Tag Archives: Sharing

AWAKENING TO THE POWER WITHIN

“WHEN THE POWER OF LOVE OVERCOMES THE LOVE OF POWER, THE WORLD WILL KNOW PEACE.” JIMI HENDRIX

Which do you prefer to be—loving or powerful?  What do you do when you feel powerless?  When you act in a loving way, how does that feel?

We are living in a world where too many countries are under the control of people obsessed with power and who are committing horrendous crimes against their own people in order to show how powerful they are. But their power is only external.

 External Power Has A Limit

External power has its limit. Sooner or later it comes crashing down because its own corruption undermines its authority by not respecting reasonable limits, or those whose needs are ignored rebel. In this country, our new administration is ignoring the needs of those who elected the president; instead, he is serving the corporations who are obsessed with making exorbitant amounts of money.

In this country, the rebellion has already begun. People are speaking up at town halls and by writing, calling those in Congress, and voting. These are the external actions required in order to make the necessary changes. They require time, energy, and commitment.

These are powerful actions, but there is another equally powerful aspect of life that must accompany action. Within each of us is the capacity to love. Those who are obsessed with power often see love as weakness. But it is, by far, the strongest weapon we have.

When we act from love toward another, we fill our deepest need. When we feel loved, we feel secure, knowing that we can weather the storm because love holds us together deep inside.  Love is the power within that leads us to compassionate solutions.

Love Leads Us To Share

Loving others encourages us to reach out to those in need.  It means we act from the heart.  We act from within because we love and care about others.  If we act from love, we don’t eliminate programs that feed hungry children or provide medical care for low-income women. We don’t prevent immigrants from war-torn nations from entering our country.  If we act from love, we respond responsibly to prevent further crisis from climate change, provide health care for everyone, and support programs that train people who have lost their industrial jobs so they can move to jobs in sustainable energy fields.

 

Not Loving Ourselves Leaves Us Powerless

So, what keeps us from doing what will help everyone? Here’s the problem: we have to love ourselves before we can love others. When we don’t love ourselves, we feel weak, powerless, and need external power over others to feel we are okay. In addition, we may look down on those who have less. We make the excuse for not sharing because we believe those who have less don’t deserve help because they haven’t worked hard enough.

Our Obsession With Money Is Unwise

In this country, making money is a major way to obtain power, and now those who make the most money are determined, in many instances, to retain the power to make more money without any controls. There is no limit to the amount of money they need, and they are allowed tax loopholes that make it possible for millionaires to pay a smaller amount of tax than the middle class.

Helping Others Strengthens Us

When we love ourselves, we don’t see helping others as taking something away from us. We see it as sharing, an expression of the love and compassion we feel for others. When others are taken care of, we feel peaceful. We feel good about ourselves and our communities.  We don’t need to acquire large amounts of things to feel good.  We value family, friends, and enjoying the work we do because love grows within us as we travel this earthly journey.

Stopping Violence With Love

It is no surprise that the places where we see the most violence in our cities are the areas where the poorest and most neglected people live.  When you lack so much, how can you not be angry, and anger leads to violence. But what if we spent tax money, not on the military and wars that make the president feel powerful, but instead channel our love and money into the inner cities to create education, jobs, and health resources that will empower those who are mired in poverty.

We will never lose if we do what is loving, for love is the most powerful force that exists.  It is deep and rich and guides us to find what we need to do in life to make a difference that counts. It leads us to peace.

What loving thing will you do today?

© 2017 Georganne Spruce

RELATED ARTICLES:  The Power of Love (Huffington Post), 5 Ways to Deal With Conflict Effectively, Awakening to Effect Change

 

 

Advertisements

AWAKENING TO THE JOURNEY THAT IS

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I ended up where I needed to be.”  Douglas Adams

2013 002 (2)

Is your life the life you envisioned ten or twenty years ago?  How have your dreams and ambitions changed?  Are you at peace with the life you have now?

