Thank you to all my new readers and for people who’ve started following this blog! I’m very grateful for you! It took me a lot of courage to begin writing this blog and I am so happy to all of you who are along for the ride.
Even though I’m telling my story, and I’m grateful to you for reading it, your story is important too. Your story is beautiful. The parts of your story that seem mundane to you or even embarrassing, might be the most important and healing to someone else. I hope that if you’re feeling the itch to start writing or sharing your story, that you will do so. You never know how what you share may affect another’s life for the better.
One of the big healers I love and follow, Iyanla Vazant, says this: “It’s important that we share our experiences with other people. Your story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else. When you tell your story, you free yourself and give other people permission to acknowledge their own story.”
Sending you blessings to share your own story today, in whatever way makes you feel good.
As I write to you, I’m sitting outside in our pocket of the city, listening to birds begin their chirping and watching the sunlight begin to brighten the sky. Though we live in an industrial city, I’m grateful for the pocket of nature we’ve created for ourselves. It’s never far from my mind that this land was once a forest populated by First Peoples who lived in greater harmony with the land. Though I live in this now-industrial city in a capitalistic society, nature is still here. Nature comes from God. Following the breath of nature puts us in touch with the heart of God.
Growing up, I did not know how out of touch I was with nature until I learned how to be in touch with it. My stepdad in particular taught me so much about being in touch with trees and all things growing, and how to have a true respect for the land. He taught me about the four directions, plants to eat and use, how to plant seeds with care and love, and how to care for and be in touch with the earth. Until that time I had such a profound disconnection from nature that mirrored my disconnection from myself and my heart.
Environmental news these days can be devastating, but it is not the end. We are still here. We still have a chance each day to connect and care for nature. If you live in a city, is there are park nearby? Can you visit public lands? Plant beautiful houseplants? I find the most effective connection I make to nature is when I care for the small land around me by gardening and looking after the birds that make their homes in the trees around us. Let nature guide you by spending time in whatever natural habitat you can get to. You will feel your heart open and your breath slow. Nature comes from God. Nature heals.
Though this is not a political blog, it’s hard to separate politics from healing when there seems to be so much need for healing in our current political climate. No matter what country you live in, there seem to be so many issues rearing their heads, from nationalism, to economic inequality, to anti-immigrant policies. And yet, each day there is something to celebrate. Each day people are still fighting for the good. And each day is a chance for me to remember that the greatest shift happens within.
What if all politicians and all people came to realize that there is only one of us? That would pretty quickly solve a lot of our problems. If we saw ourselves in everyone else we would never be able to hurt other people, leave them starving, try to kick them out of our country, and worse. I truly do believe healing and developing one’s consciousness is one of the most important steps we can take to further the human race. There is only one of us.
I was not raised to believe that there is only one of us. I was raised to see separation and competition, even in my own small life on this planet. As I healed, I had very profound experiences of seeing other people, completely random other people, even everyone I encountered, as being fully human, full of light, and my siblings. Those experiences are not easy to forget. Would that every person could see the full humanness of each of us. We would heal our planet much more quickly than we have been.
I admit that sometimes it is hard to see the good in people and things around us. We live in a beautiful world that is also full of pain, hardship, and suffering. Is it trite or even cruel to see the good when we know others are suffering? In my own life, I have found it’s always good to see the good, not in order to deny the bad or difficult, but to allow the good to grow.
I would not have healed if everyone around me were only seeing the negative in the world. I needed visionaries who could see past pain and see beauty and love in me, and in the world around me. I held onto those people’s conceptions until I could walk into them too. These people saw love in me, where I saw sadness and woundedness. They saw meaning in my trauma, where I saw chaos. It is possible to see good in the world. It is also possible to be honest about the areas of your life and our world that need healing and attention. They aren’t mutually exclusive.
Seeing the good for me truly comes from a place of being in touch with God and love in my heart. I clear away the clutter of my mind and my thoughts and sit in that place of peaceful love. There, things are at peace, and I am at peace. It’s easier to see the good from there and easier to allow it to grow. I believe the world and all people are basically good. It comes from the heart.
Judging others puts distance between us and other people, an easy protection mechanism that makes us feel safe and apart from things we don’t understand. It might seem like an easy path, but others don’t need our judgment. They need our compassion, our love, and our patience.
“Judge not, lest ye be judged” has a correlate in Conversations with God: “what you judge, you become.” It’s not the only reason to stop judging others, but it is a pretty motivating one! Several times in my life I’ve found myself judging people only to find myself in that exact situation months or years later.
I’ve gotten better over the years at not judging others. When I’m connected to love in my heart and coming from a place of compassion, there is no room for judgment. It starts with loving myself and letting God’s love in. When I am full of love for all aspects of myself, then I’m full of love for all aspects of others, and there is no room to judge. Why judge another? We don’t know where they come from or what they’re going through, no matter how they’re showing up to us in that moment. Approach them with love.
Who is in your support system? Who are the people you can call on in need or in joy? It’s important to know who these people are, and to connect with them as often as needed. In the beginning, I had no idea such a thing mattered or was important. I did not always know how to have friends, or to let people in enough to realize they cared about me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I had friends, but I didn’t let it sink in all the way that these people cared about me, because I had put up so many protections around my heart.
The first time I learned about the concept of a support system I was in an inpatient treatment program for survivors of trauma. We had to draw a big circle, and inside of the big circle were smaller circles. We were asked to put a name of someone in our support system in each of the small circles. It was a hard exercise for me, admitting that other people mattered to me and could care about me. I was eventually able to think of four friends whom I considered to be in my support system. This exercise opened my mind and heart to the value of positive relationships. I realized that it was good to have people care about me, and that I could reach out to people with whom I felt safe. It was beautiful to begin to recognize those friendships that sustained me.
Who would you put in your circle? What qualities do each of these people have? Cherish these people and continue to cultivate your relationship with them by also showing them how much you care about them. It can be hard to remember to reach out to our friends and family when the world gets busy and stressful or we’re experiencing something difficult, but it’s so important for your heart, and for theirs. No one should be alone. As the quote by Ram Dass goes, “We’re all just walking each other home.”
Sending you blessings and good friends for your journey.
Can you find times in your day to be still? It can be an enormous undertaking when you are living in the modern world. Being still allows peace to enter. Being still allows you to hear the “still, small voice.” Being still means putting away your smart phone and screens and televisions and distractions. Being still means being brave enough to sit in silence and accept the truth of who you are.
Pre-healing Rebecca ran and ran and ran. I joined things and did things and added many things to my schedule and life. I was afraid to be still. I was afraid to know myself. And yet, when I finally gave myself the space to be still and truly heal, I learned there was nothing to be afraid of. I didn’t have to be so scared. I thought the world would end if I was still enough to honor my true self, and yet the world didn’t end – it truly began.
Being still doesn’t mean you have stop doing all the things you need to do in your life. I know that in times of financial hardship I’ve had to work extremely hard to make ends meet and pay bills, and that didn’t really lend itself to being still very often. Neither does being a mother, a working mother, or any other kind of human. And yet, there is still time. Is there one minute in your day to be still? Stop running and doing and being all things to all people. Meet yourself in the stillness. Meet yourself in the peace. Give yourself the gift of being still. Being still will let you know who you are.