To all of my very dear friends -
I'm sitting here on Sunday evening on my sister's front porch in Michigan, watching the corn across the gravel road grow as the shadows lengthen and the sun prepares to rest before its big day as it dances with the moon tomorrow,. The bees and mosquitos are still buzzing, and I'll be setting off on a road trip to the Atlantic ocean with my sister in the morning (or whenever we actually pull out of her driveway!). Being west coast people, we've never seen the Atlantic, and while I've enjoyed many sunsets over the ocean, watching the sun rise is a long-awaited treat. She and my brother-in-law are off enjoying a little evening drive together, so I thought I'd check in with you.
I've been primarily off-line and out of the loop on world events since last week, and only today learned of some of the tragic events in the news recently. I've sat down to write in the wake of way too many of these events in the past few years, and a heavy sense of "how many times..." has taken up a bit of residence in my heart.
We cannot control the outer events in the world. If we could, we would. We can choose our response, and our response must be love. It must be love, no matter what, no matter where, no matter why, no matter how many times we see these terrible scenes enacted on the screens of our life together. We are called to be peacemakers. No matter what, we will never bring peace if our hearts are filled with hate. No matter how much hate we see or experience, we cannot hate back. No matter what. No matter when. No matter how or where or why.
Being a peacemaker does not mean we tolerate or excuse hateful actions on the part of others. Being a peacemaker does not mean we ignore the events in the world. Being a peacemaker does not mean we close our eyes and declare that "it's all good." These events are not good; they never were and they never will be. Being a peacemaker means we behave in ways that cultivate peace. We are not required to put up with hatred, but we are called to respond with love. We are called to remember that we can always choose to express Good.
There is a collective consciousness of humankind. If we return hate for hate, we have only increased the amount of hate in that collective consciousness. The only way we will ever Lighten the collective consciousness of humankind is by contributing Love. We must forgive. Emilie Cady reminds us in Lessons in Truth that we must forgive - give Good for the errors perpetrated by those who live in darkness. If humankind is to live in peace, we must remember our own commitment to live as the Love and Peace which Christ consciousness is.
Love is. Light is. Peace is. God - Good - is. And we are That. So is everyone, even if they don't know it and don't show it. It is up to those of us who do know to honor the precious Divinity within ALL beings. Even those who are so very, very, terribly misguided in their actions. No matter how it is expressing, no matter how tragic the circumstances. ALL beings wish to be safe, wish to be happy, wish to be loved, wish to know Good in their lives.
When we allow ourselves to inhabit the peace which is the core of our Beingness, we will be guided to the appropriate outer actions. And, we should take those outer actions which are in alignment with Truth. This is a time for action. But I cannot tell you what that means for you, other than to remind you of Charles Fillmore's reminder that the voice of Wisdom is always pure and peaceable.
In addition to the cultural and societal events, we are each dealing with our own personal challenges. Many of you are facing difficult personal journeys, or perhaps walking alongside loved ones as they face tremendous challenges. Again, we must not hate the situations or circumstances of our lives. This is only adding more hate.
I hope you will each join me in prayers of peace for All Beings everywhere, no matter who, what, where, or why. As I type this, as pair of small birds, unfamiliar to my Tucson eyes, are chirping in the tree barely six feet away from me. As I type this, crops are growing and families are sitting down to dinner, or taking walks together, or simply enjoying the pleasures of loving proximity to those they care for. To me, these are reminders of the Peace which is always present.
In this moment, perhaps you will pause, center yourself, and simply cultivate gratitude for the Good which is present in your life. You are here, breathing air, with the amazing privilege of enjoying this human life. In this moment, you are safe. In this moment, you have good memories to savor and exciting journeys to anticipate. In this moment, you are blessed to have the opportunity to be a Maker of Peace.
Allow yourself to cultivate gratitude. Allow yourself to enjoy the blessings of your precious fully-human, fully-divine Life. Allow yourself to pause, and allow yourself to imagine the blessings of this moment flowing forth from your calm center of Peace, and radiating to all of those you love. Radiate this love to all of those who have been beneficial influences in your life. Allow this sense of well-being to flow forth to all of those who impact your life in any way, whether they sell you groceries, deliver your mail, or cash your check at the bank. Allow this sense of well-being and gratitude to surround those with whom you share difficult relationships, as well. Perhaps not quite so easy, but really, they are not so different from you. There are probably people on the planet who might have difficulty wishing you well, but what a gift their willingness would be.
In this moment, allow your own willingness to wish others well to include all of those affected by the violence and chaos in the world, whether victim or perpetrator. Allow yourself to remember that - no matter the appearance - we are not separate from one another. These are not only your brothers and sisters who are hurting, they are individualized expressions of God, doing the best they can in any given moment. They must learn, and they will learn, that hatred will never, ever, ever cease by hatred, but that Love alone will transform their pain into perfection.
The Kingdom of Heaven is here present, in our midst. Either we believe these words given by our Master Teacher, or we do not. If we find it hard to believe, that is okay. "I believe... help my unbelief" is an honest prayer, and one which will be answered, as all True prayers are.
I hope you will join me in this prayer of peace. It is not a prayer asking for peace to be given to us, because peace is already present within each and every one of us. It is a prayer of willingness to Be That Which We Are, and of willingness to allow those who appear to be "others" to discover their innate Goodness as well. Until we can see their Goodness, they will not be able to see it, either.
I am so thankful for your willing Presence in my life. I am so thankful for the practices and teachings which allow me to return to my own calm center of Peace. I am thankful.