When I write my blog posts, I mostly get my information spiritually for others. Sometimes my writing is about myself. Tonight, this blog is for me. It is because my heart is aching, and it feels like no one would want even to come close to understanding. None of us can ever be an inspired person all the time. Life is just like a bowl of mixed nuts, all filled with different things that we end up eating along with everything else.
As I think back on some of the good things I have accomplished in life, I feel proud. There have been some great times and good moments that I cherish and hold dear. There have been some intensely sad moments when I thought my heart would break in half, but it did not. God has always been standing by with the glue gun to make sure my heart gets put back together whenever the need arises.
I think of those I have counseled over the years, the emotions I have calmed in others, and the situations I have brought people through, and I have to wonder why I never have the pleasure of being heard and comforted when the time arises. Do I appear too confident or together? Lately, I do not feel that way. Maybe I put out the air that I do not need anyone. It could not be further from the truth. We all need one another.
Sometimes I think of Karma and wonder if maybe there is something, I did to attract a situation where I always have to stand alone when things are the hardest. Can it be I tread on waters so torrential that no one else dares tread with me? Sometimes my heart is too sensitive. It’s what makes me compassionate. Sometimes my heart feels like It is going to break into a thousand pieces, like now.
Regardless of what the reason, I have felt almost invisible for the last seven years or so. My expressions of distress are met with things like, “I’m sorry to hear that,” or ” I hope you feel better soon.” Then the door is shut. As long as I have no uplifting words for someone else, there is nothing left to say.
I think to myself; I can talk to God and all the spiritual support I have. Tonight, I need more than that. We all come to a crossroads where someone who truly has mutual compassion is necessary. Suddenly I feel very alone. I am not lonely, just alone. There is a difference, you know. I can be alone for long periods and never feel lonely. Yet there are other moments I wish I had not walked the road I have. It appears to be a dark alley, and all along, I thought it was a bright tunnel filled with lights and guidance.
When guidance is not enough, yet God is enough, sometimes I need Him to send me some earth angels. I feel like my heart is hurting so much it can be heard all across the world and back, and yet all I get is an echo and then silence.
The silence of the morning hours are the most precious moments I spend. It’s the time when I pray and meditate with God to connect with the pulse of creation and wisdom. In that silence this morning the message I heard was how powerful a person is while being a compassionate listener. To truly hear the heart of another with no condemnation or judgement is to be the greatest gift to this world.
Compassionate listening is to be silent while someone else speaks and truly hear the heart of that person. This is true of groups of people as well. We don’t have to agree to listen and hear. We don’t need to judge or even come to a conclusion, expression, or solution. Sometimes people just need to have someone listen and to be heard. When we listen to understand we become an ambassador who connects hearts instead of repelling them.
The greatest honor is to be trusted with the thoughts, ideas, and feelings of another. The greatest gift is to listen without judgement. It is in that context, in that moment, we become the greatest ambassador of love ever.
I lumped boasting and pride together because I think they like to hang out together. Have you ever been at a gathering and overheard someone talking about their latest accomplishment or success? This is different than sharing great news. Boasting and being prideful has an inner working of the heart that states someone believes they are better than others. None of us really have to be too discerning to know when another is doing this. It comes from desiring either attention or praise.
Boasting can be very subtle sometimes. When we give to others, make an impression and then go around and tell everyone, it’s not very flattering. Boasting is just plain self centered. For instance, when someone boasts of their good works afterward it reveals a heart that only wanted some form of credit and definately is in need of inner healing. This is not the intention in which any of us should be giving.
Pridefulness is right up there. In fact, boasting mostly comes from pride. Our goodness should be naturally seen and not purposefully exposed to be seen. Pride can get pretty ugly. Have you ever tried to have a discussion with a pride filled person, or even spend time with them? It is alright to be proud of our accomplishments and even display them! This is not the same. Remember, it is the intention of the heart that is the focus. True boasting or pridefulness comes from either attention getting or feeling one is better than others in some way. Pride oversteps boundaries and has a sense of entitlement. Someone who is filled with pride believes they are entitled to better things than others. Sometimes those who have a sense of entitlement believe they even deserve more. It’s ugly all the way around and not true love.
Boasting and pridefulness will judge others as smaller or more insignificant. Sometimes a person with these issues will believe they are smarter, more wise, or even more gifted. Pride and giftedness do not mix at all! A gift comes out of the fountain of humility and never pride.
Real love, Godly love, is not like either of these. Love gives out of kindness and compassion. Love is happy within itself for accomplishments and has no need to be displayed for attention; which would be a sign of the need of inner healing. There is no pride of life in Godly love. God- love is humble, admirable, and can be sensed as so good!
