pray not prey

What if every word we utter is a prayer? (And, it is.)

What are you praying for? The Divine loves you so much that your devoted wish is practically a command.

Know, then, that your words matter.

Know, then, that “no” is just as much a conviction as “yes”.

So many people will tell you that the Universe doesn’t hear “no”. If you repeat, “Not this. Not this. Not this.”, they say the Universe only hears, “This. This. This.”

Blasphemy.

When have the Universe and the Divine not been One? And, the Divine hears and honors all “no”s. All of them.

The problem isn’t the “no”. The “no” is perfect. Perfectly whole. But, not perfectly complete.

The Divine works in completion.

So, while “Not this” is a perfectly whole prayer, it is not a complete player.

The Universe works in completion.

There is no lack of movement in the Universe. You can stop. For a time, you can stop. But, there must be some movement in a direction after stopping.

All stops are pauses.

And, the movement after the stop, after the pause… you get to decide the direction. But, if you have not chosen a direction, you will feel like the Universe has only heard “This” when you said “Not this.”

This is the beauty of living.

You are in control. You don’t have total control, because this life is generous to ALL of us. Simultaneously, all of us are co-creating, generating, praying.

Do you know you’re praying? Do you know your whispers are written in triplicate, copied a billion times over for the benefit of all?

When you know, do you change your words? Do you shift your utterances, lifting all of humanity in a verbal embrace?

Words are prayers of healing.

How many of us are healing by death?

the peace pilgrim

I never think of myself as protesting against something, but rather as witnessing for harmonious living. Those who witness for, present solutions. Those who witness against, usually do not– they dwell on what is wrong, resorting to judgment and criticism and sometimes even name-calling.

Peace Pilgrim

craze(d)

Many of us spend a lot of time trying to understand crazy.

I’m talking about true crazy, not fun crazy. I’m not using crazy as a synonym for amazing or even incomprehensible (because sometimes we call things crazy simply because we can’t understand them). I’m not talking about people with mental health issues.

I’m talking about crazy as in harmful. To me, that is true crazy. It is absolutely insane to go around harming folks and the planet on a regular basis. And, people who have an entire life agenda around harming others, whether rooted in trauma (of course it is) without a lot of thought or with intention, are an example of true crazy.

Why do we spend so much time and effort trying to understand them?

Why do we spend so much time and effort assuming we should be able to understand them?

Why do we spend so much time and effort assuming they can be understood?

To understand something, one uses the logical aspects of thinking. What is rational about trying to cause harm?

Nothing.

That’s what makes it crazy!

How much of your precious life has been spent trying to understand what is incomprehensible?

I think this mentality around understanding is why so many folks argue with people who hold fundamental differences of opinion about life.

We have many, many people on the planet who are working for human rights. All human beings are born with certain rights, as inhabitants of life on planet Earth, and not all of us recognize that. But, many of us do and those people work to help others recognize it.

And, explanations are fine with a person who truly doesn’t understand something. But, do we know the difference between a lack of comprehension and a lack of acceptance?

Most of what many of us try to educate around doesn’t work. Why? Because the person we are trying to educate does not accept that our premise is true. We tell ourselves that what we are dealing with is a lack of understanding. Sometimes, we go as far as to tell ourselves we’re dealing with a lack of empathy. Those are very prideful and egocentric views of disagreement.

We’re often just dealing with a lack of acceptance.

If a person rejects, or does not accept, your premise, how are you going to make any headway with that person? You’re not. You will just be locked in a battle, assuming you don’t know how to have enough consideration for that person to leave them alone.

Assuming that people are just too dumb to get your point is an impediment to getting your point across. And, that’s the message behind continuing to “explain” something to someone who disagrees with you.

A lack of understanding is not the foundation to disagreement; a lack of acceptance is.

And, here’s the major point, for those of us trying to lead sane lives: People don’t have to accept your ideas.

You have to accept your ideas. No one else. We have all been gifted with free will. We can all live exactly as we choose. We can say what we want. We can believe what we want.

Why does that sound so good to us until we meet someone whose living, words, and beliefs are reprehensible to us?

Of course, there are extremes to being out of agreement with one another. Mass exploitation, enslavement, genocide, any form of systemic oppression. I’m not saying it’s okay for those things to exist. I’m saying that the people who support those concepts are not doing so because they don’t understand your points about how bad they are. They support those concepts because they don’t accept your points about how bad they are.

In a few occasions in my life, I’ve had the opportunity to dissect a point with a person who disagreed with me. We would agree upon every, single small point leading up to the larger point and STILL disagree on the larger point. We agreed on the path, but disagreed on the destination. How did the same path lead us to different places?

