Chapter Three – Allowing Virtues
We consciously allow ourselves to express virtuously to override our automatic reactions to constrict; balancing the Feminine and Masculine Principles allows us to rise above cultural adaptation and express virtues into culture.
I believe that allowing is the feminine aspect of God. I speak here of allowing the Life Force, or the energy of Spirit, to flow freely through us in a balanced way. The true definition of beauty is that which flows with harmony, balance, rhythm, and in proper proportionality. We deny the power of the balanced Divine Feminine and Masculine to make us radiantly beautiful when we seek beauty externally as in the way we adorn our bodies, or in altering our looks as through cosmetic surgery.
When we allow ourselves to express powers of the human soul, our expressions are only and always beautiful and helpful. These qualities of soul are called virtues. While virtues themselves have no gender, energetically speaking, we must allow ourselves to express them, and this can only be done from a place of balance of the Divine Feminine and Masculine.
A list of virtues would be lengthy. Virtues include compassion, congruency, courage, diligence, faith, fidelity, generosity, gentleness, gratitude, honesty, humility, integrity, kindness, loyalty, patience, perseverance, restraint, responsibility, serenity, simplicity, stewardship, strength, temperance as in self-discipline, tolerance, trust and trustworthiness, wisdom, and wonder. Most of us who express these qualities do so without a language to name and talk about them, or cultural support to show value to them. Rarely are they recognized for what they are. They are a choice to rise above culture to give holiness into it. This is living in the world and not of it.
My second husband had bought an older home for his family and completely remodeled it himself. His wife died of cancer when he had just one wall to complete in the kitchen. After moving in with me, he spent months searching for a gift for his soul that would help heal what he had been through with his wife. He eventually bought a Lowrey organ which allowed his soul to sing for many years. With his model, I too began to look for a gift for my soul for what I had been through with my first husband.
Months later I went to a hospital to visit a friend and she was busy at the time so I walked the neighborhood. With total delight I heard what sounded like angel bells coming from a building. It turned out to be a hammered dulcimer. I had never seen or heard one played. I wanted one – right away. I saw it as the sought after gift for my soul. The owner of the store, who was also a builder of the instrument, told me there was a festival coming up soon and suggested I attend to learn more about the instrument before getting one for myself.
I attended the festival. I heard one of the state champions play. He beat away on the instrument with no compassion. It all looked exciting to me so I returned to the store and placed an order for my very own dulcimer to be made just for me. Now, life until this point had hardened me and my husband usually described me as fierce. Not far off! I received my beautifully crafted instrument and went for my first lesson taking my fierceness and the model of banging hard on the instrument with me. With the maker of the instrument as my teacher sitting beside me I took my first couple strokes. Calling an immediate halt to my playing, he yelled, “Play gently.”
Gentleness was not one of my qualities. I decided that it could be. So I named my dulcimer Gently, and each time I was going to play her I would say to myself or declare out loud, “I’m going to play Gently.” For two months I thought about being gentle. I allowed myself to be gentle. I ate, slept, and lived gentleness. It only took this long until a woman who had no knowledge of my new practice said to me, “You are so gentle.” And so it is with virtues. We consciously live them, consciously practice them, and allow ourselves to Be them.
All virtues are allowed expression. This means that we override our automatic ways of reacting to things before us. The strength in a virtue is the allowing of spirit to flow through us unobstructed by fear. In order to express any virtue, we first allow a shift of energy away from fear. These shifts include: receiving, forgiving, accepting, intuiting, creating, and surrendering (“Let go and let God,” “Turn it over to the Lord,” etc.). Virtues come from allowing and therefore may be considered the feminine aspect of life, divinity, or God.
To better understand this, make a fist. We have the ability to tense muscles. Energetically speaking, contraction is considered masculine. To undo the fist, we have to allow the muscles to relax. Energetically speaking, the allowing of expansion is considered feminine. We have to be willing to receive and accept the state of relaxation. It is the same for all processes that take place in our spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical levels regardless of gender. We either contract in fear or we allow higher function. We surrender an intention to constrict in order to allow for expansion. Therefore, all virtues override our automatic reactions to constrict and must be consciously allowed.
