Being Loved. Being Love.

Love Stories

Being loved is what we live for, and we recruit all sorts of scenarios to accomplish the precious feeling.  If we haven’t felt deserving, we both long for being loved and get in the way of it happening.

Rather than being loved, it works much better to “be love.”  What I mean is that, we humans are scuffling around trying to access love from each other, when being an instrument of love’s expression is the way to go.  Love doesn’t come from us, it comes through us.

If I AM love, I only look for ways to express it in the world.  Those ways are constantly emerging, but we miss the opportunities because we’re looking for validation of worth from each other.  Here is the bottom line:  We are already valid because we are love’s expression!

Once we accept this, we express it every chance we get.  We offer an open heart, compassion and gratitude.  This is much more appealing than a sense of lack and “what can you do for ME” mentality.  In fact, when others feel that we are giving rather than asking, channeling in Universal Love, they gravitate toward it.  We become the conduit through which others can experience it.

This sort of love may or may not appear as personal love.  Personal love appears as romantic relationships and family and looks like it’s about ME.  In fact, it’s a particular canvass upon which Universal Love is expressed.  It’s never about your or me as an individual, although it appears that it is.

Love is expressed moment to moment and subtly guides our decisions. When we are aligned with that beam, attuned to it, the music that plays through us is light hearted and joyful.  We aren’t on a hunt for something in the world to complete us.  We are already complete.

I had someone recently say “but I’m not Jesus or Ghandi!”  To that I answered, why not?

With love,

Rosanne.

Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of (E)motion

Newton's cradle

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction… Or simply said from the psychological perspective “You cannot touch without being touched!”

Back in the day my brother, five years older than I, took the physical science road and became a physics teacher, while I took the life science road and became a biology teacher.  It seemed like we were on opposites sides of the road.

As time passed, I moved from my biology platform into psychology, but still teaching in my own ways, both in practice and in college.  Last week, my brother shared Newton’s Third Law…”You cannot touch without being touched,” and I realized the more things appear different, the more they are the same.

When we touch another person’s life, we are touched in return.  Precious are these interactions and not to be taken lightly.  Vital is conscious awareness as to how our “touch” of another rebounds and has effect on ourselves.

I recently completed teaching a trimester in both Intro to Psychology and Human Relations at Berkeley College.  I realized, in our last class, that I had touched my students and they had deeply touched me. Every moment of interaction has its impact, a Universal impact. The laws of science and of interpersonal relations are one.

We humans move through life often semi-conscious and seeing things solely from our point of view. The ability to empathize, embrace the position of another person is our willingness to be touched.  The perception of isolation and individuality is a limitation, just as the idea that the laws of science don’t apply to all things.

So I’m glad I’ve lived long enough to see separation become connection. Thank you to my brother for his wisdom…

With love, Rosanne

Appearances

sign spiritual walk at the wall

There was a time in my life that “if it felt good, it WAS good, and if it felt bad, it WAS bad.”  I guess I was living like a member of another species!

What I’ve learned over time is what feels bad is sometimes good, and what feels good is sometimes bad.  This puts a whole new spin on things.  Now I have to discern what’s actually happening, regardless of how it feels.

This is probably what Pema Chodron, the great Buddhist nun, means when she says “lean into the sharp object.”  It’s counterintuitive to accept pain as part of life.  We spend a lot of energy trying to avoid it through various addictions and distractions. We desperately hope that something outside ourselves will save us from pain.  The truth… Nothing saves us from pain.  Our only choice is to get through it quickly through acceptance, or slowly through obfuscation and suffering.  The latter strategy results in blaming others and Life itself for our pain.

 The grace of acceptance looks like giving up, but it is actually the Path of the Spiritual Warrior.  There are times to fight, but they are much rarer than we think.  If we fight to avoid pain, it will accumulate and will be waiting around the corner in another form.

As I’ve come to this realization I can breathe.  I don’t feel like a cornered animal living on adrenalin.  I don’t think anyone is making a stained glass window in my image any time soon!  I’m just grateful to embrace a truth that lets me rest.

 With love, Rosanne

Living Mindfully

visage femme

I remember my dear uncle saying, “Now that I’m old I can look back on life while I’m living it.”  I didn’t get that at the time, but now I do.

What I find different about getting older is that I can be the observer and the actor at the same time.  When we’re young, we’re “doing,” and if we are more mature than the majority, reflecting way after the doing is over.  “Insight,” is just that…looking inward and reflecting.  If we can do that while we’re living, we’re far better off than most folks.

If we aren’t among the more mature and mindful, we blunder along only to discover our patterns and miscues in what isn’t working in our lives.  If we don’t blame others, we may end up in the office of a therapist.  Better late than never!

On the Discovery Channel there was discussion about research moving toward life without death.  On the surface, that sounds like the vanquishing of the ultimate enemy!   But what impact will immortality have on the choices we make in our then open-ended lives?