When someone who has accomplished much but has God- love they glow from the inside out for all that has been done or achieved. God- love does not lord itself over others or think higher of itself. God- love extends a higher seat to those around; wishes, hopes, and prays for those whom it comes in contact. God-love displays the light of God, a heart of Oneness, and a spirit of Unity. It comes from that inner temple where God resides and not the human ego self. When true God-love is present between two people in relationship it gives to the other with such joy without looking for something in return. It is a humility and holy presence that is a gift that goes into eternity.
(Remember nothing is in perfection. We are in a learning process. So as you read, let things soak in, and discern, remember to learn and not judge yourself or others)
Kindness shines its light as a reflection of love especially during times of distress. As I explained in a previous blog post, there is a difference between being “nice” and being kind. Kindness takes compassion and empathy. It fulfills its power by giving to another without expectation of anything in return. It is an act of generosity and empathetic giving with no motive of being “seen” or to gather points for the ego. Kindness is unconditional love.
Kindness is a characteristic of love that can only be without conditions attached to it. Love, in God’s fashion, is tremendously kind. This means when others are at their worst or at their best. There is no condition accept the willingness to give and receive. It’s great to be nice to others but to be kind shows depth of understanding. Kindness comes from the place inside of us where God resides. It is the Light and reflection of God and God’s character.
Kindness does random acts, since it really does not have the need to be acknowledged by its giver. In fact, love and kindness can be quite healing. Take a look at the world around you today and take note of where there is a need for healing. Can you perform an act of love in the form of kindness today and maybe every day? How about in your closest relationship when it is the hardest to give?
Don’t forget to be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself for anything you might hold yourself hostage to. Be kind and give to yourself unconditionally and without reservation. Give compassion and goodness every single day by self care and self love. Then you will understand what is needed outside of yourself as well. Give love to another as you have given to yourself and as God has given to you. It is a healing cycle that never ends. We always receive back what we give out from any direction that destiny decides to send it. In the realm of eternity there is an eternal act of kindness, compassion, giving, and love.
I began this blog a bit more than 4 years ago. It was because expression, communication, and my voice are always my strong place. I might seem unassuming to those who first meet me but don’t mistake my quiet presentation at first glance, as one of a shy demeanor. I’ve learned there are moments to be silent and times when rockets need to flare out of my mouth because the subject matter is just that important to me. Bottom line, if its important its going to get expression from me. It might not win a popularity contest for me but I’ve come to a point in life where having the integrity to stick to my boundaries out weighs anyone’s thoughts about me.
I have thought about the reasons I often speak the way I do, and at the times that I do. I’ve learned the answer from having sessions with my clients. There are times when we need to be heard or our guts will pour out, fall out, or even explode out. We sure don’t want the latter! The human heart needs expression just like an artist needs a canvas and paint. Our expression is our paint and the subject is our canvass. Sometimes I know I paint with precision and others I know I need to splash the paint all over and in every direction. Its all expression. Without it and without being heard, we are a bottle with a cork stuck in it ready to give way any moment.
Nothing is more frustrating or more degrading than to speak and not be heard. Its like sound that bounces off of a piece of stone and floods right back into the gut. It creates a sort of tidal wave inside of me when this happens. Being heard is important but being heard and understood is even more important. I am not talking about agreement. I am talking about understanding. I truly feel that understanding is one of the greatest gifts that can be given over to communication. Talking to someone who will not hear or understand is like talking to a brick wall. Very frustrating. I’d like to take a battering ram and create a break in the brick in those cases. Hearing and understanding is a part of compassion within communication.
I like to speak my mind, that’s for sure. Even if no one wants to hear it. Even if no one agrees with me. Even if there is no compassion or caring. There are moments when expression needs to convert to communication. If you have no one to communicate with, consider a pouring out session with me. I kid you not, you will feel so much better. Listening and hearing are two other things that are my best friends within communication skills. A lot can come to light and more understanding even if its just to hear yourself express your thoughts. You would be amazed at what the unconscious mind will feed into your conversation.
If you need to communicate, let me hear you, “Sign me up”! Don’t allow your stuff to become an exploding volcano. Take it easy on your body and allow tears to flow but more than that allow communication to flow like a river. Illumination will come from it and compassion will be the gift you can receive.