I had a lovely evening of conversation with good friends the other night.  All three of them had academic careers in colleges and universities and could share stories of this time with each other.  There was a time when I had aspired to such a life and had taken a position in the middle of Nebraska thinking that would give me the experience I would need to move on.

Dealing With Life Can Be Challenging

Very quickly, the cold in Nebraska caused on-going joint pain that made it impossible for me to stay.  I moved to Denver where there were more opportunities and I found part-time work at several studios and colleges.  However, the full-time position I desired never developed.  For years, this was a source of disappointment and grief.  Why was I not good enough?

In talking later with one of my friends about that night’s conversation, he complimented me on how courageous I was to continue following my dream to teach dance even when I lacked the security of a stable position.  As I thought back on those years, I never thought I was courageous.  I just did what I had to do to keep teaching dance because I loved it so much.  I followed the journey where it took me, and I’ve never been sorry I did.

Life’s Surprises May Open New Opportunities

When life doesn’t take us where we want to go, we can see it as our failure or blame it on others, or we can assume that what we thought we should be doing isn’t what we should be doing if we look at the situation from another perspective.  Life’s unpleasant surprises may actually open us to opportunities that will benefit us more than the ones we chose.

A Spiritual Perspective Comes From the Heart

When we see our journey through life from a spiritual perspective, how we need to live may be quite different from what we imagined.  After a difficult time teaching in New Mexico high schools, unable to find the next job, I turned again to writing, and soon it became clear that was what I was supposed to be doing.  Eventually this path led to publishing my memoir Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness and fulfillment of my dream to be a writer and to inspire others to use the challenging experiences of their lives to learn and grow.

attd_kindle

Clearly, in this life, my heart has taken me in a direction different from the one my head wants me to follow.  Perhaps the lesson I most needed to learn was not how to have the security of a stable job, but to learn to have courage and follow my heart.  What if all the things that have happened that seemed negative were only lessons that had to be learned to arrive at a better place?

So often in this society, we have been taught that the things we have or the position we have defines our level of success.  We focus on the outer and feel we are failures if we don’t have those things, but our humanity is not measured by things.  It is measured by our ability to love, share, and find a deep and peaceful connection within that makes us aware that we are all One.

We Can Find Joy Being In The Moment

This morning, about ten turkeys nibbled across my lawn—some adults and some the youngsters that were born in the spring.  I was thrilled to see them again, and I realized how little it takes to make me happy now.  I am in the moment more, connected to the nature around me, and on most days I take the time to listen to the birds or notice a new flower blooming.  The simplest thing brings me joy.

038

When I think about the past, I remember so many times when nothing made me happy, when I resisted changes I didn’t want and judged myself and others constantly with my perfectionist-programmed mind.  Although dancing taught me the beauty of being in the moment, it took me much longer to discover the value of being in the moment in my daily life and going with the flow of life.

If my life had been the perfect life I envisioned, would I have learned what I most needed to learn?  Who knows?  But what I know is that I’ve learned about courage and perseverance and this journey taught me to trust the flow of life.  Earlier, I could never have imagined feeling the peace and confidence I feel now.  I am grateful for whatever it took to bring me to this place, for I have found so much of what I need by following my journey’s circuitous route.

Follow The Journey Wherever It Leads

We are living in a time when we must be creative to survive.  As any artist, composer or choreographer knows, you may begin the art work with a specific idea of how it will look or sound, but when you begin creating it, it will have a mind of its own and may easily lead you down a different path.  Our lives are like that.  We may follow our intentions, but our entire universe is changing.  Holding on to the way things were will not serve us well.  We must trust that the journey will lead us where we need to go.

What are the surprises you have experienced in your journey lately?  Please comment.

