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On this 4th of July, I do not feel in a celebratory mood.  In fact, I feel the opposite.  I feel sad, I am worried.  I feel the pain of my fellow humans who are of a different color than me, who still, even after this country was founded on all men being created equally, are not equal.  They still suffer under shackles of red lining, efforts to prevent them from voting, racial profiling and other efforts to intimidate them.  I feel the pain of being a woman and feeling as if I am, simply because of my gender, relegated to second class citizenship having to fight for the right to make my own decisions about my health care.  I feel the pain of not even being able to own a credit card in my name in my lifetime, simply because of my gender.  I feel the pain of folks who have different belief systems than much of America, and yet are not given the same recognition as those who claim the mantle of Christianity. I have felt the scorn coming from a Catholic priest who simply refused to acknowledge that there was any other way to believe than his own way.  I have felt the scorn of the evangelical who believes that women should not be ministers.  I feel the pain of folks who dare to be different in the pursuit of their own happiness, as this is supposedly guaranteed in our Constitution, and yet they are ridiculed and harmed.

I feel all this pain, and it is all so unnecessary.  And I strive to live in spiritual principle.  I strive to live from a place of being for something and against nothing.  It is admittedly very difficult to do these days, yet I still strive.  I adopted this spiritual principle after hearing about it for the first time in a talk originally given by Ernest Holmes in 1959.  I first heard this talk sometime around the early 2000s, and my entire world was rocked.  The entire talk is incredible but this one sentence gets me every time, “ Find me one person who is for something and against nothing, who is redeemed enough not to condemn others out of the burden of his soul and I will find another savior, another Jesus, and an exalted human being.”  From that moment onward I began to explore how to remove the burdens from my soul so that I could be for something and against nothing.

“Redeemed enough not to condemn others out of the burden of his soul…”. And then I remember that even Jesus told us that we could do all the things he did, and so much more and greater.

So why are we not doing that?  We are we not redeemed enough to not condemn others out of the burdens of our own souls?

I spend much of my time answering these questions, and attempting to find solutions to the problems we face, as a nation.

The separation cannot continue, because it really is true that united we stand and divided we fall.

And so my work continues, as does the work of many others who also feel the pain.  And in my search to be for something and against nothing, on this July 4th holiday, here is what I am for:

I am for a way of life that embodies what Gary Zukav, in his book The Seat of the Soul, authentic power.  This kind of power means that we have no burden on our souls, so we are against nothing.  This kind of power shows up in a full love of life, in all its forms.  This kind of power shows up in loving everything and everyone.  Loving all.  No matter the color of their skin.  No matter what religion they practice.  No matter what their gender is.  No matter what their sexual preference is.  Because when we stand in this kind of power, we are at peace, confident in our own place in the world, and thus have no need to displace anyone else.  

I am for true equality for all.  I am for compassionate and honest communication to resolve our differences.  I am for each and every human being to be free of the burdens that would cause them to lash out in fear and attempt to destroy anything that isn’t in their zone of approval.  So on this 4th of July, I am for peace most of all.  And so I call on each and every one of us, as we picnic, as we attend parades, as we barbecue, as we go about our day celebrating, that we look each person we encounter in the eye and think peace.  That we great each person we encounter with an expression of joy and acceptance.  Begin there.  Then let’s see what happens.