When the Suffering is Great

The news coming from my country has been so dire these last few days (and years), particularly in regard to the immigrant children. Many of us feel hopeless and aren’t sure how to help. I can’t imagine how anyone could think separating parents from children at the border is a good policy, and yet, families keep getting separated and children are put into internment camps. It seems to me like a modern-day Holocaust. 

Growing up Jewish, I learned about the Holocaust a lot. And the Holocaust is not the only example, there are so many more in our world – it is only the mass genocide I was raised hearing about the most. As a young adult I became convinced none of it would have happened if only regular Germans had put their feet down and said “stop!” 

Well, I’m finding that it’s a lot more complicated than that. Plenty of us are crying “stop!” We are donating and volunteering. And still there are children in camps. Only a truly cruel system could wish this reality on children and their parents. 

I had a dream last summer that I was one of these mothers. I was in a dark, cold prison of concrete and fencing, my toddler ripped out of my arms by a guard. My heart broke and I felt extreme despair. I began wailing as the guard walked away. In the dream I felt his emotions. He was more than just indifferent, he was sadistic and desiring to cause harm to another. I woke up shaken and so afraid and immediately ran to hold my daughter as she slept. 

When I pray, I feel the best thing I can do besides volunteering and donating, is to keep writing. I write for myself, and to help others on their journeys towards wholeness and love. Perhaps just writing this, even if a leader never reads it, adds this into the pot of the collective. 

Our current situation is a problem of separation consciousness. We are not separate from the immigrants. We are one with them, and with all people. We must welcome them. We must care for the stranger as if they were our own, because they are. If only our leaders could speed themselves down the path of awakening to know this. 

I am That

At the workshop this past weekend, Neale taught us about a neat exercise to try. I can take no credit for it! In fact, his unnamed friend taught him this exercise, so even Neale can’t take credit for it. Here’s how it goes.

Wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing, experience the truth of your oneness with all things by looking at everything around you and saying “I am that.” This includes people, animals, plants, and even objects. Walking down the street, look at the tree, and in your mind say, “I am that.” Passing by each person, say to yourself, “I am that.” Passing a car, a bicycle, a parking meter, say “I am that.”

Since I’ve learned this exercise, I’ve been practicing it in particular with people around me, especially people I might disagree with. It’s so helpful and beautiful. I find my heart opening and softening as I remind myself that “I am that.” Try it. I’d love to hear how it affects you, too!

Healing and Politics

Though this is not a political blog, it’s hard to separate politics from healing when there seems to be so much need for healing in our current political climate. No matter what country you live in, there seem to be so many issues rearing their heads, from nationalism, to economic inequality, to anti-immigrant policies. And yet, each day there is something to celebrate. Each day people are still fighting for the good. And each day is a chance for me to remember that the greatest shift happens within. 

What if all politicians and all people came to realize that there is only one of us? That would pretty quickly solve a lot of our problems. If we saw ourselves in everyone else we would never be able to hurt other people, leave them starving, try to kick them out of our country, and worse. I truly do believe healing and developing one’s consciousness is one of the most important steps we can take to further the human race. There is only one of us.

I was not raised to believe that there is only one of us. I was raised to see separation and competition, even in my own small life on this planet. As I healed, I had very profound experiences of seeing other people, completely random other people, even everyone I encountered, as being fully human, full of light, and my siblings. Those experiences are not easy to forget. Would that every person could see the full humanness of each of us. We would heal our planet much more quickly than we have been.