Tuesday, June 23, 2020


It ended the way it began.

No one could point an index finger quite like Mary.

I met her in a small coffee shop across the way from the spiritual center in which I was then employed. I entered midmorning to get a cup of tea and was cheerily greeted by name by the owner and barista. A small yet mighty woman stepped out from behind a bookcase and asked of me” so you are Taylor?” I replied in the affirmative. “You are the reason I moved here.”

After a brief explanatory conversation, she pointed her index finger right at me and declared “you should teach a class on The Seven Spiritual Laws.” I took a moment or two to stare down the barrel of that finger and matched her sense of authority as I said to her “maybe YOU should teach a class on The Seven Spiritual Laws.”

She stepped back ever so slightly as her mouth opened and her eyes danced. She would later report that in that moment she knew she had met her match.

We were inseparable from that moment on.

We traveled together. We prayed together. We built and maintained spiritual community together. We cried and grieved together. We spoke literally every day. And oh, did we laugh together. We shared deeply and loved relentlessly. Beginnings, endings, holidays, milestones, even hurricanes. All together.

Our final encounter was through a window of a care facility on the occasion of her eighty-ninth birthday. It took quite a while for an aide to get her into a wheelchair and then roll her over to the window. Our eyes met and oh did hers dance! It was a look I knew well. It was a look of love beyond any I knew before or will likely ever know again.

Everyone deserves a Mary.

It did not take long during that brief but blissful final face to face for that finger to start pointing. Thanks to a sister in spirit who arranged for our birthday encounter I even have a photo of it. The photo is slightly blurred, but the memory is emblazoned forever.

She was beyond frail. She struggled to hear and seemed slightly confused. The protective mask slipped in and out of place until she finally just pulled it off. I do not recall what point she was emphasizing as she punctuated it with the same intensity as she had decades before. She pointed that index finger at me, and the frailty and confusion were gone in a flash. Mary was back. Mary was strong and prayerful and funny and loving. And though she belonged to countless other beings in that moment she was mine and mine alone. That look and that index finger were reserved for me. The history and all of our countless shared adventures were all held within that moment.

And I rightly suspected as I left that I would never see her again.

I would ponder later if that precious, yet crooked finger was telling me to go. To go and to live and to be and to serve. To move on without her. As if I could ever be without her. As if I ever will be without her. “Go, she seemed to say.” “I can go no further. I can live not much longer. You go ahead. Remember our times together. The travel, the prayer, the community, the tears, the laughter. Yes, never forget the laughter.”

Every ensuing phone conversation there was a little less of Mary. Our final chat was really a monologue. The only thing that she said with unmistakable clarity and authority was “I love you.”

And then came that fateful diagnosis.

Covid 19.

She reportedly collapsed shortly after our last conversation. Then it was ICU. Total hearing loss. No visitation or communication. A short but surprising rebound. Back to ICU. And then hospice.

And then she was gone.

So many have decried her dying alone. I get that, at a level. But Mary was never alone. She was totally plugged into her Soul. She was surrounded by her own luminous being. And the person in front of her rapidly became her best friend.

I am well aware that I am writing these words from a place of only slightly underlying disbelief. Though eighty-nine I had long thought Mary would preside at my memorial. Which she would tell me was her worst of all fears.

That I would go before her.

I am grateful to spare her that. And I am now left to come into a relationship without my Mary by my side. For those prone to platitudes, please spare me that. I know she is with me in spirit. I know our Souls will one day merge again. But spirits and Souls do not eat most of a shared dessert. They do not ride in a car through familiar terrain as if they had never had such a pleasure. They do not purse their lips when they sign a tab or enter all rooms like everyone there was eagerly awaiting to celebrate her arrival. They do not laugh in hoots or yawn like lions. And they do not point their index fingers in ways that completely defy apt description.

They do not look at me with a look that speaks of adoration. Pure, unconditional, relentless adoration.

We had three disagreements in twenty-two years. I am grateful for those, for they told me that what we shared was real and unbreakable. And after the heat the look remained. The laughter returned. The love deepened. There was no backdoor on this friendship. Except the one she took on Saturday.

