Missing Wheels, Broken Heels, and the Future

You can’t get to a better present or a new future without acknowledging the past, and you can’t apologize your way out of bad behavior without reform.

Acknowledge
Action
Commitment
Integrity

Relationships, reparations, business, neighbors… all of it is really about relationships, is it not?

Most of us say we want a better or brighter future, but fail to do anything different. We sit here and wait on someone else to change it so we can step into it and say, “Look at me in this new thing!” Then we pat ourselves on the back and wonder why we get stuck again.

We hurt each other, and sometimes we take a corrective course, but fail at acknowledging what happened. Can you imagine bringing your car home from the shop with only three wheels? The shop fixed everything else, but the front passenger tire was removed because it was flat. Well, you don’t have the flat tire anymore, right? Have you ever had your shoes polished? They look so great afterwards – all clean and shiny. But what if you got them back with a heel missing? Yes, it’s like that when you forget the acknowledgement. Your shoes look great, but the function is just off, and no one notices how shiny they are, just that your heel is missing and you’re walking weird. Then to add to the ridiculousness of it all, you’re trying your darnedest to ignore what’s wrong with the shoes and keep talking about how clean and shiny they are.

Relationships are like that. Corrective action doesn’t mean a whole lot without conversation about the problem and a meaningful apology, and especially if it has been an ongoing issue. The other person likely sees what you’ve corrected, but is now standing by for you to resume your previous behaviors. Why? Because there was no conversation or apology, and the recipient/s of your bad behavior are likely operating in protective mode. That is the foundation, the frame, that you created by skipping over key steps and actions. You’re just driving around with your person or people, bumping along without that tire and wondering why the ride is so rough. Your passenger/s know… but you’re still pretending you’re in a new vehicle.

Our country, our government, our systems have this same issue. We have whole systems put into place that were born out of racism, classism, sexism, etc. The sentiments of our time may not be the same as they were then (we say), but the systems are still in place bringing with them into our present and our future the spirit, the energy, and the isms that put them there in the first place. That’s us gimping along in our polished shoes with the heel missing. We keep saying we’re fixing things, making them better, but we’re failing to recognize or acknowledge what got us here in the first place. We can keep shining those shoes, but until we go back and look at what’s missing, acknowledge that it’s broken, we are not going to fix it. Fixing it doesn’t mean that everyone gets to have shoes with broken heels, or cars with only three tires so that no one notices what’s wrong.

I think this is why we don’t like to discuss reparations for Black folks. This means we have to take accountability for the brokenness that we caused. This means we have to acknowledge that everything isn’t fair and equal now just because we marched and made new laws. This would mean we would have to acknowledge that we have a whole group of people that are severely affected still because 1. the life we forced them into was an unspeakable horror to begin with; 2. we are pretending that we made it right with laws; 3. we refuse to look at the space we created and the foundation we keep polishing (original systems); 4. we think we apologized long ago; 5. we think they should be happy with shiny broken shoes.

You can always make a difference, but pretending and turning away will keep you stuck. If you’re stuck, you’re likely holding other people down with you or trying to keep them there with you. Don’t turn over a new leaf, plant a whole new garden.

  • Acknowledge what went wrong.
  • Take corrective action.
  • Make a commitment to do better or cease the hurtful behavior.
  • Stay in integrity; keep your word because you are a keeper of your word.

Cobwebs, Dirty Floors, and Love

If you’re going to tell me that I need to learn to love myself (or ourselves, in a group setting) in order to love you with the love and respect you deserve, I can’t hear you if you aren’t loving me. I can’t hear you if you are coming from grudge (or anger, yelling, vitriol) vs. love.

It’s tricky, isn’t it? What I hear you saying may very well be the truth, or may certainly have some true parts. But it’s like giving advice to someone else on how to keep their house clean while you have cobwebs all over yours. Your cobwebs don’t actually make any of the truth less true. However, they make you less believable about what you know and want, so you are now suspect for motives, suspect as to what will be returned for changed behavior. Your intention isn’t coming from the same energy that you wish to receive.

Now, you will get a few on board who will hear you and see the truth in spite of your own cobwebs and adjust accordingly; and you will have some form of agreement from the few self-loathing as well. But you will not ultimately get the return you were going for, which is a transformed group.

What a conundrum. Sometimes we really need to be heard, or sometimes we really need to hear. How difficult it can be to express hurt, fear, or anger and be heard fully without losing humanity towards the other person our group!

Love is some tricky shit when you think you can out-maneuver it.

