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on January 31, 2017 by Erin Horst
I have been trying to write an inspiring letter for days now. I have been trying to think of something to write about besides what is going on in the world but I can’t seem to think about much else. Most of the time when I am struggling with something I will try to look deeply into myself to see what I can learn, what am I doing to contribute to my own suffering and what I can do to stop it. We all know that there is a lot of hatred, unrest, intolerance, and fear going on in our world today. I cannot remember a time where people have chosen a “side” so strongly as now. Maybe we were always this divided and it is just now coming to the surface, maybe the fear that is coming up is causing us to cling to our ideas of right and wrong, or maybe it is something else.
In order to carry on, I must find the lesson, the work, the good from this situation we are in. I have been thinking a lot about how we cannot seem to tolerate the differences in each other right now. How can you know someone very well, believe they are a good person, have years of shared experiences and then struggle with them when you find out they think differently than you? How can you “unfriend” someone on social media when you see something you don’t like? How can one post erase years of friendship or cut family ties? I know we are all wrestling with these kind of things and none of us have the answer. The answer has to come from within.
I believe that we as human beings want so badly to be understood but yet we don’t take the time to understand. We want to be heard and validated. We want to change people to believe what we want them to believe. We figure out early on how to do this in our own unique way. We manipulate situations, we study people to figure out how to best get to them. Most of this is done without awareness, but as we grow and open to seeing the truth in ourselves we will butt up against this pattern. It is not a pretty pattern to see.
There is a universal law that says if you want something you must give it. If you want more love, than be more loving. If you want more joy, than show some more gratitude. If you want to be understood then you must seek to understand.
The only way we will begin to heal the divisions in our world, in our country, in our communities is to try to seek to understand the other side. The moment we isolate ourselves to be with only people that think the same as us we become like so many notorious groups that thrive on spreading hatred, thrive on spreading fear and thrive on separating. We are diverse beings but we must remember we are all HUMAN BEINGS. We will thrive as a species or we will suffer as a species. We have that power in our own hands and no matter who leads our country we must do the work of accepting each other. That job can be done by no one but us.
One of my teachers says that if you are working on a cause out of hatred nothing will come from it, But, if you are working on a cause because of your love of the cause that only then can real change take place.
I know that I can only really change myself. I know that only I can create my own suffering or my own peace. I know that I have a choice and I know that I can only be understood through trying to understand. Each day I have a choice to make and I hope that each day I make the choices that lead to creating a better world.
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