About Me

My photo
I am a pastor and a clinical psychotherapist. My life's passion is defining healthiness from a human perspective and paralleling it to the holiness of God, divine perspective. Shifting perspectives creates a paradigm that is alongside of rather than over and against. The parakalein of God and the paradoxes of humanity are redefined. Humanity is all about winning and yet we are losing ground everywhere. Divinity is all about letting go of the desire to win and the fear of loss. The Divine embraces the world with loving care regardless of anything.

Search This Blog

Esteeming others better than you

Posted by Don Paine

Today I sat in a "memorial service" of an obviously loved and loving pastor.

I listened as person after person spoke about how she would not have believed that this many people would show up as she never really thought of herself s special but always treated people as if they were very special and unusually important.  This theme was spoken by the voices of old and young, nuclear family and church family, and religious community and general community.

The church was filled beyond capacity for this memorial service for this special person who treated everyone as special but did not think of herself as special at all.  This is why she would be so surprised to see hundreds of people there, nearly 500% of regular church attendance.

Philippians 2:3b "In humility consider others as better than yourself".  What a mindset to be mindful of others rather than minding other people's business. To esteem others better than yourself, not because they are, but because in doing so you are fulfilled while simultaneously fulfilling others.  In the economy of "spirit energy" when a humble spirit treats others as if they are more important than themselves the other person feels so valued and valuable that they automatically respond by treating you as having more importance than them. Instead of a mutual admiration society what this command intentionally creates (which is the intention of the creator) is a mutual affirmation of worth society that makes us all live better and be better inside and out.

What a gold mine toward "transformation".  As a group of youth put it to me upon discussing this principle and passage of scripture.  If I treat everyone as better than me and if everyone does that for everyone then everyone would feel better and be better toward everyone.  What a way to transform the world!  Imagine!

The secret of this pastor is that she practiced:  "in humility esteem others as better than you" and you will be affirmed as the best by all.

No wonder they came from far and wide to say "you made us feel loved" because she really loved them.
This is a tribute to a person and a principle.

In the sacred space of your today do and be sacred to others and sacred will come back to you!

Freedom to be, and being free are one

Posted by Don Paine

I recently read Daniel Pink’s book Drive and found it creative and compelling.  One of many thoughts it triggered in me is the thought that Adam and Eve we just human and as such modeled two human conditions that are polarizing and paralyzing.  The first is that when we get things easily without much discomfort we appreciate it less and reach for something more.  When Adam and Eve reached for the fruit it was a reach out of the easy street onto hard street as they knew there would be no more growth until they changed streets.  What is more is that God knew they needed to change streets so had made the change available thought the gift of freedom of choice.   Freedom of choice was not the problem it was the fear and longing that propelled them into despair and depression, into fear and fight, into longing and flight, and into shame and hiding.  The sin was not disobeying  the command it was disavowing themselves and disallowing the experience of a forgiving. serene and loving God.  It is the human condition to be autonomous and self-directed, oriented in purpose and capable of mastery.  God made us with a gene for autonomy, mastery and purpose that is equally about self and others.  Humanity embraces the lie that is about me not you, or that it is about you not me.  Divinity knows the balance and harmony of a system that values both not either or.  An “either or system” breeds competition without integrity, conflict without resolution, and conspiracy that negates compromise.  A “both and system” represents competition with integrity, collaboration with equity of value for all, and cooperation without compromising compassion or control.

When God created humanity with freedom of choice God knew that choice would reach for the stars then live with the consequences.  The price of freedom for God was the loss of control of what we do while retaining control of how God responds to us regardless of anything.  God remains full of courage, calmness, compassion, and creativity to take whatever we do and help us to grow in it, through it, and beyond it.  God is beyond and present in every moment with unaltered love, unthreatened presence, unflappable peace. God remains always purposeful, autonomous, and mastering the moment.  God invites us to be as God is not to be as God.

God is with you and me no matter what!

Holly dies suddenly in Grace

Posted by Don Paine

Rev. Holly Reed was a wonderful woman who served her family and her congregation family with relentless energy and resurrection power.  When I shared with her an idea re: a Lenten Series she was the first to step up with full support. She had no “ego-defend, protect my turf part” but an “all for the good of others” part. It seemed to be the thing that would serve others in a good way and that was all that seemed to matter.  So, I was privileged to know Holly for a short period of time and in a less intense way but something came through so I want to blog about that for any who want to hear or read it.

