Veronica's Garden

I originally started this blog to promote my novel, Post Rock Limestone Caryatids. Now I write essays and poetry about everything, including the Flint Hills, healing, parenting, etc. WARNING: emotional content, sometimes intense. Read at own risk of feeling.

Tag: love

Crying in Church

I cry in church. Not necessarily every week, but I’m an easy cryer in general and the setting is conducive to introspection. I don’t see it as anything bad, and I don’t need anything from anyone else. It’s more a sign of a place in me that needs my attention.

Today I was there in the pew and a couple rows ahead there was a little baby waving a toy and telling everyone about it, and her dad was watching and smiling. Right then the preacher was talking about the prodigal son, and how his dad was so filled with love and joy and pride to have his son back. And the way these parents were with their baby seemed like a beautiful illustration of such love and pride. I know it well, as a parent myself. There is probably nothing my children could do that would make me not love them. When they do things I don’t like, I don’t hesitate to tell them what I think about what they do, but even so, they are beautiful and brilliant and I am proud of them every minute.

So there’s no reason for what the preacher said next to be a surprise. I kind of saw it coming myself, but it got me anyway: Naturally, the way we feel about our children is the way God feels about us. Oh my. I’m used to being forgiven, I count on it; and I’m not surprised when I feel Divine love in and around me; but God is proud of me? Really? I’d been feeling more wretched than usual this week for reasons that, in retrospect, don’t ¬†seem to be that big of a deal, but my petty failings, my unremarkable life, my squandered potentials, all add up to something to be proud of? Impossible but undeniably true, because love is the best part of us, and when we are in a state of love is when we are closest to the Divine. That which comes of love must be of God.

That was what made me tear up, and it surprised me how hard it hit me. It took the rest of the sermon, two hymns, and the offertory before my eyes stopped leaking.

So God is proud of me. I don’t know why, I don’t understand it, but I will do some more examination of this concept and my feelings about it, and see what I come up with.

Do you cry in church?

adult adventure baby child

Photo by Pixabay on

Do You Hear Voices?

Maybe you hear a voice speaking these words in your mind as you read them. Maybe you hear your own voice responding occasionally. Maybe a voice that you don’t identify as you jumps in to argue. It’s okay. I don’t think you’re crazy.

I once had a friend who did a stint in bed. She couldn’t sleep at night, but she couldn’t get up in the day. She couldn’t keep a job. She cried a lot. I thought, wow, she’s got a case of depression. But she went to a doctor and came back with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, because the doctor asked if she was hearing disembodied voices, and she said yes.

Now here’s where I start to get irked. I was not the first to be privy this fact, but I was definitely the first to ask, what are the voices saying? And her answer was, “I don’t know. They’re so faint I can barely hear them.” What? For that she needed anti-psychotic drugs that blew her up like a balloon? I don’t wish to disparage doctors, but for certain kinds of conditions, they are way off base.

When you or someone else hears voices with no apparent human source, there are two essential questions to ask.

1) What feelings are associated with the voices? Are they accompanied by a feeling of deep love, compassion, peace? Or do they leave you feeling anxiety, fear, agitation?

In A Course In Miracles, it is said that God is eternal, which is to say, without limit. There is no place, mind, creature, cell, atom, void, or black hole in the universe in which God is not, or which is not God. There is no separation. We are all one. Our access to Divine information and power is limited only by our belief in limitation. But the other fact we know about God (via many spiritual traditions) is that God is Love. Anything we perceive that is not infused with the beauty, compassion, and peace of Divine Love is illusion.

2) What do the voices tell you? Do they support you, help you, enable your highest purposes? Do they try to agitate you, isolate you, or convince you to do things that are morally repugnant or otherwise objectionable?

At an energy healing class, I once met a woman who told a lengthy story about going to a job interview. On the way, a voice told her to turn, then take another turn (this was before smart phones), then directed her all over town until she was hopelessly lost. Then the voice took her back to her hotel, where she went inside to call the potential employer, but the phone rang before she picked it up. Another employer was calling to offer her a better job.

The whole story always seemed kind of silly to me, and raises some questions, like, why didn’t the voice just tell her to cancel the interview and wait for a call? She could have relaxed, taken in some cable TV. But it doesn’t really matter, and she was happy, because she got the job she wanted, so ultimately the voice was helpful. A doctor could probably medicate that away, but why?

I know lots of people who regularly take advice from spirit guides. Some healers work directly with non-physical entities (including those entities called angels), who give them information about the client’s condition and how to help her/him. In some circles, no one would think twice about it if someone said s/he had heard a voice, if it was benevolent. Everyone would be concerned if the voice is manipulative, causes distress, tells you to do things you flat out believe to be wrong, or harmful to another person or yourself. This is where intuition must be tempered with reason. This is when you need help from a neutral person, if not a doctor, then find a shamanic healer, or energy healer, or spiritual teacher. If the first one doesn’t help, find someone else. If there isn’t someone near you, someone far might do distance work, or refer you to someone closer. See this article by Malidoma Some for more about different paradigms in mental health.

