"You have to accept you have no power, to be at your most powerful"
One of the big differences between humans and the rest of the natural world, is our determination to control.
It's been a key learning for me in the last few years, sometimes in the most excruciatingly painful way, that despite our supposed intelligence and our determination to direct our lives, the truth is that we have very little control or power in deciding our paths or our futures. The universe, nature has far more influence over that than most of us are prepared to acknowledge. And the irony is, that if we do accept that powerlessness, we actually become more powerful. Not necessarily in the ways we might have expected - but in a way that we finally understand, is best for the person we truly are.
By following the path that's naturally before us, rather than trying to force a direction, we generally end up in a better place. If we accept and face the challenges that are presented to us rather than trying to avoid or battle against them, we usually find that we will win through and grow.
Think of this beautiful dandelion. One of nature's wonderful metaphors. A delicate fragile looking plant that's strength is in its ability to let go and allow the wind to carry its seeds and ensure it propagates. It has no control over where its seed goes, but the winds natural flow will take them where they need to with plenty of success. It trusts itself and it trusts nature.
In the same way, when we accept that we have very little power, we too become more powerful.
If you really think about what you have real control over and are honest about it, there's not much. You can't control other people. You can't control events you can't control nature. Ultimately, you can only control yourself and the decisions and actions you take.
For me It's been a personal challenge to let go of most what I know and understand and most of the "things' that I had accumulated in life - material things, work, beliefs, experience. And people. But what I have found in that process, is a better understanding of me, much more freedom, happiness - and success. The latter; success, is also redefined. Because success for me is now happiness, love and peace in my life.
We all create seeds in our lives, but we don't have much control over which ones will develop. So who knows where the seeds that are right now flying through the air will land and which of them will grow, but I trust it will be the right ones at the right time for me to have the life I was born to live.
So if you want to be and feel more powerful, accept that you have no power. Learn to be truly you. Learn to trust yourself and the decisions and steps you take. And trust nature and the universe to deliver the rest.
This dandelion represents for me, a new life. One that started when I let go of control and stepped into the unknown. I let the wind blow me in the right direction. And that direction took me on a new path and to a wonderful new partner who appreciates and understands equally the dandelion's stunning metaphor. For trust. For life on earth and our journey beyond it, for the Angels that walk with us and watch over us, for the way the wind blows, for love.
The Poppy is a beautiful, wild and delicate flower that has great strength and independence. It is known for growing tall, reaching for the sky above the plants that surround it, so that it basks in the sunlight and attracts honey bees for pollination.
But there is a phenomenon that is a metaphor for their outstanding growth that is less attractive in human beings. Tall Poppy Syndrome has a varied history dating back to the Romans, but it is often referred to now as representing "the Politics of Envy".
The desire for normative society is still very strong in humans - and so is our capacity for envy. So when someone stands out, for their achievements, for their beauty, for their success, those who have yet to reach that level of growth, or do not possess the same characteristics, want to cut them down. Rather than seeing the other's achievement as inspiration for their own growth, or as an example of what might be possible, they feel a sense of inadequacy and feel bad about what they don't have. It's easier to bring the exceptional person down than to make the effort to match their success. The view is not "how can I do that too" it is "why should you have - or be - that, when I can't". Their attitude is fuelled by envy.
In some cultures, the dissatisfaction that the Tall Poppies create, is viewed as a negative issue socially and politically - they are a threat to control and so Tall Poppy Syndrome is actively encouraged; cut the poppies down rather than seek to achieve the same. But the development we need as humanity is not served by this attitude - it's a simple truth that we cannot grow by pulling things down (and I'm not talking about a bit of pruning here ;-)). Supporting the growth in those Tall Poppies and then encouraging them to promote growth amongst others is the way to evolve.
The Poppy, when it grows, is not concerned with superiority or comparison. It is not concerned with the other plants in its surrounds, it is simply growing to its potential, reaching its full height. Amongst humans, this is largely true too. Yes, there are exceptions, but for the most part high achieving people are not doing it to look down on others, but to look up at the sky. To reach for the stars. To be the best they can be.
So if you are a Tall Poppy - congratulations!! Stay tall and strong and glory in your sunlight - but also remember nature's metaphor extends to pollination - be a guide and sew the seeds that are required to help others to grow tall too.
