Satya and Garden Flowers

I’ve been picking flowers of all kinds from our gardens this week and arranging them into bouquets. A few I’ve given away, and a few I’ve kept for us. It’s great to have big jars of gorgeous flowers in our kitchen and on my desk.

A friend texted me yesterday asking if I know how to get a ‘spirit’ out of a house. A mutual acquaintance is having a problem. I admit that when I read this text I LOLed. A what? I suggested a sage smudging, but honestly, I know nothing about poltergeists or how to get rid of them.

Maybe, though, the house just needs a closer look. Like everyone else, I’ve found myself in homes or other buildings where the vibe was palpably bad. The obvious offenders are places like Wal Mart, where the misery of the people who worked in sweatshop conditions to manufacture cheap plastic crap just bleeds out of the merchandise. Don’t bring that stuff into your home.

In the few times that I’ve been there, I’ve felt completely devitalized. I feel the same way after I visit supermarkets. I used to feel that way at shopping malls, but I wouldn't touch a shopping mall with a barge pole these days. Yuck. It’s hard to quantify, but my body never lies to me when the bad vibes roll in, so I listen to it.

People also emit vibes. I’ve met people who, in the first moment of our acquaintance, send terrible vibes my way. This sensibility has become more acute as I’ve gotten older. We don’t need to get much further than a handshake and the first ‘hello’ and my body is already telling me to run. I’m sure this has made me appear unfriendly to some, but I’m grateful to have this growing awareness.

I told my friend I’d call her tonight to talk about it. I’m curious to know if the person who believes that there’s a bad spirit in her home is spending her time with someone who is just draining her energy. Is she eating well? Does she have a spiritual practice? Does she get enough sleep? Does she hate her job? Does she get on well with her family? Has she released anger and past hurts?

My husband and I were talking last night about the bad vibe persons we’ve known. Everyone has met them. He talked about when he’s met with negative vibe people, and been the target of their bitter unhappiness.

Vengeful and spiteful, they strove to create pain in his life for what they believed were his inadequacies in caring for or attending to them. They feel cheated and short changed by life, but instead of extending genuine gratitude for every new day, they harp on the belief that they’ve been denied their due.

These people are severely impaired. They believe that their lives have been ruined by someone else, which we know is impossible. There is no single person or event or even series of events, no matter how catastrophic, that completely ruins a life. The individual mind creates our experiences: what we harbor there is the one and only thing that determines the trajectory of our lives.

My husband, whom I know to be a good man, early in life made poor choices and clung to the wrong people. He was looking for love and acceptance, like all of us. But he hadn’t yet learned how to use his mind to his best advantage.

Through Dharma study and conversations like the one we had yesterday, he’s learning about his self-worth. And he’s healing beautifully from the abuse. He said last night that he is the happiest he’s ever been. And I can see that: he has profound joy in his heart now, something he didn’t have when we first met. 

He sets wise and firm boundaries, chooses who he calls family or friend, and has released those who have no interest in his highest and best good. That’s no credit to me or our marriage, but to his growing realization of Satya – the truth of all things.

Maybe this person who worries of a house spirit is grappling with non-ghostly entities. I don’t know her well, but I know of her. She has just gone through a bitter divorce. She’s alone and scared. Perfectly understandable. She's back sharing a home with her parents, and that has to be awkward. But before she banishes that spirit, it may be beneficial to try exercising her demons. Everyone – absolutely everyone – deserves peace, joy, and love. It’s always within reach.

Much love,
Barbie xo

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