Miracles and Former Students – The Dawn of a New Era . . .

If I never live another day in my life, I know it was a life well spent. I received a letter from a young man whom I taught when he was in the gifted program as a sixth- grader at Moody Middle School in Richmond, Virginia. Now, as a graduate of psychology from UVA, our paths have crossed again.

I will let him show you here the meaning of love and what it means to reach out and hold each other up. It’s a long letter, but if you stay with it . . . you will see and feel the miracle:

Written to me on March 22nd, 2015: This is from Nathaniel Mason. At 23, he is now a student of A Course in Miracles. He has one of the smartest, quickest minds I have ever encountered. Watch for him as the years unfold. He is the light of the world.

Now . . . to that letter he wrote to me . . . a letter meant for more than just me. With his permission, I am reprinting it here because it is all about walking each other home. I am elated to be in this young man’s presence.

Ruth – 10 years later

Time is remarkable; but, then again, so is anything related to time. Seasons, sunlight, moonlight, buds on trees. The most remarkable symbol of time is running into someone who will unknowingly change your life forever. I suppose a better way of saying that would be to say running into said person was a matter of perfect timing from God.

Ruth Perkinson, on a piece of paper, is a remarkable lady. Off the piece of paper, no cameras around, off-record, she is truly a God send. I first encountered her at Moody Middle School in 2002, just before the leaves hinted at their fall tints for the season. I was attending the baccalaureate program there for gifted students. It was a socially stunting program (save the few good friends I still remain in contact with) but academically it prepared me like no other place would. Ruth was my English teacher assigned to me for that year. My first couple impressions of her are just as germane to my impressions of her now. Intelligent, witty, and particularly warm – something I thought so many teachers lacked. She wasn’t an old spinster or a grammar Nazi or even one of those English teachers that retires at 58 who, even though she’s had a great life and still loves her husband, she makes her student write in cursive. Ruth was innovative and engaging as we marched awkwardly with our pre-pubescent gates into the antiquated and often stuffy cinderblock classroom.

The ever-anonymous feelings we had as students in many of our other classes, where we didn’t know if our teachers knew much beyond the first few letters of the names we go by, was totally null and void when we walked into E Block (my first period of the day on ‘Gold Days’, the other day being ‘Burgundy’, respectively deemed appropriate based on the school’s colors). Ruth knew our first and last names and our distinctive little quirks in our personalities. Right away, she picked up on my wittiness, particularly quick comebacks where other students were afraid to speak. She laughed with us and not at us. The stories we studied were taught with such a strong emotional connection to the main character that I felt as if the characters had truly come alive in my sphere of consciousness. Beatty from Fahrenheit 451 was as glossy and devilish as he was in the novel. Charles Wallace from A Wrinkle in Time was the little prodigy that never will quite fit in that we all rooted for, while turning the pages of the wonderful sci-fi novel in the springtime sun. We were graded for the first time on our poetry, on our research writing skills, and I still remember the gorgeous cursive that slid upward as her comments became increasingly enthusiastic.

My sixth grade year was filled with uncertainty. Not knowing how to fit in, not knowing what I would get on my next assessment, not knowing anything about my new social group (or lack thereof). Middle school, for all intents and purposes, is a horrible place where creativity and individualism go out the window to die. But that’s all I really have to say about it. Every other stereotype is sufficiently addressed in other people’s memoirs. It would be paying lip service to the already understood. But when I walked into Ruth’s room 2 or 3 times a week, depending on the schedule, I knew I was being paid attention to, that I mattered, that we as people matter in this bizarre world that was just surfacing on our 11-year-old radars. I knew that the love felt in that room for 90 minutes was as real as the love my parents, grandparents, and close friends and family had ever showed me. This wonderful lady exuded a light that couldn’t be diminished even if someone tried.

She left such an impact on me that I wrote to her in the 7th grade, telling her of my memories of her classroom and thanking her for teaching me the value to be okay with a “B.” I had no idea she would still be there the following year for English. And that I would be lucky enough to have her again. The class was wonderful, and I had a straight “A” all year. We had a test on Hamlet, and read Fall of the House of Usher, a story so menacing and haunting that it needed so little action and dialogue to convey the emotion of a disintegrating family. Sadly, very sadly, in the winter of that year, before Christmas break I believe, she announced that she was leaving. I was very disappointed. I knew that she was going to be doing great things and I wanted a way to keep in contact with her.

One night, while at my job as a library assistant at UVA, I Googled her name and found a radio interview on an independent station in Richmond where she talked about her novels that she had written. I was flabbergasted to hear the same voice, with the loving, warm cadence that I had remembered from years before. It was really her! I found out she had a blog, and I read about every update. I finally picked up her latest spiritual novel, Spirit Home, and found myself enamored by her tales of forgiveness, love, and the beauty in life that resonates with us even in the darkest of moments. That book catalyzed my fascination and desire to continue this very memoir. Thank you, Ruth. That book, coupled with the strong whisperings in my soul to reach out to her, compelled me to finally reach out. I left a private message on her blog about coming out, the season with Cameron, and where I felt spiritually and psychologically at that time. A day or two later, I got a beautiful and heartfelt response. That turned into more responses. Then coffee at a local Starbucks.

We talked and gossiped and laughed about nearly every subject in the book for almost 3 hours until they closed. I left feeling the aura of being around someone that was now not only a former wonderful teacher, but a holy, tried and true Friend. For those who know me I am not a private person with those that are open. But for those that are close-minded or set in their ways of thinking about you, like most people, I have a difficult time sharing. I could talk so freely with her about life and religion, and family and sexual encounters, drug use (or in my case, a strong lack thereof) and at the end of it all still laugh. What a pure blessing it was to connect with someone on that level again. At the time, the biggest thing I needed from her was reassurance that heartbreak is very real, but it is not forever. She shared with me in the coffee-infused space near the little frosted window her tales of woes with women. Women who doubted themselves, the world, and their feelings towards her. There have been tons of “Camerons” out there. Ruth is so similar to me in that we are both expressive and have a hard time keeping our feelings closed. She has been blessed in time with being more sure of herself than I am currently of me, but I feel the Holy Spirit is working through this encounter to teach me about self-love and sharing my aura with the world.

Her source of inspiration to keep going, through years of psychotic episodes, near-suicides, and pain and suffering and addictions, was her stumbling upon a beautiful text, A Course in Miracles. The Jesus – scribed, divinely inspired manual of about 1200 pages has seeped through her soul and sweated out in beautiful droplets through her pores. Many people have loud, cranky opinions on how religion, God, and the world at large should be viewed. The Course boils it down beautifully:

Nothing real can be threatened.

Nothing unreal exists.

Herein lies the peace of God.

And the ego, with its menacing entity of many faces, rears its ugly head to spread the wealth of lies, guilt, shame, anger, anxiety, and worry. But these are all a dream, a feverish dream from which we wake in a moment of glory when we realize the separation between man and God was never real in the first place. God is within us and wants us to engender joy. We do this by loving and forgiving others that we hold grievances against. That is the summation of the Course in a small nutshell.

Ruth has attended a Monday night group for ACIM for a while now at a local Unitarian Church in Glen Allen. I encourage everyone to read her novel, Spirit Home, to find out more about where she came in her love to need and find joy and fulfillment in the Course’s beautifully simple message. The novel, quite literally, might have saved my life from decades of the same destructive patterns I had been engaging in for years – self-loathing, not finding self-worth internally, impressing others that don’t care about me, worrying incessantly about my resume, my finances, my image, etc. The novel brought me back to her. In a glorious email a while after our coffee meeting, she mentioned she would be starting an ACIM group at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church in the beautiful Bellevue neighborhood off Laburnum avenue. The sidewalks are caked with large, stately brick homes and landscaped backyards.

