Show Up, Be Present

PB and I had been friends since high school. In my minds-eye, we’d been friends for much longer. Except I can’t remember our history before that moment. My earliest memories of us together were the cheering squad in junior year and senior year.

We went to the same college and were inseparable during freshman and sophomore years there too.

Fast forward to our 30th high school reunion. By then, we were both moms of twin girls, she with 3 older sons and me with my oldest daughter, who she had visited in the hospital soon after I gave birth. Life had changed for both of us, but once again, we were joined at the hip.

Two years later, after celebrating another 30th reunion for another milestone, PB wanted me to show up to share her joy, our joy really at a birthday celebration for her beau. Unfortunately, after several “reunions” in a two-year span – while also experiencing one of the most confusing times in my life – I couldn’t. It’s been ten years, and we haven’t spoken since.

It wouldn’t have crossed my mind because I like to think I respect the boundaries of others. I would’ve continued believing it, too, If I hadn’t gone to sleep angry.

Earlier that evening, I’d commanded Dug, my grand-puppy-son, to respect my brother’s boundaries. Dug obeyed and left my brother alone. But I made the mistake of not respecting Dug’s boundaries and proceeded to move him along by picking him up. Dug helped me understand I, too, had overstepped by snarling and then nipping my hand. He didn’t hurt me. I told him all was forgiven, but I refused to speak to him for the rest of the evening and well into the morning. So, my subconscious went to work.

PB worked her way into my dream. I woke up with her on my mind. I immediately remembered how it felt when PB stopped speaking to me after I pushed her back from crossing my boundary. A boundary I didn’t know I erected years before.

I always thought wimps set boundaries. Seemed to me that one should evaluate every situation to determine its limits and go the distance if they decide.

In fact, I still do.

So imagine, to my surprise, learning I have set several boundaries that I didn’t acknowledge until today. What’s worse, I realized I will rarely go beyond those boundaries to show up for anyone. Yet, I have loving friends who show up for me in ways I will always treasure.

Recently, my not-so-humble oldest twin daughter reminded me they “turned out so well” because, as I once told my daughters, my friends cared for me when I was pregnant. They were also there for me throughout the girls’ formidable, I mean formative years. My friends were my girls’ “village.”

I reviewed my past behavior to see if I was theirs. From listening to my friends’ intimate accounts and stories, I noticed I show up when there’s a spiritual, emotional, sometimes a physical crisis, much like the village Shaman. And it has a lot to do with the boundaries I’ve set, possibly because of the trauma I’ve experienced.

Boundaries are like priorities that we’ve set for ourselves, whether socially-engineered or due to cultural programming. Further, these boundaries don’t necessarily protect us unless we know how we’ve acquired them. I’m not sure how or when I acquired my boundaries, but they’ve allowed me to show up in my career as well as in my personal life.

I heard a line from some show I was streaming; maybe Resident Alien or some Hallmark movie – and the character said, what she did for a living wasn’t who she was.

I disagree.

What we do professionally, we do personally, and vice versa. The same behavioral characteristics and skill set we possess appear in our professional lives.

If we take time to know ourselves, we’ll see who we are, and what we do is one and the same. No matter how hard we try to separate the two, it will inevitably come back to the same point.

Had I realized this ten years ago, possibly, I could have salvaged my relationship with PB?

But then again, boundaries also serve as a wall to prioritize and focus on what is important. Allowing us to show up and be fully present when we do.

The Unknowable – Got You Under a Spell

Why would anyone label a subject unknowable?  

What purpose would that mental construct serve?

Do we use the term unknowable so we could claim plausible deniability for our actions as we move through this journey called life?

Or do we claim unknowable so we can surrender our will to something or someone outside of us?

Or are we under a spell that compels us to surrender our power?

Maybe it’s the latter. What we believe to be unknowable allows us to believe we are separate from it.

At times, we choose to see each other as unknowable – even our loved ones. Sure, we may know their habits and behavior in certain situations, but don’t we sometimes wish they remain unknowable?

This way, if we can’t see them, we can create them in our image.

To test this theory, think about the last time you gave someone a gift. Is it something your loved one wanted, or is it something you wanted them to have?  Does your gift tell the world more about you than the recipient?

To love someone is to know them.  Not the who you’d wished them to be but the actual being before you.  This is how unknowable serves us in intimate relationships, extending to other areas of our life.

However, a subject can only be unknown. Once it’s contemplated, it moves to the “to do” category for understanding its nature.

Contemplation of a concept or element excludes it from the unknowable category.

Now, you may decide not to spend your time in pursuit of understanding a subject’s nature, but that does not render it “unknowable.”

From Merriam-Webster, “Unknowable” first used in the 14th century

:  not knowable; especially:  lying beyond the limits of human experience or understanding

Since the word “unknowable” is defined, that opens it up to investigation.  The sentence provided using the word – says the nature of a G-d is unknowable.

