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Thursday, December 15, 2011

My chaotic journey

In February of this year, I participated in the “ShamanicDe-armoring” ceremony which was created and presented by the Deer Tribe out of Mesa, Arizona. It really rocked my world and in some very powerful ways. At the end of that experience, we were given some summary sheets that showed us the energetic condition we were in when we arrived and how we looked upon completion. These sheets were a summary of what the people running the ceremony saw in our energy field. It was about 8 pages of information and I remember thinking “Wow, I wish I could read all that information, it would sure help me in my own practice to know all of this about the men I work with.” In October I went to Mesa for a two week training session where I learned to do that very thing. Oh my, what an experience that was!


THE DEER TRIBE

A couple of years ago as part of the energy class that I’m in, our reading assignment for the month was “Song of the Deer”. It was written by the leader of the Deer Tribe, Thunder Strikes. I remember reading the book and thinking “this just all makes so much sense” and it felt like it was in total alignment with my belief system but just far more detailed. Thunder Strikes was one of the guest speakers at the ASEP conference that I attended acouple years ago. I remembered being awed by all that he had to say and thinking I’d love to get to learn more from him. It seems that little by little I was being drawn to his teachings.

The Deer Tribe teaches that our physical body is just one tiny component of our energy field. At this point most people have heard of “the aura”, the energetic rings surrounding our physical body. The Deer Tribe teaches that the energetic rings of the aura form the outer shell of the Luminous Egg Cocoon (LEC). In addition to the 5 layers of auric rings there are a whole host of other energetic components along with the body which compromise the LEC in total. Learning to read all of these components is what the class I attended was all about.


OWNING OUR TRUTH

We all have psychic gifts and abilities which are available to us. Most of us have chosen to block that information out at a very early age because we were taught that we were either making it up or worse yet evil for being able to see the unseen. When we make the choice to shut it out, opening it back up can be challenging and scary. As part of that willingness to engage the psychic realm again we not only have to contend with a flood of new information but we also have to process all of our accumulated emotional baggage around why we chose to block it out all of these years and the consequences of that decision in our lives.

The men I work with are all in varying stages of self-acceptance and each is dealing with their own sexual and spiritual wounds in their own way. A major factor for any of us on that journey is denial. Rather than fully claiming our power and acknowledging our part in creating all of the experiences that we’ve had, we create false personalities composed of what we think others can love and accept. That becomes the false egoic self that we form our identity around. It is what the Deer Tribe calls the “pretender voice”. We put all of the parts that we believe are unlovable, by others or ourselves, into what is called “the shadow self”. The shadow self is basically all the parts of ourselves that we deny, reject or repress. Neither of these, the pretender voice and the shadow self, is the full measure of who we really are but we delude ourselves into believing that our pretender voice is who we are and our shadow self is who we are not.

For most of us, our pretender voice has become the only voice that we associate with internally because we believe it is “me”. In my work, when I speak with my clients they respond from the projected self and that makes my work challenging because to truly help them I have to be able to see under that projection and into what is really true for them. The only way so far for me to access that information has been to gain it psychically and slowly over a series of sessions until I can get a good handle on what’s going on for them. In my work I’ve been slowly learning to not only notice these psychic abilities within myself but I’ve actually come to rely on them. My own journey into trusting that information is unfolding along with me as I work with my clients.


SEEING INTO THE UNSEEN

Now I wish I could say that I went to the training and they showed me a magic button that I could press on a body where suddenly I could see all of these energetic indicators, auric rings and moving lights. If only it were that easy, but it was not. Not only did we have to learn what all is in there, where it is and what it does but we also had to learn to see, intuit or feel it based upon our particular primary psychic energy gifts. To say that this was a challenge for me would be a gross understatement. The analogy that I gave Thunder Strikes for how I felt was: it’s like you’ve put me in a dark room and filled it with some wild animals that I’ve never seen before and you tell me to find one. When I manage to feel around and finally get my hands on one, the question you ask is “what did it eat for dinner last week?” It’s all so foreign that when I finally get a glimmer of understanding of what I’m looking for then the problem becomes determining what that means.

