Change

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Change is the only constant. Change happens. Which is just a nice way of saying shit happens. But change itself is neither “good” nor “bad”. It is simply change.

Sometimes that change is small, easy to deal with; a fender bender, a missed appointment. Other times it is larger and affects us in unforeseen ways; the work season, already too slow, comes to a sudden halt leaving us worried, possibly near panic, about how we will survive. Sitll other times it is dramatic, profound; our home is blown away in a hurricane so massive it clears the land, burned in a wildfire so out of control that the smoke covers 5 states.

Though change itself is often out of our hands, where those changes lead us is almost always up to us.

Do I give in to the panic? The rage? The fear? Do we rebuild our homes? These are choices. The choices lead to decisions. The decisions, if based on intentions of love and gratitude rather than fear and panic, can lead to unexpected new places. New lives. New love. All of them of our choosing.

It’s okay to be angry with the Universe for these things, She’s used to it. No one wants their home destroyed or to lose their job after barely scraping by, but it’s important to look beyond those events to the possibilities and opportunities they open. New choices. New paths.

I am leaving North Dakota soon. Change has opened new doors for me. Opened my heart and my mind to a new life. I’ll be damned if I sit here and worry about what I don’t have when what I can have is so much more.

Know that whatever change you are facing, we all face it at some level, all of us. In that simple knowledge you are assured that you are not alone. Know also that no matter how insurmountable that change may feel it is simply the Universe saying “I love you. Time for something new.”

What that something is, is entirely up to you.

This change will be good because I will make it good.

 

not broken

I know you
I know why it is you cry at night
How you believe there’s no one who’s right
For you
No one at all
No one who loves
No one who cares
No one you can share
All your pains and sorrows
Your joys and your dreams of tomorrows
No one who answers
When you shout with all you soul
“Where are you?!”
I know you believe you are alone
I know you feel empty
Isolated in your empty home
I know the words you say
The prayers you pray
Why it is you feel this way
Why it is you keep believing
You are not good enough
Why it is you continue seeing
You
Unwanted
Unworthy
Imperfect
Rejected
I know your insecurities
How you feel you lack maturity
Your shame
Your guilt
Your silent threats
Spoken in times of consuming darkness
How you think your life is hopeless
How you think that you are broken
I know you
I know you better than anyone
I know
because I am you
We are the same
You and I
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cried
How many times I wished I’d died
The intensity of the pain inside
The loss of self
The loss of pride
The stories I’ve told myself
to keep my Self in line
with what I believe to be true
but I’ve learned
they are all lies
All of them
Lies
You are worthy
You are so very worthy
You deserve to be loved
You deserve to be loved
You deserve it, Love
You should be treated better
Who you’ve been
Doesn’t matter
You should be treated better
by You
You have nothing to be ashamed of, Love
Nothing to take blame of
You are not unclaimed, Love
You have nothing to be sorry for
Nothing at all
We all make mistakes, Love
We all feel that ache, Love
Sometimes
some of us,
myself included,
(no one is precluded)
keep making the same mistakes
over and over
feeling like we’re never getting closer
So many times, in fact
we think it’s “normal”
and spend our life performing
the parts we manifest
instead of just being our best
and forgetting
our best it always good enough
Always good enough
You are always good enough, Love
The one you see
The one you think you’re being
when you see You broken
isn’t who you’re meant to be
even though it’s all you see
it’s not who I see
you are much more
more than you believe
so much more than you believe
more than the life you lead
more than what’s been handed you
more than what’s been forced on you
more than you know
but I know
I know
That person isn’t you
Those are just things
Things that happen
Things that happen to us
Things that happen to all of us
We are not defined by them
But by how we respond to them
So forgive yourself
Please forgive yourself, Love
You are not broken
Not damaged
Not broken
Not useless
Not broken
You are perfect
In your imperfections
Just take a look
at that beautiful reflection
You are perfect
I love you just the way you are;
not broken

August 21

Today we enter into the final moments of what I truly hope has been an incredible season of change for each one of us.

