I Don’t Talk Politics Or Religion…Or Do I?

Politics, Religion, War, Poverty, Injustice, Greed, Apathy, Abuse, Corruption, Closed-mindedness, Fear, Consumerism, Wastefulness, Separation, Denial, Suicide.

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Maurice Sendak’s Classic, Where The Wild Things Are

Those words reflect a sad view of the human condition. What has this world come to? What have humans evolved into? Wilder beasts than the scariest of stories.

“The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another.”

To summarise Maurice Sendak’s wonderful classic story, Max’s mother thought Max was being a naughty boy. After going to bed without his supper, Max found himself in a dream like state, where he witnessed wilder beasts than himself, and at some point after teeth gnashing and terrible roars from the Wild Things, with great courage, he asked them to “Be Still!” Max became respected as the most Wild Thing of all. He became the King of the Wild Things. Yet, this sense of purpose was not what he truly wanted in his deepest heart. He only wanted to be accepted, and had the realisation that  his yearning for acceptance was not born out of respect from intimidation and fear, but out of pure, unconditional love. “Max, the King of all Wild Things was lonely and wanted to be where someone loved him best of all.”

All of those words at the top of the page represent the human condition of not feeling loveable enough, not being good enough, not feeling a part of anything, not feeling important enough, therefore leading us to places and beliefs and ways of life that only lead us to the exact state of being that we don’t want, and that we abhor in others, and ourselves, like Max.

If I read that top list of characteristics, I get a nasty feeling in my gut. Surely I am not like that. Surely I am the exception to this malady of humankind. In some ways, perhaps. I don’t start wars, I try not to be greedy, I am aware of what I’m purchasing at the shops, I recycle, I try to self evaluate so that I am not in denial, I am kind to others, and I help old ladies in the shops if they can’t reach something or read a label on a soup can. So, I’m all good, right?

I stay away from politics, and I believe in God, but from a spiritual centred place, not in a “rules and regulations thou shalt not” kinda way. Yet I feel that I am meant to speak about these things that I apparently have nothing in common with.

Mainly, I don’t want you to think badly of me, because I really care about what you think. I don’t want to be judged, because, believe me, I learned a long time ago how to judge you. I was taught early on how to stand in a position of defence … Yet I say I am not a believer in War. So how come I have placed myself in the middle of a war, just by caring too much what you think of me? Obviously this is an individualistic, singular perspective of the internal war, the internal battlefield,  as opposed to the “big time blow ’em up” war involving countries, or even the world at large. What’s the difference?

Is there a difference in the wars we create, and the battles we personally face on a daily basis, and the world’s act of war?

Because I care so much about what you think of me, it can tear me up inside, it can lead to other ailments besides a defensive stance, it can lead to the biggest of all human dilemma, FEAR.

Fear is what drives all of these conditions. Politics thrives on instilling fear into the public at large, making false promises to keep us safe from the bad guys, pointing out who the bad guys are, meaning that we are somehow the good guys. Who gets to decide that? Again, we are judging a whole people from a black and white perspective of good and bad, right and wrong, just because they live somewhere else, and wear different clothes, and build different temples or mosques or churches. So there we are, involved in politics, judging the world based on some fundamental beliefs systems that make us right, and them wrong.
Old School Organised Religion (O.S.O.R. I just made that up!)  has given God a really bad rap over the years as well, because of the authoritarian perspective of separation, of alienation, of original sin (as if we are all bad inherently, and just have to try to become less bad. This is a really flawed theory I think, and only feeds the sickness of the soul we grow to have from our separation from our fellows), of bad and good, and mainly because of the reflection many pose as doing God’s work, in the name of God, as they kill anyone who is not agreeing with them. That is not an act of God, that is an act of man, of MAN IN FEAR.
I am not a politician, and I am not a preacher, and I am not a war monger, but I am a human being. I get to play whatever role in this tragedy, or comedy or masterpiece that I choose… That depends on me. I don’t want to try to get into the politics of the world, I don’t want to try to begin to talk about religion, but I do feel that I can talk about the human condition, because I do qualify for that. As we all do.
So, I am guilty of having greed, I can get into thinking of myself too much, and I can lose focus on the important things when I get wrapped up in what I want, and what I don’t have. We know that the world is still suffering greatly with millions of people in need of basic life essentials and it’s easy to remove this from our awareness when we get busy in our lives, and like a horse with blinders, we sometimes only see whats in our own back yard. The first step for change from where I sit today, is to see that the greed of one culture, is creating and perpetuating the poverty of another. That does not sound “fair” to me, as equal lives on this globe, we all deserve the basic human rights of food and water. So, I get to think about that, and feel that, and see what responsibility I have in all of it.Then I get to act accordingly.
When I can see that we are all the “same” in that we are all unique, individually beautiful creations, then I feel more able to see you, and be able to help you. We are all a part of the tribe of humanity. When I get out of myself and stop focusing on whether or not you are judging me, as I judge you judging me, then I can get in a place of complete love with you. I can feel the connection we share, the life that we both bring, and then can have fascination by the different views you may have to mine. It’s refreshing, and often illuminating and life altering.

So I choose to be open-minded, I choose to be empathic, I choose to be compassionate, I choose to be giving, I choose to be caring, I choose to be proactive, I choose to be a warrior for light and love, justice and equality.

