Just as a good relationship can have a positive impact on your life, stressful, draining, or imbalanced relationships can have negative effects on your health and well-being.
It is common to maintain a relationship because we feel the other person needs us or we believe that they will eventually change. We may also be afraid of hurting the other person or feel insecure in our ability to find new relationships. But knowing when to end a relationship and acknowledging that the pain will pass can often prevent greater pain and feelings of loss in the long run.
If you're in a relationship that is draining and has become unhealthy for you, rather than spending energy attempting to fix the problem or complaining, ask yourself what you really want from the relationship.
Consider whether the other person truly considers your feelings or if they are willing to change their behavior. Ask yourself if you've often thought about ending the relationship or if you feel your bonds have atrophied. While every relationship has ups and downs, when there are more downs than ups or the two of you are bringing out the worst in each other, it may be time to sever the connection. Be honest with yourself and your answers, even if the truth is painful.
Relationships thrive on honesty, communication, mutual caring, and time spent together. When one or more of these elements are missing, it may be that the relationship, no matter how passionate, simply isn't worth it. It's far better to end a relationship that doesn't feel right than to hold on to it and languish in feelings of anger or resentment. Moving on without struggle, on the other hand, can be the door that leads you to a more nurturing relationship in the future.
My grandmother sent me a box filled with items she is giving to each family member because she does not want her things to be "taken" as she puts it. Sadly, she is very angry with someone who married into the family and feels like this person wishes her ill and wants to take her stuff.
As a person observing outside, this animosity has been dished from both sides. So this is how I ended up with these dusty flowers that arrived in my mailbox.
I sneezed as soon as the parcel was opened. Then I laughed. Then I cried. For the realization came that my grandmother soon will cease to exist and these dusty flowers that made me sneeze were now a part of that fading part of me.
The little white lab mouse named Algernon (from the story Flowers for Algernon) in is initially just an average mouse, but he undergoes an experimental operation that makes him three times as intelligent as a regular mouse. My grandmother like the white lab mouse lives alone within her four walls, never being able to go out into the world as she pleases. Alone day in and day out. She relocated to Texas so all I can do is speak to her via telephone and via postal mail. It breaks my heart of her isolated existence. She like Algernon is brilliant. She has been a poet. She invented things that required patents. She has worked in factories. Was almost famous and on TV. She had to seek asylum in an embassy for counter revolutionary work. She has been a sinner and a saint. She has been a genius and mad. And she loves flowers both real and pretend.
So I took a photograph to remember her Flowers for Algernon for one day these flowers will be no more.
Five Hundred Years of Injustice: The Legacy of Fifteenth Century Religious Prejudice by Steve Newcomb
When Christopher Columbus first set foot on the white sands of Guanahani island, he performed a ceremony to "take possession" of the land for the king and queen of Spain, acting under the international laws of Western Christendom. Although the story of Columbus' "discovery" has taken on mythological proportions in most of the Western world, few people are aware that his act of "possession" was based on a religious doctrine now known in history as the Doctrine of Discovery. Even fewer people realize that today - five centuries later - the United States government still uses this archaic Judeo-Christian doctrine to deny the rights of Native American Indians.
Origins of the Doctrine of Discovery-
To understand the connection between Christendom's principle of discovery and the laws of the United States, we need to begin by examining a papal document issued forty years before Columbus' historic voyage In 1452, Pope Nicholas V issued to King Alfonso V of Portugal the bull Romanus Pontifex, declaring war against all non-Christians throughout the world, and specifically sanctioning and promoting the conquest, colonization, and exploitation of non-Christian nations and their territories.
Under various theological and legal doctrines formulated during and after the Crusades, non-Christians were considered enemies of the Catholic faith and, as such, less than human. Accordingly, in the bull of 1452, Pope Nicholas directed King Alfonso to "capture, vanquish, and subdue the saracens, pagans, and other enemies of Christ," to "put them into perpetual slavery," and "to take all their possessions and property." [Davenport: 20-26] Acting on this papal privilege, Portugal continued to traffic in African slaves, and expanded its royal dominions by making "discoveries" along the western coast of Africa, claiming those lands as Portuguese territory.
