Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Jaguar Medicine: Integrity

What does it mean to be in integrity?

We all see enough examples of people who appear not to be living in integrity, from the corrupt politician to the person (‘innocently‘) grazing their way through the supermarket produce section.

I used to run myself through ‘the Ruby test’ as a guide: if I was considering doing something that I wouldn’t feel comfortable telling my daughter about, I figured that I probably shouldn’t be doing it. It was a little problematic as a litmus test, though; after all, there were things that I wouldn’t feel I could tell her when she was an infant that I’d be alright telling her now that she’s older.

I’m not by any means saying that I act with integrity in everything I choose to undertake (I don’t have any fewer shadows on my Jaguar coat than the next light-being shrouded in an egoically-driven body), but now I run my motivations for acting past Raccoon and Turtle…

…would the actions I’m considering be of benefit to someone less fortunate? In other words, am I sharing the wealth of the gifts and opportunities I’ve been blessed with to the advantage of someone who could use them, or am I looking instead to obtain something for myself (think of Raccoon as a masked Robin Hood, passing on good fortune).

…will it teach someone how to help themselves, rather than take advantage of or turn them into a victim (am I kicking Turtle onto its back, or allowing it to right itself)?

…is it honouring the healing of Mother Earth (is Turtle smiling as she plods along, carrying all of us on her back, or is she blinking through oil-stained lids)?

The more I meditate on/live it, the more I realize that the ‘right and wrong’ of integrity is forever in flux. With each new experience, it becomes evident that integrity isn’t a static thing. Once we come across something that’s never been perceived before, we’re into totally new territory, and trying to keep up by making value-judgements based on an old paradigm can be really confusing and limiting. That said, Raccoon and Turtle as guides hold true (for me), especially if I envision a world living in balance, with us still in it.

We’re travelling lately, and are nearing Spain at the moment. It’s a place famous for - among other things - bullfighting. I’ve been considering how that resonates with me, and what it means for ‘us’ (’us’ being everything that Mother Earth/Turtle supports). As a medium and healer, I recognize a responsibility to remain non-judgemental. And while I also realize that facing your fears and insecurities is the best way to grow, my personal opinion is that bullfighting is a way of subduing nature in a way that alienates us from our greatest strengths, our integral nature as a manifestation of Spirit‘s Divine Love. It challenges my hope for our peaceful, loving, joyous co-existence on this lovely planet (as much as does seeing statues of horse-mounted, armoured men spearing dragons).

The realization I’ve come to is that the challenge is to recognize, face and heal what you fear, but to do it with love rather than aggression. If you’re doing it with aggression (and not for the evolution of whatever it is that is your challenge), you’re still doing it out of fear, too afraid to Love. There is nothing external to be conquered. It’s an inside job, and it doesn‘t have to be a fight.

(Hearfelt thanks to Licia Berry for permission to use the accompanying image, as well as her healing and profound insight)

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