My thoughts seem to be coming in song fragments. Some are personal. One asks to be shared.

“Tis a gift to be simple, tis a gift to be free, tis a gift to come down where you ought to be. To turn and to turn shall be my delight, and in turning, turning to come down right.”

My life is being turned upside down, and I’m simultaneously riding on the whirlwind and standing aside, watching the wind (up to 60mph outside my window at the moment) figuratively shred the golden chains that have held me trapped in patterns of thought, belief, behavior that appeared to be good but which were nonetheless ensnaring.

How subtle is our mental training to be “good”, to think in dichotomies, to turn away from what John Eldredge, in Wild at Heart, calls our God-given nature. In order to be “a good Christian” (Eldredge) or to be a responsible partner, or a good family man. Or so as not to be labeled “bossy” as a young girl, or called that other “b” word when, as a mature woman, I speak up, speak out, speak my truth.

“Be a good girl and…” do whatever I’m being asked to do, whether or not that something is good for me.
“Good little boys don’t…” do whatever it is the adult is unhappy at seeing happen.

It’s called socialization, and it’s what good parents do when raising their children to fit into society – and what not such good parents do when projecting their own malformed views onto their children. In both cases – and all the variations in between the two extremes of positive and negative parenting – the resulting imprinting takes a lifetime to understand and clear away, if one is even capable of understanding and clearing it.

What my Master calls iron shackles and golden chains – the imprinted concepts from upbringing and karmic bonds – are what his students work to become aware of, and to release. The shackles are usually obvious – habits like addiction, that limit and restrict opportunity, or behaviors that can be labeled anger, greed, attachment, pride. The golden chains are much more difficult to recognize because they come disguised as positives like responsibility, or being a good ______ (fill in the blank).

Remember What You Are

Remember What You Are

I’m not suggesting one shouldn’t strive to be good at whatever one sets as a goal – developing and using skills is a satisfying and fulfilling effort. Being good at is not the same as being good. Active little boys, expressing their inborn nature, may be good at stirring things up, exploring and challenging and daring to try, all behaviors that can get them labeled as disruptive by a teacher who wants them to sit still for school lessons. A bright little girl with natural leadership skills will hear that she’s being unacceptably bossy when she tries to take over direction of a playground game.

Breaking golden chains, then, can be considered as learning to distinguish being good from being good at, and giving oneself permission to simply Be… good at certain things, not so good at others, but acceptable and accepted and loveable and loved, nonetheless.

Because you are Soul, perfect and beautiful, warts and all.

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