Love is indefinable. Not in the sense that it is necessarily difficult to understand what love means to us individually, but in the sense that it is unique to everyone – and that it is boundless. How we feel love, how we give love and how we understand it ,can have a myriad of variations. If we are open to it, there is also a dimension to love that is infinite. It might be described as connection; although in a sense that word is too limited by its implication of being a linear link; this connection has no limitations in its form, it is not confined by parallel lines. It is in the light, it spreads everywhere, it is throughout the universe. And therefore it is beyond life. This is love as a soul connection.
Whether you are skin to skin or separated by oceans, the connection is there. Always. It travels through space and time, it is eternal, it is in the air.
Whatever happens in this life, or in the next, or out there in the light, soul connections never break. They are forever.
A&E, Love always…
Waking up to the news this morning was sickening. Heartbroken for the lives lost and also for the thousands of lives that have been devastated by this despicable act.
We have an election coming up, for me, it’s a message that says vote for a party that is pro PEACE.
This World does not need any more Governments that are Pro Weapons, Pro War, Pro Power and Control and it certainly doesn’t need a Government that is Pro Oppression. Oppression creates conflict.
Of course there are requirements for protection, but we need to be specific in the policies we adopt to identify and deal with terrorism, not take a blanket approach either in the controls that are employed or the judgements that are made. As long as we continue to shut down people’s freedom in general, we will fail to deal with the World’s issues. More oppression will lead to more conflict on a wider spectrum. The basic principal of dealing with hate with hate, fighting arms with arms is disastrous. It puts into context the disgusting announcement that the US has just agreed a multi billion dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia. Even more that it is lauded as a great commitment to the American people. It is not. It is an incitement to more conflict, more aggression. And don’t be fooled that it is about Jobs; that’s a mere bi product, a convenient justification. It’s all about Power and Control.
The World is becoming more dominated by the politics of power than ever, where fear is a held as a premium by the controlling authorities, where freedom is replaced by control, where truth is irrelevant, an illusion.
When people are oppressed and their voices are not heard, when basic principals of humanity are a cost of wealth, power and control, when human beings cannot be – and live – as who they are, when beliefs are supervised, when our basic happiness is sacrificed for economic strength and global strength, the only outcome can be disaster and misery.
So for what it’s worth my vote in his election will be a Pro PEACE Vote. Rest In Peace, beautiful souls from Manchester.
Last week we had Lesbian Visibility Day. As a lesbian I’m not sure that I feel positive about that. Probably because I have become so tired of the notion that the fact I am in love with another woman is a difference for which I need to stand up and shout for my acceptance.
I simply cannot comprehend how loving another human being can be considered negative. And I detest the label – because it IS a label and because the word has been used with so much negative connotation that it makes it difficult to embrace.
No one has been able to explain to me why being gay is so hard for other people to accept. There are wars, poverty, cruelty, hardship, death, destruction… so many terrible things in the World that need our love, attention and support, that I simply can’t comprehend why people waste energy on something as harmless as two people loving each other.
That we are different to the “general” understanding of romantic (reproductive?) relationships being heterosexual, is a factor of male dominated social rules of acceptance. There is nothing in nature to suggest a single sex relationship is damaging, either to the people involved or their friends, family or offspring, other than their self imposed desire to view it negatively. In other words, it is only society and people’s seemingly endless need to harbor and express anger and hostility that has created this negative belief.
It’s quite astounding really, that being different in the human species of this planet is such a “threat” to the majority. Minorities are a general target for hatred. In the natural world, there are plenty of examples of how different species get along together and how those that differ from the physical “norm” are still embraced. Different animal species can accept and love each other, humans can embrace and adore animal species – but humans, who are supposedly blessed with the most advanced thinking and emotional capacity, seem largely and determinedly anti embracing the differences between each other.
What’s also disturbing, is that the focus is on standing up for the right to be who we are as a minority, rather than addressing the issues that cause our rejection in the first place within the majority. The rules that have been “made up” to instill fear, anger and hatred of those that are different are what need to be addressed. We have many more things in common than those differences – we are all humans and we should be doing every thing we can to make our lives happy and successful in order to protect our species.
My own view from the experiences of life, is that much of this anger and hatred stems from a core unhappiness that results from people not being able to “be” and live as “who they really are”. Our basic freedoms to exist in the way we want to naturally have been stripped away by centuries of power and control. The irony is, that at the core, the majority are unable to stand up for who they really are, because that is something they have hidden or suppressed. Because they are conforming to the need to stay safe within the confines of societal boundaries. What to wear, how to look, body shape, hair colour, race, sexuality, male and female role norms (what your interests should be, men like cars, women like dolls. Seriously? Just think about that for a minute!!! It’s ridiculous). With so many things that we have to conform to in order to fit in, how can we possibly be ourselves?
