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Here in rural Vermont, in the midst of the Green Mountains and the national forest there aren’t many shopping opportunities. I’m not much of a shopper so it’s not a big deal, but I do love home furnishings.
Beauty is a spiritual quality that’s uplifting and healing. I love decorating and making spaces beautiful. My home is my sanctuary, and while I don’t need expensive things, I do like things that contribute to the high vibration of Beauty all around me.
This past week I decided to make a trip to Burlington, which is about 50 minutes north of where I live in Vermont’s Green Mountains. I went to the Costco there because they have a well-recommended optical department and it was time for me to get glasses.
You see, I’ve been wearing readers for years now, but I’ve been putting off getting glasses because my eyes weren’t that bad and I used to have 20/20 vision. I keep hoping it will come back as part of my resurrection, transfiguration plan, but that hasn’t happened yet, and these readers just aren’t cutting it anymore.
I’m in that place where readers work well enough in many situations, but then I find myself in the grocery store trying to read the INCREDIBLY MINUSCULE lettering on many packages. I have to take out my phone, and take a picture and then enlarge that to be able to read things. Sheesh!
So, I made the sojourn to Costco, where everyone was lovely, especially the optometrist who told me that I have a slight stigmatism and that I’ll be much happier with progressive glasses.
Yes, that time has come for me.
Maybe they don’t call them bifocals anymore because everyone thinks of them as old people glasses, but that’s where I am now.
And then, because of spending three quarters of my life on Zoom I decided to get contacts. That way I don’t have to deal with the reflections on my lenses. Sigh.
I was amazed that the optometrist put in the practice contact lenses for me so easily and I really truly couldn’t feel them. Wow. I also couldn’t remove them. I tried and tried, but I didn’t have the courage to pinch my eyeballs. I’m going to have to practice more and trim my nails. Sigh.
I’m sure it will become very easy and I appreciate your prayers and encouragement.
And, here’s a bonus, I think it will also help me grow some dendrites (increased brain function) and that’s a good thing!
Now, here’s the part that I really wish to share with you. After the time at Costco, I gave myself the reward of going to HomeGoods and TJ Maxx to shop for anything beautiful I could find to further decorate my home with.
While in those stores, I had an experience that I’ve had before, but am MUCH more aware of now.
Many times when I’m shopping or just out and about I tend to walk the way my grandmother walked. My mother’s mother, we called her Muz, was not quite five feet tall. She was a super strong little southern lady from Mississippi. Her father had ran logging camps and they moved around a lot.
Muz grew up among these strapping woodsy men, and she had two younger brothers so she was very petite, very feminine, but she didn’t walk around, she marched. People got out of her way, because she was making a beeline for whatever she was after.
Sometimes, I’m that way when I’m in stores too. I’m determined, and focused. And those aisles aren’t wide. So, I notice that shoppers who are less “aggressive” will move out of my way. I’m used to that. I smile, and thank them and look them in the eye with my appreciation. I’m friendly.
Now, I live in Vermont. It’s basically 99% people in white bodies. And, sometimes I see those people with holstered guns in the grocery store, as I did yesterday. Interesting. I never saw that in 22 years of shopping at Whole Foods in Los Angeles.
The other day, when I was in HomeGoods, I was wondering around and I saw an Asian-American woman by herself, and I immediately felt protective of her since it had been only days since the murders in Georgia.
I truly wished to say something to her, but I didn’t know what to say in that moment. I wanted to give her a hug and say I couldn’t imagine how she might be feeling, but that I cared. I really cared. I felt she was brave to be out and about, and that felt crazy.
Maybe it was just my projection, but I thought I could feel this woman’s insecurity at being in a public area.
And then on the other side of the store, I walked by a woman in a black body with her child and as I went past them, I felt that the woman stopped and I had this sense that she moved to let me by and I wondered whether she gave way for me because I was walking in my determined grandmother’s way or because I was white and she wasn’t and white ladies in a white area could be threatening.
I smiled and thanked her. I looked her in the eye. Still, we’ve got masks on. And she can’t see my smile.
I don’t like all this fear that’s coming up for healing. No one does, but it does HAVE to be healed. If we ignore these things and don’t speak of them the healing is delayed.
Everything we do, think and say, even every feeling we have, makes a difference to everyone because we’re all one. We can’t just disparage people who act out of fear and hatred, that doesn’t help anything.
