1. The act or process of accepting.
2. The state of being accepted or acceptable.
3. Favorable reception; approval.
4. Belief in something; agreement.
It seems to me that acceptance means mutual respect and agreement between people, sometimes an agreement to disagree, not to dissent or argue, but rather to respect the other person’s point of view. Every time I “walk in another person’s shoes”, or at least look to see what the situation looks from his or her perspective I gain understanding and insight.
I agree/accept that we are one, that love is the answer, and now is the time. This statement is a universal truth. That being said, my personal outlook has evolved over the years during and since my years within the Family which now seems a lifetime ago, and in many ways it was. I am a different person, although at my core I am who I always have been. Because of certain experiences and revelations in recent years I have a broader sense of humanity beyond any one group, belief, church, or person. The Israel Family is only one part of the whole picture of humankind and is only as strong as its weakest and most helpless members.
I attend Passover because I believe that when people gather in a like mind there is power; and that to dedicate a day to put on our best, most positive mind we take another step to heal the world. I attend to be with those that I care about and love deeply; those that I have built close bonds with, part of my spiritual family. During the beginning years of my life in the Family I was more of a follower than one who had realized what was actually going on, except in the most simple of terms. I was not one to speak up much. My background before joining was very painful and as a battered woman I still had a victim mindset and unresolved issues. In many ways being there within the Family was a sanctuary and for awhile allowed me to feel safe, and through this process I was able obtain custody of my daughter Tekoah when she was a little girl.
I learned a lot about myself and about others. I had opportunities to grow spiritually and for that I will always be thankful. It wasn’t until later, after my children were older that I began to blossom as a person and become stronger in my individuality and question what I was doing with my life, which is something that I really needed to do. I had experienced what it meant to serve the whole but I also needed to grow as an individual and I didn’t feel that I could do that within the structure of the Family as it was. As it turns out the land was lost; I was free to go my way, and the rest is history, and, in my opinion, all for the best.
I had a revelation/vision up at our home site at the ranch one year that showed me without a doubt that life is eternal and indeed we are one. I later wrote a description and a poem about this experience. I will say that this revelation was one that reinforced my understanding of the Sacred Feminine part of God, which I thought would not fit within the male dominated system of the Family, especially in light of the Charter and my understanding of it. I had trouble with some of the interpretations.
As far as what to build from this point on, I truly don’t wish to recreate the past, or to necessarily live together as we once did. In the past I felt had so little control over my own reality and I truly was not happy with my living situation, both physically and emotionally, for many years. I still have painful memories of incidents concerning my children and other children in the Family and the helplessness I felt as a parent. I have no desire to live a life structured by someone else. I don’t mind working together and I love being around my family and good friends but I need to live motivated by my heart.
With regard to China Bend I have a special place in my spirit for the sanctuary that it has represented to me over the years, both the land itself and the households I lived with, especially in the early days. There was a quality and a genuineness of life that resonated with me in a profound way. I lived there when there was only two buildings and later some yurts, and enjoyed all the seasons; the planting, the harvest, summer days on the river with the children, and sewing with my dear friend Devotion in the deep of winter when we were both pregnant. We had little in the way of material things or elaborate housing yet I was completely happy. I am thrilled that Randy and Tekoah and others (including Ariel and me) have land and happy to have a retreat and the opportunity to be a part of the community. We have named our piece on the hill Pine Grove. I hope and pray that we continue to preserve China Bend as a sanctuary not only for our family but for the purpose of honoring and protecting our Mother Earth.
You stated that “we need to truly know each other” so by writing and reflecting over these past several years I am starting with “know thyself” because I believe that to know myself is the best service I can be to others; and that only by being true to myself will I become a fully realized being. I accept the “things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.
Something I wrote awhile back:
Things I Have Learned and my Goals for Daily Life:
To accept myself, live from my heart and realize the purpose in my life is to know myself and to live from that center, to know that God is everywhere and that there is an infinite purpose in all things.
To be kind in thought and deed, to forgive and let live.
To not judge.
We are all connected.
To use my power with wisdom and grace.
To be honest and clear as possible in my communications.
My family and friends are my dearest treasures.
To live each day in thankfulness for the beauty and the sacredness of life.