“The Peril of Lacking Integrity with What is Sacred to You”

Healing Your Legacy

Almost 40 years ago, I sat down in a yoga class, closed my eyes, and opened up to the world within. I was a reluctant participant to the new age of ancient spirituality, wisdom, and healing, not always inspired by the way “being spiritual” was being used to bypass the sometimes hard work of relationships and life. Yet my own experience of transformations and healing through engaging ancient technologies taught me to not throw the new age baby out with my judgement of others…..funny how life teaches us at times!

Matthew Fox, a renowned theologian, wrote “ I seriously question the spirituality and ethics of anyone whose integrity in life has never gotten him or her into trouble”. In my work with couples and families, I find a lack of one’s integrity often lies at the root of pain and conflict in their life and relationships. Taught as children love equals not hurting the other, what is to be done with feelings, thoughts, and desires you fear will hurt or cause rejection from those you love? Too often the answer is to become silent and not risk sharing with those you love, judging them as what is holding you back from living what is sacred to you.

What is sacred to you is intimate, tangible, and known by the priorities of your life. What is sacred seeks sharing with those you love, forming the foundation of the intimacy and security of relationship you long for and all too often, confuse with control. What is sacred invites those you love to share what is sacred for them with you as well, offering safe harbor for the power of our vulnerability to be shared. Scary? Can be. Yet without the courage to risk sharing what is sacred to you with those you hold sacred in life, the pain and rejection you fear you will create. Ironic. (Irony I have come to understand is the sacred’s way of reminding us of the limitations of human’s linear logic ).

What is sacred in your life will test you, will challenge you, will demand change you fear and are afraid to make. These trials and tribulations are not proof something is wrong with what you hold sacred in life-quite the contrary. What tests you in life is simply reminding you to engage with faith and courage, what is sacred to you, an intimate reminder of the faith and trust the sacred has in you….trust and faith when extended to ourself and those we love, creates the integrity of intimate relationship that is sacred as well.

“Women’s Evolving Relationship With Men”

Articles such as “The End of Men” and “Are Fathers Necessary” while provocative, trivialize and distort the seismic evolutionary changes between women and men. Yes, the relationships between women and men are being buffeted by strong evolutionary winds, whether the relationship is of love, work, or family. And while the facts of expanding choices, opportunities, and social mores may be held as cause, the truth is evolution is transforming power through the relationships of women and men.

The evolving power of relationship requires women embrace a form of power distinct from the current power paradigm, not simple assume it’s helm. The evolution of power requires the courage of women to take up their healing, to wield their power as women, and to commit as women to honoring all as sacred. Women’s compassion and love, our gift of vision, and our sacred inspiration and wisdom are critical for leading not only our life, but our world.

On my computer is a note where I have written the reminder “understand all through compassion or to mis-undertand these times”. Compassion is choosing to respond with the heart and soul of ourselves to another….essential when our initial impulse is to react at another. And while my emotions may dance me around and my mind may lead to me judgment, committing to compassion reminds me we are soul companions in the journey of life. And, choosing compassion requires the courage of our heart and soul.

So what does compassion have to do with the changes in women’s relationships with men? The relationships of women and men are changing from power of men over women to women’s independence expanding her choices in life. These evolutionary changes challenge not only the relationships of women and men, they also challenge women in how and what our newly empowered self serves. With power, will women dismiss men as we were once dismissed and denigrated or will we choose to heal and transform power? Without compassion as a guiding value, the distortions created from power without consideration for all of life will simply repeat itself.

So how do you begin to become aware of your power as woman in your relationships with men?

* Become aware of where you either diminish or elevate yourself in your relationships with men. Is your inner talk about men, yourself, and other women pivotal in your life inspiring?

* Become aware of your beliefs about women and men in relationship. Are these truths you want to continue fueling with your life or hand-me-downs in need of updating or discarding?

* Become aware of where you expect men to either rescue you or place them in the driver’s seat for your happiness. Are you willing to empower your own happiness, mproving the happiness with the men in your life?

* Become aware of where self-care is calling; self-care is essential for not only our body but our heart and soul as well. Where we lack self-care is often where we demand another cares, demands not constructive to happy and healthy relationships.

The invitation inherent in any crisis or challenge is the opportunity to improve what is. The invitation in the crisis in the relationships of women with men, of the masculine with the feminine, is to improve what is. A Cherokee wisdom says it well: “A woman, I go into the darkness to heal my wounding and as woman, I emerge from the darkness only then able to heal man”. As women, as the grace of god, healing our past is our sacred call to transform our future, serve our sacred destiny as women. My prayer is as women, we truly embrace healing into our power as women, for the benefit of all living.