Receiving Love is One of the Greatest Gifts You Can Give Someone

I was reading a book called “It Didn’t Start With You”, and it impressed me how the author searched for healing for years, and finally after having two prominent gurus tell him: “Go home and talk to your parents”, he did. And he learned to receive their love. He’d done lots of healing with his parental relationship, but the last step was to finally receive their love. Even if it wasn’t perfect. He wrote about his body going stiff at first while letting his mom hug him and asking her to keep hugging him until something inside him began to melt. But it took a while – and more than just one hug.

That made me think of my own parents.  In an effort to heal and create my own life, I feel almost like I need to push them away and create boundaries to protect myself. But this way feels a lot more loving.

And then I realized: one of the greatest gifts you can give someone is to receive their love. How many people wait a lifetime for their love to be received? And once we die, I think one of the main things we check first is: did I give and receive love in this lifetime?

If a person is a narcissist all their life but they give one moment of love that is received – their life was worth living.

And so much for not feeling worthy to receive love.  When we receive love, we’re giving a gift to the world by making people’s lives more valuable for the giving of it.

A Poem About Leaving the Holdeman Mennonites

Oh Holdeman,
Your spell is cast,
Your lure is thick,
But love comes last.

Your promise of inclusion hollow,
If I lay down my self to follow.

You promise everlasting life,
If I don’t have sex till I’m a wife,
If I wear black cloth upon my head,
And submit to the man who wins my bread,

If I debase myself at least,
If I choke my voice until it’s ceased,
If I wear a dress to cover me up,
And with ex-members will not sup,

If I keep myself from worldly pleasures
And guilt myself from having leisure,
Remember that I’m Original Sin,
And beg God in heaven to let me in.

Why would such a dreadful place
Lure me in, in any case?
Who would go there by volunteer?
Who would bend them an ear?

If you’re part of the group,
You get the perks,
If you go to church,
If you have good works,
If you grew up there, and it’s all you know,
It only makes sense, that’s where you go.

Thanksgiving potlucks and Christmas programs,
Mennonite food and casseroles and hams,
Private schools that are friendly and small,
Cultural structures to guide us all.

Peer pressure is a powerful thing,
It keeps you dancing to whatever they sing,
If you can’t trust yourself,
Your own wisdom is shelved,
Your only guidepost is what others say,
You’re easy to pull, easy to sway.

But they can’t do that if you trust your own voice,
If you value yourself, and what makes you rejoice,
(They have a name for that –
It’s called “independent spirit”,
You get expelled for that
So you better fear it.)

It’s hard to leave this entanglement,
Without getting broken, torn, and bent,
Many old ways to die on the altar,
So many times we stumble and falter,

Now that we left, now we’re alone,
The winds of our thoughts and emotions moan,
The cold cuts like knives without communal fire,
Sometimes it feels bad, sometimes it feels dire.

But I can’t go back, I won’t ever go back,
That fire wasn’t warm,
That community did harm,
To the beautiful self I now know that I am,
To the friends that I know, and all of my fam.

I’ve gained wisdom, I’ve gained scars,
I know my soul comes from the stars,
I know I’m strong in my heart of hearts,
I’m creative, I have the Arts.

Sometimes I’m proud of my heritage,
Of parts of it, maybe a page,
But most of the book will be rewritten,
Much will be known that used to be hidden,
The story changes now with me,
The path has turned, the path is free,
I’m freeing now what used to be frozen,
I am the one that I have chosen.

And light shines on my path ahead,
What’s behind me feels quite dead,
Storms may buffet me as I go,
But the Light within me is the one that I know,
There’s so many places I’ve never been,
The most important is within,
All I can say is Blessed Be,
To myself who is following Me.

Oh Holdeman,
I’ve now become
A Whole-de-Woman.

Written by Monica Rose
Copyright 2021

New Year’s Resolutions?

I felt funny about making goals this year. I know what I want, but sometimes what the universe brings me is even better than what I choose. I think this is my best path right now: I envision the best future I can think of, I put myself in the way of it, and then let Source do the rest (including random twists and turns I may not have thought of).