I have been working on personal growth and change for a long time now. Years. What I am doing here is just the beginning of the task I have set myself.

As the eclipse passes keep your intentions, the person you want to be, the person you know you are, close to heart. Know, without a doubt, that during this sacred time we are closer to the Divine than we will ever be. That She is listening. That She knows our hearts. That She will listen to every single one of us. That this is as close as we will ever get to truly choosing the direction of our path. To choose who we really are. That the Divine will help us because She want us to be those people. Because She loves us.

It doesn’t matter if you’re in the outer edges or nowhere near this event because it’s a global event. Literally. Our moon blocks the sun and our planet lines up behind the moon.

You can not say you weren’t there.

We will all be there.

I’ll see you on the other side.

This is why I write

 

Since I started publishing my writing I have been getting responses that, to be honest, I don’t really know how to respond to because I had no idea the effect that revealing my soul would have.

After receiving this message from one of my readers (who really should be doing her own writing) that so gracefully sums up everything I have been hearing I have decided that the best I can do is to let each of you know that you are not alone in the way you feel by sharing her words (with her permission, of course).

Every one of us, myself included, longs for the sort of love and passion I so often write about. It’s not just okay to feel that longing, I encourage it. I say embrace it. Let it become the light that shines the way on your path. Let those awakened desires and enflamed passions provoke you to release the person you’ve been keeping locked up out of fear or shame or guilt or doubt or whatever reason it is that you have chosen to lock up that beautiful goddess, the wild woman, child. Let that light bring you to a place where it can join with another or many others and shine the way for everyone you meet. Let it light your world.

My wish for you is that you love. Someone. Everyone. But mostly yourself. Love like there is no tomorrow because Now is all we have and right now you need Love.

You are perfect as you are. You are ready.

You are loved and in that Love we are One.

James

 


 

A longing for the deepest of all connections had taunted her for so long, she had given up…. almost. No longer looking, she resigned herself to a state of perpetual suadade.

What she had learned is this – she couldn’t exist in a relationship that functioned at only a surface level. Long ago she had tried. Talking only about mundane chitty-chat topics, gripes and irritations of the day, silly plans of the next acquisition, negativity, rigidity, disapproval and controlling behavior – she had listened accommodatingly all the while feeling her life force slowly withering. The stilted unease of being with a pessimistic, shallow person was artificial, stifling, claustrophobic. She could no longer breathe. She heard a faint whisper that grew louder and louder until her survivalist instinct was shouting at her, “There is more to life than this!” She finally listened. Love is not a tool used to limit and oppress. Love is a wonderment in its beauty, vast and enveloping with its sweet, gentle warmth, ever-changing, ever-expanding, infinite. She had a clear vision of the type of love she sought, but no idea as to how or where to find it.

Not that she didn’t try. But as she journeyed, each crest presented a glimmering landing that evaporated as she moved towards it. She bemoaned karma for its unwarranted unfairness, repaying her kindness and compassion toward others with but false promise and no substance each and every time. “That kind of love is a mirage,” she defiantly declared. But inner voice be damned, its persistent denial wouldn’t allow her to believe her own lie. Her soul still ached for that rare, ancient connection – two beings recognizing in each other their own self. So unfathomable in its rarity, so unspeakable in its mystery and yet for those who have found it, so complete in its simplicity.

Certain of its existence, she rationalized that perhaps she wasn’t ready. And so tucking it away deep inside, she went on with life. The longing lay dormant yet omnipresent. Alone, but not really lonely, she spent those years observing and reflecting. Where had she been? Where was she going? What was her destiny? Surely it was one of her own making. That she knew. Had she known at the time that each disappointment taught her secrets she needed to move incrementally closer to him, she would have realized that karma is just and never capricious. Only when you are ready will you find that which is your destiny.