While I felt like I was truly taking a shot in the dark for most of the two weeks that I was there, it really pushed me hard and made me look at my own pretender voice and how much I identify with it. “I can’t do this”, “I don’t know how”, “I’m not as good as everyone else” and “I keep getting it wrong”. I wanted to get it so badly that all I could focus on was the problems I had and that led to a couple of emotional meltdowns. Those meltdowns of course opened a pathway to healing the issue for me and it mostly came back to issues of self-worth or self-pity.


THE OUTSIDER

To hopefully help you see how these issues might be manifesting in your life and blocking you from achieving your goals, I’d like to share how they showed up for me in the class. This class is primarily offered to those on the Deer Tribe path but those outside the path can attend as well. I was the only one of the 12 students that was not an apprentice on the path. Being on the “Deer Tribe path” simply means that you study the teachings of their spiritual lineage. Once I discovered that this was the case, I immediately felt myself at a disadvantage because the extent of my exposure to their teachings came during Shamanic De-armoring, from reading “Song of the Deer” and some teachings that I’ve received in the energy class that I’m in.

I noticed myself not wanting to continually have to say “what does that mean?” when ThunderStrikes was teaching and would use a term or concept that was new to me but was familiar to the rest of the class. I didn’t want to appear to be “the dumb one” or to be the one that holds up the learning progress of the class by asking too many questions. To that end, during the first 3 or 4 days of the class unless it seemed really important, I would rarely ask for clarification or definition of terms and I would just try and go with the flow and ask for clarification from the other students after class. My sense of low self-worth was preventing me from getting the teachings that I deserved whether it slowed anyone else down or not. Not having the depth of knowledge that the other on the path had and therefore unable to fully grasp the teachings being presented was just another way for me to stay in victim mode. Being in victim mode is one way that we all manifest self-pity.


OLD PATTERNS

In general, we all seek attention (energy) through the actions that we generate. This is a pattern that we learn as infants. If I cry, pout, misbehave, act out, go silent or become a pleaser, I get attention. Even if it is negative attention, it is still attention. Feeling sorry for myself or getting you to feel sorry for me is one way that I can get attention.  This is why so many people are all too willing to share all that is wrong in their lives so that they can gain sympathy (attention).  Of course the older and wiser we become, the more crafty our attention seeking devices become…even to the point where we don’t consciously notice them ourselves until a situation brings them to light. This is one of the things that the training experience did for me.

Once it was pointed out to me that this was the energetic behind my behaviors, I knew it had to change and from that point on I got clarification on anything which I didn’t understand. In fact one of the most powerful teachings that we received in the class came from me saying “I don’t understand what that means”. ThunderStrikes then took the time to explain what he meant in depth and even one of the teachers of the class said “I’ve never understood this like I understand it now.” The class consciousness benefited in that instance from me being willing to transcend my issues of self-worth and self-pity. That is also the way it works for the human collective consciousness. The entire collective benefits from the healing and growth of the individuals.


MULTI-DIMENSIONAL SENSES

Our physical bodies reside here in the 3rd Dimension. In this realm we use sight, sound, taste, touch and smell to navigate our world and identify its components. Since the LEC is non-physical it cannot be read by our five senses but rather it must be read, or as the Deer Tribe calls it “gleaned”, by our energetic (or psychic) senses. The journey into trusting these senses is more complicated because these gifts are not honored in this world (and especially this country) the way they should be and so this is mostly uncharted territory. Fortunately that is shifting and more and more of us are waking up to these gifts and owning them and the data they bring us.

As we began the training, I’ll admit that my skepticism was running high the first few days. I really began doubting that all we were being told was what was going on inside the LEC and that the techniques we were being shown would help me read it. Each evening we would all gather in the training room and the rest of us would glean one of students from our class. Around the third or fourth evening is when I was able to pull back from the “doing” and realize that if we were all independently reading one person and coming up with the same answers, it couldn’t be just “lucky guesses”. That was one of many “AH HA” moments for me. Once I let that awareness sink in, I began to feel more confident about my own ability to read and trust the information I was getting back.

