Perfection was projected at her. She was the perfect diva, the perfect performer, having the perfect look, and voice. She had everything. Is it possible, there was a secret she was holding- a secret that said I am not all of those things. I am not as perfect as you think I am. In fact, I recall her telling us during an interview that she has another side, a side at the time, she seemed proud of. Is it possible, part of what she did was show us, and herself, how imperfect she is.

Addiciton or no addiction- just to say it was addiction that killed her doesn’t go deep enough. People say addiction is a disease, but I think it is a symptom of a much deeper disease. Whitney sang a song, Greatest Love of All– not having love for ourselves is our disease, and for most of us, it begins right out the womb, and perhaps before. We are a world of the walking wounded and rejected. Because of this, the culture can’t help but to tell us we aren’t okay- that who we inherently are is imperfect, or just as bad, we are told how perfect we are. We are neither. We just are and should be taken as such, and as such in each moment, but we aren’t. Instead we must define, concrete and project, and celebrities get this in enormous waves.

Life is difficult for us “common” folk, so imagine what it might be like for the famous, regardless if they conscioulsy sought fame out or not or how much damn money they have. Does it make us feel better to ridicule  them becuase we have a part of us that would like to famous, and rich? Does it feel good to be in awe of them because we feel so inadequate? How do you think it makes them feel when we give them all our shit? How do we feel when we are projected upon?

I have a few points to this post, I see, probably running off on a couple tangents. It’s a hot button for me, and from this post, I want us to really consider that we are all energy. What this means is we feel everything that is being projected at us, near and far. If we were a culture seeped in a lifestyle right out of the womb to know, and love thyself- then there would not be projection. There might actually be more love.

Yes, I am of the 2% of the population, according to some test, labeled as “the idealist.” I see what is possible, and I often, almost always fall short myself, and it hurts me more and more to see us so critical and condemning toward others.  My response to the twitter conversation from above: People condemn so to not feel that Love- but it’s there.

I condemned Whitney during the Oprah interview, which was the last time I saw her. Why? Because my mom was an addict, and I was the one who was more responsible than she was. It is a common role, children of addicts, play, and I saw Bobby Kristina being put in that position by her mother. This is my stuff. Truth may be in this for Whitney and her daughter, but at the time I was still angry by the responsibility I carried in lack of my mother’s,  and projected that upon Whitney.

I don’t know Whitney at all. And maybe Whitney probably didn’t know Whitney as well as she would have liked. I mean does anyone really want to throw their life away, as what has been suggested? And is Whitney’s death or life a waste because of what we think we know about her? This was HER life. This is OUR life, and it is of no one to say to us what is a waste and what is not. What is wrong and what is not. What is right and what is not. We come here for our own reasons. Our own lessons. Our own possibilities.

Our possibility, to my idealist mind, is one of the greatest lessons, a lesson that cannot be learned just in school or by some famous person who we want to be our role model or that can even be done in one life, and that possibility is to know our self, all of our self. Not only know it all, but love it all, and from what I see, we have hardly touchded upon the friendship, compassion and deep, deep wisdom that is in the self.

To tweet a respoonse to that conversation was a step forward in my evolution toward that love. I didn’t condemn the man who said this or defend or project. Instead I saw that the love Oprah mentioned is there- in all of us, and we condemn others so we don’t have to feel our own pain. Our pain can’t kill us. We only fear it might, and we get involved in all sorts of destrucitve behaviors because of that fear.

None of us are squeky clean, and when we are, we will be out teaching in love and compassion and not condemnation, superiority and judgement. To have compassion is to understand our human condition. To express love is to know that is what we are. That love is what we all hold and often try and ignore, but it’s there.

I know this wasn’t an ooey-gooey Valentines post, but sometimes we must go beyond the oo and the goo. I will leave you with this video of Whitney singing the Greatest Love of All. What brought tears to my eyes, is seeing how happy this woman was when she sang. That is a look of pure love, that existed even in her so-called dysfunction. That, maybe even more than the voice, inspires, and learning to love ourselves is the greatest gift of all, and it’s a process.

