Keeping Spirits Up

My spirit wants to soar, expand, feel love flowing inside me and reaching out to everyone I meet.  It’s fall, my favorite season, finally crisp and cool.  It may snow soon; snow-haters forgive me, I am a solid East Coaster, I love the snow despite its inherent inconvenience.  The holiday season has begun, almost all the Halloween candy has been eaten.  I want to dive in, but the world won’t let me.

How can I say it’s not too early to start celebrating when there’s just been another mass shooting?  When every day another person is being revealed as a sexual predator?  When everyone is sharing opinions about serious issues and confessing their own traumas, how can I write about the new white flocked Christmas tree I’m so excited about?

I could write #me too and join the fray.  I deal with my trauma but don’t feel the need to tell everyone my story or vilify the persons involved.  I only want to handle my own healing; hard as it is to face, the perpetrators are victims, too, and have their own healing to do.  The way we point fingers and ruin peoples’ lives only shows how far we have to go in raising our culture to one of love.

As for gun violence, words I heard yesterday in Adyashanti’s book, The End of Your World, rang true to me (I will post the exact quote when I find it) — we won’t change the world by having this government or that or by following this philosophy or that, but by changing ourselves on the inside.  Because what we are on the inside is what is reflected in our world on the outside.

Do we act and speak out of love or fear?  It’s not easy, I know.  Every day life gives us ample opportunity to practice.  I had a customer recently who was a great teacher.  She didn’t want to join our registry or participate in our philanthropic promotion, but she wanted a discount.  I recognize these situations as opportunities for my personal growth and try not to react with judgment.  But when she said “I don’t understand why I’m standing here and can’t get the discount,” I felt the warmth rising in my chest.

It’s not easy to look inside ourselves and ask what’s going on with me that’s causing me to judge?  Realizing that now I’m also judging myself and adding more negative energy to an already problematic situation.  Now I’m hearing in my head that song I love, “It’s not easy breaking your heart.”  It’s what we do when we don’t love unconditionally.  Finding a way to inject love, empathy, compassion into that interaction would have changed the world in that moment.

I’ve always told my kids no situation is ever all bad or all good, it’s always both, the paradox of life.  Maybe that’s why I’m so into this holiday season and my new Christmas tree.  There’s a lot going on in the world that we need to change, but there’s also a lot going on we can appreciate and celebrate.

It’s not too early, let the joy of the holiday season begin.  (Don’t worry, I won’t unpack my tree until after Thanksgiving.)

tree in box

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