Holly was, apart from her religious credentials, a person of spiritual fiber and faith.
The UCC of which she was and is a part (as her influence will live beyond her physical life) has “extravagant welcome” and “open and affirming” as two guiding light principles.  The extravagant welcome was evidenced in her open heartedness, open-mindedness and open-spirit noted above.  She embodied the spirit of “open and affirming” as she was open to a new idea and affirming of the intersections of grief and grace, which she saw in Mark Kelso and Me.  She not only was open and affirming in words she was there each week we were there.  She was not only there she was there with no need to be “the pastor” in fact sidestepped even Mark and my offer to have her lead or close in prayer.  She was there in presence and that presence was really powerful.  It was the power of her open and affirming presence not the need to be powerfully or verbally =present with words.  She put her body where her mouth was so her mouth did not need to say anything.  Her talk of “open and affirming” was met by her “walk” of open and affirming.  True faith is the combination of words and action, faith and works, in seasons of darkness as well as seasons of light.  All are welcome is embodied when we welcome all regardless of our own egos.  This is part of Holly’s legacy.  It is the legacy of walking the talk and talking the walk. 

In a role of silence we are robed in true spirituality.  When God is silent we can feel God’s presence.  That is “spirituality”.  A life of substance, serenity, and surrender is the Jesus way.  Holly waked in that way.

Thank you Holly for who you are and how your legacy of leadership will inspire us all to know and be what we know and believe.  Thank you for teaching me the wonder of silent presence as the true spiritual exercise of the soul and for the spirit.

Grief and Grace, Peace and Love

Posted by Don Paine

I visited a good friend and found that her husband had died.  Our paths crossed in church life but our hearts were wormed not by the crossing of the paths at church but the intersection of the open heart and open mind of Bill.  He was a very strong and opinionated man but as strong as his opinion was also the strength of his heart of compassion and care.  He sang from his heart and lived from his heart and that is the heart of the matter.

As I left a time of sharing grief together with his wife who had recently been through a triple bypass of her heart, perhaps anticipating that her heart need to be strengthened for the loss of her life companion.
They as a couple and he as an individual gave from their heart in everything they did: from committee member to choir member and just being present. His seat in the chair in the corner of the coffee hour will never look the same.  I noticed their neighbor across the hall had a saying on her wall by her door, it read:

It does not mean to be in a place
Where there is no noise, trouble or hard work   It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart
Author Unknown

I mused as Bill and I had often mused together so here is my musing in honor of and in memory of Bill:
Peace does not mean being in a certain place during a swirling storm or a surging tsunami where there is no noise, no trouble, or no hard work of cleaning up after the storm

Peace means having a certain calmness that keeps the heart calm in the presence of the storm, the noise, the trouble or hard work of grief. 

The perfect storm of grief that swirls around us and threatens to engulf us is always met by the perfect calm of grace that sits in the center of the swirl with the certainty and courage of a calm and compassionate heart.

That was and is Bill!

Thank you for touching my life and so many other lives in your living!

Embers or Fire, "I prefer the embers"

Posted by Don Paine

Last Thursday, April 19, 2012, Ruth Graham http://blog.beliefnet.com/safeplacewithruthgraham/was the speaker at the Albany Area Prayer Breakfast.  Her theme was that "Praise was the Language of heaven".   As I shook her hand before the breakfast started, I recalled internally shaking her Dad's hand 22 years ago.  I felt a message as I did.  I needed to listen to her words for a message to her dad and to me as a grandfather.

As I heard her of her dad, "As Dad grows older, I have watched his fires of compassion wane into embers. I am more impressed today by the embers, than I ever was by the fire" (or something close to that).  That was the message.  I got it. We all have egos and our egos are fed by the fires around us and inside of us.  I used to preach with "the fire of compassion" now I think it is more like the "embers of compassion".  Our spirit is present in the embers of compassion not so much in the "fires of our good passions".  I was also reminded in reflection that the embers burn more steadily and longer without any help or care than the fire ever did. In what matters for eternity and reflects our true heart it is the embers of our presence more than the fire of our preaching.  The eternal measure of time and value is different than that of earth.