So, Mary has moved on to another room where everyone will cheer her arrival. It will not take long for the laughter to roar and the finger to point. She will hog the desserts and not understand half the jokes. But she will laugh just as if she had. Really laugh. Just for the sake of laughter.

And I will go on. Mary is forever a part of me. I will always live in that loving gaze. I am forever changed and there is no going back. I have been loved by love. A love that can never, will never die.

Everyone deserves a Mary. I will spend the rest of my life being that for others. That will be my living memorial. I will love like Mary. Live like Mary. Pray like Mary. Give like Mary.

Thank you, Mary. Thanks for all the years and all the laughs and all the prayers and all the points. You are the best friend a person could ever have. It feels somehow hard to believe I deserved you.

But then, everyone deserves a Mary.

Thursday, June 11, 2020


It has become painfully clear to me that I taught myself not to trust myself.

I grew up in a home where we were not allowed to have our own opinions. Self-referral was not encouraged or even allowed. Parental opinion was law. And so, my parents would proclaim something to be true or right or just. The proclamations frequently landed heavily in my solar plexus, and I knew deeply that what was being stated was not true. At least not for me. And so, I would question. >br>
And my questions landed heavily inside my parents. Then they landed heavily on me.

The same was true in schools, church, and various organizations in which I became affiliated. Doctrine was declared. It did not feel right or true. I would question. The law would land heavily on my head. I would be reprimanded at best and shamed at worst.

After a while, I learned to keep my questions to myself.

The same has been true with honesty. I have always been able to clearly feel dishonesty as it is happening. I used to immediately question what I was being told.

Reprimand. Shame. Rejection.

I began to ease off the questioning. Or at least redirect it.

I began to question myself.

After so many reprimands I began to stop trusting the questioning inside. I began to question my keen sense of intuition. I stopped trusting my own inner-self and began thinking I was the problem in my conflicted relationships. When alarm bells would go off, I ignored the guidance and trusted others when the bells were actually telling me to trust myself. People were telling me one thing and acting out another. I had ample evidence that there were falsehoods going on. I could see them, sense them, feel them. But rather than trusting and following my guidance, I doubted myself and put my trust in you.

And so, I taught myself not to trust myself.

Over and over again this played out. I would meet someone, and warning signals would sound. I would doubt myself and put trust in the other. I let people remain in my direct sphere of experience for decades when I knew in an instant this was not a viable connection. Over time, you taught me to indeed not trust you. I eventually learned the lesson. It took a lot of pain, and even more self-diminishment. I finally learned that you were indeed not trustworthy. But in the process, I had learned not to trust myself.

We are born acutely intuitive. Some of us seem to be more sensitive to this than others. From my earliest recall I have always felt energy very strongly. I have always been keenly guided. I was carefully taught not to trust that guidance, and so to not trust myself. Resultant to that was a struggle to reopen enough to allow myself to begin to trust others. And the painful trust is that in not trusting my own guidance, I trusted the wrong people repeatedly.

The Soul of me is always safe and secure, knowing Higher guidance as a state of being. My person is in the process of coming to know that same Higher guidance. At Essence we are each and all perfect spiritual beings. At the personality level that is not consistently the case. People are running programs and maintaining agendas that can be hurtful and dishonest. This can be true for all of us. Knowing when this is happening with others is knowledge. Listening and responding appropriately is wisdom.

If you have behaved in ways that have demonstrated that you are not trustworthy, I will treat you accordingly. I will be kind and I will compassion what leads you to show up that way. And, I will not be inviting you to lunch. You can blame me if you choose, but I will not buy into those tactics. I am trusting myself to take care of myself. I no longer allow others to dominate or gaslight me. I had no choice as a child. I was not taught to believe what was moving inside me. I know better now. I question myself, for sure. There are projections that can throw me off course. But my general inner atmosphere is becoming more and more trusting and governed by the natural keen intuition that has always been one of my greatest gifts. It just created a lot of suffering until I let it be the gift it is.

