Edge Life by Cathy Combs

Healing Our Planet! What We Each Can Do!

Greetings of the Julian New Year to you. Never let it be said that surprising realizations don’t come out of the darkness of earnest wondering. It is the morning of November 8th as I sit here putting together some realizations that have just sprung to the surface of awareness at a new depth and fullness. These realizations bring a contemplative peace and an ability to step back in a rather wide-eyed amazement and amusement. Sometimes that’s not easy for me when I’m struggling. I’m sure it’s not easy for anyone.

Here are my realizations. There is an uneasy connectedness between victim/hero; codependence/respectful helpfulness; war/peace; demanding/asking permission; denigration/acknowledgment; enmeshment/interconnectedness. Quite a little gallery of participants wouldn’t you say? I have a sense of a wildly swinging pendulum, the movement of life, that often knocks me in the heart and the head before I see it coming. When I can stand in a more centered place of respectful self-observation I can see the movement of power/powerlessness, love/rage; the movement of a respectful connectedness that acknowledges boundaries and integrity vs. an unconscious disconnectedness that defies boundaries and integrity. I can see the joyful, engaging acknowledgment of presence vs. the despairing, raging, loneliness of a disconnectedness. To say the very least this is a wide range of human experience; a wide range of possibility.

I see this wide range of human experience and possibility expressed in some rivetingly important places: our attitude toward domestic violence, human rights, poverty in third world countries, insanity, mortality. I saw an example last night where a young man was judged by a jury to be aware of what he had done and yet legally insane. In my opinion, we use that kind of judgment to protect ourselves from our own capacity for violence. We are afraid of our violence so we say that someone must be insane to do something horrible rather than to realize that we are capable of willfully doing something horrible. To say the very least I don’t think it’s helpful to deny our energetic possibilities. In order to be truly alive and human I must look squarely at the wide range of possibility that defines who I am. I must realize that poverty and violence are more than physical; more than some distant reality for somebody else! If I deny my mortality how can I possibly embrace love and peace? How can I possibly embrace somebody else’s struggle?

These questions aren’t just hypothetical to me! These questions define the very energetic framework of my existence. They define my ability to stay present in the moment. They define my ability to look someone squarely in the face and speak to them in the heat of the moment; whether that heat is defined as love or war. They define my ability to stay centered in the face of gripping fear and realize that fear is not just in the face of someone else; it is in my face and heart as well. My humanity rests in my ability to embrace this wide range of experience and possibility. My humanity rests in my ability to call this ever-present pendulum by its proper name: abiding, expansive Love!!!

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