I have had Lupus for many years. It has extracted an exorbitant toll on my ability to move freely, to run, dance, play tennis, and even walk. It has taken from me much, but it has also left me gifts…one very big one. It has forced me to come to terms with living with contradictions. I have come to understand that two seemingly incompatible theories are often both true: fate and freewill, we have control over our lives/ we have no control, etc. As I rail against one way of looking at things, the other side comes prancing in—as undeniable as the validity of my first area of focus. Lupus has given me humility and compassion on a grander scale than my healthy earlier life. It has forced me to acknowledge that I can’t fix everything through my own intentions and actions. Yet I also know it’s true that my actions and beliefs affect my health and that I attract energy onto myself. I know too, that not all people have that luxury—no one can tell me that a mother nursing her baby in her own home in Oakland drew the deadly energy of a stray gang bullet onto herself…or that the masses of starving people in the world attracted such an agonizing death onto themselves by their shadow thoughts or negative thinking. Nonetheless, our thoughts and intentions do manifest in our lives…contradictory though that thought may be.
Another thing I’ve learned over the years is that people can be right about 90 percent of what they’re saying (or writing), and be dead wrong about the other 10 percent. There are more than two bundles of truth. I grapple with this notion because I often find myself engrossed in a book of wisdom, resonating to the message, and then hit the bump about physical illness being the result of some wrong energy, some shadow problem that is manifesting in the physical world. It used to really anger me, but eventually I came to terms with the fact that the author may know a lot, but not everything. Even enlightened people (maybe especially enlightened people) want to feel they can fix things—can help others fix things through following their various techniques. So much of what they have to offer is real and true and loving, but to tell a person with a genetic autoimmune disease that he or she brought it on him/herself is a disservice to the person who is ill. It’s bad enough that you have the disease, but to be told it’s your fault is beyond disheartening.
I don’t get upset about that line of thinking in relation to myself anymore. My life is so good—I have been given my heart’s desire in every area of my life…and I have been grateful for the blessings every step of the way. I’m in a 36-year marriage to the man of my dreams—a man who inspires me every day, whom I love and respect and know to be a truly principled man (as well as sexy, hilarious, intelligent, handsome, and an unbelievably talented musician). Our two amazing grown children are prime examples of hope for the future. They have both worked in Human Rights internationally and locally, are creative musically, highly educated, have great careers and are married to partners that are likewise the hope of the future. I have had a long career in song writing and have written a novel that a highly competent agent is currently shopping; and, I’ve recently had my first short story published. Pete (my husband) and I just got back from spending a month in Hawaii—and I am happy to be back home in beautiful Marin (where I knew I wanted to live when I first set eyes on it, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge back in 1966). I love my family, my extended family and my friends. Our garden is blooming in February! I write all this not to gloat about my amazing luck, but to illustrate that I have not attracted negative energy onto myself, far from it—so it’s not for myself that I get upset.
It just leaves the bad taste of American arrogance in my mouth when I read about how if you just think the right thoughts or forgive your mother, or whatever, that you can attract all this good energy into your life. What if bombs are being dropped on you? What if all the water has dried up in your land and you’re starving to death and have no means to migrate to richer territory? I cannot believe that such suffering is the result of something those who suffer did. We, from one of the wealthiest nations on earth, may have more to do with their suffering than their own thoughts do…maybe not. But my point is that there is a glaring lack of compassion in that line of thought…yet I know too that there is truth in it for many people. I certainly know people who attract the same negative energy into their lives over and over again—hooking up with partners who deceive and abuse them, shooting themselves in the foot through their own fears.
I have made peace with the notion that I can never know anything for sure…and neither can anyone else. But I also believe that to the contrary, there are things both others and I can know for sure, even if we can’t prove it. There are so many different ways of understanding the world, yet there seems to be some basic truth that runs through human thought and behavior and crosses cultures and ideology. To say there are no absolutes is an absolute statement that negates itself. So perhaps there are some absolutes after all. I can put forth an idea I believe to be true…an idea that filters all my other incoming information…it is this: Truth and Love come hand in hand. One cannot exist without the other. Truth without love is a lie because love is the creative, guiding principle of the universe and nothing that comes from a space without love can be true—love is the truth. And love without truth is just sentimentalism.