Diversity makes us and the earth stronger. Without it, soils are depleted (literally and figuratively) and once fertile ground becomes incapable of supporting life. Nature is the ultimate teacher. If we look at healthy ecosystems, they are always diverse. Inhabitants share resources and support each other’s growth. This is something we, as humans, need to understand and embody in order to evolve.
Recent events have shone the light on systemic racism and injustice that has been here for a long time. In many spiritual communities, there has been talk about shadows being revealed. Maybe so, but it’s how we respond personally and collectively that matters. In order to transform, we must begin to get comfortable with discomfort. We need to look at our shadows inside and out in order to heal ourselves and our communities. Even though we may not be personally responsible for injustice, we are implicit in it if we don’t take the time to look within and transform the ways we might be contributing (even subconsciously) to the suffering of others. Clearly, those that are inflicting hate and violence on others are tortured, afraid and choose to live with absolute blinders on.
If we can understand the principles that run through nature and work with those in every facet of life, we’ll make progress: interconnectedness, diversity, the life/death/life cycle, among others. We all have our lane and can’t do everything, but we can take the time to look within and ask: What is my role? How can I support an environment (personally, socially, ecologically) that thrives? What ongoing practice might I engage toward healing? Every species on the planet has it’s place in the ecosystem, as well as a role to play in maintaining those ecosystems. We could stand to learn from, and listen to the indigenous people that were here first, who lived in harmony with nature, and whose Great Law of Peace is what our Constitution was built upon. None of us can survive without clean air, water, fertile soil, life giving sunshine or other species that hold our ecosystem in balance.
So, here are some thoughts to ponder and ways we might make a difference right now:
Take time to look within. Meditate. Journal honestly. Go into uncomfortable places. Growth and transformation is not easy… it takes courage to go within. Your journal entry is for you and you only. If things emerge that you don’t like, that’s good (you can burn it or tear it up later). We can’t transform anything we’re not aware of.
Relationships and community heal. Talk to, and find ways to build relationship with diverse people in your community; people whose story is different than yours. Listen to, and learn from each other.
Educate yourself. Put yourself in other’s shoes. Learn about the systemic racism and environmental injustice that has been present in this country since Columbus showed up (if not earlier) and what is happening today. Share with others who may not be aware to encourage constructive dialogue.
Last, but definitely not least, take time for you. We all need to be in our strength. You’re not helping anyone by being depleted. So, if you’re not already, find practices that nourish and strengthen you. For me, those have been a combination of movement, meditation, creative exploration and earth connection. This earlier blog, Grounding in Challenging Times may offer some guidance.
Much more to say, but for now, when things feel uncertain remember to look within and ask: What is my role? How can I support an environment (personally, socially, ecologically) that thrives? What ongoing practice might I engage toward healing? So much wisdom exists within each of us if we take the time to listen. So, be kind to yourself, each other and to our beloved mother earth. Everything is interconnected.