I am thrilled to say that my invisible Wonder Woman cape and tights are in the Jeep (along with my faerie wings, which are tangible and colorful)… and I don them less often these days. Once upon a time, they were standard wear for this recovering co-dependent, caregiver, people pleaser, feeling like Mighty Mouse singing “Here I come to save the day!” Not sure if I come by it genetically or by example since my parents were the go-to people among their circles, who could be counted on to be there in times of crisis. My career path led me to become Ms. Fixit and in my personal relationships, my social worker’s ‘rolodex’ brain cards have been thumbed through so many times that they are dog eared. The truth is, no one needs rescuing and while I have information and experience that are helpful, I am no expert on anyone else’s life and needs. I am a willing guide along the way.
Last weekend, I had the opportunity to allow myself the freedom to leave the Wonder Woman facade behind. I attended a retreat called The Woman Within which is an event I have been encouraged to experience for many years. Several of my friends have taken it and had marvelous breakthroughs. I welcomed that as well and was delighted that when all was said and done, my transition from where I was to where I am, took all kinds of leaps; some of faith that I would safely land. I was determined to savor the time just for myself; rare indeed for this woman who feels that nothing I do is for me alone. My healing heals the planet….all that stuff which may be true AND I really am permitted to have personal joy. Going into the time away, I told the organizers that if they saw me attempting to fix, save, heal or otherwise exhibit ‘savior behavior, they were to call me on it. I was off duty. Within very short order, an opportunity arose to test my mettle. I was asked to take on a leadership role and as my ego chirped….”How cool! They know you are a natural born leader.” and my Sally Field Academy Award speech persona chimed in “And I can’t deny the fact that you like me. Right now, you like me!” My inner knowing creature, looked at me with kind and compassionate eyes, wagging finger and loving smile and said “Don’t you dare.” Saying no has not always come easily to me. It felt really good this time.
Throughout the weekend, I faced multiple challenges to my resolve. Each woman there had her own particular story that had me wishing I could offer answers, wanting to charge in there to fix the situation. Knowing that I couldn’t do it, even had I not made the promise to myself since it was not my role, was painful….literally, head throbbingly so. I needed to sit with my emotional discomfort and it wasn’t until I acknowledged my own loss, pain and sadness; my real human vulnerability that the headache dissolved and I saw clearly that my help was not requested or required. I rest my cape~
This image was posted on the Facebook page of Charlotte D. Piper and I knew I just had to scoop it up and claim that identity for myself as well. She defines it in this way: “Spiritual Gangster: One who lives a heartcore, passionate, mindful existence as an ambassador of divinity.” I would add to it, “One who feels the fear and does it anyway, one who has their posse around them, whether nearby or farflung and invites others to join this none-exclusive club, one who declares his/her dreams and desires and allows them to manna-fest. His or her ‘weapon’ is love’; with no need to jack anybody up, force, bully or coerce anyone into adopting their beliefs. He or she struts their stuff, dances to their own tune, colors outside the lines….” Not exactly like the Jets and the Sharks.
There was a time when declaring this for my life would have seemed strange, since the people pleaser aspects of myself would have felt as if I would be considered weird for speaking of such things. I already sensed that I was (as I often told my parents) “an alien baby left on their doorstep” that they did a pretty good job of raising to masquerade as a human. I have sometimes felt out of step, but over the years, have found my Tribe. Some I have met hug to hug and others just heart to heart through the marvels of modern technology and social networking. Back in the late 70’s into the early 80’s, I hung out with folks who might fit into that category when we worked at a counseling center called Together Inc. We were young idealists who thought we could heal the world, one heart at a time and fix broken places in people. We painted the youth shelter in which some of us provided counseling, with hearts, rainbows and flowers. I remember the marathon sessions with paintbrush in hand, emblazoned with multi-colored drippings ourselves.
When I was ordained as an interfaith minister via The New Seminary in NYC in 1999, I decided then that I had no right to tell anyone what to believe spiritually, that love is my religion and God’s too big to put in a box. I like the 12 step concept of The God of Our Understanding. My understanding of the Divine changes, sometimes moment to moment. I like the idea of being in the God Gang since I know S(h)e always has my back and that my gang colors are rainbow hued.
Once again, the world is rocked by a shocking event on a day that ‘should’ have been celebratory; one on which well trained athletes brought their vibrant spirits and strong bodies to engage in friendly competition. Instead, as a result of dark inclinations and violent actions, lives were forever changed; some by death and injury, others by emotional trauma. Those individuals and families who traveled to attend or participate in The Boston Marathon had no clue how their day would end. At this moment, no one has claimed responsibility for the horrific bombing. When I heard about it, my reaction was the same as it was on 9/11/01. Shock and then determination not to feed the situation with fear, since that is what terrorists want. And this was indeed an act of terror; meant to create chaos, regardless of who masterminded it.
In the face of such things, music has the power to heal. As I was perusing Facebook this morning, I saw this post from prolific and multi-award winning musician David Pomeranz whose song ‘It’s In Every One Of Us” came into my life in the late 1970’s as a spiritual anthem. I was tickled when I recognized the music, sans lyrics in the Tom Hanks movie “Big”
As the days unfold and more information comes in, it will be tempting to contemplate revenge against ‘the bad guys’ who did this. Justice and revenge are two different things. Holding anger in our hearts and minds will only feed the darkness. Instead, let’s shine our lights that much more brightly.
It’s in every one of us
To be wise
Find your heart
Open up both your eyes
We can all know everything
Without ever knowing why
It’s in every one of us
By and by
It’s in everyone of us
I just remembered
It’s like I been sleeping for years,
I’m not awake as I can be
But my seeing is better,
I can see Through the tears,
I’ve been realising that,
I bought this ticket
And watching only half of the show,
There is scenery and lights
And a cast of thousands,
Who all know What I know,
And it’s good
That it’s so
http://youtu.be/79GD—xXc4 ? It’s In Every One Of Us-David Pomeranz