Love Is The Cure

When you are standing up high on a pedestal of self-righteousness, it’s really hard to see way down to the roots of that terrible thing you tower over. You know you are right. You know you have the moral high ground. Those other people are so wrong it makes you furious! You are in the position to reign heaps of fire down on those terrible people with those specious beliefs – and you do so quite frequently.

And you feel better after you post with the name calling and the superior wit and the indignation. What a relief it is to let those people know how smart you are and how right you are and how wrong and poisonous is their mere existence. Damn you religious nut jobs! Get a job you socialist libtard! Screw you white nationalists! Read a book you ignorant trailer trash! You’re an orange cheeto loving dotard! Fascist pigs! Go back to your own country! Put god back in schools (my god, not yours)!!!


I’m not saying you’re wrong to have strong feelings about people who support the current president or the atrocious things he is doing. I’m also not saying you are wrong to worry about high taxes and feeding your family. It hasn’t been too long since I typed a few of those sentences on my own Facebook wall. One day I just decided it wasn’t getting me anywhere except angry, spun up, and acting out of integrity. See, I’m a recovering rage-aholic. I’ve worked really hard to change that and become a person with standards of behavior – naming calling and violent expressions are off my list of choices in how to respond to someone. And, yet, I have been sucked back in to this hate-fueled fighting on social media. So have you – even though that hostile, intolerant, hate-spewing person is not really who you are – not “in real life”.

When we react that way we give up our power; we give up our truth and our integrity. We say to the other person, “here, take my soul because I am following your lead.” We act just like them – we become just like them – we are just like them. We are fighting against something we think is wrong by becoming something that is wrong.

The hate is just not okay. It’s not. There is no moral high ground when hate is your strategy.


Hate cannot defeat hate; it’s a losing strategy. We’ve got to take our power back and come up with something that can help us heal the wounds in our friendships and relationships – and it starts with a compassionate heart and desire to be a better person.

Yes, there are sociopaths, psychopaths and really evil narcissists in the world who have no moral compass – no heart. These people are rare and I’m not talking about these kinds mentally disturbed people – I’m talking about your brother and your aunt and your uncle and your childhood friend who you suddenly find loathsome and shocking.

Is it possible – just possible – that these people we go after with venomous rage are also not the hate-spewing trolls they appear to be on social media? Are they different “in real life”? Are they just angry and full of fear just like you? I’m not excusing bad behavior and racism and bigotry and sexism and the vileness going on. I’m saying that all this hate is coming from somewhere and maybe we need to respond to that instead throwing more hate on the fire.

Hate comes from fear. Fear is the root of this dis-ease in our country. Hate-spewing is a symptom just like fever. Rage is a symptom. Irrational beliefs are a symptom. Believing lies and conspiracy theories from mentally ill propagandist is like taking poison from a snake-oil salesman instead of medicine from a doctor. And social media spreads this disease like the flu spreads through your household.

The disease is fear.

Can we cure this with more fear? Can we get rid of a fever by injecting more fever? Of course not! So why are we fighting hate with more hate?

The cure is love.

Why do people roll their eyes when I say that? Why is this such an uncomfortable idea?

Maybe because it means in order to act from love you have to change your beliefs. You have to be responsible for your own behavior. You have to think before you act and respond. You have to know yourself and your moral code.

It’s a heavy burden to love when hate is so much easier.

I’m working on a book to address ways we can #chooselove over hate (fear). It gives a look at love that doesn’t seem mushy or pollyanna – one that is comfortable – doable. It’s coming soon, I promise. In the meantime, here are some things to think about when you come across the hate posts and you want to reply or feel angry and outraged.


How to Love in a time of Hate

1. Self-love is priority. Self-love does not mean self-ish! This is not about thinking you are better than anyone. This is about setting boundaries in your relationships, doing your best each day, and forgiving yourself for your mistakes. This also means not subjecting yourself to this insanity on social media and getting yourself stressed and angry. Take a break.

2. Respond to a hate attack the way you would want someone to communicate with you. Think before you reply. Speak the truth with kindness and compassion even when they don’t deserve it – You deserve it! You deserve the calmness and peace that comes from doing the right things and following your moral code.

3. Refuse petty and childish tactics. I hate to say it, but act your age. No name calling. No character assassinations. No unnecessary vulgar language. Speak with integrity, poise and intelligence.  And when you are wrong, own up to it.

