This morning, actually, just a few minutes ago, I opened an email from an Aunt of mine on the heels of listening for what I might write about today. The email is a series of pictures of Americans serving in the Armed Forces over in the Middle East with captions like: When a soldier comes home, he finds it hard to...followed by hearing people complaining about what seem like everyday annoyances to the average working American...like getting a bad night's sleep, or potholes, etc.
What touches me more than anything about this email, and has been speaking to me for some time now, is the degree of alienation these men and women experience upon returning to this country from an experience so foreign to most if not all of the people they know. An experience so outside the box of what's considered normal, and so grotesque, so filled with the things that most of us only see in movies or nightmares.
What touches me about all of this, is that place in so many of us that feels separate. That place separation can spawn so much suffering, and seeming coping behaviors that only serve to deepen the feelings of separation and aloneness that intensify insecurity and grief.
What will we do about this? Are we willing to look at it? Are we willing to look at the places of insecurity and separation within and heal them? Can working with these places inside of ourselves make a difference in the lives of the people around us? Can this inner work help people to heal just through our mere presence?
Yes...in my experience, a deep resounding YES!
A healer is someone who is willing to do the work of Loving him or herself in the presence of anyone and everyone. This Self-Love ripples out in all directions without the need for words, and infuses all words. It ricochets through my lineage setting my ancestors free as I find my own freedom through Self-Love.
No matter the feelings I or you have about war, government, politics, and international relations. Behind all the rhetoric are men and women with Hearts. Some confused. Some not so confused. And all with Hearts; Hearts that feel, that ache for Love, that long for connection, to feel seen and heard, and known.
Will you give that gift today?
Will you Love yourself in the presence of someone who's driving funky in front of you, rather than jump to judgment, irritation, and anger?
Will you Love yourself in the presence of your own illusory insecurities?
Will you forgive me for not always meeting your needs?
Will you forgive You for not always meeting your needs?
Love, real abiding Love, starting with the discipline of Self-Love is the Philosopher's Stone that can and will turn any base feelings and experiences into the Gold of Freedom.
In the words of an old friend and mentor, John King, "I Love you, and you don't have a vote in it!"