Present Tense

We’re depending on you

Head in HandsWhat the HELL is going on in the world? What is wrong with people? We could turn those phrases into a drinking game this week and we’d all be drunker than skunks if you took a shot every time those words were spoken.

It’s crazy right now, but the interesting thing is that even though we do have some common pains and worries, we don’t really have common solutions. Another mass shooting: one side calls for stricter gun laws, another for looser ones. Another instance of alleged police misconduct resulting in a civilian death: one side says police have a hard job and we should always respect that, while the other side says that the police are the enemy.

And the frustrating thing for me is that these issues seem to always divide along party lines. If you’re in one party, you must believe this, which will of course, be the exact opposite of those ‘idiots’ in the other party. Sound familiar? And then there are those who actually use their brains and their other emotions besides fear and anger, who reside in the Venn Diagram where our values and common sense and empathy intersect.

Unfortunately, the places where we get our news, particularly on TV, rarely enter that fairly large area of agreement. Not good for business. Much better to keep people afraid and angry and suspicious of ‘the other side’ because it’s great for ratings.

So, here we are. Stuck. Angry. Frustrated. Overwhelmed. Afraid. Dug in. Barricaded in our belief system, with no intention of learning about how others came to their world view.

Now, that is scary. A bunch of humans, glaring at each other through their tiny peepholes in the giant door that protects them from people who disagree with them. What a way to live, eh?

You know how on the internet or Facebook or whatever, videos of cute baby animals and baby humans tend to spread like wildfire? That is because we all universally (okay I know there are some of you with very dark and scared souls who refuse to enjoy puppies and kittens…which is a shame) feel a swelling of good emotions while watching them. They are cute and innocent and funny and we just wanna squeeze ‘em. That is because we are connected. By universal love.  Massive, global warm and fuzzies.

There are also those stories and shares of brutality and pain and suffering that receive millions of views and hits. In these cases, we are all connected by that universal pain. We all feel it. We all suffer. We all are connected. Do you understand what this means?

It means that we have to begin to acknowledge our commonality, rather than our differences. We are connected. When one suffers, we all suffer. When one triumphs or feels joy and love, we all do. It spreads and covers us and lifts us up and knocks us down. We are all one on a soul level.

This is the basic teaching of every single major religion and spiritual path. Love your fellow beings, for they are you. But, it’s hard, isn’t it? Everyone is so flawed and complicated and imperfect and blah, blah, blah.

We are at a tipping point. I believe that this is a time to awaken to the clarity that is available to us. I would not presume to know how you will do that, as we are all on our own path to awakening…or not. But, if you feel like things are not working, begin to question your beliefs and the collective beliefs we’ve taken as hard truth.

That is step #1. Question everything. What you have carried around as a belief for years and years is probably not really based on anything but what you were taught by other flawed humans. Core beliefs can evolve, despite the conventional wisdom that says otherwise. We’ve seen a huge evolution in our lifetime on various issues.

What have we been taught as Americans? Growth, progress, technological supremacy, military superpower, USA is #1, work over family, we know best as a nation, might makes right, money and wealth is the ultimate goal, we have dominion over the earth, etc.

A lot of us are questioning those values because they don’t seem to be valid any longer. We are fat, sick, mired in massive debt, destroying our environment, working longer and harder for less, feeling as if we have to aspire to great wealth, but not having the means or training or education or connections to achieve it.

So, re-think. Re-tool your belief system. Maybe fulfillment comes from a more nurturing place. Maybe you’ll begin to feel those connections to all things on earth, including other humans that you don’t quite understand. Love yourself, find yourself, connect with your soul.

Find a way. We’re all depending on you.

For an audio version of this post, click below

July 25, 2015 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Keep your dirt to yourself…..

pileI’m in a weird netherworld right now between old life and new life.  We’ve sold our mountain home, so I had to vacate, but due to work obligations, I’m not able to make the move to the new home in northern Michigan.

So, I’m camped out in a residence hotel in a very busy, congested area of Denver, near the radio station where I work.  Although I’m enjoying the conveniences of the city, the traffic and the loneliness is intense.  I miss my husband and our two dogs who have been gone for about two weeks now. They’ve moved into the new house and the new life, while I am in suspended animation for a few more days.

The immense number of cars and people in a large city fascinates and horrifies me.  It’s dawning on me why people are constantly complaining about ‘stupid people’, ‘horrible drivers’, ‘rude people’.  It feels that way when you’re in the middle of controlled chaos day after day after day.  It wears you down; it chips away at your soul.  It can make you hardened toward your fellow humans because it seems like the whole world is in a hurry and you are merely a dot in this sea of ‘me first’.

Well, we are a dot.  That is true.  But, all of us dots form a large chain of connection and consciousness.  There is a rhythm, even in the aggressive chaos of traffic and people moving around the city; traffic and people moving around the world.

I was at Target this afternoon.  Part of my mission was to get out of my cramped room and the other part was a hunter/gatherer mission for food.  I wandered a bit, as did many of my fellow Target shoppers; some in pursuit of a particular item and some like me, searching for nothing in particular.

I plunked myself in the express lane, fiddling with my smart phone like everyone else in the store.  But, the checker caught my ear.  She was ringing up an older woman who was buying a large and cumbersome cork board, while trying to juggle her purse and write a check.  You know how irritated we tend to  get about the old-school check writers who take up so much time in the check-out lines.  The woman finished her awkward transaction and the checker said,  “Now, you take care, my darlin'”.

She said it with such sincerity and love that I thought she must know this woman and then it was my turn.  She scanned my scant items and efficiently bagged them up.  I swiped my card and she looked me in the eye and said very sincerely,  “Thank you so much darlin’.  Have a nice evening”.

I’ll be honest.  I wanted to linger.  I wanted to express my gratitude for her gentleness and kindness that is so often lost in these transactions.  She took the time to acknowledge each and every PERSON who came through her line.  Not a customer, not a client, but a person.  Even though many of us are rushed, distracted, impatient, frustrated, snotty, self-absorbed, talking on our stupid cell phones, she was efficient and competent, but also kind and connected.

Was it difficult for her?  It didn’t seem to be.  At all.  We choose what we put out to the world.  I’ll be willing to bet that she’s had some pretty shitty things happen in her life.  Maybe she went home to some of them after her shift.  We all have our burdens, but I guess what I’m saying and what I’m learning is that my burdens don’t have to become yours. My shitty day doesn’t have to become your problem.  We live in a time and a culture where it’s become okay to dump all of your dirt onto others and that’s not fair.  That makes for a dirty, nasty world.

I’m thinking that it would be so much nicer and cleaner and clearer if we all kept our dirt to ourselves, in neat little piles.  No spreading it around. That way, we all have a clear path here and there to get to where we’re going.  To walk AROUND that dirt and keep our feet clean.  Sound good?  Here’s your broom……

June 24, 2013 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

   

%d bloggers like this: