This has been on my mind soooo much lately.
For probably two months, now, though I haven't mentioned it, yet.
Still trying to put it all together.
I believe in Freedom, as you know.
I also believe in Peace, as I hope you know.
I'm a hippie-skirt wearin' kind of girl. I listen to Cat Stevens (more than anything else -besides classical-, except for my lectures), I like twinkly and jingly ankle bracelets, I love singing and dancing barefoot at outdoor concerts to reggae and bluegrass and folk music. I believe that love makes the world go 'round.
So along comes RU, and I have to shift my head from "This is Right" to "You're Free to Decide For Yourself."
It's not so far from my own ideology, as I don't believe in a condemning God, but one that embraces us in whatever form we choose for ourselves. Something well worth trying to be, certainly. (Not condemning and judging, I mean.)
So now (the last two months) the pendulum has swung again, and while it's certainly not terribly off-center, it indeed has swung back into the "Give Peace A Chance" category.
I've been trying to find a solid place to stand between these two worlds. Between the Alfie Kohn world of Unconditional Parenting and "Our thoughts and actions have an affect on the entire Universe."
And between the world of "everyone is responsible for his own emotions" to Thich Nhat Hanh's "What have you done to your Flower?"
I'm absolutely certain they are not irreconcilable.
Or even paradoxical, for that matter.
And I don't think the rules are different for different phases of spiritual evolution, either.
What I mean is - it is easy to say if I'm in a good space then nothing will affect or disrupt my peace (think of Jesus turning the other cheek), but I don't believe that's true, any longer.
If someone were to say something ugly to the Dali Lama, he probably wouldn't be angry, but the ugliness would still be there.
The person that acted out in ugliness would still feel the ugliness. Anyone who was witness to it (and not a spiritual master) would probably be saddened by it.
It's still there.
I guess it's a matter of not shaming or condemning, but bringing more awareness to my children.
I've found myself saying to Trev lately "If you want to live in a peaceful home, Bud, then you have to help create it." Maybe that's a good place to begin? Not judging or condemning, just reminding (as I know him well enough to know some of the things that he wants in his life -such as a home filled with love and laughter and joy) of the natural law of cause and effect.
Thich Nhat Hanh tells a story of a woman coming to a retreat that he led, and she said "When I ask my husband to help me with the dishes or with laundry, he says 'That's not important, to me.' And when I say 'Please don't drive so close to that car, there might be a collision' he says 'You have to live with your own fear.'"
That made me laugh.
It is the same thing.
Sure, we can say "close our eyes, and trust that God will get us there safely," and that's all fine and good. But the truth is, while sometimes we can separate ourselves from it in such a way, we are a part of it.
We are contributors to this life.
We can make a stranger smile by giving them a warm smile that says "I honor you."
Our thoughts, actions, and words do make a difference -a thousand times- each day.
I can be a promoter of peace.
I can still be a promoter of peace while I turn my back to violence.
I can choose this day, and every day, to live in and exemplify peace, love, and joy.
I can choose to offer these things I value to the world.