Assertiveness: Parents + 2

pajamas

Armor of assertiveness

Very few of us escape our young childhood years without at least a few effects of misguided parenting here and there. And even if we had the greatest parents who made sure we felt love and supplied everything we needed, there may have been another whole realm of skills–assertiveness–that was overlooked. If you find yourself wishing that your assertiveness skills were a little beefier, this is for you. Lack of assertiveness is a chief cause of the bully/bullied syndrome. (If we are the products of parents who were quite off track–somewhere on the spectrum between the abusers and helicopters–we will also benefit by doing some work over in the Starfish Mission area. We need to heal our damaged souls to avoid passing on the hurt.) Continue reading “Assertiveness: Parents + 2”

More rocks

Twilight Zone

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The Russian ballerina pressed on relentlessly, honing every move, gritting through pain, powering through fear, and achieving her evening as prima ballerina. After the performance, the ordinary returned. Walking out through the back door into the dark rain and back to her tiny apartment, she knew that tomorrow would be more of the same old shtick.  She would need to prove herself time and time again. This documentary from- Continue reading “More rocks”

Seeing stars. Walking on water.

Twinkle

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Starfish Mission is beginning to twinkle…

The past few months have been a marathon of deep diving. I been resurfacing time after time, each dive reaping more treasure. This morning, my words to my husband were something like, “I think I know how to stay on the surface now. And when I go under, I know that I’ll be able to resurface and breathe again.”

In that moment, I caught a glimpse of what Jesus was probably trying to say: “Take my hand. I’ll show you how to walk on this calm, refreshing surface so you can show others how to do it. This is my amazing Kingdom where all are equally valuable and equally commissioned. This is the leveling place where you can meet and decide your next direction. Here on the surface of my life-giving waters, I want you to be able to experience my power, my love, and the power you have with each other–drawing in–breathing in—all of the fullness of my Kingdom. Here, we continue the evolution of our Universe.”

I have been borrowing quite a few photos from Google’s free-to-use collection, but this photo is all mine. These are my waters for dancing today.

My own plunging, floundering, breathless, and black-hole story is now tucked into a sub-menu on my About MiraLianna page.

An amazing community of people and ideas has been coming together like headwaters–helping to create  Starfish Mission. On the Starfish Mission page (top of this page on a PC or bottom if you are on a mobile device), you can find ENTRY POINTS. A little like the children’s book series, Choose Your Own Adventure, can can choose your entry point depending where you are in the journey of life. Included is the life-raft of the Black Hole point, when nothing is working and you are gasping for air.

  • Entry point: Pre-Marriage
  • Entry Point: Wanting a Family
  • Engry Point: New Parents
  • Entry Point: Raising a Family
  • Entry Point: Black Hole (This is a designed as a first stop if, for any reason, you are feeling rudderless, uncertain, without purpose, neglected, abused, fearful, or unhappy.)

Today feels like yet another one of my myriad pivot points. (Apparently, I’m all about pointing today.)

Happy Birthday. Proud of you. Still..where is the love?

Yesterday, I wrote about my mother appearing in a dream on my birthday, two weeks after she died. That really happened.

This past week, I had a moment when I was consumed with a great shudder and a flood of tears. This defies all forms of logic and everything but the intention of my original journey. If you knew me personally, you would be shaking your head in amazement. You would know how intent I have been on a path of Show Me. This…whatever, whomever, is trying to get through to me is pure and unadulterated experience.

She loves me, after all

My shudder, my flood of tears: my mother seemed to be saying to me, “Yeah, we had a lot of crap to work through. It sucked, didn’t it? We had a mission, you and I, and now–look at you. 1500 hits, 530 views, 50 posts–all in one month. You have been featured on *Dr. Jonice Webb’s website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed.  You are doing your mission, you have found your purpose. You have always been a great daughter. I am still proud of you. And now, I’m not just signing ‘Love, Mom’–now I’m telling you…I have loved you–will love you–forever and forever.”