Once I began trusting the information I was getting then I had to look at what that information, which was in my LEC too, really meant to me and said about me. It basically came down to “it’s there, it describes you and you can read it too.” Through my actions and experiences I ran full speed into my own doubts and fears and dispelled them.  When presented with the conflict between validated experiential data and my own personal denial drama, I realized that my old story was false. If I dropped my own pitiful story of “I can’t” that would mean that I would have to start seeing myself differently. My pretender voice could not stand on its own against my current reality. Needless to say, an emotional meltdown followed this realization and I had to change.


THE CYCLE OF CHAOS

At the most basic level, change is what I sought from my experience with the Deer Tribe. Anytime that we choose to consciously engage an experience that it outside of our normal routine, we disrupt our patterned behavior. Breaking a pattern is intentionally introducing chaos into our lives. Since everything in a state of chaos seeks order and everything ordered ultimately breaks down into chaos, change is the catalyst (that which brings the energy of movement to that cycle). Anytime a structured system breaks down, when it reorganizes it does so at a higher level of consciousness. This is true for internal energetic systems and it is also true for external systems that we see in life. So what this teaches us is that in order to grow and consciously evolve we have to disrupt our patterned behaviors, ride out the chaos and allow our awareness to increase in the process. Resisting the chaos or going into victim mode because of it, holds us in the chaotic state and slows our growth. The main difference between conscious and unconscious evolution is therefore awareness.

As you may have noticed, I went to the class in October and it is currently mid-December. I sought change and I got it. Yes, I learned some amazing things in the training class and got some powerful teachings from ThunderStrikes in the process but I also have been through some serious chaos. The time between the class and the completion of this posting is due to me trying to get a handle on all the change which has occurred since the training. That however will be food for a future posting.


INVITE THE CHOAS IN

For now, I invite you to examine the places in your life where you see stagnation, fear, or resistance. Start with a simple issue and see if you can consciously introduce a small measure of chaos (change) and watch this process manifest for you to observe for yourself. A controlled experiment like that will allow you to then trust the process and utilize it in bigger and more important areas of your life. That experiment will benefit you far more than just reading my words describing it. Experience is the most powerful teacher we have. Just remember that when the chaos of change begins, even if it is just a tiny disruption, that this is what you consciously sought, so don’t resist it. Welcome the change, flow with it and you’ll see it settle faster and you’ll learn more from it.


Where are the places in your life where you cling the hardest to your pain, your drama or your fears?

Friday, September 23, 2011

It's all connected - Part 2


For the past two years I’ve been attending a monthly class on energy fundamentals. The class has helped me in so many ways to be a better person and a better energy-work practitioner. As an extension of that class, in March I become a member of the “Men’s Group” which is comprised of men who have been through the first two years of the energy class. This is a working support group which provides us with a safe space to talk about the changes that the energy class is making in our lives. The group is currently comprised of 13 men, 4 of which are gay and the other 9 are straight.

In July thanks to the beautiful weather we were having, we had decided to meet in Volunteer Park and have a small pot-luck cookout. For those that aren’t familiar with it, Volunteer Park is what the gays in Seattle think of as the “gay park”. It’s in the Capitol Hill (gay neighborhood) area and is where many “Gay Pride” events are held. On the day of the meeting, I went shopping for my pot-luck food as was actually quite excited about the meeting because it was sunny, I was in a good mood, I enjoy the group and picnicking (which I love) was involved.

I was the first to arrive so as I waited for the others I sat basking in the afternoon sun and enjoying the fresh air. As more and more men arrived I noticed that my joyous mood had shifted to something more subdued. I even felt myself beginning to withdraw from socializing with the other men but chose to ignore it and press on into the gathering. Once we began there was one other gay guy present and the other 7 men were straight guys.


CHECKING IN

As with any support group, we begin with a “check in” where we discuss whatever is going on in our lives so that we can get support from the group as needed. I was about half-way around the circle from where we started with the check-ins so I had about 6 guys ahead of me. I remember the first person had barely gotten into his check-in and all I could think about was “when will this end so I can get out of here?”