What I mean by ‘putting myself in the way of it’ is that if I want a job, I apply to everything that I like or that feels right. If I want a romantic partner, I go to events, do online dating, and put myself in places where I might be likely to meet him.

You know like ‘god helps those who help themselves’? I’m giving god a leg up in helping me lol.

So technically I know the Creator and me are one and the same being, but I’m not always in that state of awareness, so when I’m not, this is how I’ll do it.

When I’m having trouble manifesting and creating the life I desire, I just remember that in the higher realms (where I do know I’m also the Creator), it’s so easy to create something that I can do it just by thinking of it. And I think about how boring that would be after a while, and then I’m grateful for the challenge of manifesting and creating in this slow realm. I’m going to see what I can make out of it, because I know that every experience that I have helps other beings (who are also part of my creator self) grow more too.

So my New Year’s resolution is to put myself in the way of my dreams and open my heart to the twists and turns that come my way. I believe if we’re not manifesting what we want, we’re manifesting what we need.

Traditions for the Land

Robin Wall Kimmerer writes about how when the settlers came to Turtle Island, they brought their traditions of people and culture but not traditions of the land. I think that’s because traditions of the land come from and belong to the land they were born on. Those traditions are for the land.

I want a whole culture who celebrates the land too. Hundreds of people. The land says it’s new year on solstice. The land gives plenty, and the land dies back to hibernation. That’s where ALL, absolutely all of our ideas for life come from. Even our consumerism ideas come from the land. We just forgot to balance it out. All of our ideas for how to live life come from the land, because our bodies are made of the land, and that’s what life is made of. Our ideas can’t be different from life.

So I will take myself back to the traditions of my ancient ancestors who were more connected to the land. I will listen and receive their spiritual wisdom, and then I wait. I yearn to learn the wisdom of my ancestors AND listen to the songs of this land. To blend them. This land my ancient ancestors never touched. But this land has caretakers who know it. I will ask them who this land is and what it needs. I will listen to the land. And when I am ready to hold it, I will know it.

In your holiday celebrations, don’t forget to invite a most important guest – the land who is your mother. Or perhaps she is inviting you.


In the interest of studying my ancestry, I go past Mennonite, past Christianity, to my ancestors whom some would call pagan.  I call them the Ones who were connected to the land.

This year I hosted a Yule gathering and studied more about it. These are some of the details I found:
•It used to be called ‘Jól’.
•Yule fires and logs are to bring back the sun and protect from dark spirits.
•The Holly King and the Oak King fight at the summer and winter solstices. In the summer, the Holly King wins, and in the winter, the Oak King wins. (Also known as the Red King – Holly, and the Green King – Oak.)  This is where the symbol of Father Christmas, Santa Claus, St Nicholas comes from.  He’s a combination of the Oak King who is the good giver, and the Holly King who is the wicked punisher.
• Elves were thought to inhabit the land of the Sun, and the Nordic peoples wanted to enlist the help of the Elves to bring back the Sun.
•The Sun was a female goddess to the Norse people, and the Moon was a male god. Sól (or Sunna) and Máni.
•Bells were rung to drive away demons that surfaced during the dark time of year.
•Trees were brought indoors to give the tree spirits somewhere to stay warm over the cold winter and were also a symbol of the Tree of Life, Yggdrasil.
•The wreath symbolized the Wheel of Life.
•Odin’s wild hunt is associated with Yule. He is also a god of the dead, and midwinter was a time associated with thinning of the veils and moving on of the dead. The dead were closer during dark winter months.  Odin, Sleipner (his 8 legged horse), and their howling company would come to gather the dead, and people would leave gifts for them. (Also like leaving gifts for Santa.) This was a time for people to let go of their dead, let them move on, and plan for the renewal of spring. It’s about the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. This is much like Halloween associations, and the holidays are not far apart.
•Wassailling has a few different associations. It’s about singing to apple orchards to wake them up so they will give a good crop and to scare away the dark spirits. It was also a tradition where people would take a decorated wassail bowl, go to people’s homes, and sing the wassail song. Then the people would give them money, food, or drink in exchange and pit it in their wassail bowl (also sounds like Halloween). At Yule gatherings, the host would serve a cup of wassail, give a toast to their guests and say, “waes hael” (meaning ‘be well, be hale, good health’), and the guests would say, “drinc hael” (meaning ‘drink and be well’).
•People were encouraged during the 12 days of Yule to drink and eat to gluttony, to make the next year better.  Makes sense to have a need to fatten up in cold winters.