So I want to thank Ruth for that thought and the courage to speak it.  I also want to thank Billy Graham for a message through his embers to all of us. It might be the most eternally valuable message of our day.

I also am thank that God who is a consuming fire sets aside his fire and invites us to know the embers of compassion at the cross of his passion for the world.  God received the fiery anger of humanity and transformed it into the embers of God's love.

Thanks be to God

Are you sure

Posted by Don Paine

Everyone wants to be sure of something as it seems to give the illusion of certainty.

But being comfortable even comforted in uncertainty expresses a certain confidence and calmness that itself is comforting.

Enforcing my Certainty about anything  breeds prejudice, narrow mindedness, ego centricity
Impulsivity, hostility, exclusivity, and global conflicts 

Embracing uncertainty with Open mindedness and open hearted ness breeds expansiveness, inclusivity, cooperation,  coalescence, global community. 

I am sure of it.

In Racially tense times a good model

Posted by Don Paine

Our nation is again rocked with racial tension since George Zimmerman allegedly gunned down Treyvon Martin in Florida.  Last week George Zimmerman was charged with second degree murder.  Clearly Treyvon Martin did not deserve to be shot.  Clearly for justice to be done in this case all factors of both individuals need to be justly and honestly assessed and appropriate accountability and responsibility enforced.  Regardless of how the case goes the tension will continue.

On Saturday, April 14th, 2012 the Boston Globe on page A1,and A4 published the article copied below.  I leaped for joy as an act of colorless bravery was courageously placed on page one of the Globe.  Most of the time these good stories are reserved for somewhere inside the paper but this took prominence!

Saving a fellow pilot regardless of anything about that pilot except that he was a fellow countrymen or just a fellow human being in distress had these two brave soldiers tell a story that goes beyond color or creed.  A man by the name of Thomas risked his own life to attempt to save Jesse a kinsman navy pilot whose plane had crashed.  Thomas crashed his won plane in an attempt to save his kinsman.  He said, no heroism here is was "the only thing to do".  It was not an issue of right or wrong, nor an issue of color, nor an issue of creed, "it was the only thing to do".  How wonderful a legacy to follow.

Recently, my wife and I attended a play, "Black Pearl Sings" in which there was a line, "stupid comes in all colors".  Kindness and compassion comes in all colors, in all creeds, in all ethnic and social strata.  Being calmly compassionate and courageous is always and everywhere "the only thing to do".

Imagine if we all lived that way!

PS  Maybe the Navy Warship Should be called The Thomas-Jesse Ship?

Darkness, a place of comfort and connection

Posted by Don Paine

As I spoke to a congregation at the Pascal Eve Service I invited everyone to close their eyes and enter into the darkness of their own inner world.  I invited them to imagine Jesus in the darkness of the grave on that longest day of darkness, despair and aloneness.  Their is no place of aloneness as dark and dismal as the place of total abandonment, detachment, and despair like the grave.  Jesus spent a few hours in the grace on Friday night and if tradition holds a minute in the grave on Sunday morning but an entire 24 hours of the whole of Saturday in the dark deep hole of aloneness and tomb of numbness.  He spent only a minute of Sunday in the grave to fulfill hat he had to be in the grave for three days but he refused to let the grave hold him for anymore than one minute on that third day so a s tradition holds at 12:01 am, up from the grave he arose.

I invited the congregation to return to the place of darkness and to recall a time that they felt all alone and to receive what might be what Jesus would speak to us in the darkness form the darkness:

"I sit alone in the darkness, I need no light as their is a light inside of me.  That light is the essence of peace and love that is with me as clarity and confidence in the darkness.  While I fee alone I am not alone.  When I spoke from the cross 'Father forgiven them they do not know what they are doing' I was speaking as many of you know to those who had put the nails in my hands and feet, hung me on the cross, and mocked the very love and peace I offered them.  It was the light inside that had me speak.  I expected their anger and wrath as they had set that intention against me form before my birth in the manger.  They had mangled and murdered many children out of that hatred.  It was one thing to spill blood in hatred and another to spill blood in a loving living sacrifice.  They did not get the difference.  I also said, 'Father forgive them they do not know what they are doing' to those who abandoned me because of their fears, who I had healed by my touch, who I had loved with my heart, who I had taught from my mind, all those who I had given to they all of them were in denial, betrayal, or cowards filled with avoission (combination of avoidance and aversion of pain and suffering).  The sword that pierce my side was "them".  I did not expect the desertion and the denial of pain and suffering.  To them I also spoke 'Father forgive them as they do not know what they are doing'.  Protection or preservation of life was their intention.  My intention was to lead by example into the darkest arena of loss and grief of total aloneness and to there in the cavern of the tomb know the presence of light that preserves and protects life into eternity." 

