Ampersand Gazette #16
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“Way too many people cloak themselves in the mantle of victimhood, creating a vacuum of identity that they expect the world to rush in and fill with compassion that is undeserved.”
J. R. Ward, The Thief
So here’s a bit of summer full confession: I’m way past hairline-deep into the vampire world of The Black Dagger Brotherhood — a 20-book and counting series by Jessica Bird, known to her friends and fans as J. R. Ward.
I call them vampire popcorn, which translates to … crazy, hot vampire warriors under constant siege, meaning to keep their lives totally secret, fall madly in love with those who are their true love-partners. The series is a whole lot of fun, and a true break for my brain in the evenings, which I totally need.
And then, every once in a while, I come across a quote like the one above that totally took my breath away. Read it again, if you will. I’ll wait.
Has anybody else noticed that a whole lotta people have started to lead with their victimhood lately? I don’t think it’s just me because I’ve had random conversations with lots of folks about this. I’m definitely not the only one.
Part two of the phenomenon is what have come to be known in need shorthand as their triggers. I’m told: this is my trigger and you (meaning me) are responsible for not tripping it. Um, what? Wait. I am? How did that happen? I didn’t even know I had a finger on a trigger, let alone yours!
Not only that but … there’s often — or I feel — an energetic implication that I “should have known” the trigger fact.
Whyever in a hundred million years should I know what your triggers are unless you tell me?
And, even if you tell me, could you please tell me further how I, now in possession of this knowledge, am suddenly and instantly responsible for them? (Now, if I put that trigger in place, that’s a whole ’nother thing.)
Anywho, truly, it makes absolutely no sense to me, and I have been known to let it make me feel bad about myself or about a friendship or about a situation. And, honestly, I’ve been long-term perplexed about how to respond to the usually both sudden and unrequested knowledge other than to offer a compassionate platitude or two, and then do my level best to avoid that individual.
So I’d been asking Spirit what the hook was for a while. What was “getting” me? Feeling not-good about these interactions. Uncertain of how to bring any sort of real closure to either party. Enter J. R. Ward and her little bombshell of a sentence. Read it again.
“… they expect the world to rush in and fill [the vacuum] with compassion that is undeserved.” I had to stop reading when my eyes landed on that.
So let’s take this down to its barest bones …
First, we all have victim experiences. All. To one degree or another.
Second, we can all choose to wear the victim mantle if we want. All.
Third, we can all go through life with this vacuum of identity if we want. All.
Fourth, we can all have the expectation that the world will rush in if we want. All.
Fifth, we can all demand compassion if we want. All.
BUT … demanded compassion is not freely offered compassion, and therefore its healing capacities are, devastatingly, severely limited. Freely offered compassion is generated internally, naturally, genuinely by people and circumstances. It springs from outside those same people and circumstances, and flows toward them.
Demanded compassion is tainted. Which is why it is undeserved.
Because it’s not genuine compassion; it’s pity.
Beloved, if you have to demand compassion, it’s because you yourself hold a judgment that you do not deserve it, that your victimhood isn’t worthy of genuine compassion, that if you don’t demand it, it will never be forthcoming. Which is how it becomes a vacuum of identity — because it is so much less than what you truly are.
Our world is in so much need of a genuine outpouring of compassion these days. Let’s swap spots: let’s lead with compassion and let victimhood as social discourse die out, shall we? Due to lack of interest.
“When your integrity is more important than your influence, nothing can stop you.”
from an article by Pastor Samuel Rodriquez
in Aug/Sep 2022 Guideposts
Here’s another one-sentence zinger from my reading in these fourteen days.
Of course, the word of the social-media hour is forever (for now) influencers. It is, allegedly, a desired status.
Except that social media, for all its ubiquity and its utility, tends to present a curated view of life experience that our Western minds love to twist and use against ourselves. There is a veritable rash of writing about how these curated realities — and I use the word loosely, very — have had a devastating effect on our young people, teens in particular.
I question the value of influence. Its medieval Latin roots mean to flow into. Implicit is a lack of boundary to check that flow.
Integrity, on the other hand, is all about boundaries in the best sense of the word. First, you should know that I beat the drum of integrity with people all the time. To me, integrity isn’t that moral superhero in a cape. It means wholeness. As in integer, a whole number.
You are an integrity. Whole unto yourself.
I am an integrity. Whole unto myself.
The planet is an integrity. Whole unto itself.
I needn’t go on. Personally, if I had to choose between integrity and influence, there would be no contest. I don’t need influence, but I’d come unglued without integrity. Integrity is what lets me know where I start and end — and, equally vitally, where you start and end.
Note what Pastor Sam says: nothing can stop you. He’s right. The moment you recognize your own wholeness, the whole world is an entirely different place. If you don’t believe me, that’s okay. Spend a whole day pretending you are an integrity, and see what gets out of your way.
