02-19-2016 divine feminine

I have two friends who are trying to do beautiful things in the world. One is an ardent environmentalist who really passionately yearns to save the biosphere and protect the planet. The other is a social worker serving abused, abandoned, neglected, traumatized children in a community where most people are hooked on meth. Both carry so much pain in their deeply empathic hearts that their own bodies are suffering. I worry that these two are killing themselves with those broken open, bleeding, service-oriented hearts. Yet, I see in them a painful pattern that leads to unnecessary suffering, one I recognize because I’m still in the process of breaking this pattern myself. Been there can tell going there how to get there. But it’s not easy. Breaking this kind of pattern is like trying to put an octopus to bed. The minute you get two arms tucked quietly under the covers, six more arms of the pattern sneak out!

Here’s what I wish I could say to these two extraordinary big-hearted activists:

To be on the front lines of service work, you have to stop fighting what is.

Yes, it hurts that our biosphere is at risk. Yes, it breaks our hearts that innocent children are violated every day. We can’t skip those emotions. They remind us that we’re humans with sensitive hearts, and this is a good thing. In his work with grief, Francis Weller acknowledges the five gates of grief—the grief of losing a loved one, the grief for places within us that are hidden in shame or banished from our awareness, the grief of our loss of connection with nature and each other, the grief for what we hoped for but never received, and ancestral grief. In our culture, we often only acknowledge and respect the first gate—losing a loved one. But these other gates of grief are real and to neglect them or fail to feel them means either living in denial or “spiritual bypassing,” whereby we use spiritual principles or practices to skip painful emotions. Grief can’t be skipped, so I would never tell my two friends to avoid the pain they feel. However, we can get stuck in the story of “the world is wrong.”

Once we’ve grieved what hurts, we have to stop fighting life.

The world is the way it is. This is what is. We can keep fighting life and suffering needlessly or we can choose to let go of the painful story that says that the biosphere shouldn’t be dying. Let go of the gut-wrenching agony that says children should not be abused and neglected. Let go of the part of you that thinks you—and you alone—are here to fix this brokenness in the world. Let go of any story that says that if you take a day off or turn your back on yet another client or say no to yet another climate change conference, the world will fall apart and it will be all your fault.

What if the world isn’t broken? What if there is Divine perfection in things just as they are?

Embracing Paradox

Holding this perspective requires the ability to inhabit non-dual awareness. You have to be able to hold the paradox that allows you to simultaneous experience the grief of a dying biosphere or the pain of watching a child get abused while also realizing that life is perfect just as it is, that there is a Divine order in all things that the mind can’t possibly understand. Unless people on the front lines of service can be in agreement with even the painful aspects of life, they carry so much pain that they become burned out or sick or suicidal, and their ability to do their service work is limited. It’s yet another paradox to realize that you can only stay on the front lines as long as you can take care of yourself, prioritizing your own self-care before you consider the needs of the planet or the needs of abused children. Excessive self-sacrifice limits your service. It’s not sustainable. You’ll be forced to slow down and help others less, even if it means getting the cosmic bitch slap of a cancer diagnosis.

It helps to inhabit the consciousness of this mantra. “I am in agreement with life, and I resist nothing.”

This doesn’t mean that you don’t feel pain or experience empathy. It doesn’t mean you detach and become cold and unfeeling. It doesn’t mean you throw up your hands in helpless desperation and sit by passively as you witness seeming atrocities without trying to serve life. It doesn’t mean you don’t stop taking actions to protect the biosphere or keep an abused child safe. It just means you do it from a different consciousness, one that recognizes that on one level, all is well just as it is. You don’t need your righteous anger to motivate you. You don’t need to stay stuck in your heartbreak in order to love the planet or its children. When all of that falls away, you will still serve love because it’s who you are. It’s what you do.

I don’t know why things we deem horrible happen to seemingly innocent people. Life is a mystery I’ve given up trying to unravel. Perhaps we humans have soul contracts that require us to go through certain life ordeals in order to grow as souls, in order to become One with the Divine, and perhaps things are as they should be on some plane we can’t possible understand with our human minds. Or maybe not.

What I do know is that it’s possible to hold a consciousness that allows that life is already perfect just as it is while still taking actions to make the world a safer, healthier, more loving place.

The Universe Doesn’t Need You to Be in Charge

Also essential to making this shift is realizing that you alone cannot save the world. Believe it or not, the Universe doesn’t need you to single-handedly take charge and fix what you judge as broken in the world. It’s laughable when you think about it. How arrogant are we to think that our singular actions are essential to saving the biosphere or protecting every child on the planet from being abused? And yet, herein lies the paradox again. As Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Yes. This is true. We are not meant to just sit by in a state of learned helplessness and watch children getting abused or oceans getting polluted. And yet, if any one person dropped off the planet, it would not significantly affect the state of the biosphere or the number of abused children on the planet.