“a G-d whose nature is unknown and unknowable”

Notice: the capitalization of god – this is how it’s written on the website. Not “the” but “a,” indicating there are quite a few gods that are considered proper nouns.

But I digress.
If we refer to the definition, we must cross the human experience off the list and throw out the scriptures in which the G-d of Abraham reveals Itself through words.

More on words in a bit.

If unknowable was first used in the 14th century, then that is the century also credited with Buddha becoming a Roman Catholic Saint, Josaphat; the beginning of Renaissance in Europe; a great many men, versed in the language of Latin, practicing Necromancy (dark magic involving the dead) and an estimated 200 million people dying due to the Black Death, just to name a few activities.

“Magic doesn’t come from talent; it comes from pain” -The Magicians

Maybe that’s when the “unknowable” spell was cast, and we saw ourselves as separate in our body, from each other and everything in the world.img_1370

Is it a coincidence that most of us get our understanding of religious icons and symbols from the 14th century, specifically Dante’s Divine Comedy by Durante degli Alighieri (aka Dante)? Not even an atheist can escape its influence.

The true magician is the writer.

“The most powerful magic trick a magician can perform is to see through the illusion.  Break the spell.” ~The Magicians

So back to words …

“Verbum significatium, verbum omnificum, verbum perdo.”

For those who have read Dan Brown’s Lost Symbol, these words may be familiar.

“The word that is the sign, the word that creates all.”

The antagonist chants these words as if they will give him all the world’s power. Of course, this is fiction, but maybe the power is in his words.

If you are familiar with the Judeo-Christian text, you’ll find similar words in 1st chapter and verse of the Book of John.

In the beginning was the logos  and the logos was with G-d, and the logos was a god.

Or from the 33rd chapter and 6th verse of the book of Psalms

By the logos of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath (pneuma) of his mouth all their host (dynamis)

Here’s where the scriptures refer to the G-d of Abraham as creating everything with his word and breath.

dynamis  – :  the state of that which is not yet fully realized :power, potentiality —contrasted with energeia : (the resources for producing such power)

I’d like to explore how a word is the expression of thought and coupled with divine wisdom and breath = Logos, which is consciousness.  I’d be overstepping my pay grade, however, because my experience and observation are not yours.

Here’s an experience you may have had to illustrate the point.

Thought is expressed in words, and when we breathe life into it, we manifest our creation.  Something as simple as a kiss ignites a fire, a desire to pursue oneness with another.  That desire sometimes creates a life journeyed together or even another life in the form of a newborn.

“Great truths are simple,” and this is the simplest illustration of consciousness /imagination (logos) for creation.

The gift of breath allows us the power to create and manifest, including discovering the nature of anything by imagining ourselves to be one with it.

“While All is in THE ALL, it is equally true that THE ALL is in All. To him who truly understands this truth hath come great knowledge.” — The Kybalion.


The Joy of Gratitude

McM circa 1990

In times of despair, sometimes all you have to say is “Thank You,” and for a few moments, it will feel like all your burdens have simply disappeared.

Thank You – 2 words, 8 letters to show gratitude for everything that is your life; what sucks, what works, your friends, your family, your antagonists, current lovers, past lovers, unrequited loves.

There’s a Latin phrase for this state of acceptance and gratitude

Amor Fati  

Love of one’s fate.

HP 17 inch personal computer 17.3" widescreen LED backlit IPS
17.3″ HD Bright View Display

This isn’t surrendering; it’s a moment when you show appreciation for all you are.

Most of us prefer to keep our dastardly deeds and unpleasant parts of our lives hidden in the dark. This is key. However, we are NOT our habits or actions. Those activities define our behavior, and our behavior is not who we are. Who we are is closely aligned with why we do what we do. The why is how we define our character…and in this life, our character is who we are to fulfill our destiny.

In the movie, The Family Man, Jack Campbell (Nicholas Cage) says, “the  biggest part of judging character is knowing yourself.” He made this claim to allow others to understand that he knew what he would do in any given situation. Spoiler: The movie is about fate and destiny.”

Knowing yourself isn’t a new concept. It is, however, the most important lesson you will ever undertake.

The Mysteries (a religious system) of Ancient Egypt charged its students to “Know Thy Self.” Another ancient culture is still in existence. The Yoruba people speak of Ori 1, an individual’s human consciousness, destiny & fate.

When you show appreciation for all that’s in your life – it forces you to take inventory of life, and when you do – showing gratitude may be the one action you can take to help you determine if you’re on YOUR path.

Say “thank you” for it all. In the grand scheme of things, it’s what makes you, you. If you don’t already know and love yourself, really love yourself; start by being grateful.