Greetings of peace and health to all!
South Florida was hit with a great cleanser in
the form of Wilma. Wilma taught my husband and
I that Love is the most important thing in the
whole universe. Keeping Love in awareness
became a moment by moment conscious focus. I'm
sure many of us experienced many frightening
moments during the storm.
Right after the storm, one of my friends
phoned and said that she had an odyssey. Since
speaking with her, I've heard many odyssey
stories. An odyssey is a perilous journey. I'm
sure we all have perilous tales we could tell
about the past week. But, I'm sure, too, there
are also many miracles we could share. There
were times during the "week-without-power" we
just had, that I thought I was reliving the
Maccabbee saga: our resources lasted longer
than we expected. Our propane stove worked fine
for five days without running out of propane;
so did our propane lantern. Our fridge stayed
cold for almost four days; our radio ran
constantly on the original set of batteries.
Our candles lasted as did our flashlight
batteries. And more miracles: we met our
neighbors who were really, really, really,
A Course in Miracles says "God is but love,
and so am I!" I watched love in action this
past week as I kept allowing Love to come
through me and to fill me and to heal the fear.
As I focused on quieting my mind, a song kept
bubbling up to the surface of my awareness:
The storm is blowin'
The snow is snowin'
What do I care how much it may storm!
I've got my love to keep me warm!
Who knew Irving Berlin was a prophet!
May peace of mind radiate
from your core and bless and heal the whole
The Miami Herald,
on 1/1/06, ran an op-ed piece by Frida Ghitis (http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/opinion/13518051.htm)
about how there is less violence on the planet
now than at any other time in history. That
the planet is more peaceful now is the
conclusion reached by the Human Security Report
that was published in October 2005 (http://www.humansecurityreport.info).
Of course the question begs, if that’s true,
then why aren’t we celebrating? Why are people
filled with anxiety and dread? Why are people
stressed out and filled with anxiety? Why are
millions and millions of people on Prozac?
The same issue of the Herald had an
interview with me about defining spirituality (http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/editorial/letters/13518041.htm).
At one point, I spoke about how I learned that
I could see the world through the eyes of love
or the eyes of fear.
It seems as though the
world runs on fear. We have to worry about an
endless array of threats: if the terrorists
don’t get us, then a hurricane will; if it’s
not avian flu, then it’s global warming. The
nightly news features fires, tornados, murders,
car crashes interspersed with commercials
touting the latest cure of that deadly of all
conditions – yellow teeth. We have to worry
about dandruff, deodorant and dirty floors.
Fear impedes growth. I
read recently that in order for an organism to
survive it needs to do two things: it needs to
protect itself and it needs to grow. If too
much energy is spent on protection, there isn’t
enough energy left for growth. Love fosters
growth. Growth leads to self-actualization. It
is a state of Self-realization. It’s the
awareness that humans are all part of one
Spirit. We are all the Buddha, the Christ or
any other term for the Divine Presence. It is
Enlightenment or Buddhahood or being a
Bodhisattva. The Hindu term Tat Tvam Asi means
“thou art that,” or as Joni Mitchell said in
the song Woodstock, “we are stardust, we are
golden, and we have to get ourselves back to
want is what you see!
recently that the French government is starting
its own CNN-type international news network.
France’s President Chirac’s reasoning for
starting a new network is “France must be at
the forefront of the global battle of images.”
Chirac’s statement made me realize that the
world is comprised of different factions all
competing to get inside my head.
the content of the competing images. What are
the predominant messages? These are the message
You need to be frightened because
something’s going to get you – terrorists,
hurricanes, foot fungus, dandruff, bad breath
and erectile dysfunction.
You are inadequate as you are and
therefore need a myriad of products, potions
and promises to compensate for your
inadequacies. Lately I find my salvation in
hair gel. It’s making up for my incurable
“menopause hair” malady.
And often the messages conflict: Be
thin, but stuff your face at McDonald’s.
Every once in a while you see messages
of hope and inspiration, but they are few and
To sum up: the predominant messages of
the world are based on fear, lack and conflict.
A few years
ago I was involved with an organization called
Images and Voices of Hope (http://www.ivofhope.org/
). Images and Voices of Hope describes itself
as “an international conversation about the
impact of images and stories on people,
families, communities, cultures and the world.”
One of Its principles is that the world we
perceive is based on our thinking. In other
words as within, so without. Cognitive
psychology talks about something similar:
perception is based on cognitive structures
which can also be called the unexamined
assumptions we hold in mind. To put it
succinctly, if I’m perceiving fear and lack in
the world, my mind must be filled with fearful
and anxious thinking.
A Course in
Miracles says “when you want only love, you
will see nothing else.” The idea that we have
a choice about what to think may be
revolutionary. But it is possible to choose
what we think even under the most horrific of
circumstances. Psychiatrist Victor Frankl, in
his book Man’s Search for Meaning,
recounts his experiences in a Nazi
concentration camp. He said that he was
stripped of every conceivable freedom except
the freedom to choose what he thought. He also
said that he chose to focus on love and based
on that choice, he strove to make life better
for fellow camp inmates.
battle of images that Chirac describes is just
a reflection of my brain’s battle of belief
systems. Do I want to choose a thought system
based on conflict, fear and lack or do I want
to choose to focus on love. Thoughts of
conflict, fear and lack give rise to a world in
which I believe that I’m a helpless victim.
Thoughts of love give rise to a world of hope,
inspiration, courage, wisdom, creativity,
humor, justice, and peace.
For a visual experience of
inspiration and joy, visit
www.larrydubitsky.com. Relax and browse
through the 100 plus original water colors from
Master Artist Larry Dubitsky. Larry’s
paintings are magical; they transform people’s
homes and their lives. Tell your friends.
A Chorus of Wisdom
contributor Barbara De Angelis’ new
book, How Did I Get Here, is
available on her web site
is a gifted writer and speaker. How Did I
Get Here is for anyone who wants to
confront change with wisdom, courage, energy