"Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence." - Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

I stopped when I read this quote, to ponder some of what it meant to me. When I think about any relationship I have ever had, I realize the only thing which ever separated us, was our minds--or on my part--my mind. My mind is quick to see differences––a great help in proofreading, but of dubious value when dealing with humanity. It is something my mind thinks I have to work on, But, when I am in my heart, there are no differences, there are no irritations, there is no being who is doing a wrong.

This past month has been interesting, because I have had the opportunity to talk with several people who wanted to share their particular form of perceived injustice with me. I listen, then delicately ask the question (sometimes more delicately than others), “What in you is responding to this situation?” It is the question I ask myself all the time...or at least when I am in a space to allow it. I am beginning to “get it” that when I respond to another’s “outrageous” behavior, it is I who have judged it as outrageous. It is my sense of right and wrong, my values which have been tromped upon.

I can use those values to decide with whom I want to spend time, but I cannot use them to declare another as bad or evil. No one is evil in their own mind. No matter what their act, there is rational within them which has somehow made sense of it all.

So, how can you, personally, find peace in a world, you perceive as chaotic? “What you see is what you get.” Where you allow your focus to dwell, these are the situations you help to feed. What do you see in your world? Where do you allow your mind to wonder? Where do you spend your time? What movies will you support, so that the movie industries will take your lead and give you more of the same kind? (We’re only givin’ ‘em what they want...some studios say in their own defense.) What books/tv/radio programs will you read, watch, or listen to and, with them, fill your consciousness? (Is it possible to put garbage in and not get garbage out?)

And while we are thinking about focus...Where do you volunteer your time? To what will you contribute your tithing? (Tithing here means to support that which feeds you.)

There are many causes out there asking for our money and our time. Choose carefully who you support and then give from your heart. And, also, you can only give from the person you are today, from the information you know at this time. Should you discover, tomorrow, that this cause has taken a path you don’t choose to follow, then let it go, without remorse, and choose again.

Never let the act of love and support become tainted because our mind has found the receiver to be “different” than we had originally believed. Because, and here is the big well-kept secret: it isn’t the “other” for whom the giving is done––it is done for us. Unconditional giving is what opens our hearts and makes us better people.

Also, know that the givee will probably never be able to live up to the picture our minds paint of those worthy to receive our heartfelt tithings of time and money...but in the end, that just doesn’t matter, either. They must deal with their own demons, it’s up to us to deal with ours.

Love & Blessings,

Joann Turner