Charitable Birthday Fundraiser

I’m celebrating double 5’s this year! Spiritually speaking, this is quite an opportunity! Number 5 symbolizes God’s goodness, grace, and kindness, and I’ve got double, so I’m anticipating great things! I’m fortunate to not be in need for much these days, especially tangibles, but I remember well what it’s like to be in need and the constant worry. And as the saying goes, “There but for the grace of God go I.” So in gratitude and from my heart, I try to give to our underserved and homeless communities when I can, and however I am moved to. This year I am moved to increase Unity of Sacramento’s ability to provide through their Winter Sanctuary. I hope you will help me give them a little bump ahead of the doors opening. Believe me when I tell you that every little bit counts. Thank you in advance for anything that you can donate, and I would love it if you would also share this. 🥳 🙌🏻 ✌🏻 ❤

Campaign Text

For my birthday this year, I’m asking for donations to Unity of Sacramento’s Winter Sanctuary. If you’ve known me for a while, you know that each year I do some sort of charitable drive for our homeless population. I’ve chosen this nonprofit because their mission means a lot to me, they do a FABULOUS job and huge effort, and I hope you’ll consider contributing as a way to celebrate with me. Every little bit will help me reach my goal.

Each winter, Unity of Sacramento opens its doors for our homeless outreach campaign. We provide a hot meal, a safe place to sleep, and a breakfast-to-go in the morning. Prayer support is always available. Our congregation has been so generous in helping with donations of not only money, but necessities such as toiletries, socks, mittens, clothing, and many other gifts of love. And just like anything else, the more donations we receive, the more assistance we are able to pour out and into our homeless brothers and sisters.

Please help me reach my goal or even surpass it this year! Not only is it tax deductible, but it is a bonus for your spirit! PLUS… it makes me SUPER happy! 🙂

Learn more about Unity of Sacramento

What You Say, You Are

As I was fooling around with fun filters after church today, I was reminded of a time when someone accused me of taking my nickname (Queen BB) too seriously. (The nickname didn’t follow me back home from Arizona.)  I was managing a medical office at the time, and an employee went to two of the practice partners and complained that I really thought I was a queen. (I mean, seriously…?) Was I able to go back now, my response would be different. Rather than taking a defensive position, I simply would say, “Well, I am, as are all of you. I am simply comfortable in all of my authority to say that is who I am, and that is who you are. Join me in knowing who we are meant to be.” Darn that 20/20 hindsight! But then, I wasn’t that sure of my own spot in life at the time. There is nothing wrong in honoring yourself in your rightful spot on the throne of your life — and if you want some extra gravy, allow others to be in their rightful spot as well. After all, as I often say, “When I uplift even one to equal standing, I lose nothing and gain it all — not only for myself, but for all of us.”  Why not start where you are – within yourself? Who better to start with? Now, just don’t get stuck there! You have got to spread the space and the love. That’s the secret ingredient!

Today in church, Rev. Kev had on the most beautiful garment, and I told him he looked like the “King of Unity.” (If you’d like to see for yourself, you can see today’s service here: Clean It Up – Get Your Spiritual House In Order) He was so sparkly up there, all in his zone. Gorgeous! Hopefully, he took that as a compliment and not a rub, not knowing this backstory of mine. I’m 99.99% sure he took it correctly.

Right now a favorite quote by Zig Ziglar comes to mind:  You may not be what you say you are, but what you say, you are.  💣🤯💥

“Back in the day,” there was something “wrong” with being (seemingly) too proud of one’s self. Most of us, and especially if you are female, it was just sheer vanity to see our own light and shine it. We were expected to shrink in many instances. Fairly early on in my parenting, but maybe not as soon as I wished, I realized I was instilling that faulty thinking in my kids.  I started then, and continue still as they’re grown, to remind them how perfect, how wonderfully made they are.  At least, that is my goal. I guess you’d have to ask them if they know how important, how brilliant, how fabulous they are in my eyes, and hopefully their own as well.  That last part is key, and that is even more important to me than what they think my opinions are, actually.  And that is what this whole post is about, really.

Marianne Williamson said, “We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”  Feel THAT!  Yes, put your crown back on or straighten it out and march on out there like you mean it… and remind others to do the same.  We all need this reminder from time to time.  But if you find yourself in need of this and no one around seems to be playing on this field, then go on ahead and remind yourself. Your opinion means a LOT.

Admittedly, I don’t always find this easy to do. I’m trying to train myself so that there doesn’t have to be some event for me to wake up and remind myself. I want this to be automatic thinking all the time. So, practice, I will; you, too! It is vitally important in a society that is constantly trying to dumb down, press down, and brainwash so many that we are less-than. Don’t fall for it!  

