Hate Trump?

Hate Trump?

That makes me sad. Sadder than anything he has done besides make us hate him. Hating him gives him power over us.

Many who hate him will never meet him. Don’t get me wrong: I am not saying that his persona would be less repulsive if we know him; my guess is the opposite. I’m saying that it makes me sad that such a self-destructive emotion can be triggered in us by someone we’ve never even met.

More sadness: Hate is more contagious than any germ, because media can’t transmit a virus.

Where is the outrage? That’s a question I can stomach OK. But if I’m reading psychology right, rage is a motivating emotion. I can understand if many of us think we have no other way to express that than by unproductive tribalistic hate in solidarity. But I cannot be anything except sad when that expression deepens or spreads poison.

I don’t want to be deeply affected by an administration that will eventually pass into history with very little effect left behind. Go ahead and lambaste me about all the damage he is doing. By my reading of history, the damage done by bad leaders is inextricably due in part to the strong emotions evoked in a populace. Rage is making us complicit in Trump’s ill work. Hate and unproductive outrage are doing the deeper damage to our nation’s soul.

I beg Trump-haters to look past their confirmation biases and tribalism and more deeply to their individual souls. Hate and unproductive outrage are not good for a person’s soul, so cannot be for the soul of our nation.

I beg Trump-haters to remember that half our nation elected him. That means the person to our left or right was just as likely to vote for as against. Anti-Trumpism leaves their mistaken support no way out. If they are ashamed, our hatred motivates their defenses, not a pause, nor honest reflection, nor reconsideration. If their conversion is not our wish, then what is? Is it more important for us to be on the right side than to be a good for our own selves and our country? If it is, that makes me sad too, because that’s basely unpatriotic.

Trump voters can’t hear any willingness to engage them over our shouts of vitriol. We have nothing to gain by rancor and shouting but the affirmation of our tribe, which of course we already have; where is the value in hating and unproductive rage? Nowhere. We’re unpatriotic (after all, he was elected by our democratic republic), and we’re hypocrites.

Do we honestly feel better after expressing these emotions destructively? Outrage is a motivating emotion, and we are certainly motivating–motivating people against us to be more defensively against us. Motivating more division. Killing America’s soul.

In a decade or so, I think history may look back on this administration and extol its remarkable and timely value to our country. Trump electors got to express their fear, anger, and disenfranchisement. And Trump haters got a scapegoat they needed to do the same thing. I suppose if we all get to pour out our poison, at least it doesn’t stay inside us.

Neil D. 2020-03-17

Ode to a Sacred Twig – An exercise for the soul

[5 minute read]

Ode to a Sacred Twig – An exercise for the soul

Things are sanctified by our own endowment, sanctifying us

Have a child or friend bring to you a twig or stick from outdoors, free on the ground; ask them not to freshly break one off a tree or bush. The stick can have branches (preferred), or not, and be a practical size, as small as your hand, or no longer than your forearm.

Receive it and handle it tenderly. Keep it in a sacred box or bag. The point of this meditation is that it has a soul and is in fact sacred. We endow more holiness by our reverence for any thing.

Display it now on a white or bright cloth, paper towel, or napkin.

Note how it rests on that surface. What points of the twig touch the surface, and what points float above it.
Hold it in your hands and behold all of its features. Grooves, cracks, the smoothness or jaggedness of the break which separated it from a tree.
Smell it.
If you wish, snap a piece off. But keep it always with its parent.

Yahweh… [repeat three times, saying the name as a whisper as you exhale deep diaphragm breaths that fill your lungs from the bottom up, like water flows into a vessel]

I bless you for this sacred stick…

I bless the soul you have breathed into this wood… which makes it holy.

I bless you for MY sacred soul which comes from the same being, you.

This sacred stick blesses my soul through wonder, and imagination…

Perhaps it was born a bud atop a tree towering three stories toward heaven…

Nourished by precious water gathered by its parent rooted in earth…

Perhaps it was a majestic arm extending royally green leaves to the sun’s warm energy…

Creative, creating part of restful shade cast by hundreds of its sister leaves.

