Independence day. Liberty enlightening the world

“One Nation… under God… with Liberty and Justice for all.”

FOR ALL.

It is the 11th Hour… Are we listening? 

With all the “back n’ forth” being thrown around lately, in regard to kneeling for the National Anthem or not, I find myself curious… genuinely curious…

In our relationship with one’s partner/spouse, do you get to say whatever you want, whenever you want, even when it hurts your partner? Do you brush them off? Berate or invalidate their feelings? In your relationship, do you get to call all the shots? Is it “your way or the highway”? Or do you know that in order for that relationship to continue, you have to genuinely listen and be mindful of how you speak to each other? Because, really, a true partnership is about communication and compromise… finding a middle ground, even when you don’t always agree. Even when you come from two different perspectives and different life experiences. It’s about treating each other with love, respect, and kindness. Right? Or else? It fails. It’s doomed. Done.

So, my question lately is, why is this different? We ARE ALL AMERICANS. This is our home. Together. And whether we like it or not, we are IN RELATIONSHIP with EACH OTHER. We can’t run. We can’t hide. So guess what? The same rules apply to our fellow citizens as it does in any other relationship. It’s not my way or your way; it’s OUR way. We need to LISTEN TO EACH OTHER with compassion.. with the willingness to hear… with the willingness to understand… with the willingness to find our humanness in our hearts that IS the common ground. And if we don’t? We are ALL doomed. Not some of us. ALL OF US. Because this is OUR home. We live here… TOGETHER.

Another question…  Why do people protest? Is it because they have nothing better to do? Do you argue with your partner because you have nothing better to do? Do you remain silent when something doesn’t feel right or inherently wrong in the deepest part of your soul? What do you do when you feel you are not being heard or someone doesn’t care to listen? Especially your spouse/partner/boss/friend? What do you do when you see your child being bullied? Are you okay with that? Do you take it kindly when someone invalidates or berates you? Or do you stand up and say, “NO”?

Just curious.

I am reminded of the REM song, “Everybody Hurts.” It’s true. We all have a story. We all have a journey. We all have been hurt, mistreated, misunderstood, erroneously judged, or silenced at some point. No one is exempt. No one. Do you remember how that felt or feels to you? Did it feel painful and wrong? Of course it did. Because it was wrong. You weren’t making stuff up. Everyone – you included – wants and deserves the same thing… to be heard and to be treated fairly. You deserve it. I deserve it. Every human being deserves it.

So it’s time, as Americans, to evaluate what we desire to be as Americans moving forward. Do we want peace in this country or is being “right”and having our point of view more important at the expense of someone else? Is it okay when it’s at your expense? Does that work in your marriage? In your friendship? At your workplace?

Here’s the deal. WE ALL have to work for PEACE. Not some of us. All of us. And yes, that takes effort. A LOT of it. Does your relationship take effort? If it’s worth saving it does. Same applies to our country. If we don’t care to treat every single one of us with the same respect, kindness, and compassion that we all want and deserve, then we can forget about this country. It’s doomed and so are we. We have no choice than to work through this. Again, it’s not my way or your way. It’s OUR WAY. High horses have no place here.

Life is hard enough in our own heads and hearts… in our own lives. Do we really have to make it that much harder for each other? Is this the BEST we can do? Really? Is it that hard to be kind?

A line from the prayer of St. Francis:
Grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.

We all have to do the work. The true work. The soul work. Who will we be when history looks back at us? Will we be the country that fell apart because we insisted that our personal right to be human was greater than our neighbor’s? Or will we be the nation that decided peace was the higher ideal? That the common ground of the human heart where love, kindness and respect is the way?

Feel all that tension in the air? Yes, me too. This is our time of reckoning. This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where we get to choose what we’re made of. Where the human spirit in all of us gets to rise because TOGETHER we become better. Will we choose to be the United States or the Divided States

United we stand. Divided we fall.

Yep. It’s true.

If people kneeled today, it’s not because they had nothing better to do and are wanting to be disrespectful to anyone – especially to those who fought to give us the UNITED State of the America. NO! They are calling out ON BEHALF of those who GAVE their lives for EQUAL RIGHTS TO ALL. They are calling to be heard… for all of us to look at where this still ISN’T happening… where we are still falling short in the ideal of “Liberty and Justice for All.”

So, please. Let’s be kind and gentle. Let’s not fight and invalidate each other. Let’s hear each other for all of our sake. Let’s look to let down our own walls of where we believe we are “right” – the very beliefs and thoughts that painfully separate all of us and make us afraid — and let’s gently listen…

What is the alternative?

Miraculous transformation happens when we get out of our heads and drop into our hearts, into our own humanity. When we feel our humanness and our own life wounds – that place where we, ourselves, have been treated unfairly — we begin to understand the stranger who is calling to be heard. Because when we hear the cry of their heart, we hear our own. And this is the bridge for healing… for all of us. It’s not an option. At this point, it’s a necessity.

We are in the 11th Hour…

Close your eyes and feel into your heart. I believe in us. Do you?