So much divisiveness in the world, today. Like many of you, I have spent an inordinate amount of time observing, thinking, reflecting and wishing things in our world were different. But they are not!
We persist in a "we" vs "they" view of daily life and decision-making. We are polarized in a way I don't personally recall, nationally and globally. Right vs wrong, trust vs mistrust, power-sharing vs power-over, seeking to understand vs assumptions and judgments, accusations, name-calling and labeling.Have we created a world where we have to take a side? Either / or thinking and decision-making is very limiting and narrow. It does not allow for many options or creativity; and, worst of all it is exclusive and not inclusive.
I often ask myself what do we all have in common? My constant reply to self is, "a lot!" Yet, if I were to listen to the television, read the news and social media, I would think we have very little in common, as we are so contentious and combative with each other.
Yet for a moment, let's think about the basic values that we share in the United States. Do we not want success for each other; for our families, our communities, our places of employment, our government, our society? What is causing us to lose sight of our values and their expression? Is it the fact that we are so disconnected from what we believe and value, that our behaviors are rooted in defensiveness, self-righteousness and blame.
When I blame someone else, two things happen: I disconnect from myself and wound the other person. I am disempowered because I have assigned accountability to another person, and not to myself. If I am not willing to own my problem, I cannot resolve it. Even though I may not like how the person I blamed deals with the issue, the fact is by blaming, I have rendered myself impotent to find a solution or heal the situation.
In my experience, separation (which is what blame creates) promotes resistance and opposition. Resistance to the openness which flows from give and receive transactions leads to a sense of scarcity and competition, and all of this is fueled by fear.
What can we each individually do to not only stop this, but to transform it? We must think individually before we think family, community, nation and society. We each need to own that our kindness toward others, our desire to understand them, our affirming everyone matters, is the foundation of influencing connection and not disconnection. We each own that power!
We are all in a constant state of influencing each other and being influenced by each other. I was sitting in the Atlanta airport some time ago. Just watching people moving hurriedly toward their gates or toward baggage claim. I was tired after a week of training Volunteers in Service to America, so my eyes were soft and relaxed. Suddenly, I saw a gentleman walking through the terminal with a huge light of energy around him...like maybe 3 to 4 feet wide. Then I saw a gentleman walking toward him...he walked right through the white, ethereal energy field of the oncoming man.
I was immediately stirred by this sight. "Wow," I thought. The second man moved right through the other man's energy field. He was touched by it. I wondered what influence it would have on him, conscious or unconsiously. Yes, that concept of constantly being influenced by others, and influencing others suddenly made infinite sense to me.
It is several years since that incident. Its impact on me continues. I know with great certainty if I put out love, others are touched by it; if I put out anger, others are influenced by it. So, I need to be intentional about who I am and what I put out there in the world because I want to be a source of goodness, humility, and understanding. I want to emanate light. I want to bring it to myself and share it with others, directly or indirectly.
I want to be confident that if someone walks through my ethereal body of energy, they are touched, visibly or invisibly, by the light of love and caring.
We need to transform ourselves before we can support another in their transformation. We fulfill our purpose by intentionally healing our wound of separation ... one person, one day at a time. What are you casting out into the world that will transform fear to love, separation to connection?