Perhaps songbirds alighted for a brief spell on its larger brethren nearby…

Perhaps energetic squirrels frolicked in its neighborhood, and this branch danced in joy, delighted by that company…

Yahweh, we bless you for these fellow creatures…

We bless you for your rain and sun that gave life to this twig.

We bless you for the reign of your Son who gives life to the souls of all things.

We bless you for the whispering wind which, gentle like your Spirit, coaxed this twig to separate from its parent…

We thank the marvelous tree that brought life to this branch of itself.

We bless that parent which felt the loss, and thank it for surrendering it to us.


We bless you for imparting soul to this stick and its parent, so they can be forever one.

For the breeze and snap which initiated its journey…

For your gift of gravity which sustained its journey to us…

Perhaps interrupted by rests cradled in the arms of its branch brethren…

Perhaps it was caught and rested in an hospitable bed of tender leaves on the earth…

A bed that rustled when you coaxed them to speak by breezes resembling your Spirit, keeping this twig company…

As it wondered why the birds and squirrels did not choose it for their nests.

Now, for some time, it will rest with us, as sacred company and a holy guest.

Let it care for our souls as we care for its soul.

It’s now an inseparable part of our eternal souls.


We bless you for souls…


[Add, trim, or compose your own narrative for your holy visitor, to honor it. Consider reading parts on different days, shorter readings and more time spent adoring the object. Perhaps improvise some days as you behold it. Some days say nothing, and just observe how it rests on the throne you have consecrated for it. Say the prayer with a group as they pass it around, watching each other adore it, appreciating effusive souls in moments of wonder. Whatever you do, do “do” something. The soul is an eternal being of action, and mindfulness need not always pursue stillness. Nothing can move like the affected soul!]

Related FeelWithNeil:

(KINGDOMS 1) Mystical Gardeners

(KINGDOMS 2) Dances with Leaves

-Neil D. 2020-03-12

My love letter to you PS

A loving relative responded to “My love letter to you“:

It is one thing to be sad about something, but if it persists and disrupts your life, you may not have “sadness”, you may have clinical depression. If so, please find help.

There’s no doubt I was disabled for a little while by clinical depression. That was about two years ago now. Five different pills, none good. By the grace of God, I stuck with my 4 forms of therapy, down to 1 today, and the other 3 not ruled out if I feel the needs again.

“Help” doesn’t mean any more than help. Help doesn’t do the work for me. But it led to answering my soul’s summons. Pills and therapy transference ran their course. “Persists” and “disrupts” are tricky words. Impatience to feel better is trickier. The clinic can’t be a home. The depression couldn’t be chased away. And it’s still there in the form of sadness and my soul’s dark night, so the transformation that depression began is still underway. That’s what the depression wanted.

Darkness is where I’m befriending my Shadows. And they are as deeply beautiful as all that is found in light. As the transformation proceeds, I’m growing more willing to turn my eyes to both the darkness and light, without looking away from either in overwhelm, disgust, fear, or numbing. Only *I* can grow *me*. “Without God, I can’t; without me, God won’t.”

Those angels who loved/love me were/are my pills and ‘help’ which helped me survive long enough to wander into the beautiful darkness that awaited me, without mortally wounding my Self first. Thank you for love.


My love letter to me

My love letter to me
…from my mom,
…from my soul,
…from me.

[6 minute read]

My rational mind loves theology, and I can wrap many of my beliefs into tidy packages to delight my reason. But that’s horribly dangerous, just like this theology: “The wages of sin is death, and you need a savior.”

“Do you NOW see and feel, Neil? Despite the crown of thorns, humiliation, false charges, excruciating death, do I threaten my wrath? ‘Forgive them, Abba…’ He was not begging on your behalf because you are unworthy of Our love. He was vocalizing what flows inseparably FROM Our love. Our sadness that you ‘know not what you do…’ To your Selves.

“Do you NOW see and feel, Neil? When I, your passionate and personal God, say that I love you unconditionally, that means no necessity of forgiveness. Our acts of love are not to show you how sinful you are. They are deeds to show you the purity of Our love for you. There’s no need at all for forgiveness when all is love….