Events might transpire that will be very difficult to accept, painful, and threaten one’s identity or safety. This is life in three dimensions, in the physical realm, under the illusion of linear time and limitation. This is the world we live in. Every day we are alive, we have to navigate between danger and living and loving joyfully in the moment. Many, too many, of the problems we face in the world are desperately urgent, and far bigger than any of us individually. They are beyond our control, if we identify with our small selves and our fear. The compass is the heart. The heart is our compass. Look for the Divine Love within, and follow where it leads. Recognize fear, anxiety, separation, and isolation for the illusion they are. Your Divine self is bigger and more powerful than any illusion, because, in the words of my dear friend Mary Vukovic, “Love is the greatest power in the universe.”

Does Wildfire hear voices telling her to bite my toes in my sleep?

Does Wildfire hear voices telling her to bite my toes in my sleep?

Tree House

Steve Thompson stays at our motel, and he does odd jobs around the place. Lately he has been inspired to build a tree house for the kids. It’s not going to keep the motel from falling to the ground, but it seems more gets done when we let him do the work he wants to be doing, rather than what we think is important. This week he announced that the upper level is suitable for play, and the girls insisted I come up to experience it first hand. Watching them inhabiting the space, I thought, he’s put his love into this structure, and we all feel it.

What An Onion Has To Say

Half an Onion

Jacqui Murray recently wondered in a comment on another post: how would primitive people know which plants could be useful for healing? I replied that the one way of learning about plants which I’ve seen reported by indigenous people from various cultures worldwide is that the plants talk to the healers, and tell them what they can do for people. Martin Prechtel describes in detail how the process works for him in Secrets of the Talking Jaguar. When I heard about this communication with plants as a standard way of learning about them, my thought was that I must not be meant to be a shaman, because I’d never had such an experience.

Years later, Kim Upton presented a suggestion. When you are preparing food, ask the vegetables how they would like to be prepared. I’m the kind of wacky person who will try anything if there is no harm and the commitment is negligible, so naturally that very evening I talked to some basil from my own garden. It was a bit awkward, considering that I intended to eat said basil, but it turned out that the basil had no desire but to nourish me. That was all. It wanted wholly to be of benefit to my being, was thrilled by the possibility that I’d soon be masticating it to green pulp. It turns out that plants do not have the strong egos of humans, and don’t have the slightest care for their individual welfare. What an astonishing find.*

In following years I planted lots of basil, but it always got devoured to the stem by grasshoppers. I didn’t even bother to plant any this year. I occasionally attempted to engage my vegetables in conversation, but grocery store produce doesn’t have much to say. Once in a while something will tell me to use some five-spice powder, which is kind of funny, since no one in our house particularly likes five-spice. But a tiny bit is nice, when requested by the food upon which it is to be sprinkled.

This year for the first time we were able to amass enough capital to purchase a share in Shepherd’s Valley CSA, based in northern Lyon County. While preparing dinner tonight, I was captivated by the onion I received from them this past week. It was the most perfect onion I’d ever seen, with several inches of green at the top. It had a presence I couldn’t ignore, so I paused and held it in my hands and inhaled the delicate aroma. I saw sunlight, and thought of how fresh this onion was. It would be best to save the greens and use them raw, perhaps in the slaw I’ll make with the copious amount of cabbage we’ve received. But the bulb I wanted to cook, and as I looked into it with my eyes closed and my heart open, I saw a smiling face, a woman, radiating love. Was she who pulled this onion from the earth? I was overwhelmed by the love emanating from this fabulous allium. I think that was all it wanted to tell me, that it had been grown and harvested into the pure light of love. I felt love energy entering my hands as I chopped the bulb.

Yes, it sounds silly. If you want to commune with plants, you have to be willing to risk the ridiculous. It is, after all, talking to vegetables. But, oh, what a rush! I recommend it for everyone. What do your vegetables have to say to you?

*A gold star to any reader who notices that that story was in one of my earliest posts, written by Veronica. I gave it to her, but now I’m taking it back. She won’t mind.

Cupid’s Arrows at 350 Meters/second

They twinkled about him, tiny droplets of a cool spring rain; they washed over him, crushing the air from his lungs, a deep ocean wave– a towering rogue wave –portending disaster. They drove straight to his heart, each a sublime gift from Cupid, shot at 350 meters per second. He adored the golden locks cascading down her shoulders; her smile was a lighthouse on a stormy cliff; but what transfixed him, what obsessed him, what drove him insensate to dive to her feet and profess his desire to die caressing her delicate ankles with his lips, was that sound, those notes, the notes from the piano.

100WCGU (7)

Thanks to Julia’s Place for the prompt. See the blog to read other interpretations of the theme, and why not join in the fun?

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