I notice a desire to be a little gentler with myself on The Path today. All this inner harshness and tendency toward self-destruction is wearing a bit thin. Although it is difficult to let go of old, ingrained habits there has to be a better, more loving way to be. For me, it helps to know I am not alone. That we are all in this together. That the more loving I am toward myself, especially during my less loveable moments, the more loving a place the world is as a result.
I very rarely watch the news. That said, the events of the world still have a way of finding their way into my field of awareness. Right now, I cannot help but feel the impact of the shooting down of flight MH17 and the rising violence in Gaza. (My husband and I met on a kibbutz just a mile from Gaza.)
One of my favourite kibbutz memories was the day a fellow volunteer and I were driven by our (Jewish) Israeli soldier friends to the beach. The route involved passing through a checkpoint into Gaza. I was slightly perturbed as even then (twenty years ago) tensions were high. The sound of gunfire and flash of bullets on the horizon were a regular occurrence. The beach, however, was idyllic. I remember the purest, white sand. Our soldier friend asked us if we wanted to go out with him and his (Palestinian) fisherman friend to lay some nets. The wooden boat was unusual in that there wasn't anywhere to sit. It was, in fact, flat-topped. And so, with the fishing nets piled high, we simply sat atop them and held on for dear life as we ventured out to sea (Hawaii 5-0-style) through the incoming waves. Eventually reaching crystal blue and calmer waters, I remember sitting back and taking in the utter beauty, peace, and irony of the situation. That was until the nets were released and began to unravel at a rate of knots beneath us. It still tickles me now to think of us scampering around trying to avoid being dragged in.
Since we are individuals that together form the group known as Humanity, as we release old patterns of pain and trauma we automatically contribute to the health and wellbeing of the Whole. As we take personal responsibility for our own evolution, Humanity thrives alongside us. Inner peace is world peace.
Right now Humanity is, it seems, experiencing one of its less loveable moments. It is tempting to judge and criticise, and yet we are not separate from it. Finger-pointing makes us feel better because it separates and distracts us from our own capacity to inflict pain and misery on our selves and others. (Just ask our children!) The truth is, we are all responsible. As shocking and outrageous as that may sound, in denying the part we play we also render ourselves powerless to change it.
The truth is, we have enormous capacity to make a difference. Not necessarily by going out into the world (though I am immensely appreciative of those that do feel that particular call to action). Peace starts within. We have tried waging war at both a national level and within ourselves. We have tried bullying. We have tried using force. We have tried criticism and judgement. Not only does it not work, it is exhausting on so many levels. It simply creates more of the same.
Now is the perfect time to try something new. We are ready, Humanity is ready, for change. No more conflict and separation. Our personal and humanitarian power lies in coming together. Being, as One. And so, as we radiate a little more love into the world...let's also show a little love toward the terrorist within.
Trained in a depth, buddhist-based psychotherapy, using everyday outer world experiences to develop inner wisdom, one day at a time.