The first Saturday morning (what a perfect reset time of the week!) that the ACIM group met, I felt nervous. I was shocked to know that Ruth was nervous herself in leading the group. Not only has she been studying the Course for a while, but also – like she was in the classroom – she brings that rare brand of intelligence sprinkled gingerly with a lot of heart and humor. Everyone agrees she is a blessing. By the end of my time there, I knew I had met people that would become lifelong friends. They were loving and warm, and embodied the energy and fellowship of Christ. No judgment, no questions asked to make anyone uncomfortable, perfect listening and understanding. And like everyone, these people all have their own stories. I have yet to fully share mine, but everything in due time. Like my mom says, you’re not going to solve every major problem in one day, especially on a beautiful spring Sunday.

Ruth and her partner, Heather, have brought me the kind of joy and friendships that I have never experienced. We never need a TV, a radio, or a phone to fill the silences, simply because there are none. Heather, her partner whom she is marrying this June (I am so excited for that wedding) is wise beyond her years, and is probably one of the calmest people I’ve ever met. I like that she doesn’t like small talk and acts like little things that people do or quirks that they have are beyond her scope of paying attention to. True introverts are a gift to the world because they help us extroverts remember what is written on our souls. If my partner in life was like Heather, I would be as joyful as I see Ruth. We’ve all laughed, sometimes one or more of us have teared up, and we still can’t believe that this couple that visits these two locales for ACIM are real. God bless Mickey and Coco for all they give to the world. God bless the fact that they are likely African American ghosts sent to us through a time portal off of Chamberlayne and Hawthorne Avenues. They have assured me, time and time again, that I am a spirit, whole and innocent, and that all is surely forgiven. Every time I am with them, I feel the spiritual buzz of love and joy ringing in both ears and the pathways of the neural noodle.

They ironically live about 2.5 miles away from where I live in a wonderful house with a sweet, loving dog named Sadie, and a black cat that is probably a gay, angry man trapped in a cat’s lifetime. His name is Gabriel and I can’t help but like him. He needs a lot of love and attention, just like we do in the darkest of moments. All of this in the past few months because I reached out. All of this in the past few months because I kept wondering what had happened to her. All of this in the past few months because the Holy Spirit had it written years before, when that little lady in the summer of 2002, in a ruddy-brick building off of Woodman Rd. put me in this lovely woman’s class, probably not thinking twice about it before sipping her watered down Diet Coke from lunch.

Truly, it is the smallest of miracles that get us to where we need to be.

Ruth,

I hope this encapsulates just a fraction of what you’ve done for me. This is my chapter I have written to dedicate to you in my novel. I think it is starting to take shape. Love you with all of my heart. And to think it all started in E block!

Living in a holy encounter,

Nathaniel

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Lent, the Ego, and the Guiltless World…:)

For Lent, I am giving up the Ego. I am not giving up cheese or cake or chocolate. I am giving in, finally, and giving up that pesky little thing we call the ego. With grace and ease and lightness, I flick this flea off my shoulder. Into the wind and into the light to be done with forever. See you later, ego. It was not really that real. Thanks, you lovely mind disaster, but I’ve had enough of the vicious vitriol. Buh-bye.

Simple as that. I choose again. For me choosing again means to choose the “resurrection” instead of the “crucifixion.” This means I choose love instead of fear. Light instead of dark. Comedy instead of sadness. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler over the incessant images the ego-driven news media puts out to frighten the JESUS out of us. Isis. Malaysian air disasters. Beheadings. You get the picture. A thousand times an hour.

Turn it off. The TV. Turn on Pandora. Go ice-skating. Square dance. Circle dance. Trapezoid dance. Whatever…

I work in a church and am reminded daily of the events of the liturgical calendar even though I stink at understanding any of it. I was raised a Roman Catholic till I was about eleven and then I went to a Methodist Church till I was out of college. I’ve read a lot of the Bible and understood little. Even when the scrambled mass is put in front of me, I can never make out what it is trying to say. The language in it has been turned over and over and over again into so many different versions that I find it somewhat farcical. Scatological, even. That’s a big word for crap.