We’re special, but we’re not special. We matter, but we don’t matter. Every act of love we offer is significant, and yet we are a wisp of energy on a wisp of a planet spinning in a vast galaxy of infinite stars. We are here to serve love in the world, to fulfill our callings, to do what we can to make this world a better place, and yet, life is perfect just as it is, we must accept what is and stop fighting life, and no single individual can save the world.

What a Relief!

Once we realize this, not just in our heads, but in our hearts, we can rest. Our nervous systems can relax. We can let go of the heaviness in our hearts that comes from fighting life or perceiving the world as broken. We can feel our grief fully and not get stuck in it, so we can also feel the joy that exists in the world right now, riding shotgun just next to the grief. Then, from this peaceful, centered place of stillness inside, we can say yes to our callings, do what we can to serve love in the world, and rest in the refuge of our own hearts, in tribal communion with the other beings who inhabit this planet with us.

Let Love Flow

From that calm, centered place of stillness, we can let love flow through us unimpeded without suffering burn out or carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders in a way that prevents us from being able to fully enjoy and savor the pleasures of life. Then we no longer see it as our responsibility to save every child, every tree, or every hurting soul. We don’t have to feel guilty for taking a day or a week or a month off to go sit amongst the spring blossoms and bathe in sunbeams. We no longer have to carry the burden of all of the pain that exists in this world, yet we are not bypassing the pain either. We are simply allowing life to be as it is, moving different energies through us as we experience things. We are not grasping at what we want and we are not resisting what we don’t want. We are simply being with what is.

We feel love. We feel grief. We feel anger. We feel ecstasy. These emotions flow through us like clouds in the sky, always changing, always moving through us and allowing themselves to be fully experienced and expressed, never getting stuck or being resisted. Then we can serve love in the world without impediment, without taking on all the world’s pain as our own. Then we are free to just be human, with all of its bliss and all of its pain, with no separation between the sacred and the profane. Then . . . finally . . . we can rest in beingness and allow the stillness of this calm space inside to leap us into inspired action, as we allow ourselves to be a benevolent presence in the world.

A Meditation

Right now, I’m at Joe Dispenza’s advanced mediation workshop in Tacoma, Washington, where I’m studying what he’s up to as part of my research for a future book Sacred Medicine. By 6 a.m. this morning, I was hooked up to an EEG machine as Joe guided us into a deep meditation, which I dedicated to Mother Earth. During the meditation, I saw all 500 of us in the room as light beings on a rescue mission to bring consciousness to our planet, and I felt the love in the room swelling in my own heart and all around me, until I saw love missiles being cast towards Syria and other terrorist installations, love fireworks raining down on the rainforests, and love bombs exploding in the hearts of people inside corrupt systems everywhere, such that they were suddenly unable to continue business as usual. My whole body started pulsing all the way out to my skin and tears streamed down my face as I felt myself leave my body and look down upon our planet as if from space. The green and blue ball of earth had two big eyes on her and she was gazing at me with the soft, tender eyes of a mother. I heard the mantra repeat itself, “I am in agreement with life, and I resist nothing.”

My heart is bursting.

With love,

PS. Shiloh Sophia McLoud and I are doing a 4 hour virtual Creativity Café creative ritual/ painting class about fearless living on February 26. Please join us from wherever you are!

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8 Comments

  1. Julie Trager

    This conversation is soooooo important! When we serve from a 100% position of choice – I choose to be here, I choose to serve in this way, and if I choose not to serve in this way right now, it’s ok to do that too. When we realize we don’t have to show up in any one way in the world and if the way we are showing up right now doesn’t feed us, we can step away and do something else, we will truly be free to serve from a place of total love. So often light workers forget that we have to love and nurture ourselves first before we can give that love to the world. Bless you for saying so articulately what many of us light workers need to hear and absorb.

    Reply
  2. Cat

    Thank you so much for this post. It’s been a heartbreaking few months in the land of kitty rescue, and I’ve really been struggling – bouncing between feelings of grief, anger, and hopelessness. I am in desperate need of some self-care, and really questioning if any of my work has even helped at all. I’m taking it as a message from the universe that I need to back away and focus my energies on myself for a while. But having “permission” from people like you is more helpful than you can possibly imagine.

    Reply
  3. MrToy

    I appreciate the idea that we don’t need to bear the burdens of the world on our own shoulders. i often make that mistake.

    But the idea, very popular in modern spiritual teachings, that the world’s discords are “part of the perfection” makes my head explode. If war, pain, discord, errors, lies, etc. are part of perfection then the word is meaningless. It’s like saying darkness is a part of light. I can’t accept that. Darkness is the absence of light, not part of it; fear is the absence of love not part of love; and discord is the absence of perfection, not part of perfection. Playing with words in ways that fundamentally change their meaning only confuses the issue.

