How Do We Transcend Our Differences?
Personally and professionally, this question thrills me from head to toe, and yet it stops me dead in my tracks, because it so perfectly captures and frames the underlying instinctual fears of our animal nature, and the equally invigorating yearnings of our spiritual and social human nature.
This question of accepting each person as a gift transformatively moves me along those primal edges of fear and excitement, calls me to move out beyond my instinctual fears that are meant to ensure my human survival and moves me into the radiant, joyful aliveness of appreciation for the humanity and dignity that I share with all of life.
ThatÍs a lot for one question to accomplish. ThatÍs why this question is so very important to me.
This question powerfully calls me out into the realization that difference does not always equate to danger! This question calls me out into my conscious life and asks me to answer for how I use my powers of discernment. In doing so, I come face-to-face with the Truth as reflected in a poster I have that I truly love, ñDifference is often a beautiful thing.î Sadly I havenÍt always believed that statement.
As a child, I unwittingly took in the fear-based messages of our society that so painfully punish us all for being different. As an adult, I have reworked much of that early training and I now lovingly know that difference is often a beautiful thing! I know that our healing as a society comes as we value our sameness and our difference. I am grateful that I have moved to a place in my life where I truly do value how I am different and how I am the same as others. I truly feel the energizing comfort and strength of this Truth that each person is a gift.
I have many friends from different races, different walks of life, different spiritualities, different orientations of every kind. I canÍt imagine my life without any one of them. They are all such precious gifts and they all bring such joy and love and fullheartedness to my life. I would be so much smaller in consciousness without any one of them. This whole process underscores for me, yet again, the one spiritual Truth that I can never hear too often. Love is enough! Love may not change the other person. Love will most certainly change my relationship with that person and that is where the healing often occurs!
There is yet another spiritual Truth underlying this whole process. Love is not a passive process. Acceptance is not a passive process. As a matter of fact, love and acceptance are both very confrontational processes. Truly loving and accepting everyone and everything as a gift moves me and all of us headlong into confronting our blindspots. It may seem to be a very uncomfortable process and yet it is a very freeing process.
As we love and accept ourselves and each other as gifts, we free up all the energy we have used to keep ourselves spiritually blind and emotionally closed. As we open to this Truth of what love and acceptance can do for us and for all others, we literally become new people. A new radiance shines in and through us.
An understanding of this process is one of the reasons I so greatly treasure the Cultural Creatives movement. On every level, this movement speaks to the spiritual and social imperatives that I so greatly value. One of these spiritual and social imperatives is that every person and every thing has value! Every single thing has value. ItÍs not just a matter of money, race, gender or profession. ItÍs simply a matter of love and dignity based in our inextricably interwoven connectedness. We all share one planet, one universe. How we use it or abuse it affects the entirety of our existence. We may miss the connection in the moment but it is there!
We can check our attunement to this principle by asking ourselves some bubble bursting questions like: Do I love myself today? Do I feel alienated? When did I last experience the simple joy of smelling a beautiful flower or witness the indescribable beauty of a colorful sunrise or sunset? When did I last think of someone besides myself? When did I last do the simplest thing to bring joy into someone elseÍs life?
These questions often change my attitude and my focus and my feelings and my perspective. Suddenly, the world seems a whole lot brighter and lighter. Suddenly, laughter enters into my life again. Suddenly, tears of release bring a sense of relaxation and peace that I didnÍt even know was missing. ThatÍs a bittersweet realization, but nonetheless true!
My point in asking these questions is not to induce guilt, but rather to invoke a compassionate self-awareness that reminds me to move from fear into love. This movement from fear to love is the very essence of transformative change. It is where I feel we are going now as a collective world consciousness. WeÍre going back to the basics of love, back to our essence, back to our true nature as loving human beings united under the colorful banner of truly cherishing diversity, recognizing our oneness as we simultaneously celebrate the interconnected spiral of our amazingly beautiful uniqueness. I believe our very survival on this planet rests in embracing our need to deeply understand and appreciate the necessity of all expressions of diversity!
In this time and place of an ñadvancedî technological age, we can so easily remove ourselves from our humanity if we allow ourselves to be swept up in the ñrace to compare ourselves to others,î instead of comparing ourselves to the inner barometer of ñAm I a better person than I was yesterday?î ThatÍs the real barometer that will heal our fractured worldview and our fractured selves. ThatÍs the barometer that will heal all wounds, calm all fears! ThatÍs the barometer that I want to use when IÍm evaluating my progress in life! ThatÍs the barometer that will call me into a conscious relationship with myself so that I can truly accept each person, each thing, each moment as a gift in my life! Blessings to you, treasured gift!
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