Loving you from here,
Dr Jenine Marie Howry, Phd
832-484-8306 (for your venting and your need for someone to hear)
Living in a world filled with noise and distraction, its hard to remember to listen when we need to; but do we really hear? There is a huge difference between listening and hearing. Listening is what we take into our ears and process with our brains. Hearing is listening but also adding the heart, compassion, understanding, and emotion. When we hear we bring depth into our understanding of a situation or conversation. It is so important to actually hear while communicating with others. Hearing brings empathy while merely listening just transfers information.
It takes some practice if you have not been good at hearing or have not understood this. Meditation is one way to practice hearing. This is because we have to divert the thoughts running through our heads continually and draw them back into focus. A person with focus is someone who hears well. Hearing also heightens intuition. Someone who hears will intuitively know more about the conversation than just passing knowledge. We should be looking for depth in conversation not just making noise.
You will find your relationships will improve by practicing hearing. That means we honor the other with our whole self and not just our mind. We hear with our heart, compassion, empathy and understanding. So many are misunderstood because of merely passing knowledge and not truly hearing another in a conversation.
Your love life alone will improve just by becoming someone who hears well. Hearing brings honor. It means we are taking the time to truly pay attention with every part of us. In that way we honor others while we are conversing with them. If you really want to show someone they have value to you, then do more than listen. Truly hear with your heart. We are meant to have depth as people. Once again, this takes practice. Sometimes we don’t even realize how little heart we put into our conversations with others, especially in a world filled with technology that can be so impersonal.
Challenge yourself to be personal! Be a person who hears and not someone who merely listens! Watch how much your relationships will improve. Hear to have understanding, and then communication with compassion!
Being an empath is a very delicate balance in life. It’s more than having empathy for others, its about actually feeling what they are feeling. We can’t help it. It just is something that is a part of our DNA. How it happens, I really don’t completely know. I just know it is a gift, but a hard one to keep balanced.
Empaths are highly sensitive people. It’s not a bad thing, it’s a good thing! It makes us sensitive to spiritual things, to the hurt others go through, and to the condition of the world. Personally, we are sensitive to just about everything. This can be medications, caffeine, weather changes, even things that “go bump in the night”. We are healers, explorers of truth, and those who teach and heal because we love it. It is our life’s breath. That is the good part of being an empath. This world needs us!
The hard part is we are also overstimulated by those who are overstimulating. We can even become tired and even adrenally fatigued if we are not careful. We are bombarded with an overflow of information in every single given day. Sometimes the only answer is to shut down and be alone for awhile. This does not mean forever, just for a time. We need a “time out”, from the overflow of continual communications, world events, noisy chatter and problems that often become more overwhelming than they need to be.
An empath’s compassion makes us a valuable asset but we can become exhausted from too much shot out at us at once. So, we need boundaries. When I take clients it’s great because our sessions are limited to one hour at a time. That’s a pretty good limit for just about anyone. Afterward there is a regeneration time. We can only give out of the overflow of what we have, or we are diminished to give anything. In order to have any overflow, we need rest, recovery, alone time, quiet, meditation, and spiritual time. It is a must have. If you have an empath in your life, understand this. If you are an empath, help others to understand this. It is actually important for survival.
As I picked up the vacuum this morning to do a little house cleaning, I found myself becoming more than emotional. It’s not unusual for me. I am an empath, so this happens to me a lot. My heart suddenly felt like it dropped into my stomach. I stopped the vacuum and took a deep breath. Something has been on my mind and in my heart lately and it has to do with compassion in this world.
A memory came back to me during a time when I published a newsletter that circulated around for a couple years or so. One particular article was submitted by my mother concerning my reaching out as an editor and writer. One way she described me in the article was an individual who could never understand why people treated each other with such lack of love and compassion. As I grew I came to know and understand that the dark sides of life tend to make the light look so much brighter. In the balance of things we tend to create both in this world. I still struggle with people’s lack of compassion for others. I guess I could describe it as the worst form of “self centeredness”.
I realize that not everyone is at the place of understanding how we all affect one another and also “what goes around comes around”. I can’t help wishing some days that more of humanity would learn this. Give out compassion, receive it. Give out grace, and receive it. Give out self centeredness and get that back in experience. The only thing I know of that intercepts this Karmic law is God’s grace. Unfortunately, most people have to come to a point of desperation in order to even look for God, let alone ask for grace and forgiveness.
Although I’ve written on compassion before, it is a sensitive topic for me today. I have tears as I write this; not for myself, but for the hard heartedness I see and wish there was a lot less of. The Bible speaks of a perfect Kingdom. We really truly are not there yet. It would be nice to have it though. I only know to do my part, and that is to send out compassion with my prayers and intentions as much as I can. Every individual makes a difference and every person affects humanity as a whole. It’s a large view, I know! It’s the truth though.