4. Don’t respond to every invitation to debate/fight. Yes, people call us out and say things on our posts or in our groups. You do not have to respond. You can roll your eyes and move on. It’s hard. This I know. But the time and energy you waste adding fuel to the fire of someone already spun up and looking for a place to unleash – it’s not worth it. Love yourself enough to move on.

5. Realize that it is not your job to save other people from their wrong thinking. People are allowed to be wrong. People are allowed to believe whatever they want to believe. It’s not up to you to change them. Likewise, you don’t owe anyone and explanation for your beliefs. This is big. If you can stop trying to change others, you are halfway there.

6. Control what is in your ability to control. That would be you; your behavior, your attitude, your responses, your action, your presence in the world. That’s it. Just you. The great thing about that is that you are able to shine your inner light without care for what others think, feel or believe because they aren’t your business!

7. Know that your behavior is a bigger influence on others than you could ever have in a Facebook debate. Lead by example. It’s that simple. Be the change you want to see in the world.

8. Learn to let go of people around you who break your boundaries and treat you with hate. Eventually enough is enough. It’s okay to walk away from people and situations that don’t change and grow. Sometimes sticking around just enables that person to continue to hate because they can because you stay. If you have to stop inviting uncle Dave to dinner so that you and your family can be at peace, then do so.

9. Remember, it’s just fear.  Fear is not rational.  Fear lies.  Fear is not truth.  Fear wants you to remain in your comfort zone and not change.  Fear will attack others.  Fear is selfish.


 

These ideas are mostly ways just to love yourself enough to stop hating others. It’s a start. The first round of antibiotics to cure this dis-ease. (Yes, we may need several!)

Know that this blog is written in love – to help you find peace in this insanity and to start the change we need to heal.
Peace & Love,

♥ Genie



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Generational Poverty

 

Growing up in Appalachia I could write you a book on financial poverty and the cycle of financial poverty.  I come from a long line of hillbillies – and I’m not ashamed of that.  They were good, decent, hard-working people – but like most Appalachians, never crossed the threshold out of poverty.  Sure, some were homeowners or business owners or even educated people.  Some even left the area for better opportunities. But, they didn’t accumulate wealth and they didn’t pass on wealth to their children.  There is a difference between surviving comfortably and getting beyond poverty.

And, so, we have generation after generation of folks just living to meet basic physical needs.  And that is financial poverty.  No matter where you are in the world, if you get up each day knowing that you can’t get sick and take a day off because you won’t be able to meet your basic needs, that is poverty.

I grew up poor.  And most of my life I’ve had lots of excuses for remaining poor and they all revolved around blaming something else and someone else for me being stuck in this generational cycle.   If only my parents had paid for my college instead of me being stuck with a bazillion dollars in student loans!  If only there were better jobs in this state!  If only I had the chances other people had been given!

Hey, don’t get me wrong – Appalachia is not an easy place to find good jobs, transportation, job training or a way out of poverty.  I get that and I honor all of us who are or have been caught in this cycle of struggle.  It’s freaking hard to get ahead here!

But, not too long ago I realized there is another kind of poverty that is perhaps even more crushing than financial poverty.  It’s called, Spiritual Poverty.

 “The spiritual poverty of the West is greater than ours… You, in the West, have millions of people who suffer such terrible loneliness and emptiness…They feel unloved and unwanted. These people are not hungry in the physical sense, but they are in another way. They know they need something more than money, yet they don’t know what it is. What they are missing, really, is a living relationship with God.”  – Mother Theresa

I realize that is a quote from a blessed religious figure, Mother Theresa.  But, I don’t actually mean spiritual in the context of religion.  I mean, if there is one thing in Appalachia that is bountiful, it’s religion.

To me, spirituality is your connection with your spirit – your soul – your higher self – the divine in you.  Mother Theresa said “What they are missing, really, is a living relationship with God.”   And, she’s not wrong. Only, God is whatever you call the life force energy that created you.  Whether you call it God, Allah, Universe, Creator Source, Nature, Science, Energy – if you are disconnected from your spirit, you are not connected to source or “God”.

What happens when we are not listening to our soul?  We are driven by our ego.  Religion, in my opinion, is ego driven.  Spirituality is divine inspiration.