And then, she read his words. He spoke to everyone, and yet he spoke only to her reaching deep into the innermost part of her soul. Joyful tears welled as she read and understood completely each and every thought. His introspection, honesty and courage ignited her. The life force flickered and danced within her. I’m not the only being who needs this to feel alive! Without even knowing her, he had offered proof positive that this depth of emotion exists and is a necessity for those who feel it. Resolute, she decided to resume her quest. But first she had to thank him…

Thank you, James, from the bottom of my heart!

***


 

You are so very welcome.

Meet me there

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.

-Rumi

 

Meet me there, Love,
and We,
filled with a touch,
a kiss,
a word,
will be made One
in heart and soul
and carry that fullness
into the world
and it will be made better
by simply being
Us.

 

 

Image by J.M.Greff

One person at a time

 

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As published in Elephant Journal 8/5/17

 

I see a young woman punished by a mind that differs from my own pushing a shopping cart through the dregs of society.

The aisles of humanity staggered randomly like blockades of sheeple that spite or ignore or pretend she does not even exist.

She winds carefully through the labyrinth. A test of the gods. A test of her worthiness that she believes she failed long ago.

I wonder: What test? What god would be so cruel to allow this woman, who carries the spark of the divine itself within her breast, to live like this? Why threaten to extinguish the gift of that spark?

I step in front of this woman, only occasionally glancing behind, and part the cascade of ignorance like Moses in a sea of flesh so she can make her way to the hovel that is her home.

I see a man on a corner with a worn sign that says “will work for food” and I know, without a doubt, that he has neither worked nor eaten in far too long. I watch the constant flow of people pass by like a river of wealth that is just beyond his reach while he slowly dies from dehydration.

I wonder: Why should he work for what the planet gives freely? Why should he be reduced to begging for that which comes naturally?

I step into the closest convenience store, a place convenient only to those with means, and spend what little is left on my debit card to ensure that he will not go another day without that which is his right, and I bring it to him with one request—that if he knows another who has not eaten, he share it. He looks at me and offers a portion, and I gently refuse because I have a job.

I see an old man struggling to carry his meager supplies to his humble home. He staggers under the weight of the few small bags that are his sole source of sustenance for the next month. His “retirement” is barely enough to pay for the two rooms in an ancient building that could, at any time, be condemned and leave him homeless.

I cross the street, add my own bags to his, and carry them all to the crumbling facade which represents the dreams of his youth. Without a word, I leave all the bags, including my own, at his door and walk away in silence as he speaks the only word we shared in those six blocks, “Why?”

I wonder: Where did he work so hard that I can see the memories of his past etched deeply into his face? Why did the system he paid into for so long leave him with not so much as cab fare to transfer a true month’s worth of food? Why would my actions, which seem so natural to me, leave him questioning my motives?

When I return home, I see myself in the mirror: this man that proclaims love, who shares it freely with the hungry, who widens the aisle with his imposing figure and intimidates the sheeple with a glance so the meek can pass, who carries the bags for those who are too weak to carry them, and leaves them with more than they started with—where would he be if not for the love and care of the one person who first offered the very same compassion that he feels for others: his Self.

I see their faces in my reflection. I feel their pain, know their suffering, and, in fact, share it.

Where would I be? Exactly where I am now—with them.

I quietly acknowledge my gratitude to a universe that gave me the gift of this vision and know that I am home.

If you want to change the world, begin with yourself, and then carry that change into the world one person at a time.

~

~

~

Author: J.M. Greff
Image: Pixabay/quinntheislander
Editor: Travis May

I am amazed

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I am amazed
Breathless
Speechless
My heart softens
and opens
at the thought of you
My soul reaches out
and finds you there
waiting
You are so much more
than I ever imagined
More than I thought
I deserve
You are the dream
I never dared dream
The light
I have always seen
Leading me ever
forward to you
You are the hand
that touches
those places inside
those places
kept hidden from others
The heart
I desire
The soul
I require
You are everything
You are My Love

 

 

Image: “Dream State” by Artur Weber