That was so fascinating to me, that I could totally agree upon the nuances of a point with someone and still disagree on the larger point, that I started thinking more about how I view the concept of understanding.

I realized that I view understanding as a moral issue, not an act of rationale. But, understanding is not a moral issue. So, I had to rearrange my relationship with understanding.

I suggest we all really sit down with our relationship with the concept of understanding and see where we have misunderstood the concept. Because misunderstanding the concept of comprehension will only lead to misunderstanding our fellow human beings.

And, misunderstanding each other is where relationships (or the potential for relationships) fall apart.

At this point in my life, I no longer try to understand crazy. I no longer try to convince people of my points (unless both parties are enjoying a bit of verbal sparring…I love a good debate/argument). I no longer assume something is wrong with you because you have reached a different conclusion than I have.

We get to think our own ways. Who am I to tell you how you should think? Or believe? Or live? Or behave? If you are not my child, it is not my responsibility to educate you, unless you have requested my insight.

That’s also what blogs are for. I’ve stopped using the people in my environment and started using tools like blogging to share my unrequested thoughts about life. That’s just me trying to be considerate of those around me.

Certain things are crazy, if you ask me. It’s crazy to live a life of intentional (or unintentional) harm. But, another human being simply disagreeing with me about life is not inherently crazy.

It would be crazy for me to assume it was.

false humility is a crime

If you’re a good person, just admit it. No one really cares.

This is what I’ve learned in life: the only people who are judging you by how good you are are the messy folks. And, they only judge you because they feel so horrible about themselves.

When they start cleaning themselves up, they judge you less.

Other good people just like being around you. They probably haven’t even had a coherent thought about your goodness, yet. They just feel good when they’re around you and that’s a good thing. It can be scary out there with all the people.

I don’t like it when good people can’t admit that they’re good people. There’s always a discussion about it and a kind of embarrassment. Why? We’re supposed to be good. It’s not exceptional, it’s the human default.

I think people tend to confuse goodness with perfection. No one is claiming that, I hope. I’m certainly not. I’m a good person. Why? Because I want the best for everyone, I tend to have good intentions, and I enjoy helping folks.

I’m just a basic human.

You can find these characteristics and tendencies in your normal 2-year-old. There’s absolutely nothing spectacular about being a good person, so I feel unable to get a big head about this.

It says a lot about what we have been programmed toward that we think goodness needs to be celebrated. Basic human decency has become a limited commodity.

Because we have normalized inhumanity, we find true humanity awe-inspiring.

Does that make sense?

Nope. Doesn’t make sense, at all. But, that’s what we’ve created: a world in which we think being bad is normal and being good is not as normal.

Both are normal, but we are training ourselves to look for the bad more than the good.

It probably started with our parents. They pointed out things we shouldn’t do. We had to pay attention to that. Some scientists will tell you this is human nature, to be more mindful of what’s bad. I don’t think they’re correct. Just because something is a statistical norm and people talk and write about it often doesn’t mean it’s human nature.

But, kids tend to want to please their adults. So, we were kids and we wanted to please our adults and because we weren’t perfect for your typical capitalist or patriarchal model of living, adults pointed out ways we needed to improve.

Some kids take that a lot harder than others. Some adults are harsher about it than necessary. Sometimes, you get a combination: really sensitive kid with really harsh adult. That’s a combustible combo.

But, it happens.

And, it also happens in a kind of reverse. We get those really sensitive adults who are quite horrible at providing appropriate boundaries. The kids in their lives could benefit from more rigidity and less fluidity, but they can’t bring themselves to provide it. And, if you get that kind of adult raising a really strong-willed kid, who knows what can happen? (Assholes, generally, but it’s all a crap shoot.)

One thing I enjoy about assholes (while we’re on the topic) is that they tend to lack humility. I find that refreshing. I enjoy people who just are who they are. However, that is also a tendency I dislike, because a lack of humility is often coupled with a lack of empathy. I don’t enjoy that.

What I had to learn was that what I really didn’t enjoy was false humility. Real humility, genuine humility is beautiful. People who know they aren’t the most important aspect of life, who know there’s a lot of mystery to living… I enjoy that. And, that’s all humility is.

False humility is what I see when people can’t accept any accolades for their amazingness. We should be able to celebrate one another because we are, each one of us, absolutely amazing! Our bodies are amazing, our minds are amazing, our abilities are amazing. Why would we choose to never acknowledge that? Especially when we live in societies and cultures that want us to dislike ourselves and mold ourselves to unnatural expectations?

Just because you’re not “that special” doesn’t mean that you’re not special at all. Of course you’re special! You are a mystery in the flesh. How did you even become you when all you began as was a clot of blood? Look at you… blood all grown up.

Don’t downplay that. And, don’t let it go to your head. That’s real humility.