This morning I found myself asking if compassion “could please stand up.” “Compassion, I need to see you today!” So, in a big way, today I am closing my eyes and sending compassion wherever it needs to seep into. Compassion, please enter into the dark places in the hearts of humankind, and cleanse out the dark places, misunderstandings, hurtful feelings toward others, and self centered absorption. I don’t have the answer to world peace, but I do know we can choose to be a piece of it. It can be hard, especially when the world seems unfair and we really want to take on a tude about it. We have those days. But, please get back in balance! We all need you and whatever love and compassion you can give this world.
“Compassion, please stand up and take your place in the hearts of humankind. We need you today and every day.”
If you will, close your eyes for a moment and think of someone or something you truly love. When that love feeling fills your heart, send it out with intention to every area of the earth. Imagine compassion and love seeping into the dark places and hold this image as long as you can. I know I will be grateful for you today. Let compassion be your way of life and as a part of love on this earth.
Yesterday I was going through some photos of those I have known of who have struggled with addictions of many kinds. Most of them are no longer here on earth. Some still are and struggling. Then there are those who feel they have it “under control” only choosing a new addiction to supply their needs.
After watching so many over a lot of years struggle with one addiction or another the truth of its power over people has become overwhelming. I have no doubt that addiction is an illness of the soul. Yes, there is also a family genetic component we can’t ignore, but either way, it all becomes facilitated by a deeper soul scar. The deeper the scars the harder it is to break the cycle.
Since addictions are an illness, I also feel they should be treated as an illness. Soul scars are nothing to take lightly. They cause many issues in life. They guide our behavior, can cause physical and emotional illness, and facilitate addictive behavior. The harder part is what another person’s addiction can do to others they love. It’s so hard to struggle alongside an addict and even harder to watch the destruction it has on people’s lives. Addicted people make decisions based on their addictions. The disease begins to control them until they are no longer in charge of their decisions. It takes over their lives like some monster entered in that refuses to be beaten back.
I heard a saying once that “aging is not for the weak”. I thought about that statement at the time because it is so true. Becoming older causes us all to struggle harder with one thing or another. The difficult part is the more we struggle the harder things become. What we focus on becomes bigger. I feel the addict struggles harder and harder. The disease is not for the weak, it is for someone who has a lot of strength. When I think of how much of their day an addicted person will put in just to feed it it’s overwhelming to me. When I studied opioid addictions during a class with Harvard Medical School, I learned that most individuals who are addicted to opioids will spend the bulk of their day just finding ways to feed their addiction. It’s a struggle and not one for the weak at heart. It is inconceivable to think that any one person would wake up one morning and say to themselves, ” I think I will become an addict for my life’s goal.” Just could not happen.
Before we focus just on drugs or illegal drugs, I have to mention that addictions come in all forms. There are drugs, yes, and alcohol, internet, food, comfort zones, sex, religion, reinforced habits of all kinds. Whatever the case may be, additions are substitutes for pain and suffering that is below the surface and not being dealt with. I have seen addictions rip the rails right out from under people’s lives and before they know it, life has changed forever. Sometimes we lose our lives and sometimes we lose our loved ones.
Brutality never heals addictive behavior. I don’t care how we want to look at it. Maybe we just don’t want to look. It’s so much easier to blame. Yet, before we blame, we have to look at ourselves, don’t we? Since what we see is always a reflection of a part of who and what we are. Remember, we all have ways of covering either what we don’t want to look at or what we don’t want others to see. Some will lie, commit crimes, make excuses, cause upheaval in life, or even worse, die. Pretty serious, isn’t it? If we look at every addict as “dirty scum” that just needs to be taken out of society, then maybe look again. What things inside of ourselves need to be looked at as well? Illness is illness and we are all a part of it.
Somewhere along the line the law decided that addiction is a crime. Yes, it causes people to commit crime sometimes and that has its consequences. Yet, there is a way to deal with it that goes beyond locking someone up and throwing away the key. Think of your morning cup of coffee, your piece of chocolate cake, the series you love on TV, the main focus you put on religion instead of God, the material items you have in your home, the social media you cling to when life is less than enjoyable. We are a society that replaces dealing with things with looking at other things. The sadness is that we never seem to learn, never heal, and never want to understand.