My own summary is that Yule is about:
Chasing away darkness and evil spirits.
Bringing back the Sun, the birth of the Sun.
Letting go of the dead and old.
Creating the New Year to be prosperous.

I can feel the connection to the land that is behind these traditions. All celebrations involved the land. To borrow the idea of what Robin Wall Kimmerer says in Braiding Sweetgrass, we settlers brought the celebrations that honor our people and traditions, but the land centred celebrations were lost. I think it’s time to bring them back, but in a way that celebrates this land and it’s songs as well. More on that in coming blog posts, so stay tuned!

Happy Yuletide everyone! Waes Hael!

Telling the Truth

Nothing heals more than to have myself reflected back honestly.  Without that, I’m like a bat flying around, sending out signals and getting back nothing. I don’t know where I am in space. I don’t know where I am as a human.

Every time someone reflects back the truest truth they can see, that changes. Every time we speak the truest truth we know, the act of speaking it can change our reality. It can change the very truth we just spoke. But we need that truest truth to begin the movement. Otherwise we stagnate. 

Truth can be said in loving ways. Truth doesn’t always hurt.  If it cuts and bruises people, perhaps it is not the full truth. Sometimes truth does hurt, but if we’re ready for it, it feels like kneading a knot in our muscle – painful, but right.

Truth can be said gently with phrases like: ‘I really want to share how I’m feeling and I also don’t want to hurt you by doing that.’  Admitting our conflicting emotions is also the truth.

Truth is medicine, when used right. Truth faced before we’re ready can bring mental illness. I think it’s important to be gentle with ourselves. To ever seek the truest truth we can find, but also, let ourselves rest on the plateau sometimes.  We can’t always be climbing.

Human Emotions

Oh I feel so empty and sad –
Is this a good feeling or is it a bad?
When I love myself through and through,
Even the sad become something new,
I long for my lover,
I long for another,
My heart pounds like the ocean waves,
My heart breaks like the water breaks.
What a human emotion,
This sadness in motion,
In acceptance there is peace,
In compassion there’s a feast,
I’m too tired to write anymore,
While I sleep, new perspectives are born…

July 2018
Copyright Monica Rose

Winter Night

It’s awesome out tonight…
Icey snow crunches under my boots…
Fresh, crisp air makes me gasp…
The horizon hints of orange…
My puppy pulls me along on the leash, quite sure I’ll never find the way without her…
The wind whispers,
Like it always does…
It whips my hair and leaves me breathless…
The darkness gathers around me, and pulls me into itself…
I shiver and head back to the warm house…

Copyright Monica Rose

Wait and See

His words scratch at the inside of the hollow clay container of my heart,
I feel too empty to appreciate them,
So they sound like scratching.
The work I do fills me up and
Empties me again and again.
Sometimes it empties me more than it fills me.
So I have to fill myself in other ways.
And I wonder if I should stop doing it.
But it is familiar.
And when they love me, I am rich.
But when they need endlessly,
So do I.
If I could just express the ideas inside of me,
And be a endless fountain of creativity,
If I could just read for as long as my mind was thirsty,
Then maybe his words when scratch so much.
Maybe I could give from what I have and not lend on borrowed money.
Maybe, but there are too many variables to say for sure.
Maybe his words will always scratch sometimes and
Maybe my work will never empty me entirely,
So that I have enough to carry on.
I do not know.
I will have to wait and see.

April 2018
Copyright Monica Rose

A Fountain of Earth Life

As a race, we embrace Earth
We Are One
We hold out our arms to surround Her.
She flows into our hearts and out the other side
into the stars and the universes.
I Am
a fountain of Earth life,
and that is all right,
finally it is all right.

Spring 2017

Copyright Monica Rose

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