You are a QUEEN.
You are a KING.
Yes, you are!

In love and sparkly crown confetti,

Debora Lynn






Loving Impossible

Check Your Personal Equality Climate

“The humanity of all Americans is diminished when any group is denied rights granted to others.” ~Julian Bond (Founder of Southern Poverty Law Center, and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee)

_______________________________________________________

So many of us live in fear. I’m not saying that we go around hiding or shaking in our boots (though some might). What I am saying is that many of us operate out of fear, rather than love, and it shows in the way we treat people — even in our silence. 

If we operated from love, I wouldn’t be writing this, and the world would look a whole lot different!  For one, the conversations about race and gender inequality wouldn’t exist because neither subject would carry weight. We would treat family like… well, family! We wouldn’t see power-hungry bosses and co-workers stepping on others to gain ground or intimidate. We wouldn’t see power struggles in relationships, nor abuses of various kinds. Bullying would be unknown. We wouldn’t have the need to prove our superiority over another.

The current climate has brought out all kinds of fear; you can hear it in conversations and it thumps around in daily life. This is nothing new, but I suggest that the energy in our spaces right now has forced this nastiness upward and forward from the mires. Sometimes fear looks like hate; sometimes it looks like anger; sometimes it looks like sadness, or many other related negative emotions and actions. What it doesn’t look like is love for all, including love for self. Cooperation, collaboration, and affinity are abundantly missing in all walks of life.

Some of us are fearful of losing something if we contribute to others — the “what” that we fear is boundless. It could be money, footing, stature, reputation, family, friends, love… you name it! Unfortunately, when motives are fear-driven they come out in ways that we have several labels for, i.e., hate, bigotry, violence, misogyny, rudeness, bitterness, racism, homophobia, etc. I cannot imagine that there is one among us who never falls into the fear trap.  I know I fall, and it is not pretty!

Though there are clearly many ways love and fear is each expressed, for the sake of this post, I am particularly speaking about making room for others to be on the same ground. I am talking about the absolute truth of helping, giving, allowing others to be and have the exact same allowances and how we do not lose a single thing in the process.  Many who are “on top” view equal rights as a pie, and feel that if they give another the exact same space that they are in, that they lose a piece of their ground or a slice of their pie.  But this is only true when we are speaking about an actual pie! (But even then I will argue that sharing is awesome, and you’ll still receive a wonderful intangible in return!) 

Self-reflection time:  Where in your life do you take issue with another having what you already have, be it property, pay, rights, housing, health… anything?  Where in life do you hear yourself complaining about another that has requested the same fairness in life that you receive?  If at this point the voice in your head just said, “I’m not prejudiced, but…,” or “I’m not a bigot, but…,” or “I believe in equal rights, but…,” or “I’m not a racist, but…,” or “I’m always nice, but….”  Man, your “but” just told all about what’s really going on. Did you hear it? It was REALLY FAST so you might have missed it.  Our “buts” will show our butts every time!

If at THIS point you have now gone into the discussion about “deserving,” and who deserves or doesn’t deserve something, you’re deflecting.  Yes, you really are. This looking at self in the mirror thing doesn’t always feel good (at first), but it’s a practice we all need to be in.  Your view of life is not the same as another’s, and it is no less or more accurate either. It is no less or more important. Your view and experience of life is not THEE view or experience, rather merely one in a myriad of views and experiences. 

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Where are you not listening to someone’s struggle, or discounting their account of life?
  2. When do you diminish others and their experiences based on their occupation, neighborhood, family, gender, skin color, religion, history, etc? 
    • And the bigger question: WHY are you doing that?
  3. Why are we afraid to accept that life plays out differently for others, especially someone who has lived a completely different life?
  4. Why do we have such a hard time admitting that we either just don’t understand, or that we just don’t give someone from a different culture or walk of life the consideration they really deserve?
  5. Why is it we want others to give us a break and understand where we are coming from, but we don’t give that regard to someone whose shoes we’ve never stepped into and have had very little or no affiliation?
  6. Why does someone else deserve less than we expect to receive when we want to be heard and understood?

Is it really any wonder why we see anger from marginalized groups? 

“When I uplift even one to equal standing, I lose nothing and gain it all — not only for myself, but for all of us. Likewise, the converse is true.  Remember that one can and will cause a collective.
It is impossible to give more than I have, and completely possible to gain more than I dreamed when I pursue love-multiplied as my only agenda.”