“Love does not originate FROM or BY forgiveness. Love is no hostage, contingent on redemption by contrition and absolution. There is NO requirement that forgiveness PRECEDE My love. Neither offense nor guilt affect pure love. Nothing binds love. Forgiveness is a coincidence of true love, NOT a prelude…

“Look at me, my son Neil. LOOK at me. Don’t be afraid. Look at my Son’s crucified, bloody face. Does He look angry?

“The sadness on his face is for you. His face is My face. I am not angry and demanding justice because you have hurt Me. I am the Lord your God, Who fears nothing. I do not fear being hurt. But I can and do feel hurt. I can and do feel sadness. They are part of love, and I AM love. So I am also Hurt. I am also Sadness. But hurt and sadness out of love, not out of fear. Fear is not part of love. Do not fear that you have hurt me, and need my forgiveness. For I love you already. Fearlessly, and fiercely.

“You only fear Me because you cannot feel and trust the fullness of pure love — yet. My Son’s passion is a show of love’s purity, not a message that you need to fear Us, nor that you needed His sacrifice…

“My Son’s passion is Our love story for you, Neil. Don’t corrupt it into a tragedy about sin and penalty and any sense of justice and consequences and conditions and laws and rules…

“His love is pure. My love is pure. Conditions and rules for gaining it are impurities.

“I am sad, because you hurt your self, child. I, the Lord Almighty, BEG and PLEAD with you, Neil… I do not COMMAND you by any other power or authority except love… Fearsomeness is false power, and I am not false. Love holds no space for fear. And I am love…

“Your very Creator is begging and pleading for you to feel Our love in the story of my Son’s life. We do not wish for you to see some sacrifice to atone for your shame and restore your worthiness. Our love is NOT affected by your sin. It doesn’t stop just because you sin. Don’t be so conceited to think you can diminish Our love! Let this love story fly past your ego and annihilate barriers of shame, to touch your tender soul, sweet boy…

“The story of Yeshua is about Our goodness and YOUR goodness… Our and your OUTRAGEOUS capacity for love. Be outraged about that! Stop – STOP – making it about your badness and failure to love. You are hurting and saddening Us and your eternal Self by your ego-centeredness. Center the story on your WHOLE Self, as I made you. Be Self-centered about THAT story.

“Look at me, my son Neil. LOOK at me. Don’t be afraid.

“Let this story through your ego-self to your soul-Self. Begging… Pleading… In love… THAT is who We are.

“Know your shame, son. We do. Let it waft into your ego’s consciousness, and your whole Self can be compassionate with it, as We are. Your repression is keeping Our love from your soul. Even your ego, Neil, can love Us, and can love all of you, if your soul can embrace your whole Self tenderly, as We created it to do. You are made to love. Your soul can do its work, son.

“Imagine my Son’s face at the wedding in Cana, with a joyous smile crinkling his eyes. Imagine the fiery warmth of those eyes locked on the eyes of the woman to be stoned, ‘Nor do I condemn you…’ That is not a warmth that flows FROM forgiving; it is the fire of passionate love, from which forgiveness – like all things truly and purely good – cannot be separated.

“We hurt when those whom We love feel hurt. Just as you do. ‘I have become one of you.’ I have joined humanity because humanity is worthy. You are worthy of Our unconditional love because that love is Ours to give, NOT yours to earn. NO conditions. I am all-powerful. And I am in you. Our power is not rooted in meting out justice. Do not be afraid. Our power is love. I dwell in you: YOUR power is love.

“The moment I and your mother brought you to life, she held you in her arms, and adored you with unconditional love. You had done nothing to earn or deserve it. It was hers to give, not yours to earn. Your soul is no different from your mother’s. Your soul is no different from Me.

“You too have unbounded power to give love without conditions. Please, Neil, pour it out, unshackled by shame, with NO conditions. And, please, begin with pouring it onto my own infinitely lovable son, whom your mother named Neil…

Neil D. 2020-03-06

Related: My love letter to you, My love letter to you PS

A Who’s Power

As the occasional visitor departed my home, we thanked each other. TJ thought I was thanking him for cleaning up, and cooking lunch, while he poured out his heart to me vulnerably. He pulled his car away, and I thought, “I do not welcome you into my home because of WHAT you are to my home. I welcome you because of WHO you are to me.”