For most of my life, I thought for sure Jesus and God and the Holy Spirit had left me because I was a lesbian. That insane ego lives in religion and church and I was told by the media and “others” that I was relegated to the margins. So much pain inside of the church – the ego knows no boundaries because the ego “lives” in our minds. It goes with us everywhere. Yep. That’s you and me.

But, I love the Bible because it’s got this really cool guy – Jesus. Who I have come to know really did live and really did not hate gay people and really just wanted to spread some good news about how we can get a little piece of heaven – now.

The heart of the Bible for me is the New Testament. Herein lies the peace that our hero – Jesus – brings to us.

Here are some new words Jesus brings to us because he’s here in all of us now to teach us that we live in a guiltless world. This is a large leap from our Bible of two thousand years ago…but I think this is a good addendum.

There is a new book on planet earth (about 40 years old) that has the Voice of Jesus. It’s not a beach read. It’s 1200 pages. It’s hard to read like the Bible. But the language is fresh and new and it is ONLY the Voice of Jesus and NO ONE ELSE. I feel this with my whole being. I take it two pages a day and it has completely brought me back to church and back to religion and back to – you know – Jesus.

Here’s what He says:

“There is no fear in love, for love is guiltless.”

How cool is that?

He (Jesus) goes onto say:

“No one who condemns a brother (or sister or child) can see himself as guiltless (without sin; without ego) and in the peace of God. If he is guiltless and in peace and sees it not, he is delusional, and has not looked upon himself.”

When he says “condemns,” its that judgy part of our ego. I am better than you and my beliefs are above yours…blah, blah, blah.

He then goes on to say…”Let us look upon him (your brother) together and love him. For in love of him is your guiltlessness. [Only] look upon yourself, and gladness and appreciation for what you see will banish guilt forever.” (p. 265 – Text)

The message of Jesus is summed up here:

“Nothing real (like love) can be threatened.
Nothing unreal (ego) exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.”

You heard it from His lips – not mine. The ego is the scatological part. Fancy word for what we have slipped up in. It’s all in our minds.

For Lent, I am giving up the ego because it does not serve me or you or anyone. Perhaps we could then roll right into Easter and see that we truly live in a guiltless world where love is it.

Not to bad for the beginning of Lent. I get to eat pizza. I will not watch the bad news. I will Trapezoid dance. I will love all my brothers and sisters. I will forgive me – everyday. I will love you every time I see you.

That Jesus. He’s onto something.

Go, EGO, Go…done.

Love wins.

Ruth

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A Mentally Ill Man – A reminder to everyone…

I didn’t know at 8:45 a.m. that I had only about an hour before a thin, sparsely bearded, dark-haired man named David was going to show himself at the church office where I work.

At 8:45 a.m., I was pulling into the parking lot and going through my usual routine. Glad that it was Friday, I thought of how much work I could get done in all those manila folders that lay thick with paper and spreadsheets and names and dates and blah, blah, blah on my desk.

Christi, the financial secretary, came in and we exchanged our pleasantries and talked briefly about an “Ellen” episode she had watched. For a moment, we both shared what many women in our culture probably share: our woman-crushes on Ellen. I only admit one man- crush and that is to Bradley Cooper because of his outstanding portrayal of a bipolar hero in the movie, Silver Linings Playbook.

I wasn’t thinking of Bradley Cooper or Ellen when David arrived. Slightly disheveled he came to the door of my office. On the outside, I assumed – for a moment – that David was one of our volunteers or perhaps a member. He looked a bit scruffy but if you have ever been to our church, you will see a good case of bed-head and ragged clothes everyday: volunteers and parishioners alike.

Suddenly, David began to speak in a high-pressured speech of which I am all too familiar. His first words were: “I’m sorry . . . ” And, then like the manic episode he was in, he could not stop himself.

