Plan B – Basement Window

I think the statute of limitations has run out, so I truly believe the story below will not get me arrested!

Once upon a time, a long long time ago, when I was just a lass, a high school and university student lass, I liked getting together with my friends and having fun. This was in the ancient era of no cellphones for communication, but rather all voices traveled through land based wiring. Even that is a mystery to me – people are super smart. Whenever gatherings were planned  and events organized, it was pretty much a sure thing. Unlike today where there is play by play texting of the status of one’s prep time, departure time, enroute time, and arrival time  – that’s a lot of energy, just try trusting instead – in those days, showing up was a given. Everyone trusted in everyone else’s ability and responsibility to actually show up. It was definitive. 

ALCB: Albert Liquor Control Board

Our gatherings were simple. We’d get together, play board games, barbecue , spend time at a lake or park, listen to music, watch movies at home on the latest technology, the high-tech vcr, play street and ice hockey, tag football – the merciful kind with four downs, baseball, soccer, soccer baseball, or just simply catch. Since my best friend was a tom boy with many brothers, she taught me how to throw a football or baseball “like a boy” – the kind where you put your shoulder into the throw, and not just the arm. This way you got more torque, more control, and more precision.  Plus you looked much cooler too. We were very proud of that accomplishment. And best of all, we would talk, laugh, tell jokes, tell stories and just be with each other. Since the legal drinking age was eighteen, in the early high school years, someone always had an older brother or sister who would bootleg it for us until one of us could official do it ourselves. Of course there were those with fake driver’s licenses – I don’t recall how they got them now, but if they got up the gumption they would use these passes to go through the checkout counter at the only place one could purchase those non-heavenly spirits, the ALCB store – Alberta Liquor Control Board. 

Yes, at that time and in those days, the government was in sole custody of dispensing Spirit altering liquids. Yes, getting drunk, or entering into this altered inebriated sate was also a major goal for the weekend. We were teenagers in the eighties. That was considered cool and fun. 

By the Grace of God, our group was shielded from street drugs entering our domain. There were those who could get access to it, and one time a few of us did try “shrooms”. Theses were dried mushrooms wrapped in tin foil that were supposed to do “something” to you. We ate them and nothing happened. There was a lot of drama around getting them, talking about what they would do to us, and being afraid of the consequences should we be caught. By the Grace of God, we stuck to “only” alcohol. It served us fine enough. Now however, I see and understand alcohol from a very deeper and different energetic perspective. The spirit of its energy is that it muddies our purity and the channel through which a Deep Divine Connection is established and maintained. Think of it as a pipeline/tube from your head, your crown chakra going up to the Heavens. Alcohol (and other substances) muddy, pollute, and dirty this pipeline to the point where very little or no Light can get through. Alcohol (and other Spirit altering substances) cut off, block, clog your Light & Love connection and flow. It is like a backed up sink where water can not flow. When I became aware of this, I stopped putting this low frequency substance into my body in February 2008 – ten years now. Not only that, but I felt dehydrated and sluggish for days. I thought, “Why am I doing this to myself. Why am I harming myself so?”. The spiritual aspect and the physical repercussions are why I stopped drinking alcohol. But in my teens and early twenties, it was fun watching this alter ego arise out of  myself  and others. I had been a “happy and giddy” drunk. But then in my thirties when I began the clean journey and I wanted to know me, “as i am”, and I wanted the courage to come from within, from God, and not from an external substance.

RULE BENDER

I, having been born in former socialistic Yugoslavia, current day Bosna i Hercegovina was straddling two worlds, that of the open skies of the west and that of old world Europe. My friends had relatively lenient parents and almost always received the green light when they asked to go places and do things. I, on the other hand received a mixture of green and red lights. Going out on a school night was forbidden  and there were no weekend camping trips allowed. I obeyed, for the most part. But I looked at my friends, they had stories of get togethers which I had missed out on and they seemed like they were fine and balanced. To me it did not seem that the extra gatherings “corrupted them”, nor did it affect their grades. I began to feel more and more like I was missing out on fun in my teenage years, “the best years of my life”. I reasoned thus; the rules began to feel like an injustice; the rules began to feel very constricting; the rules began to feel like they had no strong logical substance to uphold them. What to do? What to do? I had tried negotiating from different angles on many occasions, but it was futile. I knew that I really really really wanted to be at some of these gatherings. 

CODE WORD: Plan B – Basement Window

The question was, “How?”. I know now not how I got the idea but the concept of the “basement window”  came to me. Aha! Lightbulb moment! I could sneak in and out of the basement window! Brilliant! All I needed was a ride though. Taking the car too would have been too much of a risk. I was already sneaking out, should I be caught I didn’t want to be grounded for life had I taken the burgundy Pontiac wood side paneled station wagon without permission. Since I had done a fair amount of driving others, someone was always willing to pick me up.

