As we move through tumultuous times, I have been thinking about how we venture forward together. In these times of national divisiveness when our friends and neighbors and families may subscribe to views of truth and reality that are often not only inconsistent with our own, but diametrically opposed, how do we avoid conflict? More importantly, how do we engage in loving receptivity? How do we come together—and hopefully stay together?
I think the answer lies in how we look at our relationships—what we focus on. It is important not to get lost in our differences, seeing them as ties that bind in a restrictive way or with discomfort, but to look instead to the ties that bond us together.
Look at the things that connect us. Remember and feel into those moments of connection you have shared with your friends and loved ones, in both happy and sad times. These are bonds of affection, no matter what your political or religious or other views. On the larger scale, we all have a shared community experience of the pandemic. We may not agree about the causes or how to respond, we may be confused by misinformation and conflicting information, but the fact remains, we are in this together. On a day to day basis we navigate through it together, as we do with so much else. We share common experience.
In many ways our digital technology, and the media it produces, have gotten the best of us. But let’s not let it. Let’s return to what is best in us, our appreciation for each other, for the uniqueness of each of us. We are each here in this life as an original expression, each one unique. We can’t all be the same if we are each one of a kind! We have to be willing to accept our differences and our disagreements without rejecting each other. Our very difference-ness is what we bring each to our own incarnation. Our ability and capacity for self-expression is the condition required for us to bring our expression of soul into the world.
But along with free and autonomous expression comes the duty of moral responsibility, individually and collectively. The obligation is on each of us to do right, to do no harm, to learn the facts, to listen to others, to do the best we can. This is our social contract with each other. While we recognize that each of us has sovereignty and presents with autonomy, at the same time we need to come together in community to serve the best interests of each and all. To do so we must accept the importance of difference, of other.
How may I express myself and allow you to express yourself without violating the fundamental precepts of individual sovereignty and consciousness? What exactly are the terms of our agreements to be here and be human? How do we respect each other? What if I open my heart but it is not reciprocated? What if the answers to these questions are just as subjective and varied as our other differences?
These are complicated questions is these times. Perhaps we need to simplify things. The most direct, and I would say the simplest, pathway to choosing and expressing your own responsibility is from an open heart. Without regard to political or institutional ideology and doctrine. Just simply: How do you love? And what do you choose going forward?
Feel into your own center, your expanded self, your connection to oneness, to God, to the Divine, to your soul, however you think of it.
That’s where the answer lies. For each of us to find in our own way.
You may ask, what does it mean to expand into oneness, how can I find this?
Here’s a suggestion: try blending into the surroundings of your moment. In other words, let go of any agendas. Just feel into your immediate moment and environs.
Perhaps take a walk to allow you to slow the busy-ness of your mind, feel the rhythm of your pace, entrain to it. Sink down out of the emotion and the machinations of your mind and into the heavy grounded weighted sense of your feet on the ground, your heart in your chest. Feel the air moving through your mouth and nose and down into your lungs and filling you with life force. We and everything we see around us shares a vibrational frequency of matter and form, sharing the elements. And reflect upon how every other living human being survives in the same way: the breath of life. We are one. We are together in this.
This is what bonds us to each other and even though it may sometimes feel like a tie that binds, the reality is it is what connects us. And we are more with each other than we are alone or apart. To separate, to accept division, is a loss for all of us.
This is a time to come together, to find common ground, to extend ourselves from a place of generosity and open heartedness, to embrace each other. It starts with each one of us making the choice to stand in love. You can only do what you can do—and what you can do is greater than you might imagine.
It is a piece of work. It may take a bit of commitment. But it is worth it.