I began thinking about what might be going on that was making me not want to be a part of something that earlier I was excited about. I concluded that the guys were going to take too long to check-in (they do it every month) and because of the cookout that we wouldn’t have time to get to the discussion that we usually have or to do any energy exercises, which is my favorite part of the gathering, and that THAT was what was annoying me. My intransigence was stacking the deck against me.

As I listened to the guys sharing their stories, I began thinking about what was going on for me that I would share. The main drama which had arisen in my life was around the Facebook posting that my childhood friend had made which set me off. By the time it got to me to check-in, almost an hour had passed due to the lengthy check-ins and I was more than annoyed and my response was to withdraw and share the minimum I could so that things would move along. Literally my check-in was “Not much is happening really. I’m good.” After all, why would all these straight guys care about my “big gay drama”?


NOT THE DISH I ORDERED

After the check-ins ended, we began the cookout. While things were being grilled and prepped, I sat there stewing in my pot of anger and completely withdrawn yet trying to put on a happy face to hide it all. One of the guys came over to check on me. “Is everything okay? You seem so withdrawn and quiet.” I gave him the response that most of us give when we don’t want to own what is going on inside or share it, “I’m FINE.” (Fucked-up, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional)  Several other guys tried to make conversation with me but I wasn’t in the mood to engage them either so my response to them was equally short.

As soon as everyone had their food off the grill (which I had brought so I had to stick around), I made a hasty retreat and actually left without saying goodbye to most of the guys. Everything in me was saying “RUN” and so I did. I spent the entire drive home trying to figure out what had really set me off and trying to decide if I really wanted to be a part of the group any longer.


TRACK IT DOWN

When I got home where it was quiet, I was able to sit down, relax and try to track my experience back to the point where I shifted from excited to withdrawn. I remembered that I was good until the first two guys arrived. They arrived together and one of them was what I think of as the Alpha Male of the group. He’s not in charge of the group but because his work and life are about him being in charge of lots of people (big family and small business owner) he tends to want to run the show anyway. He is also the group member which I feel most nervous around.

When they approached, I remember thinking “you don’t know these guys very well so don’t be overly affectionate so just smile, shake hands and say hello” and so I did while remaining seated. As other guys arrived since they were standing, they would greet and hug each other while I sat and took it in, withdrawing further and further and feeling more and more like an outsider. I had found my “breaking point”. The question was why did guys showing up and greeting each other set me off?

The answer was of course right there in my response to them and their arrival. It has been my historical observation that straight men are uncomfortable with hugs and emotional greetings from other men but especially from gay men. Therefore, over the years my “default setting” has become “do not greet straight men very affectionately and keep an emotional distance”. It’s been that way for so long now that I don’t even really think about it, it just happens. I feel safer because I believe they feel more comfortable around me.

So there I sat watching the group unite and bond one by one, with me consciously choosing to stay on the outside where I thought it was safe and yet resenting feeling left out. My default setting was the source of my isolation and it was so instinctual and automatic that I didn’t even notice it. It becomes very challenging for a support group to support you when you won’t engage with it and allow it to support you. The energy held by group gathered for a specific purpose is more powerful than the amount of energy which can be held by the individual members.  It is known as “emergence”  and allows each group member to benefit from this higher vibration of energy.


PERSONAL DEFAULT SETTINGS

Of course I’ve only come to realize most of this as I’ve been creating this blog entry and thus one of the reasons for my delay in getting it created. Major resistance has shown up at every turn and mostly all self-induced. I spent time in the days after the gathering trying to trace things back to the point where I felt things went awry so that I could begin to understand what happened. I knew that I did not feel safe in the group and shared this with them in an email after the gathering but I also made it clear that it was an unconscious fear because consciously I knew that these men meant me no harm.

The part of me that didn’t feel safe was my inner little gay boy who had been taunted and teased all through my childhood by the bullies that I went to school with. I have processed all of that consciously and learned that their actions had everything to do with them and nothing to do with me. I have forgiven them for their cruelty and myself for taking on their hatred and hating myself and them because of it. I have done all the things I needed to do to move on with my life but still my default setting was to keep a distance physically and emotionally with a group of straight men.