Thus, when Columbus sailed west across the Sea of Darkness in 1492 - with the express understanding that he was authorized to "take possession" of any lands he "discovered" that were "not under the dominion of any Christian rulers" - he and the Spanish sovereigns of Aragon and Castile were following an already well-established tradition of "discovery" and conquest. [Thacher:96] Indeed, after Columbus returned to Europe, Pope Alexander VI issued a papal document, the bull Inter Cetera of May 3, 1493, "granting" to Spain - at the request of Ferdinand and Isabella - the right to conquer the lands which Columbus had already found, as well as any lands which Spain might "discover" in the future.
In the Inter Cetera document, Pope Alexander stated his desire that the "discovered" people be "subjugated and brought to the faith itself." [Davenport:61] By this means, said the pope, the "Christian Empire" would be propagated. [Thacher:127] When Portugal protested this concession to Spain, Pope Alexander stipulated in a subsequent bull - issued May 4, 1493 - that Spain must not attempt to establish its dominion over lands which had already "come into the possession of any Christian lords." [Davenport:68] Then, to placate the two rival monarchs, the pope drew a line of demarcation between the two poles, giving Spain rights of conquest and dominion over one side of the globe, and Portugal over the other.
During this quincentennial of Columbus' journey to the Americas, it is important to recognize that the grim acts of genocide and conquest committed by Columbus and his men against the peaceful Native people of the Caribbean were sanctioned by the above mentioned documents of the Catholic Church. Indeed, these papal documents were frequently used by Christian European conquerors in the Americas to justify an incredibly brutal system of colonization - which dehumanized the indigenous people by regarding their territories as being "inhabited only by brute animals." [Story:135-6]
The lesson to be learned is that the papal bulls of 1452 and 1493 are but two clear examples of how the "Christian Powers," or "different States of Christendom," viewed indigenous peoples as "the lawful spoil and prey of their civilized conquerors." [Wheaton: 270-1] In fact, the Christian "Law of Nations" asserted that Christian nations had a divine right, based on the Bible, to claim absolute title to and ultimate authority over any newly "discovered" Non-Christian inhabitants and their lands. Over the next several centuries, these beliefs gave rise to the Doctrine of Discovery used by Spain, Portugal, England, France, and Holland - all Christian nations.
The Doctrine of Discovery in U.S. Law In 1823, the Christian Doctrine of Discovery was quietly adopted into U.S. law by the Supreme Court in the celebrated case, Johnson v. McIntosh (8 Wheat., 543). Writing for a unanimous court, Chief Justice John Marshall observed that Christian European nations had assumed "ultimate dominion" over the lands of America during the Age of Discovery, and that - upon "discovery" - the Indians had lost "their rights to complete sovereignty, as independent nations," and only retained a right of "occupancy" in their lands. In other words, Indians nations were subject to the ultimate authority of the first nation of Christendom to claim possession of a given region of Indian lands. [Johnson:574; Wheaton: 270-1]
According to Marshall, the United States - upon winning its independence in 1776 - became a successor nation to the right of "discovery" and acquired the power of "dominion" from Great Britain. [Johnson:587-9] Of course, when Marshall first defined the principle of "discovery," he used language phrased in such a way that it drew attention away from its religious bias, stating that "discovery gave title to the government, by whose subject, or by whose authority, the discovery was made, against all other European governments." [Johnson:573-4] However, when discussing legal precedent to support the court's findings, Marshall specifically cited the English charter issued to the explorer John Cabot, in order to document England's "complete recognition" of the Doctrine of Discovery. [Johnson:576] Then, paraphrasing the language of the charter, Marshall noted that Cabot was authorized to take possession of lands, "notwithstanding the occupancy of the natives, who were heathens, and, at the same time, admitting the prior title of any Christian people who may have made a previous discovery." [Johnson:577]
In other words, the Court affirmed that United States law was based on a fundamental rule of the "Law of Nations" - that it was permissible to virtually ignore the most basic rights of indigenous "heathens," and to claim that the "unoccupied lands" of America rightfully belonged to discovering Christian European nations. Of course, it's important to understand that, as Benjamin Munn Ziegler pointed out in The International Law of John Marshall, the term "unoccupied lands" referred to "the lands in America which, when discovered, were 'occupied by Indians' but 'unoccupied' by Christians." [Ziegler:46]
Ironically, the same year that the Johnson v. McIntosh decision was handed down, founding father James Madison wrote: "Religion is not in the purview of human government. Religion is essentially distinct from civil government, and exempt from its cognizance; a connection between them is injurious to both."