“To understand the harm, it is important to know the anatomy, Minella explained. The heart is divided into four chambers — the right side of the heart receives the oxygen-poor blood from the rest of the body. When the heart beats, the blood in the right side is squeezed into the lungs, where it is reloaded with oxygen. When the heart relaxes, that newly oxygenated blood flows into the left side of the heart. Both sides are divided into two parts: the atrium, a thin-walled chamber that receives the blood, and the more muscular ventricle, which pushes the blood to its next stop, either the lungs (from the right side) or the rest of the body (from the left side). These tumors can have tiny clots on their surface. If the mass is on the left side of the heart — where most are — a loosened clot could travel to the brain and cause a stroke. If on the right side, where this patient’s mass was seen, the clot would travel to the lung, cutting off blood flow there.”
from an article for the column Diagnosis “A Mysterious Fall Was the First Sign Something Was Wrong” in The New York Times Magazine
A little bit of insight into how medical intuition works …
If someone came to me with this medical problem, I’d probably have to look up the path that blood takes in the heart. Oh, I knew this once upon a time for an exam in the ninth grade with my favorite teacher ever, Miss Fangman, but that was a while ago, so I’ve forgotten.
The important thing here from a medical intuitive perspective — which is so often asking: how did this come to be — is: sidedness. Is the mass, as diagnosed, on the left side? Or the right? [It is fascinating to me that ‘most are on the left.’ More on that in a minute.]
The left side of the body is the feminine side, or yin side. The right side of the body is the masculine side, or yang side. The mass in this case is on the right side.
Let’s stop there, and go backward to go forward. First, we’re dealing with a mass in the heart, so instantly we know this is connected to the heart chakra, the seat of personal love in a human energy system. Something’s blocking the patient’s heart.
On the right side. I would ask immediately: is there a relationship with a masculine energy (probably a male person, but not always) that is blocking you in your life? Or has blocked you in the past? On the left side, substitute feminine.
Usually, the reply I get is pure astonishment. How did you know …? I know because bodies don’t lie. And you, of course, already know this because if you’re heard me talk recently on any of the podcasts I’ve guested, you know that bodies don’t lie because bodies can’t lie. Not possible.
Oh, don’t misunderstand. We can lie to ourselves about what our bodies are saying, but our bodies can’t lie which is why medical intuition can be so helpful. It usually connects mental, emotional, and/or spiritual reality to physical evidence. It also most often gives the patient a place to focus their attention whilst they are healing. Medical intuitive information can give a patient a healing task so that they work alongside their healing team.
Now, there’s a lot more depth to what’s going on with this patient, but I’m inclined to stop here. I only promised you a taste, but let me add this. If you want to know more, there is more information for the munching in my Energy Integrity Workbooks, which may be found here. I also have a few openings in my private schedule, so if your heart is tugging you to make a time with me, please fill out the contact form on either website.
“The American social contract, meanwhile, requires both democratic structures and perpetual individual choices in the interests of the common cause. …
“Ms. Cheney has argued that personal agency matters since Jan. 6 took place: Institutions comprise individuals and individuals shape political reality, regardless of whether they intend to do so.”
from an Opinion Essay by Katherine Miller “Liz Cheney’s Truth”
in The New York Times
August 1, 2022
Many years ago when I used to give motivational speeches to the nuclear industry, I sat one morning in a meeting of suits (which I do not, in this case, use metaphorically — they were, as they often still are, all men), and asked, “Do you have a human resources department?”
One of them said, “Of course!” (FWIW, in a tone that implied I was an idiot.)
“Well,” I continued, “are they?”
A whole conference room table of baffled tweens in their forties, who just wanted to get the answer right to the pop quiz and move on, gaped at me.
From his clearly (to him) lofty perch, Mr. Snide barked, “Are they what?”
“Resources,” I answered. “Are the humans in your company resources?” I revved my engine and spelled it out for that poor C-Suite. “Do you treat the humans in your company as you treat valued resources?” I went on, “Because if you don’t, you’re pissing away your investment.”
My crudity is what broke their bottleneck, and voices erupted into protest … I said nothing.
Eventually, the youngest man in the room, the junior-est of them all, said very quietly, “No, we don’t treat them that way. Not at all. We treat them as though they’re line items.”
Oh, boy, did that room get still fast. And silent. Hoist on their own petard, as offered up by what was the equivalent of the altar boy in the room of a venerated corporate priesthood from pontiff to lowly monk.
Westerners have a love/hate relationship with our institutions. We love them — for how they organize and centralize life. We hate them — for the regulation that is required for just such organization and centralization. So, we snuggle up to our institutions when we’re getting what we want from them, and we repudiate them when we’re not.
Ms. Cheney speaks the salient detail that most of us forget: institutions are made up of people. She even uses the word comprise correctly! In fact, institutions without people do not really exist. They are the Tombstones, the ghost towns, that remain after slaking whatever greed they were meant to fulfill.