That default setting has now become problematic. I don’t need that emotional distance any longer because now I have the skills to manage the emotional landscape within me. By using “The Basics” I can now create and hold space for myself, determine what is mine and what is not mine, define my boundaries and be fully present to life as it occurs moment by moment. The task then becomes to find these old wounded places within me and heal them. Being present and aware will help me notice them. Bringing my consciousness to the issues with an intention to change them will enable me to transform the issues.


JOURNALING TO THE RESCUE

I’m a big fan to advising others to journal when something is going on for them. It seems in this case that was good advice for me as well. It really is amazing how much is revealed just by opening up and listening to all the messages that surface and seeing your thoughts written out where you have to look at them. Now they aren’t just idle thoughts which pass through your head but something that you have to look at and say “Is that really true for me?”  “Do I want it to be?”  The answer to those questions will open a path to healing.


INTERCONNECTIVITY

One of the other points that I’d like to emphasize by sharing this entry and the preceding one is the importance of seeing connections between events. With all the things that happen in our busy lives, it seems challenging to think that anyone would know which events to connect and how many of them. The main indicator is always “emotional charge”. If there is something within us that is ready to heal, that energetic will help us attract experiences which will trigger an emotional response. The emotional response is the key thing to notice. The wounded parts of us hold the emotional charge of the original wound that was not expressed or resolved at the time of the triggering event. That charge is released as we heal and we are therefore no longer triggered by events related to it.

Since connections between events will occur over time as opposed to single events which we can deal with at the time, these larger issues can be harder to spot. Typically the first event will remain unresolved for various reasons and already have our attention drawn to it when the related event(s) occur. On the surface these events may or may not seem connected and this is where introspection comes in and a bit of intuition. Do the events have a similar theme or is the same core issue being triggered by two dissimilar events? Is there a pattern that seems to be repeating across events? If you find yourself saying “why does this keep happening to me?” you can believe that there is a wound in there somewhere trying to heal.

It takes deep introspection to know if the events are related and there is no set formula for how that is done. The best way to know is to trust your intuition. If you feel or think there might be a connection between events, trust that and spend some time journaling or talking with a friend (both help to keep your awareness on the issue) about it and in all likelihood you’ll find that connection.

Once you find the issue that connects seemingly unrelated events, chances are that you’ll see how this issue is playing out in other aspects of your life. If the issue is pretty widespread from that perspective, odds are that you have a default setting that needs attention as well. As the name implies, a default setting is a habitual action which we typically do without even thinking about it or even thinking that it’s an option to not do it. It’s so instinctive that the action goes totally unnoticed. In my case I was defaulting to emotional distance with straight men because of my fear of how they would respond to it. I wasn’t allowing room for them to have control of their emotions or for them to have the confidence to be comfortable being around gay guys. My wounded inner child was passive-aggressively trying to keep me safe. In truth he was keeping me from feeling the support and friendship of other men who have done their own inner work and wanted to be my friend.


BEING QUIET WOULD BE EASIER...BUT NOT BETTER

This has been a difficult entry for me because it is so personal. I’ve struggled to even continue to try and write it and thus the delay in getting it posted. If I hadn’t mentioned it in the last entry, I’m certain I would have abandoned it some time ago. I’m really glad I didn’t though because the act of getting it written has revealed so many things to me in addition to the things I’ve shared in the post.

I invite you to notice what your default settings are and ask yourself if it is set to the way that works for you now as opposed to a time early in your life when you probably set it unconsciously. If it isn’t, you can change that default by holding your awareness on it when it gets triggered and consciously choosing to respond in the new way that does work for you. It will take several times of repeating that change for it to take effect but it will happen. It will only happen however if you are conscious about it. It is “conscious evolution” at work. My hope is that through this blog I will give you the tools and awareness to help effect that type of change through conscious competency.


