One year ago, I stepped into the role of President for the Madonna Interfaith Community, wide-eyed and optimistic about our new beginnings. It was my first opportunity to work with MIC’s continuing transformation. It has been a year of change, both challenging and inspiring.

Early on, I asked that we be mindful of our words. Mystics and healers have always known that words and intentions matter, pseudo-science has demonstrated it, and science is beginning to prove it. This last week I was discouraged and hopeless as I navigated fear-mongering home repair services, job recruiter shenanigans, heartless conversations in which I found myself engaging, and otherwise intentional or unintentional hurtful situations. I had to pause and ask myself why I am attracting such energy. I realized it was about my integrity and walking my talk.

A wise man once said to me, “There are three aspects of ourselves. There is the me whom I know but whom nobody else knows. There is the me whom others know but whom I do not know. And, there is the me whom we all know.” In this context, “me” is each of us in self-examination. When there is an aspect of me, whom I do not know or lie to myself about, am I lying to others when I express what isn’t true for me? Are we accountable to each other to help guide us to the truth? Can we know what someone’s truth is? Is your truth the same as mine? Does our truth change as we learn? Who are we to judge others’ truth? Do we plant a seed? Do we simply energetically appeal to them ourselves and others for each of our best outcomes and for each of our GOoD with no attachment to the outcome?

It is easy to forget that no one has walked our path; no one knows what we know. And, we do not know what we do not know. Even if we are side by side, it is not the same path. The paths may be parallel, but the lines are separate. Our paths may converge at ephemeral everyday experiences, but we each bring our own stories. Even if one of us follows the other on the same apparent path, the path is not the same because the first person has changed the trail and, in turn, has also been changed. As much as we think we know another person, we only see snapshots and what they choose to share.

In forgetting that each of our paths is unique but equal, we sometimes fall into judgment. What is judgment? It is about ourselves. It can be about fear that we are not doing it right. It can be about something we perceive as a “defect” or shortcoming in ourselves. It can be a reminder of our younger selves and regrets related to the same. Those regrets can be about the path not chosen or the consequences of the path we did choose.  It is never too late to choose differently.

I don’t believe in defects. We are human with emotions that are sometimes triggered by seemingly benign behaviors, words, smells, and sounds that send us reeling into a formative response based upon traumatic experiences. These experiences can be locked in our bodies or minds because we have not yet truly separated an offender’s actions that have nothing whatsoever to do with us. A child does know that the person who hurt them can still love them, albeit imperfectly. Furthermore, our triggered response can trigger another’s unhealed response. We must be gentle with ourselves and each other. There is nothing weak or wrong about being human and acknowledging the unintended hurt our thoughts, actions, or words may have caused. Likewise, if we are hurt, what is our part? How do we think about it? Did that person intend to hurt us? Or, who do they represent that hurt me in the past? What messages are we giving ourselves? Are those self-chastisements of unlovable and unworthy coming from us? Or, are they voices of unhealed ancestral trials and tribulations? Each of us was in our grandmothers’ wombs as our mothers’ eggs formed in our grandmothers’ first trimester. At a cellular level, we carry messages and memories, perhaps similar to but not the same as those of another.

Thoughts, words and deeds are energy. Energy begets energy, which becomes an egregore, an entity created by a collective. It is important to be mindful of how we express ourselves. What kind of energy do we want to create and carry forward? Thoughts, words and deeds do matter: I am a target for predators versus I am an aware advocate for my own best interests; I can’t do this by myself versus who can I call on for help right now; I need a break (the universe may think “bone”) versus it’s time to create joy; I am sick and tired versus I will rest so that I am well; what is your problem versus is there anything I can do to help; she’s being obstinate versus she is working through something; we can’t afford that versus we are choosing beneficial and optimal ways to spend our money; we don’t have a direction versus we are exploring possibilities; we don’t have enough time versus we will use our time wisely and efficiently; no problem or no worries versus we’re good or it’s all good; give the benefit of the doubt versus assume good intentions.

This last week Kathleen McGowan joined us to share the Magdalene Way of unconditional Love and Forgiveness. Unconditional Love is about seeing, hearing, and understanding the GOoD in ourselves as well each other. Forgiveness is about liberating ourselves and each other based on the GOoD. We each are no more or no less than one another. I am hopeful about our future, the energy shift, and the synergies we are co-creating. We each have gifts to share. Let us move from our heads to our hearts, supporting each other in our individual strengths and collective growth toward one community of open minds, open hearts and open arms.

Spiritually aspiring in the material world, blessings of Love and Light.

Ms. Bishop Francis Frank