The way I see it, we have two choices – LOVE and FEAR. Super simple! Now if you choose love, it does not mean that you have to agree, or even understand, but it does mean that you are giving others space to be who they are and to express how life is for them in a way that you can’t possibly understand. Again, you lose NOTHING. Who knows, you could even learn something and find out how ridiculous and unknowing you may have been before (which I strongly suspect is the reason so many of us refuse this opportunity)! Or you could realize how to be part of a solution, and/or how you might have been part of the problem.

Start today coming from your heart, and retrain your ears and mind to open up to those you have disregarded and discarded in the past based solely on things you can’t or refuse to relate to. Search your conscience for where you have turned it off in order to be okay with your discounting of others. Acknowledge the humanity in all, and the fact that we really all yearn for the same essentials. Listen to someone you might not have before, and not to gain anything for yourself, but just out of love. It’s a win-win. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain, and you’ll start gaining faster if you listen more than you speak!



Love,
Debora

P.S.  Let me know if you’ve been brave enough to start giving people space to be who they are, and what you’re learning.

When "Just Love" Is Just Words Instead of a Verb

💗

There’s a lot of requests to “just love” in the past couple days.

This is popular when there is a tragedy, whether it’s a large scale disaster, or something that just hits local or home. Notice the word “just” is put in front of the word “love” to indicate that it really is a simple thing, that it really needs to happen, and that it will really make all the difference.


I don’t think it’s surprising that this request comes in droves when a major tragedy occurs.  Not at all.  Nor do I think it is somehow wrong or inappropriate. We are touched and moved in various ways by these occurrences, and so it seems natural o reach out in this way.


But why aren’t we doing this every day regardless of circumstances? Why aren’t we doing less talking and more listening in the first place — and in all places and for all people? Why do we wait until a terrible thing that showed us what a lack of love and conscience looks like, to remember to “just love?” 

What does your “just love” look like? What does it mean?  Are certain individuals or groups left out? You see, if our “just love” is meant to invoke a loving change or a change for more love, then it begins with you, me, the person stating it — not “them,” or over there somewhere. If your “just love” is meant as a plea or a reminder for people to change their hearts and minds, this must also apply to you. Otherwise it is an empty plea. 

“Just love” doesn’t mean that you have to start agreeing with everybody. What it looks like (if you actually want change) is the willingness to hear people that may think or act or look differently than you. It’s real easy and a cop-out from your statement to “just love” the same people that you just loved the day before the tragedy. There is absolutely no change in that. So when the dust settles from the current tragedy, guess what we have! We have the same thing we had before the tragedy — the very thing that we said we didn’t want to see any more of.

Is your “just love” just words, or is it a jump into action?

Do you have a plan to include those you left out before? I think that most of us know that one of the best ways we can show love and respect for another is to give them our attention and consideration. When we minimize, ignore, or ridicule another person’s experience based off of the simple, and simple-minded, fact that it is different from our own, that is absolutely not “just love.” It is, at its least, thoughtless. At its most, it shows up as tragedy in various forms and depths.

 

So the next time you broadcast “just love” as a mend, please make sure it’s not “just words.” Love is, after all, a verb, too.

💗

"You get what you pay for."

When you pay in barbs and insults, your love and kindness account becomes overdrawn. What you have purchased is distrust. Regardless of your claims, your investments eventually become clear. Your return is negative, and your currency will fluctuate, then fall. Your credit is rated poor. Communication ends. Doors that were once held open just for you, may be closed and even locked. You may find yourself on the outside looking in at what was once yours. This is what happens when you don’t guard the treasures you already have. You chose your currency, and this is your return on investment.

How many times will you rebuild,
only to watch your investments repeatedly
fail in the same way?



Each failure was an option to learn and grow and do better. Repeating the same proven failed strategies shows a belief that there is more comfort in the struggle than in the light. 






Being A Mama ;

My middle son graduates with his
B.S. in Geology in 2 weeks.

(Photographer: Jessica Verone)

So my father died, and I was just thinking….

I got something HUGE out of sitting in the silence just now.


I was on my deck listening to the breeze, wind chimes, and my wonderful miniature wind gong.  My father died a couple of days ago.  I was taking a breather from an emotional few weeks and an emotional data dump into another solar system (well, that’s what it felt like) that I just released on Facebook a couple hours earlier.  My dear friend, Moe, sent me a note of encouragement about my Facebook post (data dump) and my previous blog post (“The Dark Soul and Little Spitfire), and I stated something to him about how many of my blog posts have a distinct topic, but are vague or esoteric in nature.  That is by design — no accident, because it is kind of like a song.  You know how a song means different things to different people?  I might hear a song one way, and you hear it differently, or it has a different meaning for me than you.  That is the reason I am vague and casual in my blog posts many times.  I want the topic to be clear, but the parameters to be set by the reader.  This way it can have many meanings, and the meaning/s can even change over time as our thinking and experiences evolve as well.