Sometimes, when I got a call that there was an event, I would not even bother asking for permission. I would just tell them “Plan B”. They knew what that meant and they knew what time to pick me up, usually around 10:00 pm – 12:00 am. This always gave my friends a good laugh and it sent my Heart rate beating higher and louder. I did what I needed to do in order to have the experiences that I wanted. All of our bedrooms were upstairs and certain stairs creaked! I would hug and kiss everyone goodnight around 9:00 pm and then go to my room, waiting patiently. I would go through my bedtime routine and actually go to bed in my pajamas. Then, at the appointed hour, I would get dressed, stuff the bed with extra pillows so that if by chance someone would check up on me it would appear as though I was asleep, and pray the Hail Mary as I tip toed down the stairs to the main floor and then to the basement. 

As fate prearranged it, a large chest height freezer was propped up against one of the windows. See, The Universe was fully supporting me in my deviancy. It was an affirmation! It was an easy climb through procedure. Freedom awaited me on the other side of the glass panel. It was a portal to fun! I was always as quiet as a church mouse. When I reached the waiting get away car, there was always much laughter and joy. And off we would go on our fellowship adventure making memories.

GRAND LARCENY 

On one such outing, there were four of us. And it had been a double misdemeanor because it was a school night! Oh Lord have mercy! We had no particular plan of what we would do so we just drove around in a Chrysler Le Baron for a while. We drove all the way form the north end, through downtown, to the south side which is where our high school was located. The streets were empty. All of humanity was sleeping. They had real responsibilities to show up to the next day. We on the other hand, were carefree high school kids. We got bored as there was no action going on. Then someone came up with the idea that we should “decorate” our front school yard with “borrowed” lawn art. And thus our grand larceny adventure began. 

The hatchback was perfect. We “collected or borrowed” from sleeping neighbor’s front lawns a myriad of items: for sale signs, plastic sunflower windmills and it seemed ink flamingos were in abundance. We also “borrowed” city construction signs. We rationalized that people who go on treasure hunt parties “borrow” things all the time and we were just making our own treasure hunt list. 

We made several trips and drop offs until the lawn looked just right. Showing up to school the next day and keeping mum about it was both exhilarating, fun, and a let down. We loved the buzz it had created and wanted to claim and receive the accolades, but that would not have been wise. We stayed low and under the radar. Instead, it was thought that the outgoing grade twelve class had been the masterminds and executioners of this grand scheme. No one even suspected that it was the bold act of the grade eleven class. To our joy it showed up in the back pages of our year book.

Our night of booty collection.

Our grand adventure was captured on film and printed on paper. We did good! 

That basement window, although unconventional had been my portal to good friends, good times, and wonderful memories. The opportunity presented itself to me through my thoughts and now, in hindsight I know I would have regretted NOT doing it. Said in the affirmative, I’m glad I took the chance, risked possible reprimand, and did do it. I did no harm to others, other than the few missing flamingos and other articles. On the contrary, it almost seemed like The Universe “conspired in my flavor” by setting me up for success: the freezer step stool, the size of the window, easy screen removal, and kind and generous friends. 

Rules are good. We need rules for a smoothly and respectfully functioning society. But if they become oppressive, heavy, and joy stealers, well then… THINK FOR YOURSELF.

By the Grace of God, think for yourself,                                                                           Irena As I Am                                                                                                      04/17/2018

Perhaps, this too was a test sent from the University of Life. It was a prep exam for one of the biggest rules I would break many years down in my life: the breaking and retreating of my marriage vows.

But that is another story…for another day.

A Beggar and A Slave

Quite frequently in the Bible the passage about not being “slaves” and the healing of “beggars on mats” pops out at me. For a long time I dismissed these passages and messages about liberty and instantaneous healings from immobility as irrelevant and not pertaining to me. After all, on the surface I was not behind prison bars, nor was I sitting on a mat for cripples on the street corner with my hand out asking for alms. So plain of sight obvious – right? Well if there is one thing that I have learned about the Words in the Bible is that sometimes I need to approach them literally, while other times figuratively. 

This week, by the Grace of God I had one of those profound “aha” moments where it dawned on me how the above two topics did relate to me and were meant for me. I was shown just how much of a beggar and a slave I had been. In my healing journey I have noticed a pattern. The awareness of an unhealthy situation and the labeling of it, is half of the remedy. The other half requires effort on my part. I then need to implement and adopt permanently the newfound pearls of wisdom in my thoughts, actions, and life. The good news is that when we commit and ask for Divine Assistance, They always show up and help. 

LIFE OUTSIDE THE GARDEN

Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try, life outside The Garden of Eden is predicated on conditions – including love. There is the condition of gravity – we, trees, mountains, ants, buildings all stick to the earth because of gravity. It keeps us and everything grounded and from floating away into the eternal ethers. There is the condition of the flesh – our Soul needs the body vehicle for its earthen journey. Although the Soul is clean, pure, and holy, the condition of the body needs almost constant care, attention, and cleaning. Upkeep takes time, energy, and work. It is not enough to wash our face, comb our hair, and brush our teeth once, it has to be done at least a couple of times a day. In the realm of our Spirit, we constantly need to nourish it with hope, faith, and prayer to keep its energy balanced, strong and focused on Trust.

unCONDITIONAL LOVE

So too it is with human relationships. No matter how hard we try, there is always a condition on our love or on others’ love for us. The complete opposite would be the love that God gives us and offers us, TOTAL ACCEPTANCE always, in all ways and in every moment of who i am and as i am – the brilliance and especially the shadows. We all adore and admire the beauty of the rose, but do we give thanks to her thorns or the fertilizer/manure it took and takes to keep her blooming gracefully. We tend to overlook or dismiss the messy and smelly parts of the journey and focus on the final and closing act of the blooming soft petals. 