I invited the congregation to see the light in their darkness to consider all the wounds of grief that have pierced their side by people closest to them and then to offer them light and love.  Then I invited them to open their eyes.

Corrie Ten Boom said in her book The Hiding Place: "There is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still".  Let grace meet your grief in the light of God's love in the darkness of your hole no matter how dark that hole is.  In the Darkness see light.

"Nothing shall separate you form the Love of God, neither height nor depth, principalities or powers, things present or things to come nor anything shall separate you from the love of God which is in you form Jesus Christ" Romans 8:31

The Core of US

Posted by Don Paine

What is the core value we embrace?

At the core of my being there are two driving forces that create polarity but intend to create or propel community, cooperation and collaboration.

There is the human-self with the drive to lust or long for control over others and the fear of the loss of control or domination and oppression of others.

There is the divine or Spirit-Self that has no agenda but to be with all and in all with compassion, courage,  creativity and calmness.

When the needs and desires, the fears and threats dominate we are in chaos confusion and conflict.

When the peace and love of the core dominate there is self-control, self awareness, self-clarity and other respectfulness.  Balance and harmony in any system perpetuates community in the system.

The core value I embrace is balance and harmony inside and living from that balance and harmony a life of love and peace in the world.

Regardless of anything I want and purpose to live not the my purpose driven life but the release driven life.

The Jesus way.  We are more us than me.  Jesus is with us to make us more one than many.  Father may they be one as you and are are one was his prayer.

They will be done. Amen

Forget the Church, Follow Jesus an article in Newsweek, April 9, 2012

Posted by Don Paine

Soren Kierkegaard said,
"to know the truth and not be the truth is to embellish that very truth with error."

Andrew Sullivan.s article "Forget the Church Follow Jesus" is a timely challenge to the church to be the church?  The hope of the Church and the hope for the church is to embody the message not to teach the truth but to be the truth.  To do so the church will have to humble itself and say to the world collectively that our agendas and conditions have distorted the message please forgive us.  In the tradition of Jesus we would open our heart to the anger and hurt of the masses to heal the heart and transform the arrows of death to the aura of life.

The Jesus way is the way, the truth and the life not narrowly defined by a few but broadly defined by the one and only way.  I used to believe that Jesus was the way in a particular and exclusive way but I now know that the Jesus way is all inclusive and non-intrusive.  Briefly defined the Jesus way that is the only way to God is the way of love and peace, of serenity and surrender, and of transformational not substitutionary atonement.  The way of Jesus is the way of honor and honorableness of all true followers of Jesus whether they name him in their religion or not, the truth of Jesus is the truth that is fully honest and full of truthfulness of Thomas Jefferson, and the life of Jesus is the life that embraces the humility and righteousness of Francis of Assisi.

I love and accept the challenge of Andrew Sullivan to "follow Jesus".  The Jesus way is not the way of any particular church, temple, synagogue, mosque, or any place that holds out love and peace to the world.  The way of Jesus is not about theology or ecclesiology.  The Jesus way is to humbly, honorably, and honestly invite all to the well that is everlasting that is within all and for all.

Jesus is not the way, the Way is the way Jesus lived. Many faith traditions and non- faith traditions embrace the Way of Surrender, Serenity, and Surprise.

It is the way of an extravagant welcome that is welcoming of all regardless of anything to the well of love and peace. Surprise!

This is the Jesus I now know.  The Jesus that is in all, for all and alongside all.  God has No favorites just conveys and convenes favor on all for all.  

It is time we present Jesus in an all inclusive non-agenda serving way.  That Is the Jesus Way.

