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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

'Tis the season to be...

Fearless and Openhearted

There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement and acceptance...Evolution, and all hopes for a better world, rest in the fearless and openhearted vision of people who embrace life.”
John Lennon

This Christmas season has been especially difficult for me. I wonder if it has been for you, too. I want to be positive, and hopeful, but I feel the weight of the world's anxiety. Perhaps, if I stopped watching the news, I could be so ignorant as to be blissful. Yet, I know that we are all connected, and the fabric of the world soul is ripped open right now with all the bloodshed and torment that is happening around the globe. The only way not to feel that is to anesthetize oneself sufficiently, and that creates its own set of problems.

We can keep John Lennon's words, and those of many other lovers of life, clearly in the forefront. We can choose not to fall into the trap of fear. I know a lot of paranoid people at the moment—and honestly, I sometimes fall into their ranks—but that will not help us move through this time of darkness. Fear is contagious, and can take hold and turn us against one another. I am old enough to remember the old communist system, not to mention the Jim Crow south, in which no one knew who was an “informer.” It created fear that separated neighbors and families from one another. That is the sort of atmosphere that keeps dictators in power, and makes everyone so suspicious that they don't trust even the people closest to them.

We have been through tough times before and survived. To further quote John Lennon, “We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to create.” Not to be preachy, or “Pollyanna” about the difficult times in which we live, but it simply is not helpful to fall into despair. We cannot afford it. We cannot create solutions, nor address problems, if we give up on ourselves. Paraphrasing Lemony Snicket, we are neither wicked nor noble; simply a chopped salad of both, tossed with a dressing of confusion and conflict. In and through all of it, we can choose to keep love in the forefront. We are called to be those fearless and openhearted people who embrace life.

                                                                In the Spirit,

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