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“We were born to unite with our fellow men, and to join in community with the human race.”
This month I have decided to bring back an old post from 2017. This is still timely today.
I have been blessed to have experience several wonderful examples of community throughout my life so far. I grew up in a church that was a close, loving “church family.” We cared for each other, prayed for each other and helped out in tangible ways when needed. I did not realize at the time how much work it took to build and maintain such community until a new pastor came and it was quickly destroyed.
In college I was a part of small group of students and faculty who were the “spiritual core” of our campus community. That group provided a place for me as a student who didn’t fit in other areas of campus life.
I have also experienced community in “outsider” groups. People who are often overlooked, ignored or excluded by the rest of society. There is much to be learned from the way these groups come together to take care of each other.
Since I have experienced community I feel lost when it does not exist. I have tried to find it and have had hopes that I had found it, only to be disappointed. I’m not sure there are many people left who understand the concept of community or know how to build or live in it.
But one thing I know for sure, is that creating a sense of community where we care for and support each other is something that we desperately need right now. In fact, I believe it is the only thing that can heal the wounds created by the last election here in the U.S. and that continue to be created. As the new regime continues to force harmful policies on our country, people are going to be harmed. People are facing the possibility of losing not only their insurance coverage, but their access to medical care at all. Right now, people are afraid of being forced from the country they have come to love and call home because of their ethnic or religious heritage, even if they are citizens. People are being attacked because they are Muslim, or even “look” Muslim. Jobs are at risk. Families are at risk of being torn apart.
Who is going to help pick up the pieces? I believe there are good, kind-hearted people out there who will respond to these needs, either out of their spiritual practices or because it is just the right, moral and ethical thing to do.
I have been struggling with what to do in the aftermath of the election. Until recently the only thing I really felt “called” to do was pray including joining online prayer and meditation gatherings for specific causes. We attended an Indivisible meeting in our community, but their strategies just don’t feel right for me to implement. Then while driving into the Walmart parking lot I encountered human need first hand — a family including three young children, not from an Islamic nation, but who could have been mistakenly labeled as such holding a sign saying “lost job, please help.” In the part of the country where I live this left me a bit shaken to say the least.
I felt fear for this family, but it also left me with a clear focus on what I am to do. I am to help pick up the pieces of human lives damaged by nationalistic policies as I am able and the need arises. I am open to what that might mean in terms of action, and I am trusting Spirit to guide me. In this specific instance after a brief talk with the mother, I went back to Walmart and bought a gift card wishing I could do more.
It’s wake up time folks! If this country is to survive we have to stop blaming people we see as not the right color, nationality, religion or who have not realized our idea of the American dream in terms of wealth. It is time to start protecting the vulnerable, caring for the sick, feeding the hungry, and mourning with those who mourn.
In short, it’s time to be more Christ-like.
Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the wold. For I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?
The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these you did for me.
Matthew 25:34-40 — New International Version.
“There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It’s why you were born. And how you become most truly alive.”
— Oprah Winfrey
Let’s Talk About It
We are talking about Celebration this month in The Espirational Community on Facebook. While due to the founders of this site’s personal backgrounds this is a Christ based Website this site and The Espirational Community is a place for people of all faiths to gather, discuss and praise the God of us all. Please consider this your invitation to join our community and participate in the discussion of this timely topic.
You may be hearing the word awakening being thrown around a lot right now. Many people in our world today believe we are being called to wake up. I am one of them. If the current social, political, religious and economic turmoil around the world isn’t a wake up call, I don’t know what is.
This is a time of awakening. So… awakening to what?
Our true nature. Being created in the image and likeness of the creator of the universe, we are born to be creative. We create our own world with our thoughts and actions. When we begin to wake up and join together we create a world that works for all.
Our oneness. Any separation we experience is an illusion we create ourselves. We name, label and exclude others and declare it to be so, but it is all still an illusion. When will the current climate of hatred, fear and hostility begin to turn around? When when remember our oneness.
Our responsibility to care for the earth. As a Christian, I believe were placed on this planet to care for it — to tend the garden, not destroy it. Will we wake up to this reality before it is too late? I certainly hope so.
Our dependence on each other. We live in a time when we brag about not needing anyone. We think we can take care of ourselves. We ostracize those who openly can’t do things for themselves. But sooner or later we will realize this is not true. We all need each other and there is no shame in needing or asking for help and nothing to boast or complain about in helping others.
So this month we are talking about awakening. We live in a time of what appears to be great darkness. This can be a frightening time. But it is also an exciting time. The world is changing. Something new is begin born and we are experiencing labor pains.
The time has come for those who have been awakening to start to come together. Not to form new institutions or churches which have not worked in the past, but to bring a new way of living and being into the world.
Wake up! You are light. Shine!
This is a time of year that we tend to get caught up in the past and the future. We analyze what we did “wrong” last year and are determined to do “better” this year. We set lofty goals for the upcoming year that are often forgotten by June. So what’s wrong with this picture?
Life happens in the present moment. If we focus on past “mistakes” or future “dreams” we miss out on all of the richness of life happening all around us right now.
Some of us are so goal and achievement focused that we miss what is going on around us. Children grow, friends and family die, dreams come and go and we wonder where time went.
If you are an empath or highly sensitive you may intentionally block out the world around you. When light is too bright, sound is too loud and touch is painful the easiest way to deal with things is to shut the outside world out. Been there done that. It doesn’t work.
We always have the present moment, but how often do we miss it? We listen to the constant chatter of our mind and believe that is what life is all about. Believe me it isn’t.
Take a minute and notice your breath. Breathe in. Beathe out. Can you hear your breath? Can you hear or feel your heart beat? What can you hear around you? Are there birds singing you never noticed? Can you see the bird? If thoughts come up, and they will, set them aside. Stay centered in the present moment and your breath.
This is not just something to do when we are meditating. We can take it out into the world with us. When we begin to stay in the present moment we will realize the joy and beauty of right now.. Be there with and for those who accompany you on your journey. Savor these moments. Don’t let regrets of the past and worry about the future steal them from you.
“In the hero stories, the call to go on a journey takes the form of a loss, an error, a wound, an unexplainable longing, or a sense of a mission. When any of these happens to us, we are being summoned to make a transition. It will always mean leaving something behind,…The paradox here is that loss is a path to gain.”
― David Richo,
The changing seasons are regularly occurring transitions. They happen every year — four times. Yet each transitions is different, with each season having it’s own unique blessings and challenges.
As I get older I find myself more and more in tune with the changing seasons. Perhaps when I was younger I thought I was too busy to listen to messages from our mother the earth, or maybe I thought doing so would make me seem weird. As you get older, being weird doesn’t matter as much.
While I love Spring and Summer with clear days and lots of time spent outside by the lake, I have to admit that Fall and Winter have been more productive. As the temperatures cool and my thoughts turn to naps and nice bowls of piping hot homemade soup I also feel my mind and body start to calm down and get ready to receive inspiration and to work.
Winter is the time much of my art gets created. For me preparation for winter includes not only winterizing the house and car, stocking the pantry and getting out the winter clothes. My winter preparations would not be complete without stocking up on art supplies.
Listen to the wisdom of the changing seasons. This is mother earth’s way of preparing us for what lies ahead. We already know what we need to weather the upcoming changes. We just have to listen. These regular transitions can help prepare us for the unexpected ones if we just let them.