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how do we change the world?

I listened to someone today talking about our world affairs and the state of them.  One of the things said that really stuck with me was… “no one is acknowledging and celebrating the fact that we are all intrinsically connected to one another.  We are disconnected and we are afraid.”

This is a world problem.  Is it THE world problem?

So… as I shovel and move mulch on a beautiful day, I’m thinking to myself about this and begin breaking it down.  How do we not acknowledge and celebrate our connection to others?  How do I let my fear stop me from reaching out and connecting? How can we each make a change and therefore a difference in the world we live in?

Acknowledging and celebrating our connection to everything in our world.  Too big a concept so it gets lost or put aside for more immediate family needs.

Showing up in our relationships in a way that honors and celebrates our connection to one another, having the courage to put everything else down and look into someone else’s eyes.

That’s easier to think about.  It directly affects me and my people. It might even give me immediate gratification.

 

Talking to a good friend that I haven’t seen in ages this morning, a “trigger” we both experienced came up.  (For anyone that knows me…you will know exactly what this will be.)

The phone and texting….the constant checking, the constant dinging of messages coming in.  The ability to watch the news and nonstop social media as it regurgitates constantly into our feeds and try to carry on conversations with people in the room.  There seems to be this idea that has been created…if we aren’t available immediately when someone communicates with us, we are not important…that they will not be capable of making their own decisions or answering their own question.  And…. it is vital that we respond immediately as something very important might happen and I’ll miss it if I put my phone away.

What is this?

To be in a room with someone that is texting or reading messages or checking their facebook feed as they answer my questions…hurts.  It feels rude to me. I don’t feel like our connection is honored, acknowledged or celebrated and yet I am the person in the room with them.  I think it’s inconsiderate of my time and the effort I’ve made to be present.  Sometimes it’s even inconsiderate of the time and effort I’ve made to make them a meal.

Is it personal?  I think it is.  I believe my connection or lack of connection with the person in the room with me is personal.  It is important, I think, to both of us.

I think all these thoughts as I process our world crisis and shovel.

If we so easily detach from people we say we love and miss…I imagine it takes no effort at all to detach from the people in our communities and world that we’ve never met.

“I find it’s hard to hate people up close.  Get close.  Hold hands with strangers.”

Look into their eyes.  Let them look into mine.  Start with a friend, a sister, a niece, a parent, a lover.  Get close…get to know them…put everything else down.  Acknowledge, honor and celebrate your love and connection.

Something happens deep down.

Actions speak louder than words.  I am sick of all the talk, the hollow words people say to each other.  “I love you, I’ve missed you”…as they pick up their phone and text someone else.  Words….spoken without the action behind them are empty and therefore untrustworthy.

I can’t speak for everyone or even for anyone else.

When I think of our connections to each other, our world and to power bigger than all of us…the lack of our own rituals in honoring and celebrating those connections, I think that it doesn’t start out there, over there or with them.

It starts with me.

I look at how I show up in my friendships and relationships.  I imagine that it’s in those places and with those people that I can make a change and the biggest differences.  I can’t blame someone else for not seeing, not being compassionate, not KNOWING me if I don’t take the time to do it myself.  Do it with all the people I encounter in a day.

To remember to do this…to change my own habits, takes some serious mindfulness in order to not forget my new intention 5 minutes later.  I forget.

I have people in my life that see the world very differently from the way I do.  Can I turn off the news, put down my phone, look into their eyes, hold their hand and be with them purely because I love them.  Can we tell each other our own stories without including the rest of the world.  Just us.

What might happen?

I have a dear friend, one of my oldest and closest…and we used to talk once or twice a week over the last couple of years.  We don’t live near one another so we talk on the phone.  We have never discussed politics in the 40 years that we’ve been friends.  Until this last election I could not have ever even told you how she voted.  It came up last year.

Since then, we have only talked a few times…in over a year.  We have done this many times before…gone for long periods of time without talking.  This time though, I wonder, if suddenly our differences, our different views of the world became to expansive.  Even as I write this, I am embarrassed to even think that I’d separate myself from my oldest, dearest friend because of politics.  In fact, I refuse to believe that.  What kind of friend would I be to put what’s in the news before 40 years of the friendship I have experienced.

If that is true of myself…then everyone else…and the whole world.

I called her today.

I put everything else away but my cup of tea and spent time with my friend.

I’m wondering if we all started showing up in our own relationships in a way that acknowledges, honors and celebrates our connection, would we be able to change the world?  If we practiced this would we all feel like we were loved, seen and therefore belonged.

The new moon is on Saturday, spring equinox on Tuesday.  These both call forth new beginnings.  If I want a new and different experience, I must be willing to put something down and make space for that.

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Hi Terri!

    I’ve just finished reading this blog post, sitting in a treatment room in a clinic in Vienna, with Karin nearby on the last day of her five week stay here. It’s mid-morning and overcast but for the first time in weeks not cold outside. Just to set the scene. We both found your post thoughtful, compassionate and encouraging, and very much in line with what we’ve been thinking lately. It’s time for to reach out – most importantly to those with whom we disagree – and make a sincere attempt to not only hear but to listen – deeply listen – to what they have to say. This is particularly important when the people we’re listening to are our friends and neighbors. We may not always agree, but if we can at least extend the courtesy of an open mind and willing ear, it will go a long way to calming the waters. Thanks for your eloquent and thoughtful words. PS – Wish we were in Denver and sitting at the bar in Potager. Hope to see you soon. Tom Clarke & Karin Hempel.

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