Will we care as much about our impact on others?  If we have endless “do-overs” will we choose to be mindful? There was a hypothetical projection that one day we will be able to upload our consciousness into an app and won’t need a body!

There is something about the finiteness of form and time that motivates us.  That which is finite is more precious and worthy of introspection and meaning.  Since neither I nor anyone reading this is at this point immortal in the physical sense, maybe we can cherish the life we are living and “look back at its impact while we’re living it.”

With love,

Rosanne

Expansion & Contaction

Sunrise over planet Earth in space 3D rendering elements of this

I was watching a Discovery Channel program about the Universe.  There are apparently two forces in nature that dictate balance among the heavenly bodies.  The Big Bang caused incredible forces of expansion that are still moving out from  the center.  The complementary force is Gravity, which keeps all things united in the center.  Balance between these forces allows the Universe to expand at a reasonable rate.

I had taught a lesson recently on the “Comfort Zone,” that place in our experience that resists change.  Otto Rank, the famous cohort of Sigmund Freud, wrote about “Life Fear,” (the desire to stay on familiar ground and resist change), and “Death Fear,” (the desire the move out of stagnation and grow).  

Doesn’t it sound like life on the human level is both moving out from the center (expansion and death fear) as well as trying to hold on to comfort (contraction and life fear)?  

The more we look at the way the Universe functions, the more the parallels to our experience we can find.  Too much expansion = not safe.  Too much contraction = stagnant/not growing.

We each have our own formula for what is enough familiarity/comfort and what is enough adventure/discomfort.  I can see that if we are excessive in either direction, we get a diagnosis! 

The reason I’m writing this is to tie some concepts together, namely, our experience as human beings is a reflection of the way things are universally.  This may seem like a head scratcher, but if you have a little time to read and reread, maybe you’ll agree.  All roads embody singular truths that may look different at one level, but join in Oneness at another level.

Contemplating where we are in our levels of expansion and contraction can be a healthy rubric for self-reflection.  Try it!

With love,

Rosanne

“Love Songs to Myself!”

Vintage inscription made by old typewriter

It’s taken me a long time to discern the difference between being self-absorbed and self-appreciative.  I think I always shied away from embracing the good things about me, feeling a little ashamed and self-indulgent.

It’s time to change that script!  Not that I’m perfect, by a long shot…but I can say this about me… “I am a resilient SOB!”  I’ve learned over these years that each test, each setback, is an opportunity to self-reflect and find strength I didn’t know I had.  I’ve even realized that the “mistakes” were just detours and the scenery was pretty interesting, even if unexpected.

There are so many distractions in this world.  People tell wrong-minded stories about who we’re supposed to be.  We spend decades trying to be that person, the thin one, the popular one, the lovable one.  We give away our power to other poor souls who are scuffling along just as we are.  We seek approval ahead of wisdom.

Without self-reflection, making friends with myself and loving this person, we are on an endless quest for the impossible.  At some point, I realized I would never be fulfilled unless I embraced my flaws and my talents and worked my way along the Path accepting both.

As a younger person, I could have had the most persuasive teacher along these lines, but there truly is a ripening of Spirit that needs to occur over time.  The fruit gets sweeter as it ripens.

Every day I promise to check my familiar face in the mirror will and thank me for staying the course, for recovering from disappointments and heart-break.  I will thank me for loving people without judgment.  And I will thank me for arriving at the point where I joyfully offer my legacy to whomever is interested.

I will forgive me for being foolish and immature at times.  I will forgive me for an undisciplined mind that sometimes strays from the Path of clarity.

These “love songs” will be sung every day.  It would be wonderful to expand the solo into a chorus.  I’m listening…

With love, Rosanne

Nothing Replaces Awareness

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In the internet age, everything online looks like the truth.  Once something is online it doesn’t go away so anyone’s ideas can persist and eventually become accepted.  Big money supports big marketing and that makes for distorted truths.

Time for all of us is short, so opportunities to research and find out the truth for ourselves are rare.  (Although, we do surf around shopping and doing trifling tasks with whatever time we have. Priorities.)

In general, we rely on the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to vet out crazy claims and protect us.  The problem is that money talks.  Not to be cynical (who wouldn’t be after this election year), but don’t we think that big business and campaign dollars may have some influence on the way “the truth” is couched?

It comes down to being very careful and very aware.  Know your own earth-suit’s owner’s manual.  We can rationalize easy and comfortable solutions, but there is nothing comfortable about making hard choices regarding our health.  Denial eventually comes around the corner and kicks us in the fanny in the form of illness.

Here is a dumbed down version of what is complicated:

  • The more natural the food or product, the better it is for us. 

  • If we can’t pronounce the ingredients, we shouldn’t consume or use the product.

  • If you feel sick or dulled after eating something, don’t eat it again.

As Sherlock Holmes said, “Elementary, my dear Watson.”  As simple as it is, we are a nation of people who know a lot, but do as we please. 

Prevention through mindfulness.  Often inconvenient, but absolutely vital.

Be well and prosper!

Rosanne