Design Your Mind: The Better Angels of Our Nature Part 1
Posted on July 22, 2013
I am not a laborer of thought, but a reflection of heart, a silent soul speaking through a body of Hope and Grace.
Violence is the voice of an ignorant heart. As a young teenager I tore that phrase out of a magazine and glued it on the spine of my poetry binder. It’s stuck with me since. One of my fondest memories is of me at age 7 swinging at my family’s cabin in Glacier National Park. It was an older swing set, the forest green paint chipped and peeling, the chain squeaked a bit as it moved, but it didn’t matter for I could still pump myself high into the sky while leaning back looking at the clouds float by. Rainbow Mountain glittered its facade in the distance as I felt deep lasting peace, tranquility and rightness in the world.
Then I grew up.
I’ve written about being a zombie, disconnected and going through the motions of life, lets just say, that feeling of “rightness” drifted away as my days waxed and waned, leaving me feel less than zero in the world of not enough.
I’ve returned to my belief in peace, tranquility and harmony as a lasting possibility. I’ll borrow the term from David Eagleman, but I’m a Possibilian. I believe in the potential that exists in each an every one of us, the potential to reach through in empathy, lending a helping hand rather than simply helping oneself. As a mother I don’t worry as much about what kind of world we’re leaving our kids so much as what kind of kids we’re leaving the world. If brought up in a culture of enough, one of empathy and the realization we’re all connected, I believe they’ll take care of their world as much as one another.
Many may call my views idealistic, optimistic or downright impossible. I would counter that such thoughts of non-violence, peace, and looking to the world through a compassionate heart, connected in empathy, are precisely what’s needed. Thoughts are energy and shape one’s mind; they hold intention and fuel our choices and perceptions. Furthermore, our history is peppered with accounts of those speaking from
idealistic hopeful visions of humanity walking hand in hand as brothers and sisters of spirit. While I profess to be none other than a mother, a daughter, a sister and a friend… I feel it’s my duty to embody my beliefs, rather than simply filling the air with angered reactions or sentiments akin to those that fuel such incomprehensible acts of violence and terror, instead, I’ll share my visions of Hope and Grace.
“The Roots of Violence: Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, Science without humanity, Worship without sacrifice, Politics without principles.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
I would remind the naysayers of the myriad of spiritual traditions that call on one to love thy neighbor as thyself; the Mayan living code of the heart known as In Lak’ech Ala K’in, simply means that I am another You; or Namaste – the acknowledgement that the divine spark within me recognizes the same in you demonstrated by bringing the two hands together at the level of the heart chakra and bowing to the other. These are but a mere drop in the ocean of belief systems of faith. Even our kindergarten motto of do unto others as you would have done unto you echoes the undercurrent of treating others as one would want to be treated. Yet, in the shame ridden society of sweep it under the proverbial rug- don’t share but despair, in a scarcity culture fueled by lack of self-love and the awareness that I am enough (you are enough // we are enough) in just being who I am when I let myself be… one does treat another as one treats oneself. Our negative self-talk and thoughts become the projected voice and reality, the warring factions of the world mirror the warring factions of self.
It can be difficult to open one’s heart and hold the world as it is in a caress, just as I too want to be held in my fragile humanness. Please don’t confuse as frail for to me, there’s a distinction, frail describes weak whereas fragile denotes the ability to be broken. Even the strongest materials can be broken and this has nothing to do with frailty. What can be broken can also be mended; in the alchemy of love I feel the healing brings greater strength as we look to the world through a compassionate opened heart, experienced in the art of being human.
“We often think of peace as the absence of war, that if powerful countries would reduce their weapon arsenals, we could have peace. But if we look deeply into the weapons, we see our own minds- our own prejudices, fears and ignorance. Even if we transport all the bombs to the moon, the roots of war and the roots of bombs are still there, in our hearts and minds, and sooner or later we will make new bombs. To work for peace is to uproot war from ourselves and from the hearts of men and women. To prepare for war, to give millions of men and women the opportunity to practice killing day and night in their hearts, is to plant millions of seeds of violence, anger, frustration, and fear that will be passed on for generations to come. ” ~Thich Naht Hanh
We live in a cruel and beautiful world with the line dividing good and evil cutting through the heart of every human being as said by Alexander Solzhenitsyn and who wants to live with half a heart? But there is a half that, in my belief, is the whole. Living from this truth wholeheartedly is the where the Hope, the Grace, the Love and Empathy spring forth. This doesn’t negate the cruel and beautiful world I live in, but lends to the realization that I have a choice. I always have a choice, perhaps not in what is done to me but how I react, how I treat myself, how I treat others, the living example I am. If I desire to be the change I want to see, I must reach through my fragile humanness, through my fear, and be here holding this space in an embrace, in love and light, united not divided in the human spirit.