Please spread the love and the message. I’d love it if you did. Happy Valentines Day.


The Soul Reporter

>Is it God or Is it Me?


I wanted to go back to bed at 8:30 this morning, but instead I picked up my phone, got on my Facebook ap and saw a posting from the Oprah Winfrey Show Page about today’s show with Iyanla Vanzant.  I read through the comments, and I found one that got my heart-a-pumpin’ and there was no going back to bed.

The commenter said, as a Christian she is suspect of people calling themselves spiritual. She went on to say she does not like Iyanla’s belief that her power comes through herself because she believes power only comes from God.

Do you have awhile? Because this might be a long post.

My relationship with “God” began before I got into the double digits.  I put God in quotes because during this time in my relationship with “God,”  God wasn’t mine. He was everyone else’s.  Others defined Him for me and it didn’t feel right. When my aunt took me to church, and I sat in the pew staring up at the people raising their hands up high, looking toward the sky, praising Him, I wondered what made these people act this way. Why were they raising their hands? Swaying their bodies, and whispering, sometimes yelling things like, “Praise Jesus.  God save me?” And who the heck are they looking up to?

I didn’t like church. It made me uncomfortable. It felt wrong. Strange. False. Weird.

Both my parents were raised Catholic.  My father, as a little boy, stayed up nights worried Satan was going to grab him and take him to the depths of Hell, and my mother got beat up because she was Catholic.  Needless to say, neither of my parents cared to take me through confirmation with the rest of my family.

I didn’t mind.  I liked having the freedom to explore my own spirituality. To create my own religion.  Sometimes my mom thought I’d be damned, or my daughter would be when I decided not to baptize her in the church where my grandma, her, me and my oldest daughter were baptized, but I wasn’t scared.  Why would I be? I wasn’t raised to fear God or Satan.

Yet, this didn’t stop the weird feeling I couldn’t shake for most of my adolescence and young adulthood that I was being watched, judged, controlled and punished by some big bearded man sitting on a cloud in the sky.  But because I had choice about religion in my family, I chose to create a movement toward what felt right- myself.  I became a sort of psychologist to myself. The more I dug into who I am and why I do what I do, the more uncomfortable having this big bad man breathing down my neck became.

Working within the self, I discover there is nothing outside of me.  Nothing. And I realize this statement is controversial.  I remember having a conversation with a Christian friend. At the time I attended a Unity church. She asked me what their beliefs were.

“They speak of the Christ within,” I said. “They believe we hold the Christ light within us.”  And further, “I believe my work is to become that light because I am that light.”  Her response: “We don’t believe God is in us. We believe in seeking God, and doing right by God’s will, but we could never become God.”

Where do “they” seek God?  I mean, really. I want to understand this.  It is difficult for me to even fathom a concrete answer that would make sense to me other than God is everywhere, including within us. Tell me, if not within, then where is God?  Is God in the clouds?  And further, what do I have to do to be worthy of God?  What is His will for me?  What must I do to make Him love me? To save me?  What happens if I don’t do those things?  Spiritually and personally, I don’t worry about any of these questions or the answers, but I am very curious about the answers from others who believe God is “out there.”

I had one such opportunity with my cousin, a born again Christian. She enlightened me on their beliefs about other spiritual teachers, like Buddha. She told me to follow anyone other than Jesus is a deception used by the devil.  So basically what she is saying, is Buddha is Satan in disguise.  I appreciated getting a window into the mindset, and I also appreciated not being frightened of Satan coming to get me because I have Buddha heads in my house.

Fear is fear, whether cloaked in religious dogma or not. It is fear, and to use beliefs to instill fear, in my “spiritual” opinion is wrong.  Not helpful. Not useful to the health and growth of our human civilization. Either is any religion urging too much looking out and not enough looking in.

Recently, my husband had some work done on his car. The man doing the work came to our house.  Before long, this man was asking my husband about God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit. “Do you believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?”  Oh, how I wanted to get in on this conversation, but I just listened and observed.  I noticed in this man’s car he had a pack of cigarettes. I also noticed he inhales paint fumes all day long not wearing a mask, yet he goes to church a few days a week.

