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  • Judy Mortellaro

Recently, I sat with Vulnerable and traveled into his essence. He comes as a cloak of protection when fright arises. It was not difficult to feel his fear and ingest his anxiety. I recognized it as a familiar fundamental quality that has journeyed with me many times before. The gnawing in my guts; the pounding in my chest; the shortened breath. His nature is defenseless, however. His power usurped as his weak boundaries are easily scaled. The chinks in his mortared aura violently tapped into gaps that sanction easy access to his being. Oxymoronic, however, since the more he engages to protect, the less effective he is.

As I trekked deeper into Vulnerable's being, I encountered another facet of his being. There was an inner doorway to the protection he sought. When the gaps in his aura are opened, a seemingly quiescent transition occurs. The light moves inward and when Vulnerable is willing, the channels to fear are closed. The light shines inward and sparks the passionate inner self. Vulnerable now becomes a risk taker. One who is willing to risk letting his true self shine forth. No further need for fear because the true self is only Love. Love trumps fear. Freedom ensues and with it joy.

  • Judy Mortellaro

Having just returned from seeing the movie about Mr Rogers, I am flooded with emotion and memory. Sadly, he was not a part of my childhood television programs, but I am and have always felt fortunate that he was part of my life as a mother. Not only did he teach children about how to deal with feelings, but he also taught parents how to talk to their sons and daughters. Furthermore, he liked me “...just the way I am.” It is this notion I contemplate most every day. When I review relationships of this life, I now realize my part in those that have faltered and dissolved. I attempted to change my friend or lover or family member. My perspective was the “right” one. I was, I thought, helping another and at the same time, making my life better. I see now, that, I did not take Mr. Roger’s teachings to heart. I loved that he liked me just the way I am, but was blind to see the message forward.

Inwardly, I know that I did not accept his love for me. I know that I did not like my “just” the way I was. I was in the habit of trying to impress others. I was dressing, eating, exercising, talking, acting, in manners I thought would most impress others - ways that would make them like me. Ultimately, if I did like me for who I was, certainly how could others?

Globally, my heart tells me that if we could only accept others as fellow humans doing the best they can with what they have to do it with at the time they are doing it, we would be operating at a much higher level of vibration than we are now. Yes, there are sanctions we must exert to maintain peace and protection for all. Yet, in the end, if Love were our guiding principle and acceptance of others perspectives; be it on religion, politics, diet, way of life; there would be far less hate crimes, killings, wars, and chaos in this beauteous, glorious Earth we are blessed to inhabit.

I thank you Mr Rogers for your glorious and grand messages to us all. I now commit to my Self to emulate him until my dying day.

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  • Judy Mortellaro

Grief arises swiftly with loss and takes residence in the deep caverns of the heart. It can be cold with lack of light in the closed off rooms once filled with joy. It can be hot as it passionately burns holes in the linings of reality. Grief has no favorites. It is quick to rush in when a last breath is taken; when a pump no longer beats like a drum; when a step is no longer taken alongside another. No questions asked, no forms to fill out, no interviews to establish appropriateness. It is not possible to prepare for grief. It is inconceivable to prevent its emergence. When grief finds a home, it is reluctant to move. It is all consuming and eats the fuel that energizes and supports living. It causes pain and clouds awareness.

What then is grief's role? How can grief be so selfish and thrive on the throbbing pain inevitable and inherent in what's been taken so thoughtlessly, so cruelly? Is there any light to be had out of the grief? Is there nothing good about grief? Is true then that grief is synonymous with suffering and pain?

Grief loves more grief. It thrives on its own ego. It is requesting more of the same to be able to gain strength and momentum. It will grow as much as it is given the space to do so. How is it possible to evict grief once it takes residence? Can light fill the holes grief burns? Can a being dig out of the darkness and rid itself of grief?

Perhaps grief asks for nothing more than recognition. A chance to be embraced? Perhaps when grief is met in the depths of its lonely cave, it is given its moment to be

known as the "soul" of loss. Perhaps, grief does not burn holes or close doors without purpose. Rather, alternatively it requests attention and presence to be a partner, an escort into the darkness only to be a part of the journey towards the light. Perhaps, grief does have a role, a forever role, a guide that doesn't allow forgetfulness, yet provides openings to draw in the light. A light that surrounds the pain and alters the suffering. A light that fosters love and compassion. Perhaps, then, grief is a gift.