“We find a way to choose life...”. I’m reading a book by Terry Patten called A New Republic of the Heart: An Ethos for Revolutionaries-A Guide to Inner Work for Holistic Change. Whew! That’s a mouthful of a title isn’t it?
I love the way books come to me. They get recommended by friends and peers. In this case, this is a book of the month for something called The Global Vision, which is a sort of grass roots conglomeration of many Centers for Spiritual Living across the land, who all address the same topic in their Sunday services. The idea stems from the fact that we are all part of the One, and from this reality we realize that there is a common consciousness amongst us all. We are all connected, like a grove of aspen trees. Did you know that when you see a grove of aspen, the root system is just one root system? Yep. The trees are separate and each looks different, might even change colors in the fall at different rates, but they are all part of one root system. Damage one tree and eventually the entire grove is damaged. We are like that. Some of us are damaged. And for the rest of us, it is up to us to address that damage and not become damaged ourselves or we risk destroying the entire human race.
Yes, I said that. I really did. I had to stop and take a breath after that. You might want to as well.
Here’s the deal: it is time to step up and look within to see how we can assess our own damage, and repair it, not buy into the group damage and add to the overall affliction. It is time to stop directing our attention outward. That will not repair the damage, it will make it worse. What do I mean by directing attention outward? Blaming others for the mess we are in is one critical aspect of this. Did you know that when we blame others we are, essentially, victimizing ourselves? Another aspect of outward thinking is judgement. This is primarily a Christian world we live in. If you claim yourself as Christian, what part of “judge not lest ye be judged” do you not get? Every time we judge another, we harm ourselves. And we deny that part of us which is crying out for attention. Think about it. When you are judging another, you are doing one of two things: either refusing to look at something going on in your own life, or deflecting attention away from yourself because they are doing the same things you are doing that you dislike about yourself. Is there something other people do that you intensely hate? Guess what. If you spot it you got it.
Harsh words maybe. So be it. Folks I work with tell me that they can count on me to be honest with them. And so can you.
And when we are grieving life’s shit: the losses, the changes, the stuff that we simply do not like nor care for, the stuff we really wish would not have happened, it is ever so much easier to deflect our attention outward and blame and judge than to move through the grieving process.
And yet, when we refuse to do so, when we refuse to allow ourselves to feel the anger, the denial, the bargaining, the depression and finally, the acceptance, we deny ourselves life. We say no. We limit ourselves. And we do more damage, to ourselves and to the group consciousness. We contribute to the damage of our root system.
And in so doing this, we refuse to take responsibility for our lives. And in doing that, we are disempowering ourselves.
It is time to say yes. It is time to choose life instead of death. It is time to figure out how we as individuals can praise instead of blame, honor instead of judge, and empower ourselves instead of disempowering ourselves.
This is not about them. Period.
How can we stop doing this? Well, for starters, stop posting how they are doing it wrong on social media! Stop posting diatribes and memes about them, whoever them might be. Whenever you feel a need to do so, just stop. Pause. Go within and see what is going on with you that you would want to attack your fellow humans and instead address what needs addressing within you. Perhaps your mom told you that if you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything. That’s really good advice. And while you are squirming and feeling uncomfortable because you aren’t saying anything, take a good look at that feeling of uncomfortability, because within that feeling are answers and solutions for your angst. There is relief in there, you just have to find it. And you won’t be able to find it unless you sit with it, allow it and say yes to it.
Choose life. Please. Choose life for yourself, and for the entire human race.