Now’s the time for us to focus more intently than ever on living by spiritual principle, and MOST importantly, it’s time for us to focus on Self-Love.
People who love themselves don’t hate others.
People who love themselves don’t attack others.
People who love themselves have the capacity to extend compassion to others.
All expressions of hatred are projections of self-hatred.
When we hate ourselves we hate our Creator.
If we knew that there is only one Life, one Power, one Presence, one Spirit, then we’d know that to attack anyone is to attack everyone.
Anyone who attacks others is not in their right mind.
And that’s true of the murderous attacks we’ve seen lately in the United States, as well as the attacks on citizens rights to vote in this country.
All attack is self-attack.
Martin Luther King, Jr., in his Loving Our Enemies sermon, said,
“It’s not only necessary to know how to go about loving your enemies, but also to go down into the question of why we should love our enemies. I think the first reason that we should love our enemies, and I think this was at the very center of Jesus’ thinking,
is this: that hate for hate only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe.
If I hit you and you hit me and I hit you back and you hit me back and go on, you see, that goes on ad infinitum. [tapping on pulpit] It just never ends.
Somewhere somebody must have a little sense, and that’s the strong person. The strong person is the person who can cut off the chain of hate, the chain of evil. And that is the tragedy of hate, that it doesn’t cut it off. It only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe. Somebody must have religion enough and morality enough to cut it off and inject within the very structure of the universe that strong and powerful element of love.”
“But long before modern psychology came into being, the world’s greatest psychologist who walked around the hills of Galilee told us to love. He looked at men and said: ‘Love your enemies; don’t hate anybody.’ It’s not enough for us to hate your friends because—to love your friends— because when you start hating anybody, it destroys the very center of your creative response to life and the universe; so love everybody.
Hate at any point is cancer that gnaws away at the very vital center of your life and your existence. It is like eroding acid that eats away the best and the objective center of your life. So Jesus says love because hate destroys the hater as well as the hated.
Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, ‘Love your enemies.’ It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. That’s why Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” Because if you hate your enemies, you have no way to redeem and transform your enemies.
But if you love your enemies, you will discover that at the very root of love is the power of redemption. You just keep loving people and keep loving them, even though they’re mistreating you.
Here’s the person who is a neighbor, and this person is doing something wrong to you and all of that. Just keep being friendly to that person. Keep loving them. Don’t do anything to embarrass them. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long.
Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with bitterness because they’re mad because you love them like that. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them.
And by the power of your love they will break down under the load.
That’s love, you see.
It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love.
There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies.”
The power of Love within us knows no opposition.
There’s nothing REAL other than Love and Love WILL always prevail.
To love and to let others love us is our spiritual responsibility.
“All expressions of Love are maximal” is what Jesus tells us in A Course in Miracles. Let’s put Love in charge of our life and see what comes of it.
Let’s open the floodgates of Love.
I’ve been reaching out to friends I know who are the victims of racism and prejudice and letting them know I love and appreciate them. I invite you to do the same.
It may not feel comfortable, but do it anyway. So what if it feels awkward? Are we really going to let momentary insecurity stop us from fulfilling our spiritual responsibility?
We can’t let fear hold us back anymore.
We are the ones who show the way.
This IS our time to rise and shine!
“I am determined to SEE,” with my physical eyes and my spiritual eye – with God’s Vision for my life. Together we walk this road of Beauty and invite our brothers and sisters to come along.
I am determined to BE the living Love of God, even at TJ Maxx or Costco.
Wherever we go, Spirit goes with us. We represent the one who sent us.
Our connection is a blessing to me, thank you!
TODAY, you can join me for our Sundays With Spirit celebration. We’re coming together to share our inspiration in many ways. We’ll have a spiritual celebration together with message and music – we call it Sundays With Spirit. Please invite your family! If you can’t join us, you can catch the replay! Because we’re going to be live on Zoom, you’ll have to register to get the details. All are welcome, there’s no charge, but you do have to register unless you’ve already registered in the past.
If you’d like support for making this shift from playing small in your heart and in your life, to living from Love, check out my Stop Playing Small retreat – it’s online at the end of April – you’ve never had so much FUN clearing out the mental and emotional clutter!
IMPORTANT: Won’t you please help me out? I’ve got a short survey I’d like you to fill out so I can learn more about what’s important to you as I plan the events calendar for this year! Click here now to fill out my survey.