Archives for posts with tag: love

In 1975 I was making $2/hr.  A minimum wage job in the 1970’s paid enough to live on.  I didn’t have money for out of town vacations, but I could go to the movies and eat fast food when I wanted.  I had a friend going through a difficult time financially.  I never knew that at the time – I just know that when I showed up at her apartment to visit, all her things were gone.  She had found a house in the woods to house-sit because she could no longer afford rent.  Even if I had known she was having trouble, I’m not sure it would have occurred to me to share my money with her, to help her out.  Money was a private affair, or so I’d been taught.

Ten years later, I became friends with a woman who told me that every time she received any money, she gave some away. Sometimes she gave to charitable organizations and sometimes to people who she felt supported by.  Though I’d heard of tithing to a church, this idea of giving away some of my income every month was a new idea for me.

Plus, on a selfish level, I’d read that when you give, the universe will give back to you tenfold.  Thus began my habit of giving — which I’ve recently begun to call Sharing.  The more I hear about disparate income, and the rich getting richer, and the poor getting poorer, and knowing the government isn’t going to fix this growing problem, it’s up to us, the people, to share what we have with each other.  To make reparations.  If I have enough, and I’ve always had enough, then I feel a duty, a responsibility to share.  Mother Teresa said “If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed one person.”

“To those who are given much, much is expected.”  I don’t remember who said that, I’ve heard it in movies too, and I’ve come to believe this, as my life philosophy.

This summer I imagined the following as I read about ISIL selling the girls they kidnapped:  advertising a 12 year old virgin for $12,000:  What if Warren Buffett (or some other billionaire) decided to buy all the girls that ISIL has on the market?  What if he bought them all, freed them, and provided them with the resources they needed to have a life of enough?  An education, a home, back with their families?  Safe and secure.

I began to pray for the hearts of the men in ISIL to unlock, to open, to feel – so that perhaps they wouldn’t be able to continue their atrocities.  What if a legion of people around the world prayed for this?

As I thought more about sharing,  and praying for all the hard-hearted people of the world, I thought about the imperative of JOY.  If peace begins within, which I know to be true, and that I have to love myself in order to love others — it follows that my staying in my JOY helps contribute to peace on the planet as well.  The world needs passionate, joyful people sharing their gifts with each other.  We all need each other’s gifts. I hope you will share your gifts, and your resources.  Together we can.

grace

 

All you need is love. All we need is love. It seems too simple, right? However, what I’ve found in the past year, as I consciously let go of guilt I feel over living in a country of abundance (though not for all), and that I’ve always had enough: enough food, shelter, friends, family — as I let go of the guilt, and instead express gratitude for the blessings in my life — I have more to give. I am more effective when I come from love instead of guilt. I’ve learned I’m not the only one who feels responsible for saving the entire planet. I’m not effective unless I start with loving myself first. Like they say, it all begins within.
I wrote a “turning everything over to the universe” (or tuning into the universe) prayer several years ago. I say a prayer for each chakra. The heart chakra prayer is “I am willing to love everyone right where they are, starting with myself.”
All we need is love, right? Imagine my surprise when I purchased the book “End Sex Trafficking: Let’s Be Impossible to Ignore” (edited by Erin Giles; published by EMG Studios in 2012) and find that it’s more about love than it is about sex trafficking.  After I bought the book, I was a bit afraid to open it (because this topic is truly frightening), so it sat around, being moved from place to place for several weeks. Finally, I bring the book to bed with me one evening, and open it to read the table of contents. Then I turn the very next page and this is what I see:
DSC_1143Wow. So far I’ve read 13 of the 61 essays (each 1-4 pages by various authors). Only two have mentioned sex trafficking. All of them are ponderings, essays about, and/or celebrating LOVE. Everyone is talking about what I’ve been learning over the past year: We love everything. We love everyone. From that love we know what to do.  With love, we can do anything.  Breathing in love, I am grateful.  Breathing out love, I give thanks (adapted from Thich Nhat Hanh).   If you want to be inspired to love more fully, and read lovely essays that fill your heart, I highly recommend this book.

Here in Portland, Oregon, we have In Other Words, a Feminist Community Center, which just released a video with the theme “feminism now more than ever” and interviews bunches of people about the need to keep talking, and acting, about feminism. They coincidentally released it the day the senate candidate stated that women can’t get pregnant if they’re raped. What timing! (http://inotherwords.org/)
Later that same week, I heard an activist on NPR who was a rape survivor, who had a baby from the rape, and was later sued by the rapist for sole custody of her child – WHAT!??? How could this happen? She is talking about this because most people don’t know that in 31 states, a rapist can sue for custody if the woman he raped has a child as a result. OMG. Start talking. Keep talking.
The latest YES! magazine is about Our Bodies. Eve Ensler is interviewed – it’s wonderful – go find it…after you finish this please..(also watch a wonderful TED talk by Eve Ensler on YouTube: “Eve Ensler: Suddenly, my body.” It’s really a 12 minute performance poem)….She, like me, urges us to love our bodies, delve into pleasure, love everything….because it’s obviously not working to only put band-aids on the violence. Yes, we need rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters, and self-defense classes, but what can we do that will significantly change the climate of violence?
My answer is: LOVE. Love yourself. Love your body. Love everything and everybody…even the people you can’t stand (like the people who want to control women’s bodies, and value a rapist over the victim — they in fact are fearful to their core; I’ve observed that the more scared a person is, the more dangerous they become).
I also recently read an old book about Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party, which reminded me that people have struggled against patriarchy, and the control it is always trying to have over everything, since patriarchy began…we’ve never stopped fighting back. I’d like to stop fighting, cause it’s more of the same energy. How about we try loving instead?

This is a painting I did several years ago, when exploring deeper healing, opening hearts, and a conversation between my upper heart and my lower heart. It’s about 18 x 24. Simple and soothing.