“A lot of people have felt they couldn’t breathe.”—Van Jones
Last November, when a new President and Vice President were elected in the U.S., many of us cried tears of relief. We felt we could breathe again, even if just for a moment. Not that the huge problems that face this country had been solved, but lighter, more compassionate voices were speaking at the national level. Possibility was appearing once again, where impossibility had ruled. Hope was arising within us, and the distant dream of a peaceful resolution of divisions seemed somehow closer. Now, in the wake of last week’s violent break-in at the Capitol building in Washington, it is even more important to hold onto that dream and to move forward in peace.
On a planet of polarities like Earth is, we are daily confronted with opposites, seemingly in conflict with each other. Yet, perhaps they are here for us to embrace them, to come into balance with what appears to be broken wholeness. Maybe the human experience is all about healing separation, within ourselves and in the world. Is it possible that each opposite is in fact an opportunity to open our hearts to oneness? What if fear and mistrust exist so we can learn to love unconditionally? What if pain is present to engender compassion and kindness? And despair to spark hope? This is a stretch, I know, but consider the possibility that every experience we have is bringing us closer to aligning with our soul’s vision of life, which is that it is all perfectly orchestrated for our greater evolution into loving awareness.
This view helps me to put into perspective the up-and-down swing of global events (and my life) in recent years. I know in my heart that a Great Shift is occurring, one that affects everyone and everything at the deepest possible level. Yet how to live that awareness day to day in the face of injustice and hatred? Is peace possible on this planet? I believe it is, and I believe we are getting there, moment by moment, breath by breath. We learn how to live by seeing how we do not want to live. We learn the sweetness of peace by experiencing the bitterness of turmoil and struggle. We choose cooperation and unity when our human spirit is exhausted by antagonism and discord. The time for universal harmony on this planet is now. A harmony that holds difference with tenderness and respect, and joyfully sings every note on the diversity scale of humanity.
Who knows how post-election changes will play out? We are still passing through continually shifting scenarios of political dissension almost daily, as we hang onto the possibility of reconciliation. Such a coming together and rebalancing needs to occur beyond the infrastructure that defines a nation or state. It is among people that the change must occur, individually and collectively. A change of heart that brings a breath of fresh air to all those who have suffered from hatred, fear, or violence in their lives. It is the heart and the breath that give us life. So if life is to continue on this planet in any way that is sustainable, then together we must open our hearts to compassion, peace, and hope for humankind–and live that dream into the world with every breath we take.