I think my style is effective for the purposes I mentioned above.  However, here’s the meat.  What I got while sitting in the silence was how extremely ineffective it has been for me in my real, in-living-color life.  I am a natural introvert, and a reluctantly-learned extrovert; so this is a tragic, perfect fit.  There are times in life when diplomacy is most certainly called for, and a lack of it can cause more harm than good.  There are times when tact and/or caution are necessary.  But I see how tip-toeing around myself in order to avoid injury to others down my path of personal healing has only prolonged and deepened the injuries.  I am not saying one should just bulldoze over people and their feelings, but I AM saying that I have forgotten who I am to myself.  I have forgotten to treat myself like the one and only me that I will ever, ever, EVER have.  Why should I not treat myself the way I try to treat others whom I revere, and the way that I advise them to treat themselves?  So rather than opening myself up to personal things, I am… VAGUE.  And if I want to get deep with it, that’s not really an honest way of being.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I can talk and TALK about all kinds of things.  I have been told more than a few times that I talk too much!  But if you’re one to really pay attention, you would notice that next to none or absolutely ZERO of what I was talking about had anything very personal or vulnerable about me in it.  If you feel this is not true about me, then consider yourself one of the chosen extreme few.  That’s not bragging, by the way, it’s part of today’s epiphany.

I also get that my vague style of communicating personal things is a protection.  I am sure as I am Irish that it is my own training.  All the way to his death, if you didn’t agree with my father, you were going to pay.  So, I mastered “vague.”  Hell, I JUST said to my husband THIS very morning after I posted my data dump, “I will probably never fully trust anyone.” Wow. Way to go…  Team… ➟➟ of ONE!  How convenient for someone who wants to stay stuck in the beige realm.  (Is that taupe or ecru?  No one really knows.)

I will remember to revere 

myself,

and take care of 

my one and
only 

ME! 

Finally, what I got in the silence today is that by being vague about how I feel, or stepping around things, as my cousin and I talked about, rather than going through them, I’m setting myself and others up to be nuked or data dumped on — like today.  I have lots of feelings and words just swarming around dying to get out!  So if I pressure cook them without releasing the valve at the appropriate time, “She’s gonna blow, Captain!”  What I said in my post on Facebook, I meant.  My regret is that I didn’t say it all sooner and handle it under the category of self-care rather than anger and hurt.

An Aside:  I just took a break from writing this blog post to read some of  the comments on Facebook.  After I posted my blast, I purposely ignored it for a while.  I was fully expecting some cricket noises, maybe a few thumbs-up, and possibly some negative returns.  But I am in tears right now instead at the support I have received.  This is what happens when you put yourself on an island in your mind instead of sharing.  You begin to think you are alone in your feelings and experiences.  I am touched by the kind and caring comments, as well as some private messages, text messages, and phone calls I have received in response.  I hate to sound cliché, but my mind is just blown.  It is time for me to do the work of someone who is ready to move forward from where I’ve been stuck.

I am sad.  I am tired.  My head hurts.  I feel a little less angry today, but I see I have a ways to go, and I fully understand it is totally up to me to find my way to peace.  This is a journey I have to take alone.  I don’t mean that in that lonely, sad way — like “I don’t want anyone around” way, or “There is no one to help me” lugubrious way.  It just is what it is!  Some lessons and transformation are truly and simply a journey for one.

So, what am I going to do about this revelation?  What am I going to do next?  I’m going to buy more wind chimes, that’s for sure.  Those things are MAGIC… like Tinkerbell!  For sure I need to be responsible.  What that looks like is no longer allowing people to abuse my time, which includes family gossip and anything or anyone that just doesn’t feel good or right, or anything that puts me in the position of aligning myself with someone that consistently and purposely makes others feel bad.  After that… I need to stay present and conscious, and I’ll just keep breathing (both directions), learning, and sharing.  

Stay with me.  I’m sure my ride is not over.

ღ Love yourself.

Little Spitfire
I would like to go back
and hug her so tight!

Debora Lynn

P.S.  “Follow” my blog if you want to keep up with me (button on the far right side).  Some of my posts are going to change tone.  When it makes sense, you’re going to see more clearly who I’m writing about.