    When I argue this point, many people rush to tell me that opposites, like up/down, male/female, light/dark, are necessary to our experience of what we really are. They use this to explain the supposed necessity of having evils in the world. Indeed the first chapter of Genesis says God created male and female, light and dark, heaven and earth, water and land, as opposites, and God pronounced them “very good.”

    But there was one pair of opposites not mentioned in the first chapter, good and evil. Good and evil didn’t enter the picture until the second and third chapters, and the knowledge of this pair of opposites was forbidden! This suggests that good and evil were not part of God’s plan, and are not necessary to understand what we really are. Indeed, it seems to take us further and further away from our God-given perfection rather than being part of it.

    -Mr. Toy
    http://www.montereypeninsula.info

    Reply
  4. Ken Harris

    Excellent explanation of the dilemma many of us light workers find ourselves in these days . How can I serve both LIFE and myself at the same time and not burnout in the process. It takes a long view to understand that no one knows what should or should not happen in the world as we now observe all the so called problems, social injustices and environmental needs of the planet. They say one should act locally and think globally . Perhaps we need to start thinking in terms of cosmogical proportions and take the perspective that this Universe is not random or choas driven but is in fact INTELLIGENT and knows something we humans do no know in our limited thinking and perception. Can I TRUST Life And surrender to what is Now without judgement of what is good and what is bad? Some days yes and some days I want to fight against what I perceive are the wrongs of the world. As I have aged I have come to rest in not knowing the answers to the seeming unanswerable question of WHY did this or that event take place as it did in the way it did. Two days ago a very dear friend died from what I believed was medical mismanagement and error. His wife had to console me for upon hearing the news of his “untimely death ” and crying out loud she felt it was her husbands time to go and that I should not despair ! Sobering moment to say the least for me to hear the calm and acceptance In her voice at such a tender time of loss. Lissa you have opened up through this blog a gate for us to explore further the paradoxes of incarnation right here on planet earth in these human forms . I love what you provide through your books and writings in theses days of accelerated change . God Bless you ❤️

    Reply
  5. Kerstin

    ‘I am in agreement with life, and I resist nothing.’ As soon as I internalised this Mantra I felt myself relax deep inside. Thank you Lissa!

    Reply
  6. Andrea Gerak

    Thank you very much Lissa, this is a very important and beautiful lesson we need to remember every now and then.
    I quoted you in my blog post In few poignant words… httpss://lymphedemafree.wordpress.com/2016/02/21/in-few-poignant-words

    Reply
  7. Zoe

    As much as I appreciate everything you have learned and so kindly continue to share with us (strengthening for me much of what I have come to realize over the past few years in my own personal journey) I feel I must offer a slightly different perspective on a subject close to my heart:
    Maybe some love missiles need to be directed to our own (Western) governments and communities due to the part we all play, whether that be as instigator or individually by inaction (from the perspective of individual responsibility and that ‘democracy is not a free ride’), in the avoidance of an attitude of peace and permitting the sovereignty of other countries to be destroyed and people’s lives wrecked, based on a variety of falsehoods ranging from:
    an asserted need to be on the offensive and expand our military might around the globe in order to protect and defend ourselves, to
    ignoring such dynamics and placing blame solely on those other countries as the cause of the strife
    Look at what our interference caused in nearby countries before we appoint blame, perhaps, start by reading John Perkins account of the role he played as an economic hit man. No matter where a country is in their development, like ourselves, they should be given the freedom to make their own choices and mistakes in their growth (if necessary) to ‘adulthood’ (who says we have got it all right anyway or that, if given the freedom to do so, without coercion, countries around the world won’t all converge one day into a much revered system having had that opportunity to learn for themselves and contribute from that wealth of knowledge).
    My gratitude goes out to all those souls who volunteered to be the sufferers in our pursuit of a better life for all.
    But that better life isn’t generally what is told via mainstream media. Similarly to health and wellbeing you need to be open and enquire further afield.
    As has been demonstrated to me as a lawyer who needed to understand the bigger picture to assist in alternative health cases, if you are seeing a closed dogmatic attitude in medicine, you can expect it encompasses every aspect of life from the sciences (where assumptions so often form the basis of the expounded science) to those in government implementing policy. Even in climate science.
    Don’t be swayed by an apparently authoritative and persuasive: façade, words, proclamations and promises, look instead to actions (which should follow true debate of the science/subject, rather than name calling where a contrary view is proffered), impact and outcomes to see where the truth (and, consequently, the answer) lies.
    Whilst western countries remain pretty much untouched in comparison to the blamed countries, our liberties are systematically being removed as we head towards a global totalitarian government (when it will be harder for us all to express our individuality and make those cherished personal health choices, while even now recognizing the inherent limitations within the system).
    The often touted “Greater Good” argument generally requires some individual or small group of people in government or who have networked their way to the top of their field, by following current doctrine and (closed or stagnant) practice (likely influenced in some way by monetary gain), to decide, in an ever growing, changing and expanding arena of scientific knowledge, what is best for that greater good (that is, you and your children).
    Zoe

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