Human Grief meets Divine Grace

Posted by Don Paine

I imagine how the disciples must have felt.  They had spent three years with Jesus.  They had mountain top moments, Mt of Transfiguration, moments of deep disappointment, like when Peter was told to get behind me Satan, and moments of disillusionment when they began to hear that Jesus was going to leave them all alone.

No one likes being all alone.  Recall that "it is not good for man to be alone".  There is a difference between needing some alone time and being all alone.

Saturday, is the day between the death of Jesus on Golgotha on Friday and the Resurrection on Sunday morning.

Grief is a dark and lonely place where one feels abandoned by the one who is gone.  But really, the one who is gone has left everyone.  Suddenly it seems grief is very selfish, it is all about me and my loss.  Not really in fact what if it is all about, in the loss, finding great gain.

Adam and Eve felt so much grief, so alone, so separated from God and each other that blame and shame filled the sacred space of the garden.  THey went into the cave of aloneness to hide from the God who was quick to offer the smile of grace.  Not a smile that says it does not matter nor a frown that blames and shames.  God's smile is one of an understanding face and of transformational grace.  Grace that transforms the darkest of moments.  The midnight madness of despair into the midnight of clarity and compassion.

What if Adam and Eve knew that nothing, neither wrong doing or right doing, neither heights of achievements nor depths of despair, nothing can separate us form the love of God that is in the face of Jesus Christ.

In the dark despair and grief of feeling abandoned and alone we see with true light the truth that we are never alone, that we are accepted, adopted, and abundantly forgiven. Just as we are without one plea except that we know God's love is greater, richer and deeper than any pit.  As Corrie TenBoom once said, "There is no pit so deep, that God's grace is not deeper still."
So, I say to all,  when you are falling in grief and feeling all alone, let go and fall into the hole of God's grace.

When Jesus said in that dark moment of his soul, "My God, My God Why have you forsaken me" he was falling into the hands of His father's Grace.

Adam and Eve did not fall from grace, grace was not necessary until they sinned.  They fell into he hole of God's grace.

Breath of the lungs, Burden of the heart, and Blessing of the Mind, these three are one with each one of us

Posted by Don Paine

Imagine the sun at the center of the solar system.  It is no imagination necessary.  Then imagine the heart of the creator of the solar system and the mind that thought of the idea of creating a world beyond and outside of the control of the creator. Then imagine the courage of the creator to take a deep breath and breath and breathe into the creation life and freedom of choice.  What magnificent courage, what creativity.  Then imagine that creator being remaining calm though the waters roar and roll, unthreatened and unthreatening of the exercise of that freedom on the part of the created.  Then imagine the heart where it all began full of compassionate toward all the  triggered parts of the creator and of the creation. Then imagine the cool breeze of compassion, the gentle breeze of courage, the still breeze of calm and the stormy breeze of creation.

Then look inside your own heart and see the steady calm beating of your heart, the steady breathing of your lungs, the creative clamoring of the mind and the feelings for attention and imagine you being all your heart, mind, and lungs need and want and yet already have for each other.  At the core of your body is all that your body and its parts need: a loving heart (compassion) a living breath/lungs (calmness) and a listening mind (courage) and their interplay and mutual sustaining presence (creatively many but one).

The perfect storm within met with the perfect calm within so that I can live for the inside out as the creator God created me to live.  As the creator made me to reflect the creator, the image of God in me and the "countering" image of God in me.  The ing and yang in me singing in harmony and balance the song of the soul set free.

Imagine a circle around me including and enveloping all of me and my parts in a bubble of love and care. The Self holding a heart of compassion/love, a mind at peace/calm and lungs of courage to breathe out and creative energy from breathing in.

The solar system outside, the system inside and the God reflected in the inside and out.

Draw a bubble around all of you and let compassion and calmness from inside welcome all your parts with love and care so you can live form the inside out.  This is how the universe lives:  ever expanding ever held.

The solar system without you reflects the creator and the created.  You have a center, Self.  It is the sun of warmth and and a witness of hope that all is well in your soul.

The message Easter is a message of the solar system to the system of our inner and outer world.  I breathe it in this Easter in a new way. 

All parts are Welcome, just justice

Posted by Don Paine

Violence comes from within.  Inside all of us is a part that wants to win and hates to lose.   That parts presents an internal conflict that creates polarities in the system of our hear and mind.