Every problem that we have calls for us to allow an expansion at some level of our being. Most of our contractions are held in place unconsciously and contribute to our suffering. Each imbalance is an impediment to feeling and expressing the joy of life. Every problem we don’t have is a virtue that we do have. The expression of virtues brings us satisfaction and fulfillment in life. To allow a stream of life energy to flow virtuously is to live miraculously. In such a way our life becomes a blessing to ourselves and all around us.
Let me tell you about a big problem I had. My new husband and I had joined our families after both losing our mates to chronic illnesses. Cramped in my home space, I no longer had use of the room in my home that I had been using as an office for counseling. My income that first year had amounted to about $500. I had paid $25 for a year of personal liability insurance. Then I received a bill for $450 saying that the next year’s bill would be $1200. Can you imagine? I put the bill on the table like it was something on display knowing full well that I would not go that route. I knew that if I paid that kind of money for insurance that I would greet every client at the door saying to myself, “Are you the son of a bitch who’s going to sue me that I need to pay so much for insurance?” No way would I be able to greet this person with love and offer proper healing service.
It just happened, as so often happens, that our church was having a speaker on tithing. I decided to go. While listening to the speech, the idea came to me to take the $450 that I would have spent on insurance and send it as tithe checks to people who had helped me be the person I was at the time. I did so, and decided that instead of taking a step that would lead me to resent each client, I would take this step in gratitude, and be only excellent with clients.
Virtues are a sign of maturity. All virtues come to life through our ability to make a choice to be true to ourselves. Living virtuously is reverence for excellence. Virtues allow us to live and affirm our own excellence. To this day I choose to live in excellence. I watch carefully for cultural offerings as this insurance bill that invite me to fear and blame, invite me to deny and to do violence to my soul. Feeling real and acting truthfully are essential to good health.
Living virtuously means to be guided by a higher voice and to not allow fear to guide our ways. Receptivity requires discernment because not all energies that we could receive are safe. To be receptive to lower energy from others is to cooperate with abuse. The freedom of consciously choosing to respond with a virtue is that someone can be unloving to us and we can choose to respond in a way that is helpful rather than hurtful. Spiritual growth is about learning to respond rather than react.
It was a New Year’s Day and I called my mother with about ten pieces of good news after a visit with my daughter. After each joyful sharing I received an acerbic comment like “Why would you want to do THAT!” or “You NEVER forgive someone like THAT!” With each comment I felt myself shrinking (to be smaller than she was in the identity as her daughter). In the end I felt smaller than the point of a pin. Then, suddenly and unexpectedly, I felt my energy burst forth as if it flowed around the whole globe. Never again did I shrink myself in the identity as her daughter.
The ego (our survival mechanism) never allows us a true vision of our own identity or actions. The ego, being the seat of all our habits and addictions, allows no change. It allows us to see others as being at fault for any of our own miseries (feeling unloved). We bring relief to a situation by allowing a virtuous response which requires our own emotional honesty. In the identity of daughter of this mother, I would only feel a hateful reaction for her not receiving my joy with her soul and therein for diminishing my spirit with her negative responses. This was a choice point for where I believed mother’s love came from. It was the last time I even dreamed that it might come from Mama.
Forgiving on my part was a shift of consciousness from external (blame of someone else) to internal (examining my own thoughts, feelings, and actions – taking a spiritual inventory). The conversation ended like oil and water. It was most obvious to me that day that I now related to a Divine Mother as nurturer and chose to be true to my joy even if my mother believed I was wrong, wrong, wrong. I was able to end the conversation with no animosity in return for hers. The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free TO BE and therefore not do. Freedom is equal to our willingness to allow ourselves free choice in response to life’s situations.
The choice to live in our higher nature, our higher identity, means that the energy of love works through us and is extended to others regardless of their energy. Fear leads us to hold onto old ways of trying to get love or trying to prevent harm from others. Non-attachment to those ways allows us to understand our nature and flow with life. The willingness to allow a virtuous response sets us free to determine our life experience by our responses rather than by the actions or reactions of others.
We receive little support from Western society or Western religion for making a sacred inner connection with Mother. We cooperate with and give silent consent to an unspoken, unconscious agreement to not see, accept, and allow for this inner source of nurturance. We must get in touch with this agreement and break it! To repossess our true being we must give ourselves permission to not be cooperative with energies that ignore the soul or are destructive to the soul. Know that when you receive what your soul really wants, you will not allow society to pressure you into being a consumer to try to meet your needs from outside of your Self. You will bring forth what you really want from within.