Unless you live under a rock you cannot miss that we have had 355 mass shootings in the United States to date in 2015. That stat is enough to make anyone crawl under any rock they can find looking for shelter from this storm.
On the day of the San Bernardino massacre (each must have its own name so we can identify the one being discussed, because there are so many now) so shortly on the heels of the most recent Planned Parenthood attack*, this video showed up in my FaceBook stream. I have seen it before, and yet on that day (and again this morning) it filled me with hope.
It takes the whole world to create peace. In reality there are more of us who want it than those who want war and hatred because they profit monetarily from it. That thought brought me here today to write before I get too in my head and too otherwise occupied. If we stand on the sidelines thinking we are too small, too poor, too busy, too [fill in the blank], then it is we who allow the warmongers and the haters to win.
Great, you say. My heart is already broken for the world, you say, and now it’s my fault. Thanks. A lot. For nothing.
Do not think of saving the world as necessarily demonstrating in the streets (while that doesn’t hurt, and does let us know we are not alone, the warmongers and haters have seen it all before, are not impressed, and continue to press their own agenda relentlessly). Rather think of saving the world as a persistent drum beat of one, you, daily/weekly/monthly calling your “representatives” – all of them in Congress. Put their contact information on your phone. Respond, respond, respond. Use your influence in your family to get them to do the same. Ask them to ask one more person to do the same. One person. Every single one of us knows one person we can stand there with and say: I will stand here with you – let’s make this call together. That will make your own calls number go up.
Work on peace/serenity within yourself. Yesterday I was tight as a coiled spring for no reason, looking back, I can ascertain. I forgot to breathe. I am working on that.
Smile at people on the street, hold a door open, pay for the person behind you in line (if that is within your means), leave a happy face on someone’s desk, donate your used books to shelters, stand on the beach on in a forest or by a flower and feel your connection to all that is. Feel what that means. Blow bubbles out your car window in traffic.
This isn’t about pointing fingers, it’s about stepping into our personal power. Let us each step away from our fear – which begets hate; let us each explore compassion first for ourself so we understand that compassion moves from a centered heart and what is, now in this moment, not some perfect place or being in the past or future. If we do that, I am convinced that we will find each other, and in finding each other find our own self.
Our personal power does not come from anything outside. We are born with it. We spend our life either running toward or running away from it – neither of which is actually possible since it is inside of us – ready or not.
I don’t know where else to go with this. I just know i had to say and share it and thus remind my own self to practice it. So there you go.
Wylde Women’s Wisdom
There is the power we’re all familiar with — power over. But there is another kind of power — power from within. For a woman, it is the power to be fertile either in terms of having babies or writing books or dancing or baking bread or being a great organizer. It is the kind of power that doesn’t depend on depriving someone else. ….To live with integrity in an unjust society we must work for justice. To walk with integrity through a landscape strewn with beer cans, we must stop and pick them up….We are all longing to go home to some place we have never been — a place half-remembered and half-envisioned we can only catch glimpses of from time to time. Community. Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our own power. Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter. A circle of healing. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free. Starhawk
*Since 1977, according to NAF [National Abortion Federation], there have been eight murders, 17 attempted murders, 42 bombings, and 186 arsons against abortion clinics and providers. [See breakout chart here.]