Recently I invited a group to think about someone or something they hated.  Then I asked them to focus on the part of them that hated that person or thing.  To imagine that they were right to hate and that justice would be served by expressing that hate.  Then i asked them to imagine another part that saw such hatred and justification of hatred as anything but just.  Then I asked them (and myself as I was a participant and a presenter) if they could breathe space into their internal system and invite compassion to sit where judgment sat, to look at the part hated for good reason and with good reason, and ask that judgmental part to step aside, making room for grace and releasing it from the grave of darkness into the grave of grace.  Here where grief and grace meet is where light shines.  This light does not dismiss the darkness but dispels the illusion of darkness and opens the space up to light.

Then refocus on the part in the person you hate or the thing you hate and look at that part with the compassion and calm within you.  Let he goodness within you not be overcome with the evil outside but overcome that evil outside with goodness from inside.  Evil is not good but when met with goodness it fades into the faith that sees it with grace.

Imagine that to be the message of Easter.  Let the evil of hatred and violence in the world be met by the part of me that settles the hatred and violence inside with the compassion that looks with the eyes of grace at the betrayal, the burden, the bruised and the beaten parts of me and the parts of me that would betray, burden, bruise, and beat others.

While I can justify anything from my reactions to other to warfare, that does not make it just.  Innocent parts in my brother or sister are wounded like innocent people in all wars are wounded and die.  That is not just, it is never just.

Justice is never served by acts of justice but by being just in our thoughts, feelings, reactions and actions.

It was not just that Jesus died for my sin.  But it was just for the God of justice to give himself to die to teach us that the road to justice is being just toward all within and without.  To welcome all parts of all people regardless of anything, with compassion, calmness and care and without fear of loss, desire for gain, without agenda or assumption, and with liberty and justice for all.