Are you willing to raise your awareness to the level where you can observe the interconnectedness of life and your experiences within it to find the places in you that need healing?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I'm still here!!!


Greetings dear readers. I know it has been a while since I posted any new entries and I apologize for that. The nature of what I’m working on now (the second part of the “It’s all connected” posting) is so personal that I’ve run into a lot of resistance internally to getting it written. Things are still being revealed to me about my part in the experience and what all I can learn from it. I’m working on it for sure but wanted to drop you a note to say “don’t give up on me…I’m still here”.  I’ll have it soon…thanks for your patience and understanding.

If you haven’t already “Liked” my Facebook page which is linked to this blog, please do that and you’ll know exactly when I put a new entry up…plus you’ll get nice little quick thoughts through occasional Facebook posts from me. Just click on the Facebook box on the right side of this column and you’ll be directed to the Facebook page, then click “Like”.  Easy breezy.

Thank you again for reading my blog. I’m honored by that and grateful to you.

Peace is always the way,

Michael

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's all connected - Part 1


As most everyone was aware June was “LGBT Pride month”. It was a time for gay people to feel acknowledged and accepted by our nation which is built on diversity. President Obama had the wisdom and respect enough to proclaim it as such after President Bush stopped that designation during his time in office. Pride month is a time when the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community can celebrate our successes and raise awareness of our struggle for acceptance and equal rights. It’s a time that we can focus on being proud of who we are and our ability to love.

I make no secret about the fact that I am a gay man. I live my life in a way that pleases me with honesty and integrity. I am out to everyone that I know including my loving birth family and my beloved partner’s family. I am proud of the fact that he and I have been together for 10 and ½ years in a loving, committed relationship. I am honored to be able to work with other men to help them love and respect themselves and their sexual expression whether they are gay, bi or straight. By fully accepting ourselves just as we are and sharing that we can offer others the choice to love and accept us and not a false personality that we have created in an attempt to be who we think they can accept.


SWEET HOME ALABAMA

As a child and small boy, I grew up during a time (the 60’s) when gayness was considered a psychological defect which needed to be treated and cured. I was born and raised in a small town in Alabama which was full of people with good hearts but misguided belief systems that said if you were not heterosexual and white you were not welcome. In fact if you were not straight AND white you ran a very real risk of being beaten or even killed. In an area of Alabama with a strong Klan presence, homophobia and racial discrimination were not only rampant but openly embraced.

I was a very soft natured and physically small boy who was quiet, effeminate and very introverted. The local religious environment taught me to view myself as a sinner because of my homosexual nature. The community taught me to hide who I was to avoid physical harm or verbal assaults. I grew up living every day in fear for my safety and well being because I could not hide who I was inside. I had very few friends outside my immediate family because I was so obviously different. Kids at school pretty much avoided being friends with me because they knew it could bring negative attention to them simply by our association.

Needless to say I really valued very highly the friends that I did make because they gave me a feeling of safety, love and acceptance and a sense of community. At that age, fitting in and being accepted was essential for good emotional health. Having a group of friends at school that I could feel safe around allowed me to relax and let down my guard a bit and experience a sense of belonging. I knew that no matter how cruel the verbal and physical assaults were from the other kids, I had a safe refuge somewhere with my friends.


RECONNECTING

Since I left that place back in 1981 I’ve made my peace with who I am, the painful experiences I had there and even reconnected with a few of my childhood friends thanks to Facebook. One of those people was a boy that I was very close to as a child. We were born 10 days apart and I always felt a close kinship to him until after graduation when I left town. We’ve since reconnected on Facebook and it’s been nice getting to know him again but as an adult. It seems that we both have developed a rather sharp sense of humor that can cut and entertain. We both can go so hard for a joke sometimes that other people can easily and unintentionally get hurt along the way.

This became very clear recently when I was the one who was hurt by his humor. He posted the image that you see here on his Facebook wall. He was actually posting it to another of his male friends but I saw it on his wall and was immediately triggered by it and let him know. His response was that I was being “too sensitive” and reading something into it that he didn’t mean. He said he considered himself an equal opportunity offender with his humor.

