If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. Mother Teresa.
When was the last time you spoke with a neighbor, exchanged smiles with a stranger, listened to another's pain, or simply sent love into the world and felt it come back? For many people actions such as this are not a natural part of daily life. We live in a world motivated by an individualistic, competitive, what's in it for me mind-set with ultimate separation from others. And we take for granted things like illness, stress, conflict, anger, loneliness, confusion, etc. We say, "That's life", and we continue this path without question. But is this the way we're meant to live?
Recently, I listened to an interview of Lynne McTaggart, author of the book, The Bond, in which she discusses how we live today vs how we're meant to live. Years of research have shown there's a connection between all people that is so profound that it runs through our total structure on a sub-atomic, cellular level. Nature designed us to connect, to belong. And living against our nature creates a world of physical, mental and emotional pain--the world in which we find ourselves today. So how did we get here?
Many years ago the cultural norm was a sense of community with others. Yes, there were individual differences, just as there are today. But differences were accepted without conflict. When I was a child in the Great Depression years, we lived in an apartment building in Detroit with people of different nationalities, but we shared our food, our time and our love. With a sense of connection and community, all the maladies we suffer today were minimal. Then as industrialization spread, people changed. We forgot who we are. Now when I sit in my back yard, I look at my neighbor's privacy fences that were not there a few yeas ago. I hear their voices and their dogs barking, but I'm not a part of them. And I feel the separation.
Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something that needs our love. Rainer Maria Rilke.
McTaggart offers several steps to restore love, peace and harmony in our world, to live according to our true nature.
1. Change your vision. Notice the differences in people, but accept your connection, and share without intention to change another. You can accept a person without accepting their views. This doesn't make you weak. It makes you stronger.
2. Work with others toward a common goal. In collective efforts, differences disappear. Share the problems, pain and joy.
3. Don't stay isolated from others. Join groups. Take a class. Volunteer. Attend a church. Reach out and hold another's hand.
4. Change your life purpose, and rethink the meaning of your life. With intention, be a spiritual activist, and send love to pain and suffering you see in the world. The love will come back to you.
We are all cells in the cell of humanity. Choose to be a part of the whole creation, and use connection and community to create love, health, peace, and harmony within yourself and your world. We need each other.
I wish you hands to hold.