In these chaotic planetary times trust is a precious commodity. From a deep place of personal trust, I can choose to trust others who have deemed themselves trustworthy. I am living my life and my choices in ways that I am a space of trustworthiness for others. My safety is first and foremost in here. I trust myself and I trust in what is right for me. I then extend that trust appropriately. I trust those who have earned my trust. Those who honor my right to be right for me. And I strengthen that by granting those rights to others.

It really is a matter of trust. And the one I have learned to trust the most is me.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

I wish I had gotten madder, sooner.

I grew up in a family in which anger was unacceptable. With a mother prone to rage and a father with dementia-related outbursts the context was at best confounding. There was a small and constricting zone of what was acceptable to feel and express. Anger was outside of that zone.

So, not being allowed to be angry really pissed me off.

I became masterful at suppressing that concentric anger.

At school we were punished if we displayed anger. At church we were taught that the Righteous do not get mad. If they did, an angry and wrathful God would cast you into hell.


Those teachings really ticked me off.

I graduated school and church and began to forge my own way into what was right for me. I was led to New Thought teachings in general and Unity in particular. How liberating! Freeing!

Well, kind of.

It did not take long to come up against the “spiritual people don’t have anger” perspective. Spiritual people are love and light, all the time.

I could feel the simmering begin to boil.

I wish I had gotten madder, sooner.

Oh, the anger was there. It was festering just below the surface, growing hotter by the day. When I gave up life suppressing substances it threatened to gush forth in what felt like uncontrollable tsunamis. It took all the effort I could muster to dam it with an affirmation and hope the block would hold.

The by-then rage became a paralyzing depression.

By grace I began to learn that spiritual beings have human emotions. For good reason. I began to grasp that what had been shamed and stifled all those years was actually guidance. It was wisdom by fire. The things that seemed to make me angry were things that would rightly trigger a person who was paying attention and who had values. I began to get at a deep level that anger had never been the problem. Denying and suppressing the anger had been the problem.

I ponder how much suffering would have been abated if I had been more friendly with anger?

Now, I am not suggesting that it is appropriate to go around shouting down everything and everyone who seems to tick you off. The truth is, the friendlier you get with anger as guidance the less likely you are to do that. There are healthy and appropriate ways to express anger before it becomes a torrent of rage. There are healthy and appropriate ways to allow anger to become fuel that fires constructive action and transformative change. It requires emotional fluency and discernment for sure. You must become clear about what seems to be triggering the anger. Is it about injustices you are seeing and experiencing, or is it a result of a diminishing story you are telling yourself?

As I watch the atrocities currently playing out in the world, I feel a deep sadness and a fiery anger. I now have the capacity to allow for those feelings without a need to deny or suppress. The energy is thusly available to me. I can use it to fuel the things that I am called to do to constructively address the things that are occurring. Without the angel of anger, I might not be compelled to respond. The sadness and anger are energies that no longer use me, so I am finally free to use them. And when I deny or suppress, the energies can easily use me.

I wish I had gotten madder, sooner.

Well, I wish I had allowed for the anger that was already there to be used in service of what was not serving me or the world.

Today the anger moving inside of me is evidence that I am awake and responsive. It lets me know that my emotional-spiritual system is functioning properly, and that my boundaries are in place. Because I have the capacity to allow for anger, I have no more need to scream out from a boiling point of pseudo-spiritual containment. I can temper my temper. I can give space to my triggers. I do not have to recreate my family history of mixed messages and shamed expression.

I wish I had gotten madder, sooner.

And it takes what it takes.

I am now healthy and whole enough to allow for a full and free emotional landscape. Oh, not perfectly. Suppressive tendencies die hard. I am far freer, however, to feel what arises and give voice to what needs to be said. Things that for decades I tolerated I now call out. Conflicts I fearfully avoided I now more often than not walk into. I now know that my anger is an energy of change. An energy to be used for good. A fire that lights my way. Not only my way. A fire that may light the way for those still too timid to get pissed off.

Integrated anger is passion. It is fuel. It is guidance. It is change.

How many personal and collective ills remain in place because we have not allowed for healthy and constructive anger?

I wish I had gotten madder, sooner.