Observing this, I realized there is too much focus on dogma. On beliefs and getting others to believe. On pleasing God. Jesus. And with this, a neglect of the self. Who we are. What is within us. What moves us. What represses us. Liberates us. Frees us.  Limits us. Where is the interest of our own soul?  Our destructive habits? The health of our bodies?  When we look for our power and our answers on the outside, what hope do we have for change? For resurrection?  For truth?

I was at a workshop recently and I overheard someone say, “It’s in God’s hands. I will wait to see what God wants.”  I thought to myself, you’ll be waiting. God, when all else fails becomes our crutch. What we lean against when we don’t want to get down and dirty with our own shit, our own dreams, our own life, our pain.  And it is socially acceptable. Everyone gives everything to God and we just nod our heads in agreement. We even find it noble. Which might be fine, but I am not convinced many of us have truly taken the time to understand what this idea of “God” is and if this idea is healthy for us and if it supports our evolution.

So does this make me an atheist? If it were up to the commenter on the Oprah page, yes.  She said she’d rather people who say they are spiritual call themselves atheists.  I am not an atheist. I believe in God, but I refrain from using the word God right now.  To say God makes me feel scattered and powerless, and I choose to feel whole and powerful.

The inner work I have done has shown me I am 100% responsible for my life.  This means I create my life.  My beliefs. My thoughts. My desires, create my life.  To look to anything outside of me right now is detrimental to my growth. To my evolution. I am on a Soul Guiding Journey, and I believe I hold everything within my Soul, and that is where everything emanates.

Some may say I’m crazy. Arrogant. Just bought a quick one-way ticket to hell.  But I know how I feel. I am liberated from foreign forces that have bound and gagged me. I feel free and I don’t care if you are a Christian, a Buddhist, or an Atheist- we all have the capacity and desire for freedom, which means we are free to believe what we trust brings us to freedom.

I am returning to the knowing I had as a young girl, before the beliefs of others penetrated my soul. I am special.  I belong to SomeThing Special.  I understand it to be an Intelligence, or what was called the Force in Star Wars.  I am a part of it. It is in me and I am in it.  Nothing is separate from me. Nothing. No person. No God. No force. No tree. No plant or animal. Nothing. As I have heard it said, we are all a concentrated universe. Everything is contained within us. We are all here together composed of the same matter and material and God spark. And we are all in different spaces within this reality. For me, this feels right. I feel enlightened by it. And it motivates me to expand deeper into “knowing thyself.”

I dream of a world we can dialogue of these things and come from an understanding of solidarity and a respect of where we are within this sanctified whole. Which is why I would love to start having a conversation about this taboo topic of God and religion and spirituality. To literally get our head out of the clouds and not just nod our heads in the name of God,  but really examine it for ourselves.

And a moment on the word spirituality. Recently someone said it was overused.  The commenter said she is offended when someone say she is “spiritual.”  Is the word getting a bad name?  Do we really know what it means?  The dictionary says spiritual means, of, relating to, or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things. 

For me, spirituality is the movement toward truth.  And truth is inside of me.

No Soul Tip Today- Just Questions:

In my attempt to dialogue and expose our beliefs: What are your thoughts? How many of you feel watched by a man upstairs?  Is this comfortable for you?  How would you describe your relationship with God?  How would you define the word spiritual or spirituality? 

Namaste, which by the way for those who don’t know is a greeting which means the divine in me honors the divine in you. I shared this with my cousin. When I told her what it meant, I never heard from her again.  Through these conversations, I expand in trust, knowing we are all where we need to be in our evolution.