❤ ❤ ❤

Mira

*Dr. Webb’s book, Running on Empty, provided MY entry point. Through her work, I found a key to unlock my door and knock down my wall. I found what was missing, how many of us got into this mess, and what can help. I’m now linking arms with anyone who will. We have generations of hope ahead.

Inside Out

JR

Frankly, I was surprised to see an image of The Inside Out Project available on Google’s “free-to-use” images. Giving people visibility and validation–priceless.

Augustine and Karl Barth’s Life Turned Inward

I know I have friends here who have a strong faith relationship with God. What I am about to say does not contradict you or your beliefs about life. Concepts are just so word-based! Our relationship to word meanings are tenuous, at best. We can go round and round on the meaning of a single word.

Several days ago I wrote a post about paradoxes–how a statement that seems to say two opposite things actually may be true. Today, I am going to tackle the unthinkable: challenging a major tenet, that sin is a life turned inward.This concept was first coined by Augustine of Hippo and later expanded by Karl Barth.

I first encountered a contradiction to the life-turned inward approach in  Patricia van’s book  Controlling People: How to Recognize, Understand, and Deal with People who Try to Control You. In this book, she develops her definition of being beside yourself as a person who has not been allowed to develop a sense of themselves (self-esteem, self-worth, etc.). This happens primarily as a result of misinformed parenting techniques ranging from simple neglect to violent abuse.  In doing so, she says that those with controlling issues have essentially been emptied of their core selves. In my mind, I began comparing that to the concept of losing your own soul. Dr. Jonice Webb’s groundbreaking book Running On Empty has been my game-changerIn this book, Dr. Webb compassionately repaints the losing of your soul (my extrapolation of being empty of self-worth) as never having been loved in the beginning of your life as you were intended.

The Paradox: Inward vs. Beside

For those who already have a well-established definition of sin and evil as a life turned inward, the twist on words sounds paradoxical: now we are thinking of evil as being beside oneself (The term beside myself apparently originated in 1490 A.D. as being mad or having lost one’s mind.)

Truly, I think we are seeing two sides of the same coin, but I’m not certain that we actually understand what the coin is-yet.

Disney’s recent Pixar production of Inside-Out is an amazing visualization of what happens when a little person is not given permission to believe in the truth of their feelings. In this movie, Riley’s sadness after moving begins to take over, and no one is noticing. She is not validated or allowed to grieve. Only when Riley’s sadness is met, validated, and softened with compassion is she able to return to herself. With her newly-refilled hug-bucket of love for herself, she can be happy and can compassionately relate with others.

Definition of Evil = Uppity

You may want to check out this definition yourself, but you will need to go back farther than the beginnings of organized religions as we now know them. Having been raised with a solid religious structure of beliefs, I have been on a mission of deconstruction. (Read carefully–deconstruction, not destruction. I would add a winkey-smiley here.) I am conceptualizing:  evil=uppity=sin=loss of self=losing your soul. And–I welcome your discussion. We’re talking about savings lives, after all. I’m positing that change in concepts at the word-level might be helpful–might even be essential-for a move in that direction to occur.

My spaghetti-brain-trail-of-logic:

