Monday, November 23, 2015

The New Normal

I was asked earlier this week if I was to give a Ted Talk what would the topic be.  I realized I could only talk about what was currently alive in me and I was being challenged to get very concrete about my core values and determine whether they were truly non-negotiable. 

The recent tragedy in Paris stuck home, close to my heart. Yet as I reeled from the impact I also asked myself why I had not experienced the same degree of devastation when I read about the earlier strikes in Lebanon? Mere weeks earlier 43 people were killed in the Beirut bombing. Twelve days before that a downed Russian airliner over the Sinai Peninsula was obliterated, with 244 lives lost.  Why was the world, why was I, responding so strongly with solidarity now? 

I had to ask the hard questions, especially since one of my core values was radical honestly. I couldn’t help but notice how much I knew about the lives lost at the Bataclan Theatre in comparison to what I knew about any of the people hit in Beirut. People blamed the bias of media coverage but was that all? Could it be indicative of some form of cloaked racism? 

I have always stood for sameness and equality and dissolving the concepts of ‘us’ and ‘them’ yet here was some shadow hidden from consciousness that begged for observation. And I didn’t believe I was alone in my blindness.
Everywhere people were reacting!! As I watched, read the news and tuned into the internet, even Facebook posts, I heard everything from downright ignorance to racism and even the supposed spiritually awake expressing conspiracy theories. All seemed to be looking for places to lay blame. 

The more I listened to my soul, the more pain I felt at the division this kind of posturing was provoking. Add in the conversations about the Syrian refuges, ‘us’ and ‘them’ and it seemed fear-based thinking was leading the pack. 

What could I do? What was my part? If there is only love or a cry for love, what, inside myself needed changing or healing in order to act as love would?

I know the only answers worth listening to must come from one’s core. I increased my meditation time and listened with my heart.  When people were crying bullets, generalizing about others and radiating fear, my heart would contract. When others, like the newsfeed of the French dad explaining the terrorist attacks to his six year old son and advocating flowers instead of guns, went viral, my heart softened and stretched to include everyone’s pain. Yes, even the recent perpetrators, young people who everyone labelled monsters. They too made my heart hurt.

Tears came at the oddest moments and the biggest pain was feeling hit with prejudice where I least expected it. Seeing the violence toward Muslims and their places of worship here in Canada made it so clear to me that my tolerance for fear-based actions was zero.

Linking Islam with ISIS is as ludicrous as linking Christianity with the KKK. This is not the time to feed ignorance by playing small and cautious but rather a time to stand for our values and express them in our actions. Even in the privacy of our own thoughts.

I do not profess to have answers. The global situation is complex and there is a great need for accountability, the kind of accountability that admits the mistakes of the past and uses that knowledge to learn and evolve. It is not that much different than our responsibility in human relationships. To the extent that your focus is outside of yourself seeing another as the cause of your feelings, your reactions, to that extent will you be contributing to a fear based world.

We all need to turn inward and bring our shadows to the light. Let our souls be advocates for sameness, inclusion and compassion. We are all being called to ask, what can I do individually and collectively as an ambassador of love. And staying blind, out of the fray, is no longer an option. 

Some call the current climate a war and that may actually be true. A revolution really. An internal revolution. In every reaction, every thought, every opinion we voice, we have a choice and how we choose will determine the experience. 
We are either championing the light or feeding the dark. 

Simple. Pain will always push until vision pulls.

Branded and marked,
Authentically Yours,
Tasha aka Marty

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