|Posted on June 12, 2016 at 11:30 AM|
There are so very many things in this world to feel angry about, to feel sad about, to even feel completely overwhelmed and hopeless about. You see them. I see them. I know they cause you pain. My heart too, feels them in ways that are excruciating and devastating. For a moment and sometimes two. But I try in those moments to take a breath, and without resistance to what is calling up pain or anger or injustice, I turn my attention to all the people and things that call up gratitude and love. I call up the immense beauty of this world we live in. I look around at the sheer abundance of it all. And while I sometimes stumble and resist and even rant, I eventually release and breathe. And no it’s not easy, and sometimes it’s hard. Oh so hard. And sometimes I even, for a millisecond doubt my methods.
You see I have amazing friends and stellar examples of what it looks like to champion the underdog; give speeches, write petitions and hold rallies and parades. To be, what I can only describe as warriors of peace. The tireless and passionate Missy Crutchfield for one, and Tresa McCallie for another. And history is full of these beautiful souls who call attention to and fight for what they believe in. I admire them. I honor their commitment and their energy. That was me at one time, and sometimes the old me pulls on my shirt sleeve and whispers into my ear, “Let’s go! We can do this! We should do this!” But I can’t. I can’t because that choice no longer supports my core belief, and hasn’t for many years now. That choice does not allow me to practice what I believe is the most powerful element of change. And it does not, in the end, serve my heart well any longer.
So what do I believe? I believe that where we focus is where we go. I believe that our thoughts create our reality. I believe that what we give energy to grows stronger. And bigger. I believe love wins. Every time. I believe that what we resist persists. I know that to help people you have to love them where they are right now. I know that hurt people hurt people, and that nearly always when given consistent love, they soften, they grieve, they grow and learn to give love. I know that our anger and our violence and our hatred comes from fear and feelings of injustice and vulnerability, and that only love can dissolve those defensive emotions. And I believe all of this with every fiber of my being. And I also know it isn't easy.
Do I want there to be transformation in the world for all the marginalized? Hell yes. But ultimately I believe that world transformation begins with personal transformation. I cannot transform others, only myself. I have to focus on the woman in the mirror. Otherwise I am prone to blaming and pointing fingers and not taking responsibility, and seeing the world through an us and them lens. I believe that personal transformation is the answer. One person. One heart. One soul at a time. I believe my actions of love and compassion and kindness will make a difference. I believe they do make a difference. And that is my focus. The people who cross my path to whom I can extend a smile, a generous tip, a listening ear, an open heart. That is my choice. And to do my personal work by sitting on my mat, examining my own beliefs, by doing my work.
But here is something else I hold as truth. There is enough room for all of us and for our ideas. There is beauty in contrast. There is sacredness in choice. There is value in difference. There are opportunities to learn where there is dissonance if we listen. We have each arrived at our current location as a result of our pasts and our paths. That is to be honored and cherished. We see things as we are, not as they are. Each perspective is valid given the lense through which it is viewed. Each of us is valuable to the evolution of humanity. We need to remember this. We need to remind each other of this. We do not have to agree with one another in order to have respect for each other. We do not have to agree in order to give space for differences. We do not have to agree. And while I may look as though my head is in the sand or that I am wearing rose colored glasses or that I am choosing to turn a deaf ear, know that I am aware and focused. I am awake and making conscious choices.
I know it can feel like there are no right answers, only difficult choices. I am right there with you in that. So this week, whether you silently meditate or march on city hall, do so with the intention of love and compassion, and know that my heart is with you in every breath and every step.