The Soul Reporter

>Got Grit?: Harnessing the Hunger


I watched part of the Oprah interview with Whitney Houston. Unfortunately I missed the first one. I have my own opinions about what I think of Whitney’s “comeback.” I am not sure she is through the woods, as if any of us really are, but here is what I resonated with, and some of what I will be writing about in this blog.
During the “dark” times of Ms. Houston, when she was in an abusive marriage and in addictive patterns, Oprah asked her- to paraphrase- “Did you ever think- this is it. That this life you were living was just the way it was going to be?”
Whitney said- again to paraprhase- “No, I have too much spirit.”
Where Oprah followed with, “So, you knew there was more.”
This is the simple, yet profound answer- why some of us move through our confinements toward our greatness, and others seem to stand still, caught up in the same pain and drama, moving in a circle of more of the same pain and drama- those of us who change, know there is more.
I was in a conversation with my husband a couple of weeks ago. As I was speaking about wanting to move out of the confining energy of my current environment, the word gritty came out of my mouth. Prior to this, I had never used this word, and when I spoke it, the energy of it fit what I knew I needed to get out of the confinement. GRIT.
In the dictionary grit or gritty means: courage and resolve; strength of character. To be quite honest I had no idea what the word even meant until I just looked it up. This often happens when I write. A word will come through I never use in my everyday speaking, and the definition always fits perfectly. Anyway, for me, and I would imagine for many of us, IT IS TIME TO GET GRITTY.
My last post, I investigated time. I said the next one would be on energy, and I think grittiness ties in well. In that post I said that energy, not time, is our most precious resource. So if we feel we lack energy, like we often feel like we lack time, what is clogging up our energy? What is making us stuck and confined? In terms of just pure energy, without going into our confining beliefs and mental patterns, it is inertia. Inertia is: a tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged. Isn’t that the perfect word?
There can be many reasons why inertia takes hold. We may be tied up in seeking approval, and having expectations. If our expectations aren’t met, we will be disappointed. If disappointment is allowed to reign in our brain, we will become bitter. And bitterness will lead to lethargy- and then you have inertia- and no more change for you (at least until you change your mind).
We may have low self-esteem as I did as a young girl. Because of this I created a pattern of not showing up for school, and flunking all of my classes. I did go onto to night school so I could graduate, and then to college (because I wanted more). However, the low self-esteem lingered and caused 12+ years of inertia on many writing projects, that are just now getting on their way.
The pattern of inertia is easy, and dangerous to slip into, and often hell to get out of. For example, as I watched The Biggest Loser the other night, all I could think of was how much effort it is going to take for these 400+ people to climb out of their tomb of inertia, which is being represented by their bodies. The good news is, climbing out is possible. The momentum of lethargy can be beaten by the energy of grit. When we break out of this pattern, we enter into the energy of a higher intention, where there is more flow and enthusiasm.
Which leads me to a question, I have often asked myself- what drives us? Is it this higher intention, or fear, or is it a mixture with no separation at all? Let’s investigate….
Some people, like Madonna and Oprah, for example, seem to have energy for decades. I wonder, what drives them? What drives me? I used to be obsessed with my boyfriend, who is now my husband. As I followed him to work, or sat in my car by his house, or wrote him letters, or stayed up waiting for his car to come into the driveway, I’d wonder: what if I put this energy into something more worthwhile? Imagine how I might make a difference? Which brings me back to what drives us- and whatever it is, will it sustain us?
I can tell you insecurity, and fear of abandonment is what fueled my obsessive pursuit of my husband. I don’t know for certain what fuels Madonna, or Oprah. Is it insecurity? Fear of failing? Fear of slowing down to face some pain or loss? Or is it soul purpose? Passion? Intention to serve others? Or a mixture of all of these?
Being driven by selfish desires, may seem to get us where and what we want, but whatever “windfalls” we might have will be lost. I had a desire for a safe and secure home, and family life. This desire was fueled by a scared, and insecure little girl who did not have those things. The desire was both pure and innocent, and full of fear and lack. And when the dream to become more authentic and real became stronger, the house with the white picked fence and the family inside, crumbled so that a new reality could come forward.