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                               ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Accepting Life’s Challenges with Gratitude, 5 Ways to Masterfully Navigate Life’s Challenges, Wayne Dyer/How God Tells You It’s Time for a Change

AWAKENING TO RELATIONSHIPS: INTEGRITY, Part 3

“Living with integrity means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships.  Asking for what you want and need from others.  Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension.  Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values.  Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.”   Barbara De Angelis

036

Do you have integrity?  In all situations or just some?  On what beliefs do you base your integrity?  Do you act with integrity when you know it will create difficulties?

Integrity is the third element in what I call the essentials for a good relationship of any kind.  The elements I’ve already written about are empathy and intimacy, and I’ll conclude the series next week with the topic of commitment.

Integrity Strengthens Trust and Love

Integrity is usually defined as being true to your moral or ethical principles, so it has meaning only when it is coupled with a belief system.  In a relationship, acting with integrity can create trust and strengthen love because you learn you can depend on the other person to act in accordance with their values.  This, of course, assumes that you are in a relationship with someone whose values are compatible with yours.

Integrity Begins With Being True To Your Self

I like Barbara De Angelis’ quote because it covers several important aspects of integrity, mainly the idea that we must be true to ourselves if we are to be true to others.  That’s where it starts—being true to yourself.  Only then can you be true to others.  When we always try to please others to the extent that we go against our own values or harm ourselves, we are out of integrity.

What Is Integrity In A Relationship

Years ago, I was in a relationship with a man whom I deeply loved.  We were both creative people and that bound us in a spiritual way that was very powerful.  But over and over, to be with him, I made choices that were not good for me financially.  One time, I cashed out a life insurance policy so I had the money to spend an extended amount of time with him to see if we could live together.  At the time, I was unemployed, but a month before I was to leave to see him, I was offered a good job and I turned it down.  I put the relationship first.

Our relationship had always been off and on because he was afraid of commitment although he clearly loved me, and when things were good between us, they were very good.  But in this case, I had sacrificed my security by turning down a job to be with him and expected him to understand I would need to get work.  He kept insisting that I needed to create my own business and not work for any institution.  He was self-employed and had no respect for people who worked for institutions.

I had tried to be self-employed, but I didn’t have the financial resources he did, so I had to work for other people.  He had a fit over this.  While he was true to his values, he had no respect for my needs—a not unusual dilemma in relationships.  The situation disintegrated from there.  I asked for his understanding and didn’t get it.

At this point, I realized I was settling for a lot less than I deserved.  Clearly, his set of values and mine were not compatible.  I didn’t feel I should have to sacrifice my financial security to be with him, and he couldn’t afford to take care of me, nor did I want him to.  But I was not taking care of myself and I didn’t feel good about that.  However much I disliked the choices this man made in relation to me, he was being true to his own belief system, no matter how selfish I may have judged it.  It became clear that he would not change anything in order to be with me.  At that point, I finally had the sense to walk away.

Being True To Ourselves Empowers Us

What became very clear to me was that, by speaking my mind and not sacrificing what I needed in a relationship, I felt more empowered, although it created conflict.  I found the courage to be more of who I was and committed to living with more integrity in relationships.  I could not live with someone who felt he would be out of integrity in order to meet my needs.

Daisy's first days 032

Integrity Is The Core For Decision-making

Living with integrity helps us to respect ourselves even when it creates difficulty, but without it, we lack an inner core from which to make decisions.  On the other hand, we also need to look at our value system.  Does it allow us to live with integrity and relate to others in a loving and caring way?  Most of us want to be in a relationship in order to share in a deep and loving way, and that may require some compromises.

Relationships Require Compromise

The question is always: what can you compromise and still be true to yourself?  Some couples want to keep the peace no matter what they have to do because they are afraid to explore what is hidden and unknown.  The problem with hiding ourselves is that we can never be loved for who we really are because our partner never knows who we are.  It may never dawn on us that our partner might love us more if they knew who we truly were.

The Value Of Shared Values

It’s not a choice I would make.  I want the person I’m in a relationship with, even in just a friendship, to know who I really am and show me who he really is.  I want the relationship to have integrity based on a shared set of values, and if the price we pay is to disagree sometimes, so be it.  Disagreements hopefully lead to a discussion that leads to a deeper understanding of each other and enriches the relationship.  Besides, making up can be a lot of fun.  It’s all good.

Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                                                     ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Selling Out: Compromising Integrity in Intimate Relationships,  Integrity in RelationshipsTrust Your Inner Self – Wayne DyerA Lesson on Integrity from Gandhi

AWAKENING TO DEEPER FRIENDSHIPS

“Let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.”  Khalil Gibran

What is the most important thing you have to give others? Are your friends people who support the best or worst in you?  What do you share that makes a friendship meaningful?

There have been times in my life when I have had friends with whom I shared only superficial interests because they were not people who had an interest in anything deeper.  Any time I would start a conversation about the underlying meaning in a situation they would make a joke about it or ask me why I had to bring up that unpleasant stuff.  Not surprisingly, as time passed we drifted away from one another, looking for others who shared our values.

Connecting With Friends

However, for most of my life, I have often been blessed by having friends who share my values.  While we have fun and enjoy sharing superficial experiences, what makes our connection meaningful is that we have the need to go deeper, to understand the spiritual and psychological aspects of life.  We love to discuss books and movies and art.  We share the ups and downs of our lives.  We share a love of nature.  We listen deeply and speak from the heart.

Being a good friend requires the ability to give and receive.  What we need to give is often obvious.  A friend recovering from surgery needs us to run errands or cook food.  A friend going through a divorce needs us to listen and empathize with her feelings.  An elder needs help with yard work.  These are all tangible and important ways to help, but what is one of the greatest gifts we can give a friend?

Helping Others See the Good in Themselves

Disraeli once said, “The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but reveal to them their own.”  As a teacher, my most joyous moments were when I could help a student see how talented he was, or accept that his ideas were insightful, or develop the confidence to tackle a difficult problem or assignment.  This kind of caring is a gift that lasts forever, for it changes the other person’s belief about their own capabilities.

Helping another person to see her own inner riches empowers that person.  This is a huge gift—to help another see they are more loving, beautiful, caring, strong, insightful, sensible than they realized.  Deep friendships are about opening doors as well as listening with love. Over the last few years as I wrote my spiritual memoir, the support of my friends has been invaluable.  When I doubted my ability to write, they would point out a passage that really moved them.  They inspired me with their own stories of overcoming fears and obstacles.  They cheered me when I found the courage to overcome my fears and move ahead.

The Gift of Being a Loving Mirror for Our Friends

But there is another side to friendship too.  In order to open a door or allow our friend to open that door to areas we may not find comfortable, requires trust.  When we share our deeper feelings through time and they are received with love and acceptance, not judgment, we learn to trust that friend wants what is best for us.  It is easier then to approach subjects that are not particularly comfortable.

At a point in my life when I was having many challenges in my work, I noticed that it seemed people were avoiding me.  Puzzled by this, I asked a close and trusted friend to please tell me what she thought was happening.  She began by reminding me that she loved me, then she gently explained that I was very reactive and defensive, and often snapped at people for what appeared to be no reason.  I could feel my face turn red with embarrassment.  Was that really true?

As I sat with this idea, I knew it was.  I was constantly being criticized at work, so I was primed to defend myself, and this had spilled over into my personal life.  I loved my friend even more for her courage in telling me the truth.  As a result, I returned to my meditation and monitored my behavior so that I stopped alienating people.

We all need mirrors in our lives—people who will reflect back to us our best qualities as well as those behaviors we prefer to ignore.  Most of the important changes we need to make are at deeper levels, and only friends with whom we share true relationships will be able to go there with us.  Going deeper with a friend is the greatest gift of friendship that we can give.

How have you gone deeper with a friend lately?

© 2012 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles: How To Deepen Your FriendshipsHow To Be a Good Friend – Six Friendship TipsThe Dirty Little Secret Most Women Won’t Talk AboutHow to Choose a True Friend

ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5