all images and stories are the property of Catherine Beerda-Basso and are not to be used without given permission...thank you

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Who are you NOT to?

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
 ~Marianne Williamson

I facilitated one of my Stillness in Nature retreats
this past weekend 
it was an amazing, beautiful, Spirit filled time....
The quote above was part of the
"Wisdom Bible"
that I put together for the participants.

It was a quote one of the women had not heard before
and it touched her deeply
She has gone ahead in the book and was reading through
the material and had come across it.
When she read it she felt as though 
it had been written for her.  
We discussed this truth of how we make ourselves small, 
and insignificant in a way to
play it safe.
We talked about how being awake, or enlightened 
does not necessarily
make life easier....
in fact often it causes disharmony and  unsettleness.
"Make no mistake about it--enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment in the crumbling away of untruth. It is seeing through the facade of pretense. It's the complete eradication of everything we thought to be true."
~ AdyaShanti

This discussion prompted me to share, with the ladies
 the following stor
From The Hillside
that I now share with you....

It is Thursday night...our third night in Colombia,
and we are returning from taking
two of our angels and their husbands out for dinner.
A gesture of our love and appreciation for the work
they are doing and what they are taking care of
at the center.
Karina is 23 and our administrator

I also dubbed her "the Keeper of The Stories"
as she was a huge contributor to my gathered knowledge.
Vivanna is our other angel...31 and a strong mother figure
to the children at our center.

She runs the after school programs and tutoring
 we offer our kids.
Their commitment is awe-inspiring.   
This would be my first night of break down
the first night when the tears flowed beyond my control
the night those words would pierce my own soul ...
"Who are you not to?"  

Through talking with Karina and Vivviana
  earlier that day
I gathered that one of our girls
12 years old
was being sexually molested by her 27 year old brother
she has not even had her first moon yet...
and to make matters closer to home 
her mother works in our kitchen
and was in denial about the situation.

 A universal human condition
I found through the stories I gathered
that no matter where you live
no matter what colour your skin
no matter what social demographic  
you are part of
no matter what social class you live in
human beings react the same
to those things they are not able to face
becomes the tool to dealing.

Once I had heard the story
in all it's versions
I knew there was only one thing to do...
 I would have to talk with the mother.

I took this picture of me
because I wanted to remember this night
The night when my insides turned out
and something changed forever inside me.
You see I sat in my own doubt
I questioned if I had the "right" to confront this mother
and not confront her in a judgmental way
no not that
for she herself is a victim
as abuse like this
in a place like this
more often than not
this I knew...

No I did not want to confront thru judgement
 I wanted to wake her up with Love's Truth
and in my room
late that night

I questioned this and doubt sat beside me
my own insecurities came to visit  
and for a few minutes
I questioned myself and my roll....
for this was all
very personal to me
But then in the mist of my confusion 
it came
The Voice
The one the comes from inside of us
but is yet beyond us
She said
"Who are you not to do this Catherine?"

Who was I not to do this?
And so as the tears streamed down my face
I pulled out a Prayer of Hope
and re-fused myself with Divine Truth

Great Spirit Prayer

A Native American Prayer by Lakota Sioux Chief Yellow Lark

Oh, Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the wind,
Whose breath gives life to all the world.
Hear me; I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty,
and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made
and my ears sharp to hear your voice
Make me wise so that I may understand
the things you have taught my people.
Help me to remain calm and strong
in the face of all that comes towards me.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock.
Help me seek pure thoughts and act with the intention of helping others.
Help me find compassion without empathy overwhelming me.
I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy
- Myself (My fears and my doubts).
Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes.
So when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my spirit may come to you without shame
(translated in 1877)      
That moment of decision changed something 
deep with in me
I did talk with Jorlees mom
It was uncomfortable and alien
when I began
and I had know idea what I was going to say
but I was not alone
and as the words began to flow
the awkwardness dispersed 
and I spoke
my heart to hers
mother to mother
abuse over-comer to abuse survivor  
And all those with me poured love on her
not judgment.

