In this series of articles we have looked at what it is to be worthy of respect. We have looked at men and women whose actions demonstrated their sense of ethical rightness and self-worth when it would have been far easier for them to conform to the norm and not make waves.

We have delved a bit into how we can live life in a spiritual manner, acknowledging that it is sometimes challenging work to remain in a space of integrity and truth within ourselves, although the work is always worth the doing.

And we have looked at the experience of illness and hospitalization, searching for ways to create our own bubble of beauty, joy, thanksgiving and peace inside the confines of illness and hospitals.

In this column, we continue deepening our look at what it is to feel our own self-worth, and why it is important for us to do so. This column's focus was requested by an L/L Research volunteer who at present is working on transcribing some of my tape letters, artifacts of a period in the late 1980s and early 1990s when I was bed-bound and unable to raise my arms to my face or head because of arthritic changes to my neck and shoulders. So all my counseling was on tape during that period, and [the one who I will call] “A” is recovering that work by transcribing the tapes.

A came across a phrase in my letters: "spiritual democracy." She asked to hear more about that.

Before moving into what spiritual democracy means, I would like to look at the word "democracy." It is different from the word "republic," which is a strictly political word meaning a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them. "Democracy" can be a synonym for "republic" in terms of the type of governance in which the power is vested in the people of a land and is exercised directly by them.

But democracy also means any state or society in general which is characterized by a formal and specified equality of rights and privileges. In its more general meaning of the social equality of all people in a group, it transcends politics and become a word which can well be paired with the adjective "spiritual."

The Q’uo, an ET group I channel, responded to a question on how to deal with seeming adversity in 1989. They suggested that:

"You cannot truly make a mistake, for upon whatever road you turn, you shall meet your catalyst again and again until you recognize it, love it, forgive it and move beyond it. You are queens and kings; rulers of yourselves; all of you royal.

"Remember who you are. Remember your birthright. And remember that you live in a spiritual democracy where each entity is precisely, mathematically equal. The differences within the illusion come from your use of will through faith."

What makes us equal, as souls? It certainly is not that which we see on the surface of our personalities and our lives. In those regards, we are wildly different, one from the other. However, the Confederation suggests that we are all sparks of the One, holograms of the one Creator. At the soul level we are exactly equal, for we are all the same thing: individuated focuses of consciousness and interactive interfaces with the unseen worlds where our deeper consciousness resides. If you "click" on the desktop of any soul and pursue that thread of connection, the Creator Itself and Its consciousness will be found to be all souls' source and ending.

The difference between one soul and another in everyday life, the Q’uo group says, comes through our use of will through faith.

We are all prone to experiencing adversity. It is an important part of the process of spiritual learning and evolution. And our adversities tend toward having an incarnational pattern. The Q’uo group says:

"There is always the pattern of the incarnational experience. Over and over again has come the same experience, the same disappointment, or the same betrayal, the same anger or the same love, the same difficulty or the same needs. And after a time one may begin to see an incarnational pattern. Perhaps one is learning patience; perhaps one is learning to love without expectation of return."

In writing last week's article, I was looking at part of my particular incarnational pattern, which has to do with recurring illness. And the volunteer asking about spiritual democracy today is working with an incarnational pattern involved with telling her truth without fear and without anger.

Each of us can pull back to an incarnational point of view and see these recurrent types of catalyst, which give us repeated chances to work with the same catalyst until we begin to find our balance.

And then we can begin to be thankful for the catalyst of seeming adversity, for we see its practical and helpful use as a resource designed to bring our spiritual work to us. And that work involves how to use our will, through the use of our faith.

The Q’uo group suggests that our first work, when faced with adversity, is to comfort and sustain ourselves.

"If there has been difficulty and pain to you, your first duty and honor is the healing of yourself. You must be your mother in the sense that the Creator is your mother. You must nurture and cradle yourself and allow the hurt to fall from you. Allow forgiveness to pour into you, for there is no end to forgiveness if it comes through the entity and not from the entity."

Yes, you are a good judge of your actions. However, the Confederation urges us to see errors as mistakes rather than sins and to focus on regaining balance and ease within the self, so that the energy body is relaxed and self-confident and able to welcome and use the ever-present light energy sent from the Creator. The Q’uo group says:

"There is but one response to any catalyst within your illusion that reflects a balanced point of view. That response, as you know well, is love or compassion. When any other emotion is noted within the mind/body/spirit complex of the self, then the seeker may assume there is catalyst there to be processed in order that a balancing may occur."

It is sometimes hard to realize that our suffering is a good thing. It feels like the opposite when suffering comes to us. Yet all suffering gives us the chance to do our spiritual work and to grow. We can cut through any confusion we might have by applying our faith that all is well. And this is always an appropriate response to seeming adversity. The Quo group suggests:

"Those who suffer are those who bear fruit; therefore, each of you has chosen difficulties on purpose, not for your abstraction, disgust, apprehension, fear or worry, but for catalyst, that you may learn the lessons of love that it has been given you to learn to make the choice of service to others."

Keeping on task with our spiritual work, we know that all lessons are lessons of love, no matter what they look like on the surface, for the universe is all made of love. This love energy can be distorted oh, so badly by us as we make unskilled decisions and choices. But the love remains, waiting for us to smooth the skeins of tangled thought and emotion until the love pours forth once again and the light shines through our hearts.

I open my arms and embrace your spirit. We truly are all made of one substance: love. As citizens of eternity, we are exactly, mathematically equal, a "spiritual democracy." Now I leave with this thought: How shall we use our wills today? Shall we embrace our "trouble bubbles" and focus upon illusion or shall we embrace the faithful assertion that all is well and focus upon eternal truths? May we all choose to use our will and our faith wisely today.