Cultivating fear won’t create safety

In the wake of the election, I see many well-intentioned people fomenting fear as a strategy for making themselves and others safe. A state of chronic fear depletes us mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Fear is not sustainable, and fomenting it won’t make us safe. As we look around us, fear may arise, but let’s not fuel it. We don’t need to feed fear to be safe. We need to be awake, tell the truth, and love each other.

A declaration of interdependence

A declaration of interdependence

Heart image by Bianca Mentil via pixabayLast month, around the time I was wrestling with what to write here, 49 people were killed and many more were injured in an Orlando nightclub. My heart broke, and I went into something of a tailspin. For a few days I simply had nothing to say.

Actually, it’s not so much that I had nothing to say as that words seemed inadequate for all that needed and needs to be said. All that needed and needs to be said about learning to care for one another and for this miraculous planet we inhabit.

Earlier this week there was a bombing in Istanbul. This morning I see there was a bombing in Baghdad. And how many acts of violence, singular and collective, are occurring in this moment?

My heart goes out to all the peoples of the world. Dear Baghdad. Dear Istanbul. Dear Orlando. Dear Paris.

Dear us.

May we wake up and realize that we are all one.

Damage begets damage

A few weeks ago I spent seven days at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. It was stunning. I have never encountered people who were so committed to advocacy yet so gracious in sharing their message. Too often I know that I myself have become brittle, judgmental, and self-righteous in my own efforts to do good. Somehow it seemed that the folks at Best Friends have learned to identify with the goodness they are serving rather than with an image of themselves as crusaders against evil.

The folks at Best Friends have seen something, too, about animals, that I hope we will all someday see about each other: creatures are not born to be violent. Those to whom great damage is done tend to do damage in return. We must work to prevent and reverse the damage while loving the damaged being. In the words of poet W.H. Auden, “Those to whom evil is done do evil in return.”

A declaration of interdependence

I write this on the Fourth of July in the USA, a day marking the Declaration of Independence. As I listened to that document being read on NPR this morning, it struck me that the same words might well be addressed to the USA by various peoples around the world, including many within our borders. It can be tempting to shut out the uncomfortable truth that much of the prosperity and comfort I enjoy has come at someone else’s expense. It can also be tempting to reject the ways in which the human project has been advanced.

May we not settle for self-righteousness and self-satisfaction nor for cynicism and despair. Let’s keep waking up, keep reaching out, keep freeing ourselves and each other.

We have so much to celebrate and to be grateful for. We have so much more to do.

Don’t fall for the cynical lie that you have to choose between celebration and activism, between gratitude and fierce commitment to change.

You are human. You are vast. You can choose “all of the above.”

May all beings everywhere be happy and free

I’ve come to cherish this mantra, which I learned in yoga: “Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.”

“May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.”

Or in the words of the prayer of St. Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace!
That where there is hatred, I may bring love.
That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness.
That where there is discord, I may bring harmony.
That where there is error, I may bring truth.
That where there is doubt, I may bring faith.
That where there is despair, I may bring hope.
That where there are shadows, I may bring light.
That where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort,than to be comforted.For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.

You matter

A few weeks ago I was overwhelmed by heartbreak over the state of the world. Even so, I see everywhere reason to hope. I see it in the eyes of children. I see it in the good work at Best Friends. I see it in our sometimes clumsy and ineffectual attempts to love each other and heal our individual and collective ills.

The capacity to hope is reason enough to hope. You have that capacity, and it matters that you know it and use it as best you can when you can–and that you forgive yourself when you falter.

Have a wonderful, wonder-filled week, and please let me know what’s in your heart by sharing it in the comments.

Love,

mollysig125

PS:  Please join me and Mary Schiller on Friday, July 8th, for the free Wholeness Hangout, What to Do When There’s Nothing to Do: The Practicality of Spiritual Principles.

If You Want to See the Divine Start Here

Albert Einstein once remarked to Werner Heisenberg, “Whether you can observe a thing or not depends on the theory which you use. It is the theory which decides what can be observed.” When we operate from the basis that there is or can be anything fundamentally wrong with us or another being, we cannot possibly see the Divine in each of us. When we operate from the insight that we are all expressions of the Divine, seeing it becomes an inescapable part of our experiences.

Would you like to see even more clearly into your own Divine nature? Check out The Art of Living: Creating Magic and Meaning in Life and Work. Starts July 5.

There’s Nothing You Need to Fix in Order to Be More Loving

Love happens on two levels: the love we do and the love we are. The love we are is like the sun. The love we do, which is the product of our thinking in the moment, is like the weather. When the weather is clear, the sun shines through. When it is stormy, not so much.

When we want to be more loving, it doesn’t actually make sense to try to fix ourselves. The sun doesn’t need fixing, and the weather, being temporary, can’t be fixed and will pass in a moment. Trying to fix the weather just adds stormy thinking. The more we understand that out nature is love and trust that the weather will pass, the more the sun shines through.

Click here to learn about my newest program, The Art of Living: Creating Magic and Meaning in Life and Work. Save $100 when you sign up before April 21, 2016.

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