Is attachment at the root of global violence?

Like most of us, when I heard about violence committed at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, I was deeply shaken. Many months later I am still very very saddened. It is my own personal belief that God brings only good into the world and and it is we as humans through free will and error thinking that bring what society calls “evil”. I also believe that through every terrible act, God is pouring something good our way if we are just willing to look for it and embrace it.

If you have been watching main stream commercial media and social media, no doubt you have seen plenty of video and plenty of pictures worthy of night-mares. Yes, they are hard to look at, yes they are shocking and yes some are downright disgusting to look at. Hollywood, television, internet streaming, video games and even mainstream authors are all quite adept at bringing fictional violence into our living rooms and bedrooms 24/7 and on demand.  All this has had quite the effect of desensitizing people of developed nations to the horrors of real violence. It has become all too easy to turn off our caring nature when something real and tragic happens – even in our own towns.  A while back, a very graphic photo was making the rounds on Facebook. Three dedicated individuals desperately pushing a wheelchair occupied by a man who had both lower legs ripped of flesh from an I.E.D. The image of ragged. splintered exposed bone and missing extremities shook me. Instinctively I went into prayer and prayed for this man, his family and those who would be affected by the image as it unexpectedly unfolded before them when they opened their Facebook news feeds.

A little bit of text at the lower left of the image read “like = prayer”  and the image had accumulated thousands of likes and 204 comments.  The supportive outreach in the comments were often heart-felt and they came from around the globe in dozens of languages. There was a smattering with a direct tone of how America deserves this for their atrocities and plenty of “how dare you post this!”  What struck home for me were the two pointed reminders of how this stuff happens around the world every day and every hour,  and how it appears that we in America don’t care until it happens to “us”. The missing comments I longed to see were those that reached out and said: “This is real – this is what happens when humanity commits violence against humanity – this is NOT Hollywood makeup – this is genuine suffering and this needs to come to an end.”

Our mainstream media is practiced and plished at not showing reality in such graphic detail – to protect our “sensibilities.”   Indeed what would happen to society if we were to see what the reality of violence looked like? Perhaps we would grasp a deeper understanding for what others go through daily and become compassionate. Perhaps we might wake up and demand of our leaders to stop the aggressions.  Perhaps we might get the clarity to see that there is no “us over here and them over there”  – there is only the universal us. We the people of the United Earth.

Cities, states, countries – they are all imaginary lines drawn on maps or in the sand that we commit violent acts to defend or change. Much of politics are opinions. If someone doesn’t agree with the opinion and conversations won’t change their mind, then let’s bully them or beat them up. And violence in the name of religion is just plain twisted. At the root of all great religions is compassion. If someone worships differently than we do, why do we have aggression instead of compassion? Why are we so eager to look for what is wrong with their beliefs instead of what might be right?  Instead we are willing to kill to make our opinion the dominant opinion. And yes, what belief system you agree with is a matter of personal opinion, and until that belief system can be “proven” it will remain as such.

Maybe the answer to all of this is to release our harmful attachments.  When we are so completely fixated on the attachments of: being right, having the most power, land, money,  _____(fill in the blank)____, that we are driven to willingly harm one another, we are operating at a deeply dysfunctional level.  And all because of our refusal to release.

Many people have said that the human condition is at it’s greatest level of evolution thus far, and yet we still throw such violent tantrums. Unfortunately, adult tantrums can reach catastrophic levels of foot stomping, and instead of hurt feelings, people die.

 Divine Spirit, today I affirm that I release all unhealthy attachments in my life. I am freed from their limiting grip and am empowered by that freedom to choose greater outcomes for myself and the world. When confronted with the attachments in others, I honor them where they stand, yet stand myself as an illuminated example of living an attachment-free powerful life.  ~ Amen

Share your thoughts on attachment with us!

 

Why Are We Here?

Starting off with an easy question today………

Hands touching a globe

Have you ever wondered what your purpose is?  Why are you here?  Why did you have to experience that awful time in your life?

Sometimes the answers to really big questions fall in your lap and you have a moment of clarity so strong that it takes your breath away.

It happened to me today.

A number of years ago, I was in a really hard part of my life.  Broken first marriage, beginnings of a new relationship, a shattered child who took on many other issues, a full time job with heavy responsibilities and a household to keep up with.  There were days when it took all of my strength just to put one foot in front of the other — and it never seemed like I was in balance or had it all together or even was close to enjoying it.  I don’t actually remember asking “why me” but I’m not saying it didn’t cross my mind.

It was SUCH a hard time.  There weren’t any instruction books — just lots and lots of opinions freely offered, of course, by well intentioned people in my life.  I made decisions that others didn’t like and that I wasn’t 100% sure of, but I made them because I was following that voice of internal guidance that I kept praying for.  I listened to all the advice and took away bits and pieces, followed threads that lead to new schools, new ways, new thoughts, and new practices.  We did more than survive those years, all of us have grown and now thrive in our lives.

So WHY did it have to be so hard?