  • Books of wisdom–aka holy books–can and are helpful guides, but they were all written by people, whose collective knowledge and understanding is continually evolving.
  • Books of wisdom work (for me) if they are inclusive, not exclusive. (It has never made sense to me that a loving god would choose some people and not others.)
  • The Bible of my youth was withheld from commoners until the 1500’s or so. (If anyone were to have been discovered in possession of such, it would have been burned or destroyed.)
  • To keep peace and order, rules were needed. (It makes sense why politics and religion were intertwined–simply for survival of the communities.)
  • When immigrant families moved to America, they found themselves rudderless–without their wise elders. Many, if not most, relied on their churches for support, community, and safety.
  • Many people in my parents’ generation had no access to books of wisdom (actually, books of ANY kind, other than the Bible offered through their church).
  • Many people in my parents’ generation had little more than an 8th grade education, and so could not have read other information, history, etc., even if it were to have been available.
  • Churches and the religions they espouse have rules. All institutions have rules. They have members. That means that some people are not members. That means that some are in, and everyone else is out.
  • If you are in, and others are out–and if you believe that those who are with you are right (remember–accepting the rules), everyone else seems wrong.
  • Now, you are built by rules–not by your inner guidance.
  • You now have NO inner guidance. Just outside rules and rulers. (Not sure about you, but outside control seems pretty scary to me–sounds like anxiety to me.)
  • You now have no self-confidence.
  • You now have no self worth.
  • You now have no reason to live, other than obeying rules and getting rewarded by other’s praise of your rule-following.
  • You are empty.
  • You are beside yourself. You are mad. You have lost your mind. Maybe you have even lost your soul.
  • Who moves in? The better you? The uppity you? The “right” or righteous you? Uh oh…the EVIL you?

Rewind: No uppity…no evil…just love. God = Love (I am simply experimenting with replacing God/Jesus with LOVE–a matter of concept)

  • In the beginning, LOVE created the heavens and the earth.
  • LOVE saves.
  • Fear not, LOVE is with you.
  • LOVE came to save us.

I just did a quick search in the book of Matthew for the times that Jesus used the word God. It is not often. I would like to leave you with this today, replacing God with LOVE:

Matthew 12:28 (NIV)

“If I drive out demons by the Spirit of LOVE, then the kingdom of LOVE has come upon you.”

(This sounds like a kingdom where I would like to live. How about you? 🙂

Love,

Mira

 

 

The Wormhole

Paradoxes

wormhole

By being blind to faults, we see.

By becoming the servant, we lead.

By becoming vulnerable, we learn to trust.

By emptying ourselves of the world’s expectations, we find courage.

By listening, we learn to speak.

By writing out, we think within.

By becoming part of the many, we become

one.

-Mira

Underwear vs. Inner-Ware

Obvious

I couldn’t quite bring myself to use a photograph of underwear–might be a tad too obvious, so maybe a little baby-doll dress might work? This is a post about babies and babies plus just a few years, anyway. (Hang on, there’s a point in this post somewhere.)

dressWhen things go awry–even a little awry–something inside me rings out like a four-alarm fire-call. (Not the fire, just the call.) My awry-ness had to do with my laptop. A glitch. Not even much of a glitch! But there was still a four-alarm fire-call. Some people hardly notice a blip on their-inner screens when these things happen. My inner-ware? My inner-ware is hard-wired for high alert, but there is a degree of comfort from having learned that I am far from alone.

You can find all kinds of advice here on the web about anger-management, stress-management, behavior-management, and the whole package. There is not so much about prevention. There are a few brilliant parents out there who are masters of prevention. Their kiddos are l-u-c-k-y.

Some possible scenarios:    Continue reading “Underwear vs. Inner-Ware”

My Ghost Doesn’t Live in a Ghost Town

via Daily Prompt: Ghost

1200px-Ghost_town_Frisco_in_Utah

I could hardly believe that the WordPress prompt for today was “ghost”. You see, ghost is MY word.

The word, ghost, and I have a past relationship. This word, ghost, is ME. As a little girl, I remember: my dad is not far away, sitting in the brightly-lit living room of our matchbox-size house, right outside their bedroom. I am in their bedroom with my mother. It is dark. I see a figure. It is not my mother. It is not me. It is large. It is rather translucent, almost fog-like.  It does not appear to be trying to approach or frighten me, but I scream anyway. I do not know this being. I run out of the room to my father who catches and holds me. My mother laughs and tells me that I am silly. This is THE memory that has haunted me throughout my entire life.   Continue reading “My Ghost Doesn’t Live in a Ghost Town”