Monday, January 20, 2014

What Does It Take?

Today is day 3 of the 30 Days of Love campaign.  This is a space of opportunity, by Standing on the Side of Love, where people are reflecting, contemplating, writing and harnessing our passion to bring about peace, justice, and reconciliation by mobilizing the tremendous power of  love to bring about change. Todays topic of reflection is considering a world where the human family lives whole and reconciled. I have been journaling each day, but wanted to lift up todays reflection here.  Today is the Martin Luther King Jr holiday.  A day when we remember, and lift up the myriad ways in which Dr. King lived into the possibility - and affirmed the inherent nature of the human family. 

The human family is - in my belief - whole and reconciled by nature. It is how we are made... we are unified in that we are of the same Source. The Holy Love in the Center of All That Is - is the taproot of the human family, and all of us - ALL of Us - have sprouted from this root and are nurtured by it. In this reality - we are whole - we are reconciled.  When I live in this truth, when I am able to breathe in the peace of that and connect to my human siblings, known to me and not known to me - I am uplifted, I am encouraged. There have been so many people, places and events that remind me that this is so.  Living in wholeness and reconciliation with the kaleidoscopic points of brilliance embodied as my human family - is connecting in the most basic yet the most beautifully complicated way.  

There is another perspective that comes to me in this contemplation, and it bears examination.  Watching the news, or scanning my social media feeds can be like being steeped in toxins.  There is never a shortage of stories of suffering, division, and dysfunction in the human family. It is easy to become jaded, to be cynical and to believe that we are built for conflict, that turning upon our sacred siblings - is just what we do. Mayhem and chaos are at the center of what the media and our fellow beings serve up for our consideration. Detailed accounts of shootings, trafficking of people and substances, imbalances of power and privilege, and the obscene extremes of wealth and poverty form the core of the information stream with which we are bombarded.

I examine each of these today - these two seemingly polar opposite views.  As I hold the tension of knowing that each is real - the question emerges - "what is the essential difference between the two?" For me the difference is a matter of what we do with our armour.

Woven into the fabric of the human family, are threads of conflict, strife, anger, hatred and fear.  There are two ways to respond to that reality - either by "perfecting" our ability to armour ourselves - or by doing the very hard work of creating, nurturing and growing spaces into which we can step with all our vulnerability, and set aside our armour.

The history of the human family has often brought us into violent interaction, a dynamic where we hurt one another.  In an effort to avoid being hurt we have woven a complex fabric of defenses - we have been trained towards - and equipped for - battle. By donning thicker, tougher, and more sophisticated armour and by wielding a numbing arsenal of weapons - blades, guns, resources and privileges - we lock ourselves into a certain dynamic - where we stand in our armour - and brace for the conflict.  When we take this position, we find ourselves at a place of great separation from our sacred siblings, and work in opposition to reconciliation. 

When our arms are full - of the things we have been trained to believe - keep us safe - we cannot pick up tools that forge relationship - we cannot open our arms to embrace.  

I believe that our common connection to the Source - the All - is imbedded in the very core of who we are.  Are we bold enough, to actively look for that in others - to see that Presence in their faces? Can we access our innate fierceness - and unfold? Not if we are standing in full armour, weapons in hand - daring the world to strike. I think we can be fiercely loving of one another. I believe we can be wildly inclusive and work boldly together. I know we can, I've seen it, I've experienced it. If we desire wholeness and reconciliation, we must have the ability to move, and arms that are open.  We must be vulnerable, and find ways in which, we can set aside the armour, and open our arms to the reconciliation and wholeness that only openness and lovingkindness can achieve.

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"Will you let your armor crack, and let the light shine through, can you see it streaming out, as well as into you?" (Terry Gonda)