I wonder today, as I think of those who have died for their addictions; were they too weak or were they really strong? Folks the struggle is real and it’s not just someone else’s struggle. It belongs to us all. Think about anger as an addiction, or even giving financially to others can be if it drains our resources. What about the alcoholic who hides their addiction because of embarrassment or ego purposes? Doesn’t this take a lot of strength? An addict who uses illegal drugs can get caught and go to jail any time. Doesn’t it take a lot of strength to live that life? Maybe, just maybe, we all need to be taught another way to be strong. Maybe we need intervention, hospitalization, treatment centers, and others who care and understand? Maybe we need God to help us find wholeness and someone to help show the way to that wholeness? Maybe we need to see our own illness and be compassionate about someone else’s? Maybe we need to treat addiction like the illness it is and stop filling our prisons, jails, and law enforcement time with people who are simply broken from the inside out. Yes, evil happens from that brokenness. Can we even imagine the evil that happened TO them that caused it? How overwhelming is that?
Possibly you might ponder this today. I hope so. Go deep and figure out what addictions you have that hide below the surface, or maybe on the top? Gossip is a huge addiction. Can you think of someone who does this? You can always pick someone out who gets a high out of hearing someone else’s misery. That, my friends, is addiction as well. For some, falling in love is addiction. Once the euphoric feeling of new love has settled down the addict moves on to someone else not even realizing that their brain chemical addiction has cost them a relationship that could have been. Some never discover this in a lifetime, moving from one love encounter to another.
So, with all of this said, and all of this read, what is it that we need? Should we lock ourselves all up and throw away the key or should we heal one another? Should we punch one another in the places that hurt the most or heal the original blow that caused it all to begin with. The choice is ours, you know. It really is. Think about how much of an impact loving someone else whole could have on them? A life could be changed or even saved, and it can start with YOU.
In my current research I have found more and more medical professionals are recognizing the value of Reiki in healing ailments. Counselors and therapists are recognizing the value of Reiki healing for their patients with anxiety, depression, and emotional scars from the past. The one area that is now beginning to see the value in Reiki is in within the realm of religion and belief.
Those of the Christian faith often struggle with the question as to whether Reiki is right for them or not. Yet, most Christians accept medication for mental illnesses and physical problems. Also, where would we be if individuals were not trained as surgeons when an appendix is about to burst? Regardless of religious belief, an appendectomy can save someone’s life! At some point in history Christianity has learned to accept that sometimes God heals through the hands of a surgeon, or medications and other scientific means.
More Christian believers are beginning to see the value of Reiki as a great addition to their healing process; body, mind, and spirit. Reiki itself is not a religion and carries no doctrine, and no faith aspect at all. The word Reiki is a Japanese word which means “spiritual energy” or “universal life energy“. The roots of Reiki begin with a Japanese Christian Monk named Dr. Mikao Usui, whose heart had a great desire to see individuals healed and whole. His seeking led to what we now call Usui Reiki Healing.
Dr. Usui’s pioneering of Reiki healing techniques have brought many back to the basics of holistic or non traditional healing. This is not to say modern medicine should be shunned. Where would we be without it? Yet, adding Reiki to every day practice can bring amazing balancing and healing results. The key is using Reiki energy often, not just once. Just as with other energy type modalities such as Yoga, Tai Chi, or QiGong, Reiki is not only a healing modality, it is a lifestyle.
Living the Reiki life is one of love, acceptance, healing, and graciousness. To live Reiki is to live in peace and compassion with all beings. Even like modern medicine, practice makes it stronger and more effective. Reiki healers, and instructors, are those who carry compassion with them in their hearts becoming a channel of loving energy which is given lavishly from our God created universe.
Reiki uses hands on healing, and can be used complimentary to Christianity or any form of faith based belief. Just as one might pray to God before a serious operation, one might pray right before each Reiki practice or healing. Every Reiki master is unique and different from all others because we are all unique.
An individual mentioned to me not long ago that God is probably mad at me for being a Reiki practitioner and instructor. She felt my life was probably messed up because of it. For one, I don’t feel my life is messed up! I believe my journey unfolds as it is meant to. Plus, my life is better for having Reiki in it, not worse. My faith is enhanced not taken from me. My Christ centered beliefs are made stronger for the practice, not the other way around.
Should Christians practice and receive Reiki? I still believe it’s an individual choice, but it’s a good choice! Reiki traditions uphold the highest standards of compassion and integrity. Healing others and bringing peace within our world is noble, not lacking in faith. Jesus’ choice to heal others was questioned in His day. How could anyone be evil when they love enough to heal? In the same respect, bringing a source of healing and rejuvenation to others, I believe, is from God, not against Him! Why would an opponent of God want healing for anyone?
If you are a Christian and you desire Reiki in your life, please find out more before you decide against it! If it is not for you, then bless you! If it IS for you, you will truly be blessed!