Plea for peace

Posted by Don Paine

I Have a Dream…………
A Field of Dreams:
That they may be one, Because we are one!!!!!!!
“There is one faith, one hope, one love, one God”
We live in a world of political, personal, national, family, religious conflicts
When we teach our particular faith group that we are the better way, the only way, the best way
we insult our fellow communicants and insinuate that we are right and they are wrong. The
system that supports a right and wrong world perpetuates un-healthy competitiveness.
The Sufi Master, Rumi said: “There is a place beyond the place of right and wrong, it is an open
field, we can meet me there!
Jesus, the Rabbi and Son of God said: “I have lots of sheep that are not of this sheep pen, they
too, I must bring so that in the end there is one flock and one shepherd…..All the law and the
prophets are summed up in these words, “love God and love your neighbor (no matter what they
believe or what they do, or where they live) as you love your inner self”.
Paul said, “Love keeps no score of wrongs or rights………..love always perseveres (I Corinthians
Shifting from the lowest common denominator to the highest common good shifts the
system. It is not about tolerance but about embracing meaningfulness and embracing
tolerance toward all of humanity as a gift of transforming love for all people and nations .
This unleashes the kingdom of God within.
Shifting to the Highest common good: Loving God and knowing you are loved by God
and loving all living things is good. This is letting them know they are all cared for in a
just and honest way.
Putting a dome of love over all is truly ruling having dominion over all by being loving
toward all. It is not extracting from creation and using up what God has created because
I am the most important part of creation as a human being but I am able as a human
being to choose to not extract which contributes to extinction but as expanding the
acceptance and embrace of everything as adding to the experience and expression of
care which is true expression of dominion over all which his support and sustaining of all,
not using, misusing, and/or abusing. It is not about point counter point but about the
balance of all points as not to counter each other as if one has to win and the other has
to nice. It is about counter balance so that the system remains in balance and harmony.
To effect this balance the system that generates point counter point needs a process
shift to do so. that process shift is to become nurturing and naturally embracing all parts
in the internal system for the healing and sustaining and maintaining of all those parts. It
is through mature dependence, mature responsibleness and mutual respectfulness. It is
letting the Self as God has given it be present for al the parts. This brings liberty and
justice for all to all by welcoming all parts in the justice, com[passion and peace from
within where God dwells.
Everything is made to balance and counter balance for the system to be maintained and
sustained by everything made being "very good" (Genesis 1:31). When the system is
I Have a Dream…………
overwhelmed by fear and distrust it is counter -driven. When the system relaxes and
trusts its internal core of courage, calm, compassion and care it relaxes into a state of
peacefulness where all parts are treated with justice, for all parts are freely received and
cared for in equity and with equal right to be heard. So rather than parts deceiving
themselves into believing that they need something they don't need, the parts begin to
be cared for from within where the Self lives and loves. When the parts give up their fear
and see the Self and begin to feel cared for the shift begins. Then they receive
something they really do need but already have in their interning system. It is not that
they do not need, it is not that the part's behavior is okay. The behavior is not okay but
the part is welcomed and the burden that prompts the behavior of the part begins to shift
as well. In that moment, what is embraced is the part. The part itself that is embraced
for the purpose of healing its burden and false belief that is behind why it is acting out
the way it is acting out. When a part is fear driven and self protective it becomes counter
productive and driven to eliminate conflict. It tries to service the conflict by trying to end
the conflict, which is counter productive. The system, therefore, needs a counter
intuitive intervention, so enters Internal Family System, offering help and hope to the
system. A systemic shift that says it is not the Self that needs to be transformed. It is the
Self that is transforming the system as it offers to all parts the welcome that sets those
parts and the system free. The freedom for the parts is to have all parts know they are
cared for and to offer to all pars, equal care and compassion. The equal care and
compassion for all parts is the treatment of justice and peace, that the parts long for.
Liberty is for all parts as justice is toward all parts resulting in peace in the internal
For the system to change the parts of the system have to stop doing the point counter
point thing and to stop countering each otherʼs part. Then in a shift of embrace, each
part with brings harmony to the system not through agreement but through a respectful
and responsible presence that is Clam. compassionate, courageous and creative (THE
SELF). The shift is from a counter point system to a counter balance system that a
perpetuates conflict allows inclusion. That self is resilient and redemptive and offers the
system of parts, the care and concern they need. It is not about the self transformation it
is about the transforming self.
Billy Graham held a series of meetings here at the Knickerbocker Arena in 1990. He
often said, “in Iowa when the corn fields grow higher than the fences all you see is the
open field. You do not see the things that separate and divide, we are all one in the field
of love. It is a field of dreams of which I dream today! If we build a sense of
togetherness, it will come. If we become the wheat in the field there will be no more
fences. We meet in the field of dreams. The dream is for people meeting not with an
agenda to prove their point and counter their neighborʼs points. The goal is that people
will be willing to sacrifice their being right to their being “right hearted toward all people.
In this field we can meet and talk about loving kindness and respectfulness from a place
of compassion and calmness. Maybe then faith can be an asset to creating calmness
and compassion in the world village of differences
The only way to live in Peace is to be at peace, which is a breath of fresh air. To move
from the way of condemnation of wrong and condoning of right as I might define it to a
way of compassion toward all regardless of right or wrong. This is right to be in peace.
To live in the sacred space of love without conditions and without an agenda. It is the
I Have a Dream…………
fresh air in t the field of compassion and calm.. Peace is the road to that field. Love is in
the field. They are the field.
Rev. Dr. Donald L. Paine, LICSW, AAMFT
Trained Internal Family System Therapist

Christians sowing peace

Posted by Don Paine

Christians need to lead the world in sacrificing what they want to impose on the world and embrace what they can offer to the world.

We need to get over the "Jesus is the only way thing" so that we can present and live the "Jesus is the only way truth".

The way of Jesus is the way of love and peace.  All who covenant to live in love and peace are living the Jesus way even if they do not name him as savior and Lord.  Just like many who name him savior and Lord, do not live the Jesus way, so many who have been judged and prejudged by the narrow definition of the way of Jesus do live the Jesus way.

Soren Kierkegaard said, "To know the truth and not be (live) the truth is to embellish that very truth with error".

The way of Jesus is not any particular religious or church way though some try to define it so.  The way of Jesus is a way of being and living that embodies the qualities of the divine Self in all of us as the image of God namely:  calmness, compassion, courage, and creativity.

I believe more than ever that "Jesus is the only way" but the way is narrowly and broadly defined as opposed to imposed in a narrowly defined way.

No fooling.