Today, I was talking with someone who I’ve known casually for 17 years.  We connect because of our sons.  While he is experiencing different issues with different players, the emotional toll it is taking on him feels incredibly familiar to me.  I see the sadness in his eyes.  I feel the heaviness in his parental heart as he has to make really hard decisions about his son’s future.  I hear the words he’s using to distance himself from those hurtful opinions of others.  I know his internal battle well.

And then clarity hit.

With one breath in, my world came into focus so clearly that I thought he could hear the snap.  My back straightened, my heart oozed support, and I heard myself calling him out of his darkness.  I heard my voice telling him that he must take care of himself so that he can care for others.  I felt the power within me, borne of the fire of trials, surge towards him.  You are not in this world alone.  I hear you.  I see you.  I give you my strength and my knowledge and my understanding.

Why are we here?

We are here to claim what has happened to us and to turn it into reasons to understand another.

We are here to listen and really hear.

We are here to lift up, encourage and shine as examples of triumph.

We are here to connect, heart to heart.

Do that.

Be that person.

Shine a light in someone else’s darkness.  Lift your light high enough that it shines upon another’s path and makes their next step more visible.

You have everything within you right here and right now.

 

The Dark Side of Goals – Does having a preference hold you back?

Most of us have grown up hearing that one must have a goal to succeed.  While having goals gives us a target or a direction, does that very step towards success have a darker side – one that potentially limits our success?

Goals have a long history in our culture of being the mother of all of signposts on our path. Hitting our goal was, well… the goal.  Meeting that particular expectation might be seen as a successful milestone on the path to our “complete” success – the Holy Grail if you will.  If  one could just hit their goal, then all would be perfect in their world. We have blogged in the past on how that is backwards thinking.  But this is not to say that goals are a bad thing.  Just like anything in our world, there is a light and a dark side – a Yin and Yang.  Anything we label as “good” can swing the opposite direction if misused.

Having a preference provides a target for your goal but your attachment to how the end result should look may cause you to miss out on what could actually be the best possible outcome. If you are too fixed on things looking a specific way, you might miss out on better opportunities that pass right in front of you. Your awareness has been fixed and you see only the things you have expected to see, and that is a form of limiting thought.  Yes the very goal you set to expand your possibilities is, if misused, limiting thought. It’s limiting you to the standards you set rather than leaving the door open for more.

Let’s assume for a moment that your goal is a $250,000.00 per year job in your chosen field – one that would give you options to help others well beyond your present abilities. The Divine wants the very best for you and the world and has greater good in store for you. Perhaps there is a $750,000.00 position that is just waiting for you, but it’s in a different field. You are supremely qualified for it, and the job listing was right there on the very same page of the job site you were looking at, but you chose to avoid reading that column because it’s a field, title or description that is not in your goal plan. The CEO is looking for someone like you, with your experience and your values, but she never gets to meet you – because your focus is too narrow and you see only what you want to see.

Perhaps the right and perfect connection was the person in line behind you at the coffee house. You know, the one you let in front of you, because your that kind of person, only you chose not to respond in your best-self to their light-hearted chit-chat. A choice you made because they were dressed in an old t-shirt and ratty jeans. After-all what could that person do for your goals?  Turns out, Mr. T-Shirt was looking for the connections you could provide and in helping him, something magical would have opened up for you and your “goals” through someone you introduced him to.  But he obviously wasn’t part of your plan, so for now we’ll never know for certain.

“God Laughs at Our Plans”

We like to think we’re under control. That when we plan things, they will fall in place like perfectly stacked dominoes. Honestly, how many times have your plans actually gone exactly the way you expected? If you were all alone on a deserted island, you might have a shot at it, but the more individuals you invite into your day, life or event, the greater the likelihood that their thoughts, plans and actions will redirect what you had envisioned.  On the other hand, there are countless stories of great things happening to people when they least expected it. But just because they did not expect it, does not mean that they weren’t awake enough to take action when it came along. What if these people chose to say “No thanks, it’s not part of my goal”.    Is it enough to learn to expect the unexpected, or should we learn to look for the unexpected?  Now move in close and pay attention here as this is the secret: you absolutely must be willing to take action on the unexpected. Without action, it may as well have gone un-noticed and without willingness, the mind will learn to tune it out and go back to the old ways. Taking action does not meen a commitment to the new direction, but it should at least lead to having a good look at it’s potential.

“A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.” ~ Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Truth is, any action we take cascades through our physical world and the potential results are so vast that a mere shift in your awareness, a simple change of mind or differing decision can and will cascade into untold numbers of shifts in your life and the lives of others. The entire human condition today – all of it – what we eat, where we live, the languages we speak and even our religious views are the result of thoughts, actions and decisions made by countless others who came before us.  Imagine how different things might be if Christopher Columbus had decided “Meh…enough of this ‘New World’ talk, lets hit the pub for an ale instead!” One decision, or a few negative words have been enough to bring down Presidents, Kings and nations. On the other hand goals and courageous actions have resulted in some pretty amazing shifts in our world, and yes, built a great nation or two.

 

Shift your awareness to a broader view. As you set your goals, make room in your thoughts and actions for something greater. Be open to see more, do more, and receive more than what your goal includes.  As you awareness expands, so will the outcomes.

 

We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences, so please share in the comments area below.

You can watch a live interview on this topic here.