Here’s a bit of how he sounded: “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I just need some help. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Uhhh . . . sorry.” Picture now, David armed with a folder looking at everything around him: the pictures on the wall, the mailboxes, the floor, and me. His eyes and mind were ablaze. I gently guided him to the wingback chair and asked him to have a seat and told him that everything was okay and that we were going to help him.

“I’m sorry,” he continued, “here is my folder and my prescriptions. I’m sorry. I have a meeting at eleven (it was 9:45 a.m.). I can’t miss it. I need to see my case worker. I don’t . . . I’m sorry.” He looked up and into my eyes and for a moment, I saw myself.

Time stopped.

Fifteen years ago, I was having my own manic episode – lack of sleep and work-a-holism had me in the same chair. The worst part of mania is the complete and utter confusion it throws you into. It is like you are outside of your body tethered by an invisible umbilicus and all you want is for your on-fire-and-about-to-explode brain to stop.

David told me he was bipolar and told me he desperately wanted his medication. Between all of the “I’m sorry’s” I knew he was telling me the truth. Our church protocol is to let the priests handle these cases but both were out at a council meeting. It was me and Christi.

“How much do you need?” I asked him quickly.

“Twenty dollars. I just need twenty dollars.” Can you guess what his next words were?

“Hold on,” I said. “Stay here.” I walked into my office and pulled out my wallet. Two fives. I was short ten dollars, short two priests, and looking at my twin from fifteen years ago. It was strange . . . but we all know that this earth plane is one freaked out place sometimes.

I scurried down to Christi’s office. “Do you have any money?” I felt hurried only because I knew how desperate this guy was and how much he knew the medicine was going to help him.

“Yes.” Christi always says yes. “All I have is a ten.”

Thank you, Jesus!

I grabbed it from her. “I owe you!” I said. Christi said not to worry. Christi gets it. After all, she’s straight and has a woman-crush on Ellen.

Quickly, I returned to David. I handed him the twenty dollars. “How can I pay you back?” he asked. I told him not to worry and we walked down the long corridor back to the double-doors. We both walked quickly as we both knew that the sooner he got his medicine, the better he would feel.

I hear you, David.

When we got to the door and after a few more “I’m sorry’s,” David thanked me. I said to him that he had come to the right place. The small church with a big heart – as we sometimes call it.

Then, I said, “God loves you.” I opened the door for him. He stopped and said, “God loves everyone.” He said it clear as a bell. No apologies before, during, or after those three words.

I didn’t show up for David today. David showed up for me. A reminder that no one on this planet is relegated to the margins because of a label or a stigma. Sometimes we push people around in our heads this way – with a label or “that’s not me” . . . but it is you. David is us.

Out of the wound always comes the gift. Wherever David is right now, I know he has swallowed some medicine and is trying desperately to get his life back.

Life is what we all want. Go, David, Go!

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The Sweet Eyes of Christmas – A Little Girl

My partner and I arrived at Leonardo’s Pizza last Friday worn out from our tiresome week. I had another eye injection in my right eye and had powered through a 36-hour migraine working at St. Thomas’ Church. She, on the other hand, was working another grueling week as a Civil Engineer. Sewers and waste water.

It was early in the evening – 5:00-ish. We ordered apps and our waitress was wearing a shirt that said, “Love” on it. I remarked to her that I liked it. She was kind and the banter was light.

Heather (my partner) and I were in a deep discussion about the ego’s mis-creations – some of the ultimate ones – like the crucifixion. More like Easter talk than Christmas. Ironically, we were enjoying the diversion into our burgeoning spirituality through A Course in Miracles when I heard a lady yell from across the restaurant.

Time stopped. Dead in its tracks. Floating through the ether were the words: “Does someone know CPR? My granddaughter is choking!” It was a pressed call for help.

