Good morning sisters and brothers. After a rough couple days, I awoke this morning feeling somewhat back to my abnormal self. 🙂 The energy for the past few days has been exceedingly disruptive and I found myself caught up in the yuk – not on purpose – I just couldn’t NOT feel the tremor of fear that raged across our planet. A certain someone is supposed to pay a visit to Kenosha, Wisconsin today and there is much trepidation about the increasing division that his words might ignite. I am roughly 100 miles from Kenosha, in Oshkosh, WI so the anxiety is palpable.
This anxiety is simply one more symptom in a long line of symptoms of our dying world. That which has been hiding in the shadows (racism, classism, supremacy cults, the dark web, organized hate groups, violence, hatred, ignorance, etc. etc. etc.) continues to come out to be seen and it is HORRIBLE. The potential for evil that dwells within humanity is appearing to be infinite. And for those “of the good,” IT IS EXHAUSTING and disheartening.
In the face of all this evil, it is good to remember, this is nothing new! This evil and hatred for “the (perceived) other” has always been present. We simply live at a time that has fed these evils and that has allowed them to thrive – albeit in the darkness. Then a few years back something happened that invited them all to come out and play – and be seen. On many days, it seems as if a war is waging in the heavens between “the evil” and “the good” and we are the unwitting pawns in this game. I can assure you, such is not the case, but knowing this doesn’t change how it feels. We are definitely experiencing the depths of the YUK. The sad thing is that this is a YUK of our own making and has absolutely nothing to do with that which some might call “God.”
This is why I often say, “Human beings suck. I’m glad I’m not one of them.” I say this (somewhat) tongue in cheek – but in many ways this is true. Human beings, while perfect as Divine creations, are also broken and flawed. Broken by the original wound of separation and then further broken by other wounded human beings. We are all wounded in some way – some are simply wounded more than others. What we call “evil” is the consequence of unacknowledged and unhealed brokenness. This means that the “evil” can be healed.
When I look out over our broken world and ponder the healing of all this evil, I become overwhelmed and shutdown. It seems an impossible task. (It is an impossible task) I have learned that the world is not mine to heal. I used to think it was, but not anymore. I have come to understand that the only person we can truly heal is OURSELVES. Part of healing ourselves includes letting go of all the things outside of ourselves we believe we are responsible for healing. Like the story of the oxygen masks on airplanes. If the plane is going down, you have to grab your own mask first before helping your neighbor with theirs.
Saving ourselves does not mean we do not have compassion for our dying world. Neither does it mean we refuse assistance for those seeking help. We help the world heal itself by first healing ourselves. As we do this, those close to us begin to heal and transform. The more authentic and whole we are with ourselves, the more those around us feel safe to do the same. This healing begins to ripple out from us to the people we meet, the encounters we have in the world and the gifts we share with those who are ready to receive. Saving the world begins by saving ourselves and keeping the focus on our own healing and wellbeing. The rest simply unfolds from there.
This doesn’t mean that Lauri Lumby in Oshkosh Wisconsin by her simple acts of kindness will get a white supremacist to lay down his gun, but it might inspire the next generation to look for non-violent ways to resolve perceived conflict, or to work to eradicate the social injustices that inspire hate in the first place. At the end of the day, all the angry voices are simply people who did not feel seen or heard somewhere along the way or who did not get their basic needs for food, clothing, shelter, safety and love adequately met. Angry and hateful people are simply very sad people in disguise.
As the world (as we have known it) continues in its death march, growing louder and more angry as it reaches its ultimate demise, we would do well for ourselves to remember a few things:
- Keep our head down!
- Stay out of the fray!
- Heal ourself!
- Care for our own!
- When tempted to meet hate with hate, remember the deep woundedness that created all this evil and PRAY FOR THEM!
When facing times like these, I find myself drawn back to my Catholic roots, especially to the intercession (support) of the saints. Mother Mary, in particular is one I turn to. When invoking her support, I pray these words. Perhaps you will feel inspired to do the same:
Hail Mary, Full of Grace.
Love is with you.
Blessed art thou among women
And Blessed is the fruit of your Love.
Holy Mary, Mother of Love.
Pray for us.
Now and at the hour or our death.