Most of us have been brought up to believe that the United States Constitution was designed to keep church and state apart. Unfortunately, with the Johnson decision, the Christian Doctrine of Discovery was not only written into U.S. law but also became the cornerstone of U.S. Indian policy over the next century.
From Doctrine of Discovery to Domestic Dependent Nations Using the principle of "discovery" as its premise, the Supreme Court stated in 1831 that the Cherokee Nation (and, by implication, all Indian nations) was not fully sovereign, but "may, perhaps," be deemed a "domestic dependent nation." [Cherokee Nation v. Georgia] The federal government took this to mean that treaties made with Indian nations did not recognize Indian nations as free of U.S. control. According to the U.S. government, Indian nations were "domestic dependent nations" subject to the federal government's absolute legislative authority - known in the law as "plenary power." Thus, the ancient doctrine of Christian discovery and its subjugation of "heathen" Indians were extended by the federal government into a mythical doctrine that the U.S. Constitution allows for governmental authority over Indian nations and their lands. [Savage:59-60]
The myth of U.S. "plenary power" over Indians - a power, by the way, that was never intended by the authors of the Constitution [Savage:115-17] - has been used by the United States to:
As Thomas Jefferson once observed, when the state uses church doctrine as a coercive tool, the result is "hypocrisy and meanness." Unfortunately, the United States Supreme Court's use of the ancient Christian Doctrine of Discovery - to circumvent the Constitution as a means of taking Indian lands and placing Indian nations under U.S. control - has proven Madison and Jefferson right.
Bringing an End to Five Hundred Years of Injustice to Indigenous Peoples
In a country set up to maintain a strict separation of church and state, the Doctrine of Discovery should have long ago been declared unconstitutional because it is based on a prejudicial treatment of Native American people simply because they were not Christians at the time of European arrival. By penalizing Native people on the basis of their non-Christian religious beliefs and ceremonial practices, stripping them of most of their lands and most of their sovereignty, the Johnson v. McIntosh ruling stands as a monumental violation of the "natural rights" of humankind, as well as the most fundamental human rights of indigenous peoples.
As we move beyond the quin-centennial of Columbus' invasion of the Americas, it is high time to formally renounce and put an end to the religious prejudice that was written into U.S. law by Chief Justice John Marshall. Whether or not the American people - especially the Christian right - prove willing to assist Native people in getting the Johnson ruling overturned will say a lot to the world community about just how seriously the United States takes its own foundational principles of liberty, justice, and religious freedom.
As we approach the 500th anniversary of the Inter Cetera bulls on May 3 and 4 of 1993, it is important to keep in mind that the Doctrine of Discovery is still being used by countries throughout the Americas to deny the rights of indigenous peoples, and to perpetuate colonization throughout the Western Hemisphere. To begin to bring that system of colonization to an end, and to move away from a cultural and spiritual tradition of subjugation, we must overturn the doctrine at its roots. Therefore, I propose that non-Native people - especially Christians - unite in solidarity with indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere to impress upon Pope John Paul II how important it is for him to revoke, in a formal ceremony with indigenous people, the Inter Cetera bulls of 1493.
Revoking those papal documents and overturning the Johnson v. McIntosh decision are two important first steps toward correcting the injustices that have been inflicted on indigenous peoples over the past five hundred years. They are also spiritually significant steps toward creating a way of life that is no longer based on greed and subjugation. Perhaps then we will be able to use our newfound solidarity to begin to create a lifestyle based on the first indigenous principle: "Respect the Earth and have a Sacred Regard for All Living Things."
Cherokee Nation v. Georgia 30 U.S. (5 Pet.) 1, 8 L.Ed. 25 (1831).
Davenport, Frances Gardiner, 19l7, European Treaties bearing on the History of the United States and its Dependencies to 1648, Vol. 1, Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institution of Washington.
Johnson and Graham's Lessee V McIntosh 21 U.S. (8 Wheat.) 543, 5 L.Ed. 681(1823).
Rivera-Pagan, Luis N., 1991, "Cross Preceded Sword in 'Discovery' of the Americas," in Yakima Nation Review, 1991, Oct. 4.
Story, Joseph, 1833, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States Vol. 1 Boston: Little, Brown & Co.
Thacher, John Boyd, 1903, Christopher Columbus Vol. 11, New York: G.P. Putman's Sons.