The more I thought about this, the angrier I got and the more hurt I felt. I considered the possibility that I was over-reacting and even posted the image on my Facebook wall asking my other gay friends if it offended them. Most who responded began reading into it and even defending it saying that gay’s “have a more refined taste and are classier” which is also in line with Mac’s marketing practices. I get where they were going with that but to me that was definitely reading more into it than was present and even showed how corporate marketing can affect us.


EMBEDDED HOMOPHOBIA

Finally I decided to sit and analyze why this bothered me so much rather than just saying that it hurt me because it was truly NOT directed at me personally. It was me that had the problem after all. I realized that it was because of the divisive nature of the message. To me this image says “the sole criteria that I will use to determine which group you are in is your sexual orientation. The thing that divides us will be your sexual identity.”  On the surface maybe there is some humor which can be had based upon our personal beliefs around gayness, Mac’s and PC’s but there is embedded homophobia within it. As someone who is trying to bring forth a message of Oneness, self-acceptance, peace, harmony, love and awareness, this flies directly in the face of that message. As a gay person, it stings. Coming from someone who I thought had my back, it hurts.

On many levels I was deeply hurt by this insensitivity and I let him know that I was both upset and offended by it. I explained to him why it offended me and let him know that I expected nothing from him because of it. The problem was with me and my response to the posting and so it was my issue to work. My life experience provided the fertile ground for this situation to bloom and so the healing needed to occur there as well. I made it clear to him that I wasn’t looking for an apology or for him to do anything other than be aware of the response his actions had triggered. What he chooses to do with that in the future is entirely up to him because now he knows the impact his actions had.

I didn’t know it at the time but this experience was getting me set up for a deeper awareness and a an opportunity to heal an old issue. I’ll share that in Part 2.


DISCRIMINATION IS NOT OKAY

In a country which struggles with its treatment of gay people, homophobic remarks like this one get dismissed by society because it has always been okay to make gay jokes. The message that our government and religious organizations send is that it is okay to discriminate against gay people because they don’t deserve equal rights or equal treatment because of that one issue. When the culture holds a belief, it should come as no surprise that its members will act in alignment with that belief and not see a problem with their behavior.

On the one hand, it would be easy for me to say “Oh, he didn’t mean it THAT way” and just ignore it but then nothing will ever change. The truth however is that when you post (say, write, act, display) anything like the image above, not only do you get your particular message attached to it but you also have to own the deeper embedded energetics of that message. It doesn’t matter what joke you are trying to connect it to or why, you get it all and are responsible for it as if it were your own words. If that image had replaced “gay” with any racial designation, it would have caused an uproar but because it used “gay” it was seemingly okay.


THE STRUGGLE FOR EQUALITY

Every subsection of our culture has had its struggles for acceptance and equality. It is challenging when you are in a minority to get the majority to treat you fairly because they hold the weight and power of the majority. The role of government is supposed to be to protect the minorities and ensure their equal rights and fair treatment. Unfortunately the majority seems to think the government is there to protect their fears relating to the minority wanting a piece of their pie. We’ve seen this happen with women, African Americans and now it’s time for equality for gay people.

When we know better, we can do better. Discrimination and separation will never move us in the direction that we need to go as a nation or as a species. They only further divide and weaken us. To survive and flourish we have to learn to think and act as one. “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice FOR ALL.”


WE ALL DESERVE LOVE AND RESPECT

We all deserve to feel safe, respected and heard. This is especially true when we are with our friends. At the same time each of us owes it to the world to be our own unique, authentic expression of the Divine. As we experience that which is different from ourselves, we learn and grow and see the value of the diversity of nature. Yet despite our differences, ultimately we are one planetary species and we have to learn to find ways to value those differences. When we can drop our judgments of others which drive us further apart, we can see that ultimately we have more in common than we think because we’re all human and we’re all in this together. We can choose to be a piece of the whole or we can choose to live in fear, separation and ultimately isolation.

Remember, energetically you get back what you send out. Will you choose to radiate love and acceptance or project your fears out into the world?