We all have our habitual grooves of self-indulgence, a list of “go-to” people, places, or things of recurring desire, tinged with those feelings of guilty decadence and shame. For some of us, the list is as long as a sleepless night, for others, perhaps only one or two items. For my dear friend Sandra, there was just the one indulgence that clung to her like a codependent lover. When the day was rough with work or family challenges, she would occasionally binge on gas station donuts.
Sandra could never fully enjoy the object of her cheerless longing, feeling embarrassed over her perceived weakness for those sugary, sticky wheels of heaven because she considered herself overweight. Sandra was a beautiful woman with womanly curves, and I believe the lion’s share of her mass was probably due to the immensity of her heart, not the number of donuts she ate. Sandra lived to serve, teaching people with disabilities how to manifest their own potential, despite their challenges. The span of her kindness and compassion could bridge galaxies. But, unfortunately, it couldn’t find a way back to herself.
Sandra grew sunflowers throughout the summer months. She said it was because they were a potent symbol for fire. She said sunflowers reminded her that the insanity and dystopian bent of the of the world were just a part of the grand burning of the old ego-models that have caused so much suffering. She truly believed a new consciousness was rising out of the ego-ashes of needless suffering on the planet. She was more optimistic than most.
If there was ever a perfect vessel for that rising consciousness, it was Sandra. She understood the ultimate equality of all beings and the sacred union we all shared beneath the surface differences. Sandra mindfully lived the new consciousness most hours of the day, except when looking at herself through her self-judging eyes in a mirror. She once told me that she had never been naked in front of a man with the lights on because of the shame she carried about her body. That was sad beyond measure.
I still can’t understand what she actually saw in that mirror. She was truly one of the sexiest beings on the planet. And yet, she could only see her body as unworthy of another’s intimate attention. Those critical moments were so out of character for the otherwise mighty and magical caregiver of tormented souls that she was. I guess she could have been the poster girl for the wounded healer.
Perhaps it was that self-inflicted pain that made what I referred to as Sandra’s ministry so powerful. She deeply understood the painful results of self-loathing.
Sandra had weaknesses, just as we all do. For many today, it’s mind-numbing opioids to banish life’s pain, for others, becoming lost in the surface and shallow distractions and entertainments of life. For Sandra, gas station donuts were her Achilles’ heel, her dark cloud in an otherwise brilliant sky—well, more what the donuts represented, what she perceived in the mirror because of those damn donuts.
I wish that Sandra had been as quick to forgive herself as she was others, that she realized the minuscule molehill she was choosing to make into a mountain. It’s all too common today for women, and men, to emphasize their minor blemishes as major flaws, to see themselves as somehow undeserving of the world we were originally intended to create, a world of balanced harmony and profound grace. And this is exactly what is keeping that world at bay, our self-loathing and its accompanying fear. We need to understand this!
We believe it’s the tyrants, bigots, and power-hungry who are ruining the world for everybody. But that is wrong. There are more people like Sandra in the world—or at least people who want to measure up that way. It’s just their false beliefs about their own weaknesses that keep them from stepping up. “Who me? You want little old me to save the world?”
Sandra often pointed out how all we needed was a little more audacity to believe we are as our Source originally created us. We are strong, vibrant, and have access to incredible wisdom. And we should stop listening to that self-defeating voice in our head that tells us how angry and afraid we should be. She knew that voice particularly well.
Sandra planted countless seeds before her sudden passing a few years back, bits of wisdom in all who spent any time in her incredible presence. The sprouting of those seeds will continue for years. At the core of her wisdom was the understating that we are all being called to create and hold the space for an emergence of a new consciousness that is actually born of an ancient and natural wisdom, and that is part and parcel of all of us.
Sandra believed that the current generations were here to welcome the rising phoenix of an evolved humanity. And centered within this consciousness is the love of self and love of others. This is actually some old advice that can be found written in red print in a certain, perennial bestseller that says the same thing. If we can begin to mindfully answer that call to love towards others and ourselves, the call of gas station donuts will become no big deal.
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