Williamson, James A., 1962, The Cabot Voyages And Bristol Discovery Under Henry VII, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wheaton, Henry, 1855, Elements of International Law, Sixth Edition, Boston: Little Brown, and Co.
Ziegler, Benjamin Munn, 1939, The International Law of John Marshall, Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press.
Steve Newcomb is an American Indian of Shawnee & Lenape ancestry. For over a decade, he has studied the origins of United States federal Indian law and international law dating back to the early days of Christendom. He is currently completing a book on his findings titled, Pagans In the Promised Land: Religion, Law, and the American Indian.
Article by Donna Woodwell
Eclipses are all about working with shadows. A solar eclipse is literally the Moon’s shadow falling on the surface of the Earth. Metaphorically speaking eclipses then are moments when we must face our individual and collective shadow, to allow us to find healing through a new level of understanding.
In this sense, Donald Trump was never the “enemy of progress. He was the right man, in the right place, at the right time. In this sense, Trump is a man destined from birth to hold the projection of the collective shadow of our nation. So that we can clean up our shit and move on to the next phase of our history.
He’s holding up a mirror to see what’s broken within ourselves and within our society. He’s a proverbial match that lights the bonfire, already stacked long before he arrived.
Now it’s our turn as a nation to ask the crucial questions: who are we as a nation, and what do we want to become?
Dualistic thinking is what creates The Shadow in the Jungian sense. We project our monsters onto the other, so we can avoid looking at the darkness within.
Eclipses are the cosmic reminders that opposites can be complementary poles which attract one another. The eternal dance of Yin giving way to Yang, to Yang giving way to Yin.
There are no winners and losers in the dance. Only endless change.
Original post can be found
From the wise mind of Matthieu Ricard, "We expend a lot of effort to improve the external conditions of our lives, but in the end it is always the mind that creates our experience of the world and translates this experience into either well-being or suffering.
If we transform our way of perceiving things, we transform the quality of our lives. It is this kind of transformation that is brought about by the form of mind training known as meditation.
What is meditation? Meditation is a practice that makes it possible to cultivate and develop certain basic positive human qualities in the same way as other forms of training make it possible to play a musical instrument or acquire any other skill.
Among several Asian words that translate as “meditation” in English are bhavana from Sanskrit, which means “to cultivate,” and its Tibetan equivalent, gom, meaning “to become familiar with.” Meditation helps us to familiarize ourselves with a clear and accurate way of seeing things and to cultivate wholesome qualities that remain dormant within us unless we make an effort to draw them out.
So let us begin by asking ourselves, “What do I really want out of life? Am I content to just keep improvising from day to day? Am I going to ignore the vague sense of discontent that I always feel deep down when, at the same time, I am longing for well-being and fulfillment?” We have become accustomed to thinking that our shortcomings are inevitable and that we have to put up with the setbacks they have brought us throughout our lives. We take the dysfunctional aspects of ourselves for granted, not realizing that it is possible to break out of the vicious cycle of exhausting behavior patterns.
Number 4 represents the four elements of Air, Fire, Water and Earth.The four sacred directions, North, South, East and West. An indication that your angels are offering you love, support, encouragement and inner-strength, enabling you to do what you need to do and achieve your goals with diligence and proficiency.
It resonates with the vibrations of practicality, responsibility, illumination, building solid foundations, stability, determination and endurance and progress.
When I was going thru my separation and eventual divorce I remember deleting all previous email accounts and other social media handles thinking it would be a clean slate to erasing my former self. I was feeling melancholy and let down by life. Not knowing where this new direction would take me. I enjoyed the "idea" of being a wife and mother and now I had become a single parent. In retrospect, I had been a single parent all along. I was just existing in a paradigm that was teaching me many lessons but not allowing me to go in the direction needed.
After an afternoon of getting in contact with my emotions I remember thinking, I'm definitely feeling like a Grey Tea Kettle. I found comfort that this symbol would nurture a time of exploration and introspection.
Little did I know that a grey tea kettle would embody my healing process.
My journey took me into the world of doing inner work, exploring emotional regulation, meditation, getting my degree and certifications to use my experiences and knowledge to help others.
I invite you to sit with me with a cup of tea and explore the world of emotional healing. It is the place where time has no construct. It is beyond the ocean and the sky in the stillness of your soul, ready for it's transformation. As a brilliant star shinning bright with light inside of you.