Sunday, July 23, 2017

Together We Shall Rise

This past year has been full of emotion and I am sure that I am not the only one feeling it.  It is like every time society takes 2 steps forward they are taking 3 steps back. The world is divided and we have no one to blame but ourselves. So much energy is wasted on who is right and who is wrong, who is privileged and who is not. Generation after generation we talk about following examples of great spiritual leaders before us such as Jesus, Ghandi, Buddha, and many more who have been the example of responding in a non-violent way. Responding to hate and ignorance with love and compassion. One of the hardest things to do is to love someone who has caused you or someone you love harm. It is far easier to be angry and lash out when we are hurting. It is easy to fall into this trap which becomes a never-ending cycle if we refuse to wake up and see the light.  We CANNOT go on living like this! This hate, this anger, judging others, it needs to stop! We are ALL human beings and should treat each other with the way we would want to be treated, how we want our children and grandchildren to be treated by others.
                I love how many indigenous cultures think. When making decisions that impacts the generations to come they not only think of their children and grandchildren, they think of the next 7 generations.  This is a way of life for many Native American tribes.  We are not only a product of our own choices and that of our parents but of all of the generations before us. And just like the generations before us we all have the ability within us to impact and change future generations. One of my favorite quotes by Ann Frank from her diary, “It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”  Such a powerful statement from such a young soul whose life was taken too soon.  I can’t help but wonder how many people have been inspired by her words, the words of a young girl who witnessed so many horrible things and so much hate, yet still believed in the goodness of mankind.  No one ever said life was going to be easy and always filled with joy and rainbows. Life is difficult and full of obstacles and challenges.  We are who we are because of and in spite of the lessons life has brought into our lives. 
                Today I am asking all of you reading this to ask yourself, “What is the future I’m envisioning for future generations?”  You see, our thoughts and words create our reality. If you want to continue to live feeling defeated, judged, broken, lost, or whatever other negative emotions you are feeling then simply do nothing.  But I caution you, your children are watching, your peers are watching, and the cycle will continue until someone decides enough is enough.  Now, if you envision a future with peace, unity, love, acceptance… Ask yourself, “What am I doing now to make this happen? How can I change what I am saying or doing to create this future?”  Then don’t hesitate and start today!  The one amazing thing about free will is we can choose at any given moment to change and then do it! If you hate your life and are depressed, change it. If you hate seeing so much hate in the world, start performing random acts of kindness. Say hello to a stranger, pay someone a compliment for no reason but to simply acknowledge and recognize them. If you see someone struggling with their kids in the store, think before you judge. They may be a parent or even a foster parent of a child with special needs that is over stimulated by all of the people and lights at the store. That parent may be at their breaking point and a single kind word from a stranger may be what gives them hope for tomorrow.
                We have become a society that defines each other by labels and forgets to see the human attached to the label. What would the world look like if we only saw souls? If there were no labels to divide us? It was the generations before us that divided us by insisting we define our differences so we can be neatly placed into categories based on our income, religion, and by the color of our skin or if we do or don’t have a disability. Then they decided who was better based supposed statistics and research.  None of us lived when all of these were decided and unless we can travel back in time we will never know if the intentions were good or bad. Maybe the original intention was simply to understand something that they couldn’t explain, what if it all started out of curiosity and somewhere down the line it was distorted and abused?  We will never know. What I do know is that if it is ever going to change, it all starts with US! So many love to quote Ghandi by saying, “Be the change you wish to see in the world” yet they do not practice what they preach.  I know that I have been guilty of this in the past as well.
                So often we try so hard to make change and we get overwhelmed by the negativity that surrounds us and we give up.  We get overwhelmed by the darkness that surrounds us and we lose hope that things will ever change. We watch the news and see all of the negative events happening in the world, or we see someone we care about post something so filled with hate on Facebook that we can’t comprehend how this good friend or family member can be so filled with hate for another human being. In the past, I spent a lot of time helping others and always did my best to play my part in making the world just a little bit brighter any chance I got. But that all changed about a year ago when I saw family turn against family, and long-time friends say hateful things to each other. There was people I looked up to and admired suddenly posting things that were so filled with hate all the while they were preaching love and tolerance that I lost faith in humanity and shut down emotionally.  I would occasionally share my gift of healing with individuals who crossed my path to pull them out of the darkness and into the light, but not like I used to.  I began to hide my gifts and who I am and threw myself into everything else in an attempt to escape the crisis that I see the world in.  Every day there are more and more suicides and not just our children but famous actors and musicians.  If they feel that lost with all of that money to access the resources they need to get better, what will it take to change?!
                I heard a song for the first time yesterday, Katy Perry - Rise (Official) - and after reading another hate filled post I decided enough is enough. It is time for all of us to Rise Up. I know it can be difficult some days but we have to keep fighting and Rise Up. Hopefully others will as well and we can start bringing real change to the world. Some refer to times of intense darkness as the “Dark Night Of The Soul” because at times it may seem so dark that you can’t bear it anymore. It is in this time where some of the brightest lights are born. If this entire amazing universe we live in can be born out of complete darkness, imagine what we could all create if we just hang in there a little bit longer, let that caterpillar in the cocoon become an amazing butterfly! Now imagine if we could be the catalyst that sparks that fire in others to wake up and turn all of their tests in life to an amazing Testimony! Just imagine what we could all do!  So, in this dark night of the soul I am asking you to begin to rise so we can create that amazing future we have always dreamed of a reality! Keep fighting for all of those we have lost to early. Do it from your heart and do it from a place of love.  Maybe that is why love always saves the day in fairytales… With love, anything is possible.

                Sometimes we have to let go of the people, ideas, or things that hold us down in order to Rise Up and shine like the light we were meant to be because seeing us rise will help others see that they can too.  We are not all meant to be on the same path at the same time and when someone is ready extend your hand with love and lift them up. If we can do that, just imagine what the future will become!

 July 23, 2017