So it seems to me that what causes so much anger amongst the many, is that those who dare to and have the strength to be different, are enjoying a freedom that those poor conforming masses can’t. And I have to admit if I couldn’t be madly in love with a partner who I accept totally for who she is and who completely accepts me, warts and all; if I couldn’t have my red hair as long as I like, wear no make up, live in jeans, enjoy sports, wear flat shoes, wield a power drill, do the things that make me happy in life instead of the things that eek out a living. If I couldn’t enjoy the small things, ignore people who tell me no, or I can’t do something, not worry about the peer pressure of status or having “things”, or if I had to have friends that were only “acceptable” and on and on…. then I would be miserable too. And actually I know that, because for years I denied my true self and tried to live within the rules. And I was so unhappy!!!
But the solution is not to damn the different. There are probably many other solutions, but one of them surely must be to change your life so that you can be who you are. If the masses were brave enough to start breaking some of these rules, self imposed and otherwise, there would be no minorities and the the true state of our humanity would reveal itself – that the differences are individual. That we are all unique, but also that we are all the same – we are all human. We all have the right to be who we are. We have lost sight of the fact that that rules should only be necessary to help apply the structure we need to flourish as a species. Like care and support services, energy and communication, the preservation of our planet. Not about power, control and wealth and not about who we are and how we should “be”.
I have to stop now, before I start swaying and singing John Lennon songs. And besides, I haven’t told my partner I love her for at least an hour and I need to plan a fishing trip and see if I can find some T-Cut to fix a scratch on my car…
P.S on the subject of John Lennon, heres an amazing version of Imagine by the awesome Pentatonic. Far better than me trying 😉
When the sea is like glass
A reflective place
Stand at its edge
Look into your face
It’s a mirror of nature
It flows on your skin
Floats across your eyes
Sees the life within
Capture its stillness
Bathe in its peace
Roll in its depths
Breathe and release
Soak in its wonder
Read what you see
They’re the words of guidance
What is meant to be
In the silence of calm
Hear the voice of your soul
Feel the beat of your heart
Let your spirit be whole
And when the storm is raging
As it surely will be
And the chaos prevailing
Tests your strength in degree
Remember the glass
And the face that you saw
Its return is as certain
As the sea to the shore
You are as constant
As that calm that’s beneath
The storm’s brief affair
Is just a test of belief
You have more courage
Than the surf’s cruel blast
You can ride the waves
Your balance will last
The wind will drop
The tides will pass
And your reflection will smile
When the sea is like glass
By Elaine, For Anna
With fingertips I brush your skin
It feels my heart, it lets me in
That touch is sure, it hears you breathe
My hands don’t ever want to leave
the place they crave upon your flesh
where lovers stay
But still your mind won’t disengage
The walls are raised, your inner cage
The feelings peak…., but disappear
Desire’s loss in face of fear
The dance starts now, we feel the flow
I say yes, as you say no
The rhythm’s there, but out of line
I draw away, it's not our time
You take control and pull me back
My head spins at my heart’s attack
I whisper softly in your ear
But now it’s mine, that inner fear
My hands are tied I cannot reach
where lovers stay
And now my mind can’t disengage
The walls are raised, my inner cage
The feelings peak…., but disappear
Desire’s loss in face of fear
And still we dance and feel the flow
You say yes, as I say no
The rhythm’s there, but out of line
You draw away, it's not our time
The question hangs, I can’t let go
If I say yes, will you say no?
Our minds control our every move
We stay apart and sing the blues
Even though I long to be
Where lovers stay
Releasing fear is hard to do
Let walls come down and see it through
But when fear is strong, it’s strength belies
The power of feeling that it hides
That soft and secret desire to be
Where lovers stay
Heart or mind, which will it be?
If they could be in harmony
The truth would let itself reveal
The tender depth of what we feel
And all that fear would disappear
In face of what should be so clear
That love is where this dance must lead
Desire’s win will set us free
Let’s start again, this dance is new
I say yes… will you say it too..?
The rhythm’s there, let’s get in line
Draw together, make now our time
My fingertips will brush your skin
And now I know your heart is in
I’ll whisper softly in your ear
The words I know you want to hear
And when we dance, in rhythm, whole
We’ll feel the movements in our souls
This poem is copyright of Elaine Sturgess, please do not reproduce either in part or full without permission of the author. Image credit Deviant Art.