When we lack a spiritual connection, we live from fear.  Ego keeps us afraid because it thinks it’s protecting us.  That’s its job and it does it well.  The problem is that if we don’t have a connection to spirit – or LOVE – then all we have is fear and ego.  Fear is spiritual poverty.

The truth is that if we are living from fear, we cannot live from love.  You cannot be in both energies at one time.  They are completely opposite and separate and have no common ground.  If we live from fear we don’t even have a choice to live from love; it’s not on the fear menu.

I believe that it is fear – spiritual poverty – that has kept families like mine and generations of others, living in physical poverty.

How is that possible?  Doesn’t fear drive you to do better?

No.  Fear tells you that you can’t do better and for a while you try to prove fear wrong and end up failing because at some point you are going to give in to the fear.

Fear leads to anger.  Anger leads to hate.  Hate leads to suffering.      – Yoda to Anakin Skywalker

The puppet from Star Wars is not wrong.  Spiritual poverty ends in your suffering.  And then you blame the suffering on money.  It’s hard to crawl your way out of this kind of poverty if you don’t even know it’s there.

The biggest fear in Appalachia – the thing that keeps this area from growing and prospering – is the fear of change.  We’re comfortable in our poverty.  We’re proud to be strong and sturdy and surviving and we are so afraid that if we rock that boat that it might teeter to the negative side and leave us even worse than we are now.  And we pass this fear on to our children and grandchildren and they, too, become spiritually poor.

I’ve grown up in a time where poor small towns rejected highways and interstates coming through their areas because they were afraid of the growth it would bring and the change to their way of life.  Spiritual poverty made them unable to see the prosperity and abundance available with such growth.

Fear makes you doubt yourself.  Fear causes you to become attached to things, beliefs and routines.  Fear makes you jealous of the prosperity of others. Fear causes you to feel alone.  Fear creates a sense of hopelessness, futility and despair.  ... because the ego is trying to protect you from the unknown future.  

So, we’ve got that now.  Fear keeps us poor.  Spiritual poverty keeps us in financial poverty.

How do we become spiritually wealthy?

To become spiritually wealthy we have to have a connection to our spirit – our soul – our higher self.  We have to recognize the divine within ourselves. We have to live from a place of love.

  • Listen.  Listen to your inner voice.  How do you know your inner voice from your ego voice?  Your soul isn’t angry.  You soul isn’t afraid.  Your soul doesn’t tell you to act out of hate, spite, jealousy or fear.

 

  • Realize that you are divine.  The divine is in you and you are divine.  You are not separate from “God”.   You are in the universe and the universe is in you.  You are created and you are creator energy.  That means you are made perfectly.

 

  • And, if we all are made up of the divine, then we are all made up of the same love and light.  Once you understand that, then you will look upon your neighbor with the same love you look upon yourself.  You are divine and your neighbor is divine.

 

  • Finally, when we choose to look upon our neighbor with love and spiritual wealth,  then we can throw away the fear because we are glad for our neighbor being prosperous and we can see that change and growth will also benefit us with abundance and prosperity.  And, so ends the cycle of financial poverty.

 

Simplistic?  A bit.  I mean, getting to the place of love takes a journey.  Especially if you’ve lived your entire life from fear.  Not to mention the geopolitics involved in poverty on a grand scale.   But, one person at a time can do something as simple as connecting with their inner-self and live their life with abundance in every sense of the word.  You can live spiritually and financially wealthy.  This is true no matter where you are – from Appalachia to Australia.

So, are you like the generations of my family, stuck in a cycle of poverty –  spiritual or financial?  I’ve got this new course starting that will put you through many exercises to get you connected to your spirit and trusting you inner voice.  By the end of the course you will be making life choices from a place of spiritual abundance and living the life you want.

Check out my course, Vision Quest – journey through Transformation.

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Gorilla Speak

If a gorilla could talk, what would he say?

Well, a gorilla can talk – and they talk well enough that we humans can pick up what they mean.  They talk with their hands and their feet and their fingers and with groans, grunts, cries and screams.  They have a very complex system of communication second only to us.

They also listen and watch the communication of other gorillas and they do not interrupt.

They also don’t have the miscommunication issues we have because they don’t have the emotional and mental blocks we do.  They aren’t worried about being judged.  They aren’t worried about being taken seriously.  They have something to say and they say it.