So, if we are being driven by fear, how can we focus on something with the same kind of passion and energy but without the drama- to be driven only by the higher intentions, rather than the human insecurities of lack and fear and selfish desires? My human insecurity wants it all to happen instantly, and of course perfectly. But my spiritual perspective says, it is a process, an often messy, yet orderly one, which will eventually lead us to a place where we will come to trust the force driving us is for good, and not evil, and we are free to move from this place.
I think of little Mattie Stepanek, a boy I trust moved from the pure place of his highest intention. He was the little boy who befriended Oprah (and yes, not the other way around). He had a rare form of muscular dystrophy, and died at age 13. In 13 years, Mattie participated more fully in life, than most of us do that are here a lot longer. He not only found his heart song, he shared it with us all. He is the perfect example of a life well lived, even with such a debilitating illness.
The way we use our energy in life reminds me of the story of the Three Little Bears. As we know, Papa bear’s chair was too hard. Mama bear’s chair was too soft. But baby bear’s chair was just right. Some of us live too hard. We use our energy, especially in our youth to drink, go out, get obsessed in relationships, then jobs and more addictions. These pursuits will slowly and eventually take our energy. My mother lived this way, and now she is tired, and almost depleted at age 67.
Then there are others who like mama bear live too soft. They sit in their comfortable, soft chairs, which are draped in fear and insecurity. They are so comfortable, they don’t think they need change, and don’t want to upset the apple cart. But deeper than this they are afraid to change. Because of this fear, They have all of this unused energy inside of them, that overtime will stale, and eventually dissipate.
And then there is baby bear, like Mattie, who live just right. These people, on some deep level understand their true nature. They live by a spiritual perspective, and do not worry about how much time they have on the planet. They just give, and receive in each moment. I have a feeling these souls are rare, however I trust we are all working toward such rarity.
My prayer since working toward this rarity is, God, use me up. I don’t want to leave here until I am all used up. I want to be a vessel, which stands in her truth and soulful desires, and I want to be used for my messages and my gifts. I want to live life and experience fully. I don’t want to miss a thing. I have no desire to satisfy temporary urges like I once did because those petty desires are giving way to a larger desire to satisfy my longing of true and real life.
As I end this post, I encourage us to be thoughtful of our most precious resource. Keeping in mind, if we live too hard by getting caught up in our own desires and needs, our own cravings and indulgences, which serve no one but ourselves, if we run through life to avoid pain, chasing this and that, then our life force will leave us too soon. If we are afraid to live, for fear we are unworthy, or we will lose ourselves, or for fear of attachments, we will lose our life force too soon. Look at Michael Jackson. Such talent and gifts he did give, however he also gave that energy to medicating his pain. Gone too soon.
And when we do wake up and realize this about our most precious resource and we want to make a change to either get grounded and stabilize our energy if we’ve lived too hard, or to expand and use our energy if we’ve lived too soft, trust we will have the energy to make these changes. I truly believe once we commit to change, and ground into our higher intentions, energy will come, and the potential for new life will near. We don’t need a near death experience or tragic event for this, which often happens. We can choose it right now. And I know some of us, will hold onto our fears, and bitterness until the very end never waking up to what could have been.
If you feel the fire inside. If you hunger for something more, don’t deny it or feed it more chips and cookies(like I have done for 30+ years). Instead, harness that hunger. See it for what it is, a true longing for life, and get gritty about living it. It’s time to do it, and be it. Because when we are inspired (in-spirit) our energy renews.
The -Energetic- Soul Reporter
Oh, and I know this is a long post, but I want to leave it with this- a poem from Mattie, called:

Faces of Faith

I wish that the people who have
Anger and hatred and sadness
Will remember about their Heartsongs,
And get them back.
Everyone is born with a Heartsong,
But as we grow up,
Sometimes we forget about it,
Because we don’t listen to it enough.
And the people of war, well,
They really need to get them back.
Their Heartsongs really need to live,
Because when we die,
They are what rise up.
I want that to happen to me.
I want my Heartsong to rise up, and
I am trying my best down here on earth.
You really can go to Heaven.
Everyone can.
But sometimes,
You have to sit in ThinkTime
When you lose your Heartsong.