Our hope was to empower her.
To remind her of who she is to her children
that no matter how bleak...
they trust her
they need her
they look to her
to show them the way...
Who was she not to take a stand for her daughters
There is more to this story, but for here
it is enough.

And so I ask you
my lovelies...
who are you not to
follow your heart?
to shine your light?
and to share your love?
Love and Light


  1. Reading this, Your moment and struggle, the Bravery and movement in Compassion. I have tears streaming from my eyes as I digest this. Thank You for speaking up and bringing that Dark into the Light.
    Enlightenment is indeed a hard road. Raw.
    All the Love.

    1. thank you for your tears sister
      they heal, they quench, they bring life to those you cry for
      the dark makes the light, just that much brighter

      love and light

  2. I love that you spoke up and that you took your courage and your doubts and did what needed to be done. Denial serves no one and hurts people deeply. We are all mothers and as mothers we protect the children even those not born of us which often means bringing darkness to light. My heart is bursting full at your bravery and love xoxo

    1. It takes courage to move beyond ourselves, but to me it is the only way to cause a shift, make a change. I know that there is so much good and love that we can access in our lives, in our world...we just don't. That stops for me....I will no longer live like a prisoner, a slave, less then. I am living proof that there is more.
      thanks for reading sister
      I know this kind of subject matter is not easy, but it is life...and the more we face that these kinds of things are happening then the ore we can impact a change...keeping our heads in the sand about what is going on around us is just not good enough anymore...just not good enough
      love your heart
      love and light

  3. May I just say, that picture of you, lying there in deep contemplation, is beauty at it's best.
    I've always liked that saying, by M.W. about letting yourself shine. We are at our best when we shine through and share the vibrancy and confidence and feminine strength to the world around us. When we shine, others want to.
    What a lovely post from my lovely ringlet headed, courageous and big hearted friend, another woman who runs with the wolves and shines constant like the northern star. X

    1. ps
      about the image of me
      you'll notice I did put it in black and white as my face was all blotchy from

  4. oh L thank you! Funny that you see it as beauty and I so get what your is a very vulnerable type of feeling not at my best but yet you can see the beauty in wonderful how that works through when we allow it to do so.
    It is a powerful quote indeed

    I will meet you in the forest running with our pack♥

    love and light

  5. Brave Heart!! What an opportunity. Thinking of that momma and her baby girl... her son... intense.

    Adore you.. so grateful for you courage to speak in love to her.

    I have been thinking about you so much the past couple days... know that you are in my heart and I have been intentionally sending you love and light... BIG BIG hug.... Amy

    1. so intense...but such a beautiful unfolding...that is what I meant when I said to you there is heaven on this horrible unthinkable situation there was heaven, undeniably so...I just choose to see it. i see the darkness and the ugliness too...don't get me wrong I see it I FEEL it, but it is not the only thing there....
      thank you for your thoughts of me...I so love that and need that too...hugs to you to my sister friend

    2. Yes. I absolutely "get" what you mean.. 1000% percent!

      Adore you! Let's skype one day soon!

  6. "Who are you not to do this Catherine?" - I think that question can be asked by our Self in regard to everything we doubt but know deep down to resonate with the truest parts of us.

    I love you.


    1. I love you too my ray of sunshine
      you bless me every time you come visit
      thank you for that

      love and light

    I love that you listen to truth and speak it. And that question is so to the point. Lives can be changed if people speak love and truth in situations, not condemnation or judgement.
    I think I mentioned this song to you when we were visiting. This post reminded me of it.

  8. How did I miss this jewel? You have such a good brave heart. It's very tough to speak our truths in compassion and grace. I am so proud of you and honoured to know you. This is beauty everlasting

    1. glad you came to read....thank you
      everything you see in me...I see in you
      love you sister-friend

      love and light


Your voice is welcome here, your connection appreciated. Love and Light