You are a Who — not a What — not bounded by Why/How or When/Where. You are a Who.

And so is the Divine calling us. It is not a What. The divine is a Who.

A Who is the hardest of all things to grasp. Which makes a Who the most worthy thing to grasp at. A Who is not some objective truth, archetype, or objective reality. ‘Who’ is the opposite of objective. A Who is the opposite of objectivity. A Who is the opposite of a thing, or a What.

Why is a Who so incomprehensible? Why does a huge Who seem so richly infinite? Because a Who is. That’s Why. A Who is, in the fullest sense of animated “is.”

My mom was not this. My dad was not that. My child was not this when I need my child to be this. My partner was not that when I needed my partner to be that. These are not this is or that. These are not What’s. These are not things. These are Who’s. There is no this or that without the agency of Who’s. This or that, the What and Why – these pass. Even the When passes into timelessness. But not the Who.

Make your mark on a What at a When. Carve your initials into a tree: “___ was here.” The tree will pass. Your legacy of What cannot live forever. Can Who?

The Divine is a non-objectifiable Who, calling to us non-objectifiable Who’s.

Neil D. 2020–02–28

My love letter to you

If you fail at raising me out of my sadness, then you too will be sad. That will make me sadder. I choose and own my sadness right now because I believe it is where I am supposed to be, to be true to my Self. It is not despair. It is widening, not deepening.

I own my sadness and resignation. They are mine. And they are fueling my soul’s expansion. If it helps you to feel less uncomfortable, I would put it this way: My sadness, or resignation, or whatever disposition of mine makes you uncomfortable, is not deepening; it is a widening. It is not closing my heart; it is awakening it. I wish to let it do its work.

Because you care for me, you don’t like to see me sad or resigned. Thank you. And I love you for that. And I am asking you to love me as I am. I am no more or less broken than anyone else. I have fun, feel joy, behold and cherish beauty. I have that light. But I am more than just light. I also have darkness. And I am learning to cherish it as well.

I am genuinely sorry if that makes you uncomfortable. Genuinely. How can I be true to my Self and, at the same time, not make you uncomfortable? If you have a solution for this quandary, I warmly invite you to voice it to me.

I cannot bind my melancholy. I understand that you think I am creating my own melancholy where none is required, or at least less is required. I lovingly disagree. I believe, more widely and deeply each passing day, that I am where I am supposed to be. I am depressed, so in deep-rest. But I am not in despair. Nor am I stuck or stagnant. I am growing. My depression is widening. To me, that is not a bad thing. I feel it as becoming even more alive, more reunited with my soul, and the souls of others.

When I sense that my melancholy is saddening you, my sadness does deepen. I am sad that my need to feel my own hurt also hurts you. But I am consciously feeling my hurt, and think that I must, so that I will hurt my Self and other selves less, eventually.

Hug me. Tell me I’m a good person. Make me laugh. Laugh if I amuse you. But if you try to talk me out of my darkness, we will both get hurt. You will fail. And you will begin to think of me as someone who is hopelessly miserable, because I will not meet your expectation or aspiration. That will make you unhappy perhaps, and that is not my wish. Unless you choose your sadness for your Self, as I have. If you have, then please talk to me about it. That would be wonderful to me.

If you try to talk me out of my sadness, I will not like that. I will feel that as rejection. And I am far better at feeling sad than I am at feeling rejected:-)

I am learning to be happy and sad at the same time. It is my gift to my self. I understand it is hard to be around a person in darkness, so I am genuinely sorry if you are forced to be around me. Nor would I ask that you share your darkness with me until you are ready. That would be a gift to me as well.

Thank you for your gifts. Thank you for your love. Thank you for letting me be who I need to be right now, and still be connected to you. Connection with you is a treasure beyond measure. And my reverence for that – for you – is expanding in this growth phase I am in.

With love, and loving that I am yours,

Neil D. 2020–02–18

My love letter to you PS (This is not depression.)

My love letter to me