The thing is, all of us — whether we know it or not, whether we like it or not — are parts of institutions. Sometimes of institutions we don’t even think we comprise! How about these: the local utility company, the local property taxpayers, the school support group. That’s only at the town level. There’s also your condo homeowners, your co-op board, your child’s piano teacher’s students. All, all, all of these, at one level or another, institutions. Um, the IRS, Social Security, Medicare. I’ll stop.
This is why: “The American social contract, meanwhile, requires both democratic structures and perpetual individual choices in the interests of the common cause.” It’s your individual choices, Beloved, your perpetual individual choices that contribute to or diminish the interests of the common cause. In all the institutions you comprise.
Come back to that conference room table with me for a minute. Those deer-in-the-headlights C-suite guys? Their own silence convicted them. Without even discussing it, they hired me to teach them how to view their workforce as resources. Human resources.
Beloved, how can we — any of us — do less?
“Before the rainbow came to represent the L.G.B.T.Q.+ community, it was for hundreds of years a Judeo-Christian symbol of God’s covenant with the human race. Christian bookstores still carry rainbow-adorned mugs and tea towels accompanied by the relevant passage from Genesis, but that’s not what a picture of a rainbow signifies to most people anymore. As the Nashville comedian Josh Black has pointed out, Christians are never getting that rainbow back.”
from an Opinion Essay by Margaret Renkl “J-Lo and Liz Cheney and Us”
in The New York Times
August 1, 2022
So you have to know that I am serious fan of rainbows, not because of their Queer status symbol bona fides, but because of the chakra system. There is a rainbow altar in every room in my house. The rainbow is the life force viewed through a prism — that’s how we get the chakra system.
But Margaret Renkl is right. The rainbow was a symbol of God’s covenant never to destroy the Earth again, at least not with a flood. I’m sure the good folx of Kentucky might argue that statement these days, but Josh Black is right, too. The Christians are never getting back their rainbow exclusivity.
What I find most fascinating about the LGBTQ+ identification with the rainbow and the Christian covenantal identification with the rainbow is that I see them as serving the same function. They’re symbols, and symbols are significant.
Rainbows are made of light. Just like humans are. They’re symbols of hope, hope for all kinds of things: pride in who one is, survival against terrible odds. Paired with unicorns, they symbolize the fanciful, the impossible, every good thing.
It is not a mistake that two seemingly often opposing factions claim the same symbol. In fact, it is downright Ampersandian. Perhaps the next time the rainbow comes up, you will have a chance to share this curious pairing: the Queers and the Christians and their common rainbows? I hope so.
And in public event news …
How to Be A Chakra Detective —
Tackle Any Issue Through your own Energy System
Very few of us are trained in how to read or manage our own energy systems — in fact, plenty of people don’t even know they have one! But we all do, and we can learn to discern its messages for our own healing. Spend an hour with Rev. Dr. Susan Corso, known sometimes as The Chakra Doctor, and learn to tune in, tune up, and turn on your own energy.
It’s free, and it’ll give you a taste of my chakra work …
And in publishing news …
I’ve been on a podcast spree lately. Here’s one that’s brought a lot of attention, called She Slays the Day with Dr. Lauryn Brunclik.
Dr. Lauryn Brunclik is the wild and wooly chiropractor who hosts She Slays the Day, a podcast about how to thrive in private practice. We visited all sorts of places in our conversation: intuition, metaphysics, spiritual and energy medicine, philosophy, religion, chakras, and so much more. Besides, she’s a total hoot. It was a blast.
I visited with Heath Cummings for his Live This Life podcast, and will include that in a future issue of The Gazette. We might end up doing a live Q & A on a new app called Clubhouse; I’ll let you know. I recorded Closer to Venus this weekend, and have two more this week. Whee! Podcast abundance. It’s so fun to visit with different folx and their audiences.
You’ll be not-too-surprised to know that I’m working on setting up my home studio so I can start to record Jezebel Rising. I’m going to present all of The Subversive Lovelies as read aloud by the author for free, one bedtime-story chapter at a time. It’ll be The Subversive Lovelies podcast. I might end up using those tracks to edit for the audiobooks, and I might not. Haven’t decided yet.
Remember you can pre-order Jezebel Rising, the first book, here. It’s especially delicious for those who love the long reads.
Just one more thing, Beloved, if you’ll indulge me. I’ve gotten several comments from people who say that The Ampersand Gazette is nothing like anything else they read, that it gives them pause, that it causes them to think, and reflect, and go deeper — and they like it, a lot. If that’s the case for you, it’s highly likely that you have like-minded friends, family, and colleagues. The Gazette is posted on my websites, LinkedIn, and Medium. Would you please invite your spiritually- and metaphysically-minded peeps to join us? Here’s a link to the sign-up page.
Until next time, be Ampersand,