From where I was sitting, I looked to see that trouble was indeed looming. Hurriedly, I scrambled to the grandmother and the little girl. By the time I got there, the girl was standing next to the booth. I wrapped my arms around her from behind and placed my hands in a ball beneath her small ribs. She was tiny. On my first thrust, I lifted her off the floor. Nothing. I did it again. Nothing. Another thrust. Nothing. Right before the fourth thrust, I do not know why, but I bent my lips close to her ear and said very calmly, “It’s okay to throw up.” I lifted her and hit hard a fourth time, the projectile of a hard green candy flew from her mouth onto the floor. She breathed.

I looked around and saw that no one in the restaurant had moved. The little girl sidled next to her grandmother and I walked back to my booth and sat down. By this time, the waitress – the one with the “Love” shirt – was there in tears. I hugged her and told her that the little girl was okay. I think by the end we must have hugged at least three times.

I looked at Heather and she looked at me. Time was still locked. I finally intimated – calmly – that I could not eat the dinner. After all of that, it seemed right to leave.

We asked for boxes for the spaghetti. Later, Heather would tell me that the little girl’s mother entered the restaurant and witnessed the whole thing. She paid for our dinner.

Before we left, I had to see the little girl. I had only been behind her and then had simply walked away. Heather and I walked over to the booth and met her mother and her grandmother. I looked at the small, I think four-year-old child, and asked her what her name was.

“Hayden,” she said. She smiled at me and I looked into her eyes and witnessed the most angelic vision I think I have ever seen.

I asked her what she was getting for Christmas. She replied with a shrug, “I don’t know.” I then said to her that I hoped she would get everything she wanted. She smiled and nuzzled next to her grandmother.

At my study group on Monday night this week, I told them the story. I’ve told several people this week. The first person I told was my mom. I tell her just about everything.

What struck me this week were two things. The timing of our “grueling” week last week navigated us right to that restaurant. The other thing was that I was glad – elated really – that during my three “dark nights of the soul” in this lifetime, I did not choose suicide over the love of life.

Timing.

Merry Christmas, Hayden. I hope that is how you spell your name. If not, forgive my error. I hope your life is as precious as your family and the sweetness you showed me in those minutes last Friday.

The sweet eyes of a child. A blessing indeed. Christmas is coming and Hayden is here.

All my love,

Ruth

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Whole Minds: The Bittersweet Lessons of Love

As an avid reader of our newest Bible on earth, A Course in Miracles, I must stop withholding what the light continues to shed on all of us – we are forgiven for all that we thought we were guilty of. All of it…yep. Even that crazy angry thought you had in 1998. That extra bad one.

Guilt comes in various forms because that’s what the ego likes to do. The ego feeds on guilt. The ego feeds on anger. The ego feeds on shame. The ego, my friend, is insane. Even that time when I hit my dog over the head for doing something wrong is included in this insanity. I thought about her this morning and am reminded of her now. She was and still is one of the sweetest gifts God gave me. While I stroked her and loved on her and helped her through cancer and picked chicken for her and told her she was the best therapy dog on the planet, I still come to that one time – sometimes – when I hit her on the head for something I can’t even remember why. I think she was snapping at my sister’s dog. It doesn’t matter.

She, River, forgave me for that time and for the several other times she plucked my last nerve. Dogs are our great animal forgivers. Without words on their lips, they say it in their eyes because they continue to show up. They wag their tails and love us without reserve, without judgment, without the projection of guilt.

I have yelled at God and Jesus and cussed at them more times than I can remember in my life. I yelled at them for the crushed ankle. I yelled at them for my deteriorating eyes. I yelled at them for not putting enough digits in my bank account even though I’d worked harder than most millionaires I’d met. I yelled when I wasn’t getting enough sex. I yelled internally and externally.

Funny thing about God. He/She/It holds no grievances against you. God is love. God has all the answers. The ego will be glad to give you doubt, levels, a million unanswerable questions. But, when you look in the eyes of a dog (or cat), you can be sure where God is.

Undoing the ego through forgiveness and love releases us into the arms of the Holy Spirit and then into the arms of God. According to ACIM, we have three steps.