How many of us have the capacity to offer total acceptance to another – no matter what they do, how they behave, and the attitude they exude. I have tried it many times over, and it is just not in me. I do not have the capacity nor depth of graciousness for that kind of love. I have tried to keep “turning the other cheek” over and over and over again and again for years upon years. I thought I was holy in doing that. On the outside it may have appeared so. For my ego it was a bolster, but for my Heart it was a blister. For my Soul it was purification, but for my Spirit it was petrification. On the one hand I saw my self as a victim, but in truth, I was a voluntary martyr. In this there was pride too – “just look at me and the immense cross that i am carrying” was written all over me. The invisible sign on my forehead read “o woe is me – can i get a pity pence please”. But I was not aware of this subtle victim pride mentality back then. I was doing the best that I could with the love and level of awareness I was at. 

LOVE FOR AN ENSLAVED BEGGAR, AN INDENTURED SERVANT

In this period of my life, I thought that God’s love was predicated on my “turning the other cheek”. I knew others loved me because I was conforming and contorting myself to their projection of me. I thought I loved me. But then, I just could not take the pain anymore of being an indentured love martyr. The chains of earthly love became too heavy to bear. Thus, slowly and gradually by the Grace of God and much trepidation, I began to shift and change in my awareness, attitude, and resolve. It is said that “good fences make good neighbors” and thus I began building my wall, brick by brick, day by day, encounter by encounter. 

I began to set boundaries of what was and was not acceptable and respectable behavior toward me. I saw and felt the waves of disapproval toward me. I was no longer being praised but rather reprimanded. I began to wonder if I loved this new version of me since others were no too happy about it. But the most terrifying question of all was “did God love and approve this new version of me”. At that time I had equated human expectations and conditions of love and approval with Divine Love. It was a long and treacherous journey that freed me from this mentality. And, I am discovering there is always another subtle layer. I am on a journey of discovering and allowing God’s Love. It keeps amazing me pleasantly. 

LIBERTY

By the Grace of God, I discovered that I do not need to beg for Divine Love and Acceptance. Conversely, it is a Gift which liberates and gives life to the Spirit. I also realized that it was my misconstrued paradigm of what human love and Divine Love require that kept me enslaved in unhealthy ways of being and relating. I realized that the respect that I give to myself and to others, is the respect that I receive from the Universe. Karma, or “do unto others”, or the energy and vibe we put out, does truly come back to us. I have also realized and am continually discovering that the Divine version of Love is sometimes completely different from the human construction of love requirements. Love is not for rent. Love is the deed endowed on our Souls. Love is our Soul’s Essence. Embracing and embodying this Divine Love is really scary, and ultimately liberating. It takes a lot of courage and Grace to deconstruct or unsubscribe from the human love laws. 

The real Gift I am realizing is that this concept of discovering and living Divine Love is not limited to our relationship with others – this is just the beginning. It extends to our relationship with God, ourselves, our body, feelings, image, finances (income, investing, spending (needs and joys), and sharing), contribution, leisure time and fun activities. The adage of “how we do anything is how we do everything” is also very applicable to love received and love offered. 

As I have expanded my notion of love and accepting love, I have also expanded my giving of love too. It no longer is from a place of duty, obligation, must, or a should. I do my best to give what God is asking of me and to set the boundaries that are healthy and necessary for my well being. My journey went from the Law of Rule, from stone tablets  to the Spirit of Love, to the tender Heart. My journey continues expanding in this space of eternal potential. 

LAWS FOR SMOOTH FLOW 

I do understand that we need basic rules of behavior toward one another so that we are all “on the same page” of what is and what is not acceptable. Just like traffic laws keep traffic flowing smoothly, so too do we need a basic framework of respect and dignity for one another. This framework is a guide for every day smooth living in a society. Ultimately though, discern and let the Spirit of Love flow out of your Soul and into the Universe. This is true Divine Alignment. This is the ultimate service to God. This is what gives Joy to the Heart, life to the body, and Love to self and others. This to me is the ultimate pursuit or journey of life, liberty, prosperity, and joy. 

Now when I come across the passages about being freed from bondage and being chained to an almsgiving mat, I ask the Holy Spirit to show me how and where I can release human constructs and get my self with into greater Divine Alignment. By myself this is impossible, but by humility and abundant Grace, I KNOW i am assured victory.

God is God, and only God can offer total and complete Love and Acceptance. We as sojourners on our healing and wholeness earthen journey do not have this capacity. As we work on becoming more whole we need to ensure our safety and integrity by employing the Gift of Right Judgement from the Holy Spirit. With this Gift we know how vulnerable we can be or how closed off we need to be in order to be safe in each encounter.

Abundant Divine Wisdom, Humility, Strength, Grace & Love,                                         Irena As I Am                                                                                                      04/10/2018