We can learn a lot from Gorilla Speak.  I’m sharing some lessons in our Facebook Workshop group today.  This FREE workshop will be available until May 12, 2017. Come on over and join us >>>>> Self-Healing Safari 

This quote is from the children’s novel, “The One and Only Ivan,” written by Katherine Applegate.  It is based on the true story of Ivan the Gorilla who spent many, many years isolated in a cage as a road side attraction.  Later, he was sent to the zoo in Atlanta where he learned to paint and sign his name with this thumb print.  Katherine says she wrote the story to give Ivan, “…the mighty silverback,” a voice.

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I Am Responsible For Me

It sounds harsh, I know – but the truth is that once you are an adult you are responsible for your own happiness.  No one else is the cause of your decisions, whether or not you succeed, or if you are happy.  Once we are an adult we cannot blame others (mom or dad) for the way our lives are – because no matter how shitty or how spoiled or how dysfunctional your upbringing was, YOU have the choice now to make your life what you want it to be.

Of course, there are tragedies in life.  Those are rare, thankfully – and even so, how you overcome them is up to you.

You have the power to move your life in the direction of your dreams – and you have the choice to live in the past and wish it was more ideal.  You hold all the power – and you are responsible for your future.  Hanging on to the past is the biggest thing that keeps you stuck.

November is the start of the holiday season – it’s a time of forgiveness, a time for hope, and a time for gratitude.  Forgive yourself and anyone from your past that held you back – not for them, but for you.  Recognize all you have now – not just things, but also the choices you have.  Be grateful for the lessons.

Getting unstuck is hard – and the first step is to own your power – own your responsibility in being the only person who can move you forward.

xo Genie

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Perfectly Imperfect

Laugh. Laugh at yourself. Stop kicking your own ass for your mistakes. Learn. Forgive. Move forward. We all make mistakes. 

Are you a perfectionist?  Man, that is a lot of pressure!  I know.  I’ve been there.  The urge to have the perfect life, the perfect job, to be surrounded by other perfect people who act perfect and say the perfect things and treat you as you perfectly deserve to be perfectly treated.  To raise perfect children who get perfect grades and who perform perfectly at sports and music and dance and art and are raised with the perfect co-parent who follows your lead on everything perfectly.  And to top it all off – you must be the most perfect of them all.  

WHEW! I think my blood pressure just went up!  Crazy stress!!

Listen.  It’s hard to let it go.  But if you don’t, you are never going to be happy.  No one will ever be perfect enough for you and YOU WILL NEVER BE PERFECT ENOUGH FOR YOURSELF.  

Lighten up.  (ugh.  that sounds so rude and condescending, doesn’t it?)  I mean that in the best way you can imagine.  The burden of perfection is an enormous weight on your shoulders – your heart – your friends – your family.  Lighten up this weight.

Some ideas:

Learn.  Make mistakes.  Make a lot of mistakes.  Learn the lesson in the mistakes. Apologize and make amends when and where you need to make them.  Forgive yourself and move on.

Live.  Play.  Get messy playing.  Have fun.  Lose games.  Win games.  Dance – badly.  Sing – horribly.   Just live.

Laugh.  Laugh a lot.  Laugh at yourself.  Laugh at your mistakes.  Laugh at your missteps. Laugh because you realize that you are just another mistake prone human being – the joke of the cosmos.

Love.  Love others even with their imperfections.  Love others because of their imperfections.  Love yourself.  Love all of yourself.  Love your quirks.  Love your big ears.  Love your knobby knees.  Love your frizzy hair. Love that you live life fully enough to make a ton of mistakes.  Love the lessons you learn from your mistakes.

Get out there and be perfectly imperfect! 

xo Genie

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Empower Love

The Law of  Attraction is a very real law that governs life on Earth. We are like magnets and like mirrors at the same time.

What energy we vibrate, or put out in to the world, is the energy we will get back in return.  So, like a magnet we attract the energy to us.  And, like a mirror, our energy is an equal reflection to the energy that comes in to our lives.

What we can take from this is simple:  We need to give out the energy that we want to receive in our lives.  If we want love, then we need to focus on love, and not the lack of it or the absence of it. We need to give love to attract love.  We need to mirror love so that love is reflected back upon us.

What we empower, we attract.

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