1. To have, give all to all.
2. To have peace, teach peace to learn it.
3. Be vigilant only for God and His Kingdom. (Vigilance is not necessary for the truth, but it IS necessary against illusions). And, my friend, illusions are all of the ego’s miscreations. That crazy messed up thought system in your large noodle.

Furthermore, ACIM teaches us that all the Holy Spirit wants to do is engender joy. The first thought we have (typically) is always of the ego – doubt, worry, shame, guilt, anger. Our second thought is always of LOVE.

When we hurt each other – regardless of who or what – then just help yourself by forgiving your past misdoings. Forgive your friend, forgive your father and mother, forgive your brother and sister. Forgive your animals. By doing this, you are blessing them and yourself.

“Light does not attack darkness (ego), but it does shine it away.”

I love this quote. And, I also know in my whole mind it is so true. The light of forgiveness and love purifies our past of all its mistakes we THOUGHT we made. Our kindnesses and gentle loving thoughts and actions are saved. You are saved.

River’s picture is here on my desk as I write this. It is of her licking an ice cream cone the day she passed her therapy dog test in Charlottesville, Virginia. She went on to assuage many lonely hearts in the halls of the Virginia Home. She made it to PBS as local star for doing what was in her heart all the time. I was her guide person.

Lastly, in ACIM it states, “The light becomes ours, and you cannot abide in darkness any more than darkness can abide wherever you go. The remembrance of me (Jesus) is the remembrance of yourself, and of Him (God) Who sent me to you.”

We aren’t bad at all, my friend. We are actually pretty cool. We are the light and that is one of the coolest things EVER!

Love,

Ruth

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Whole Minds – The Intersection of Love and Love

No more secrets.

I am not a theologian nor am I a Bible scholar. I have never been very Jesusy. Thank God, I am not a politician. Equivocating is not my goal in life. Confrontation, I have learned, too, is never the answer. Confrontation breeds conflict and, as A Course in Miracles will teach you, conflict is asleep. Conflict is the biggest snore of them all. I mean a snooze-a-rama. Where is the birthplace of this snooze-fest? Your mind, my friend. Mine, too. We are no different in any corner of the world.

When we attack with our minds it is akin to a sword or a pistol or a knife to your own head or throat. Your mind only murders you – over and over and over and over again. People in A.A. understand this as those resentments against your own family. Your still upset about what your brother or mother or father or sister DID or DID NOT do back in 1997 and you carry that silent knife of anger thoughts with you through your victim story. Everyone is wrong but you. We project our “stuff” onto someone or some idea and then we defend our own attack (waiting in the bushes for it) by looking for allies. Hmmm. Sound familiar? We attack people for not thinking like we think. We live in the world of illusions where these thoughts are our biggest wake-up call.

It is the split-mind we are tasked to deal with that is burdened by this sleepiness. So, it is here – our minds – where we must learn to heal and undo the part that believes it is guilty. The ego mind that attacks. The ego mind that is front and center. The ego mind that doesn’t even exist. As A Course in Miracles tells us:

“Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.”

Let’s define two words in the above quote:
Real = love, joy, truth, God’s creations
Unreal = guilt, anger, separation, loss, ego’s miscreations

I won’t lie. A Course in Miracles is a hard read. It is not meant to be read in a weekend at the beach. Frankly, I almost stopped reading it because the language is so ABSTRACT. You have to attend to it like a gardener tends to his watering and weeding. You have to find a study group and you have to be willing to understand why a shared universal experience of forgiveness is necessary for us to find inner peace. When we find inner peace, then all the media will be a tad upset because there will, my friend, be nothing to report. Only the good news.