I don’t want to commit slow soul suicide, which is death in itself. I want to make a difference in this world. I want to help this planet be a little better and brighter because of me. I am writing this as all of us. The “I” in this story is Us. Together, united, healing the planet in one smile, one step, one decision, one surrender at a time.

Our Scars Tell Our Story

“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen

None of us are perfect, but we are all beautiful.

Have you ever messed something up so bad that you didn’t think there was ever going to be a way to fix it? Maybe you made choices in your life that you thought were right at the time, only to find that they weren’t? Or you made blatant choices that you knew deep down were not right, but you didn’t care? Have you ever been in desperation? Have you ever felt that there was no way out of the pain that you were in? Have you ever hit the bottom of your soul, only to have the bottom drop even further? If not, I am surprised that you are even human.
As much as the isolation creeps in when we feel we have messed up, or failed in some way, the most painful part is that feeling of loneliness. That feeling of complete despair, as if we are the only one that has ever been through what we are going through. That feeling of hopelessness, and unworthiness can not only freeze us in our tracks, but can propel us to make even more bad decisions if we stay in the place of shame. Shame is an incredibly debilitating emotion, that serves no one. There is a big difference between guilt and shame. Guilt is necessary to our growth, because it is our barometer of right and wrong action, our conscience, or that still, small voice. Shame is what happens when we identify with the guilt as a description of who we are. It becomes our identity, our label, and we begin to live from this place of shame. If we begin to believe we are bad, or we are evil, then naturally our actions will follow that statement, thus perpetuating the cycle of behaviour that is hurting us and others in our midst.
I’m not implying that we all are walking around with guilt or shame all the time, but I would be surprised if you haven’t experienced either of these. I think it is one facet of being human, and a good place to start sorting out how to live truly awake, truly alive. Shackled by shame keeps us dead, keeps us living the lie we keep telling ourselves to who we are. Eventually we can forget that bright-eyed child we once were, who saw life through amazement and wonder. We forget that we are beautiful, scars and all. We didn’t know that in these moments of despair, we have the greatest opportunity to grow, and to heal. When we surrender to the absolute human-ness we possess, and know that everyone makes mistakes, of varying sizes and we will all make mistakes again. We will see the same old story come around for ourselves if we don’t seize the opportunity to know ourselves through these hardships.
Not only can these errors in our lives teach us about ourselves, bring us into our hearts, but the best part about it is that when we do learn and grow from our pain, we have an amazing gift to give someone else. Compassion. We let them know that they are not alone. What we have done has been done before, and someone has suffered as greatly as you are. Others have overcome the guilt and the shame and have become a success in their lives because of it. They have inspired and transformed those lives that were without hope.

So let’s let the light in. Let’s be courageous in our searching for the truth of ourselves. Let’s love ourselves and forgive ourselves of what we have done. Let’s not forget the past, but find a way to give it away. Let’s express with our unique creative voice what our story is. We all have one, and it is uniquely ours, scars and all.

5 Simple Steps To Acceptance

When we decide to trust in a higher purpose, and we stop fretting over all the little things that can pile up during any given day, we gain perspective. Isn’t everything in life able to be seen from either the perspective of fear, or the perspective of love? Every choice we make we get to decide if we will be in fear, void of trust and hope, or from the attitude of love, where all things are in harmony, and even when they are not, knowing that in some way, at some point, this too shall pass.
I can be in such a state of fear when I feel that I cannot control all of what’s around me. It is an endless and thankless task, to be master of not only my universe, but yours and theirs also. It leaves me feeling like a failure, and in a constant state of worry, that I haven’t been successful in my ability to control the destiny of all around me. My perspective needs adjusting.
What can I control? People? Places? Things?
That question is the first to answer, and it’s an easy answer, I can only control how I choose to react to people, places and things, but not the objects themselves. This is a great relief, as I still am able to have my “control freak” need met, but from a place of stillness, and understanding of my role in this game. When I relax into this, and look at each experience as an opportunity to practice kindness, compassion, understanding, allowing, I am at peace with me. I can continue to march on to the beat of my drum, and enjoy the resonance of the choir of drums of all of you. Then we are in harmony.
Lets think of some ways that we, today, can choose to act in harmony with each other.

1. Understand that other people have every right to have their feelings, even if they don’t match or meet yours.

2. Learn how to be a better listener to others, it takes practice to listen with your heart instead of a critical mind.

3. Be happy with who you are, and the differences that make you UNIQUE. You are a special gift also, and there is only one of you.

4. When you get frustrated with a situation or a person, take a breath and ask yourself, why am I upset about this? What is it in me that doesn’t accept this “thing” as it is? Sometimes its obvious that someone has hurt you, or let you down, and you do have choices around this. You ned to determine if the situation is toxic to you, or workable. Dig deep to get the answer. It’s not about changing them, but what you can do for yourself that is for the greater good. If someone is toxic, then standing by and allowing toxicity is only enabling them, let go with love.

5. Ask your higher power for more compassion, more acceptance of life and all of its ups and downs. We all go through dark times, and have our shadows, in this we are all the same. When we can truly see the suffering of another, and relate it to our darkness, then we are able to let a little bit of light into our hearts and help each other, and mutually evolve from a place of common ground, and empathy.

Are you choosing to be in acceptance today?