Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Doubt, Fear, and Pain

Doubt, fear, and pain have an important role in changing the world. When we act from our authentic inter-being we cannot ignore or deny them. Instead of covering up or denying these feelings, however, we need to experience them and heal their deep wound. To not do so only leads us to create more separation and pain in all we do. Doing this healing generates courage for us to act in gentleness and love.

Granted there will be situations when on-violence will not resolve the conflict. But most situations do not require force or violence, even though we have been conditioned to respond that way. Separation is built ito our language, the language of vioence. Have you ever noticed how many situations are addressed as "war"? For instance, the "war on drugs" does nothing to address the causes of drug abuse or the economic factors that influence the trafficking of drugs. No wonder the "war on drugs" isn't working

What other "wars" do you hear about in the media? Do any of them address the need for society to change the situations that create the problem? Most of the time it is the situation that has caused the conflict. When we address the situation as cause we can begin to resolve the conflict.

How about the 'war on poverty'? What is at the base of this problem? There is no doubt that the world produces enough of everything that all creatures need to thrive. So what, then, is the problem? Why are there parts of the world where children are dying of hunger and/or preventable diseases? Consider how our sense of separation maintains this problem.

There is really no excuse for wide-spread poverty.The earth is rich with all we need. Yet policies of fear and greed keep governments from sharing that wealth. Even on the personal level many people are afraid to share what they have with "the others." That sense of "us against them", this is what separates and makes it possible to greedily hold on to what we have, even though we have more than enough.

Consider this definition of wealth: "the ease and freedom to be generous." (1) In a community where we know we will be taken care of by those around us. If we run out of what we need, those we are connected to, where we have a close connection with the land and a sense of belonging, we are confident that there is enough to share. We can be generous. We never fear not having enough.

Instead, though, most of us, at least in the Western world,, live in a culture of separation. Our inner voice says "if I give,I'll just be taken advantage of." "What if I give and have nothing left and no one takes care of me?" "What if I'm alone in the world?"

It is hard for us to believe that we are truly one with the world. When we know that we are one with the world then we know that what we do to the world we do to ourselves - then generosity is natural. When we give, the world gives back. Generosity creates generosity.

When we experience "lack," when we embrace separateness, we tend to see lack as some malevolent force and we separate even more. Then we mock generosity as foolish naivety. The perspective of lack produces more lack and greed. While the perspective of abundance produces more abundance and generosity.

Examine your own beliefs about lack, your own fears of there not being enough, your own wounds of separation. Knowing that there will always be enough when we are truly connected with all of creation will bring you peace. And this is really the only path to peace in the world.

(1) The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible, by Charles Eisenstein

Today's Daily Dozen To-do List:

  • For a charity, volunteer to distribute or deliver clothes, food, and gifts.
  • Give a donation to a charity that provides food for hungry children and the elderly.
  • Volunteer for Meals on Wheels or a similar meal delivery service. Bring kindness and warmth, as well as food, to the home-bound.
  • Compliment a recovering addict or alcoholic on their recovery progress. Be as specific as you can about the changes you've observed.
  • Collect goods for a food bank or shelter. Look for canned foods with meat/protein that can be eaten without cooking (tuna, chicken, spaghetti with meat, etc.)
  • Keep some ready to eat foods in your car to pass on to homeless folks you see begging. Include travel sized toiletries.
  • Share your perspective of abundance with others, reminding them that generosity is contagious.
  • Post information on FaceBook about charitable organizations that work to reduce poverty and hunger. Encourage folks to support them.
  • Volunteer to work in a garden plot in a depressed area of your city. Help provide fresh produce to families who wouldn't ordinarily be able to afford or shop for them.
  • Deliver a protein-rich casserole to elderly folk in depressed areas.
  • Make fresh fruit available to local summer youth programs.
  • Create a support group for unemployed persons, offering encouragement, information, guidance, appropriate clothing for interviewing.  Invite professionals to speak on relevant topics. Network with the unemployment offices.

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