|Yes, those are my naked legs...you have them too!|
I don't follow politics AT ALL. Call me ignorant. Call me out-of-touch, but to me it's the same game over and over and over. And it's the game we are MOST ADDICTED TO. One president is our GOD and the next president is THE DEVIL. That's quite extreme....and it's a lot of weight for ONE person to carry. When we have a GOD for president, we are elated, happy, we get tingles all over our body watching speeches. We feel inspired and proud. When we have a DEVIL for president, we are fearful, scared, worried, angry, lost, confused, embarrassed. One brings out inspiration and the belief that anything is possible and the other causes us to fall into the deepest pit of depression...all because of ONE PERSON. Why is this?
Is it because we hinge the entire future on one individual? Are we aware, at all, of what is happening inside us, or are we just reacting to outside stimuli? Have we forgotten that by tuning into collective negativity, we are actually becoming part of it? That, in fact, every single one of us has both godliness and the devil inside. So what do we do?
All of us, every single person, is wearing a mask of some kind.
|From the Osho Zen Tarot Deck|
So who am I, really? If I take off everything...if I take off all my masks? WHO AM I? Stripped down to the bareness of my being I find I have arms, legs, a heart, skin, eyes, feelings. I am sometimes happy and elated and sometimes depressed. I feel. I think. I move.
I realize that when I hurt people or participate in negative emotions, I also feel hurt and negative. When someone harms me, I feel bad. When someone cuts me off in traffic, curses me, or calls me names, I become defensive.
When a stranger smiles at me or holds the door for me or says hello, I feel happy. When love is extended to me, my heart expands.
This is what we are doing here, but we get so attached to the pictures we see on the screen. We are so attached to the images, shows, programs, tweets, status updates and even blog postings. We attach ourselves to something or someone that we decide is either good or bad and that's what we keep doing. Over and over we are reacting to what appears in front of us in our lives, on the screen, in our homes, on the street. It's the movie of our lives and it is all REAL, right?
But there is a perspective we've forgotten about. Not all of us, but many. We've forgotten to look at the perspective of how we feel INSIDE. We are so busy looking at everything outside, wondering how everything is going to get solved. We are reacting to this tweet and that status update and this speech and that thing that person said. But what is going on right now, right here with YOU? How do you feel in this moment?
If you don't like something, you can't change the whole world. You can't change a presidential candidate's personality. Crying, lamenting, criticizing, and engaging in negativity won't change him. The only person you really have control over is yourself. Getting angry at other people for not being more involved or being from one side or the other only provokes more violence, hatred and ill will.
So what can you do?
Start with yourself. Sounds easy, right? Sounds even trite. Peel the layers back of who you are like an onion. Maybe you are a mother, peel that back. Maybe you are a teacher, a demonstrator, a hula-hooper, a doodler, a movie star, a wife, a business owner, a Catholic, a Jew, a Muslim. Maybe you are a vegetarian or a carnivore. Maybe you like country music. Maybe you have hurt people in your life. Maybe you haven't forgiven someone. Maybe you are a bully or even a victim. Maybe you are a newlywed, just had a baby or were recently divorced.
Slowly start to peel all the layers back. I find this helps if you sit with your eyes closed and visualize yourself peeling off the layers of who and what you identify with. It doesn't mean you have to give them up or give up what makes you YOU, it just means, for these few moments, peel off these layers like taking off clothes.
Become a naked human.
Now that you are sitting here naked with yourself, with no identity, except that you are human, you have skin, a heart, lungs, you are breathing, how do you feel?
Imagine now, if you will, many other fellow human beings sitting in chairs around you with all their identities like masks laying on the floor in front of them. What makes you different from anyone else, besides the obvious biological differences?
From this place of non-reaction and non-judgement, with all of our masks on the floor in front of us, resting in the peaceful center of ourselves, we find that we are all the same.
WE ARE HUMAN.
I know, it sounds a bit hippy-dippy, right? I mean, we have real problems out there. We don't have time to go inside ourselves, we have to fight the power, we need to stand up.
WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING!
All the problems out there are the problems inside too. Start with inside first. Start with what's going on with this human you carry around day in and day out. Tune in first to that BEING. Find out, without influence from everything outside, what is right for YOU to DO. Not because it looks good, or because other people are doing it.
Be kind with yourself. Make peace with yourself. Love YOU. Find that kind of peace inside you that is connected, not separate. The kind of love that does not distinguish, judge or ridicule, but realizes we are all cut from the same cloth.
|Bumper sticker on Volkswagon bug in Hawaii|