After reading some of ACIM, I have decided that there should be a store like Whole Foods. Instead, we can call it Whole Minds. On your way to the store to get eggs and milk, you can stop off at Whole Minds and get your Mind back. On the menu at Whole Minds is the book: A Course in Miracles. Duh;) Any book by Kenneth Wapnick. I suggest Absence from Felicity first. Any book by Gary Renard because he tells us the “love has forgotten no one” and I like that. You can pick up some love and tenderness. I imagine Whole Minds might have puppies and bunnies and ice cream and lots of people singing. My friends are there recounting how our past was nothing but beauty and a blessing! J (Jesus) has “saved all your kindnesses and every loving thought you ever had.” And, [He] has “purified them of the errors that hid their light, and kept them for you in their own perfect radiance. They are beyond destruction and beyond guilt.” *

Heavenly, wouldn’t you say? Every kind and loving thought (THOUGHT) you have is SAVED. I am completely on board with this idea of Whole Minds. Like Walgreens, it can be at the corner of happy and healthy. Instead, I think Whole Minds is at the intersection of “Love and Love.” The big “O” for Oneness in the middle of the road.

Branding, anyone?

All my love,

Ruth
p.s. My sixth book Spirit Home is at the intersection of the universal shared experience “Love and Love.” Amazon and Barnes and Noble are selling it now.

*(p. 83 of Chapter 5, “Healing and Wholeness” text, ACIM)

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Gary Renard and St. Thomas’ (my church)…

Last night, I was reading Love has Forgotten No One by Gary Renard. I have an eye issue, so I was reading my kindle with my sunglasses on in the dark. It was like the 19th century – no TV, no smartphone, no lights except for the device that I held. We were in the fog of darkness except for the light behind the black font of his words.

And, what a font those words are.

Gary and his books never fail to transport me. My girlfriend sat there listening as I read aloud from his text and we were and are amazed at how grounded he can be as he dispels many myths of this world through his interaction with ascended masters and with his own experience.

I won’t lie to you. It will make your toes curl when you read his work because your belief system will have to be utterly suspended and then you will have to – eventually – cut the umbilicus to that belief system and recognize that this man is – literally – on to something. My first recommendation is that you read his first book, The Disappearance of the Universe. After you read that toe curler, you can go onto his next two. Reading them in succession is helpful as you get to know him and his spiritual awakening through a visitation from two ascended masters: Pursah and Arten. For those of you who might not want to “go there” with this type of forwardness from the universe, then I recommend you to stick to whatever spiritual path or religious path you are on. It’s really up to you. Regardless, we are all on the right path. However, it is my opinion that his teachings as well as A Course in Miracles and A Course in Love will lead you to a better grapple of why we are here a tad faster than other approaches. But, that is my opinion and that’s that.

After reading Gary Renard’s first book, I was really happy to be working at my new favorite job as parish administrator at St. Thomas’ Church in Ginter Park here in Richmond, Virginia. It was as if Gary led me directly there and now I am happy to be working at a place that exudes so much love and so much forgiveness each day. It is frenetic and busy and we meet with the many challenges of a church trying to support the miracles of everyday living.

Yesterday, a woman showed up. She was confused and went on and on about a list of terrible things that were happening to her. She’d come from Wisconsin and her Medicaid wasn’t working because of the move. She had no meds for her mental condition and she was hungry and needed bus fare to figure out what her next step was. Our Rector helped her. She gave her a bag of food from the food pantry. She gave her a number to call for crisis intervention and she gave her money for bus fare.  Most of all, she gave her a bit of her precious time.

The woman asked me where the next church was she could go to. I started to give her directions to one down the street but she was confused. I then walked her to the corner of Walton and Hawthorne and pointed her in the right direction. I told her things were looking up. She had food. She had a bit of money and she was going to the next church. I also told her that I would pray for her.

As I read Gary’s book last night, I realized he had led me to the next right place in my life. Thank you, St. Thomas!

I hope that is enough to get you on your way…

Many blessings and love,

Ruth
p.s. My sixth book, Spirit Home, is now available in both ebook and paperback from all the regular sources: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. It is a stepping stone to A Course in Miracles – what Gary’s first book is all about.amazon

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