Making the year truly New...
Some seers have predicted that 2021 would get off to a rocky start, and they are certainly right. As we look across the world and local landscape of events, we can see that it was a bit premature (and maybe naïve) to think that just because the pages of the calendar turned, the unresolved issues of this past year would be completely in the rearview mirror. Why? AsAlbert Einstein said,
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
The Universe teaches us that any unlearned lessons we came into this life to learn will repeat themselves until we learn them. This is why, if we tend to say things like, “Why does this keep happening to me?” the answer is, because there is something there we are missing, just aren’t “getting”… and much like a Bugs Bunny-esque boomerang that comes back to hit you in the head if you are not paying attention, that lesson comes back—but in a more challenging form, just to make the point. It isn’t punitive, it is definitive. It is much more expedient to avoid that lesson getting larger and possibly more uncomfortable, to become still, turn inward, and listen…allowing the lesson to be revealed.
This also applies to the collective- the whole human family. What are we “not getting” that we have come to this? We are, as a species, hot-wired to connect to each other and cannot survive isolation and separateness. This is clear as the separation we have been living with (and shall continue to for a while longer) has taken its toll psychologically, emotionally, even physically. Isn’t it time, distanced or not, to remember the importance of connection? Connection that is real, BTW, which is not about distance, but about listening, opening our hearts and minds…based on what we have in common, instead of letting our differences drive bigger and more damaging wedges between us. If we really want things to get better, we can begin to come together based on our universally shared basic needs and desires: to be happy, safe, well and at peace. It is time to have conversations, real ones, with actual listening as opposed to pre-emptive responses, defensive stances and justifications in order to win an argument or the advantage. If you have ever been in marriage counseling, you know how productive that isn’t. If we are to go forward together (and there really isn’t any other way), we must remember that together doesn’t only apply to the half of the human family that agrees with us, the other half be damned or excoriated. If we made an effort to understand the other person, we still might not agree, but we might find the common ground we need to co-exist. How much violence, wounded-ness, misunderstanding and misappropriation of information will it take before we stop drinking the kool-aid, whichever flavor of it we drink?
Let’s make this new year truly New…by hearing Einstein’s message and creating a fresh, new prism through which to view our seemingly unsolve-able problems, large and small, individual and collective. We can refer to the spiritual practices and ask ourselves in the places where we feel hopeless, helpless or stuck, “What am I not seeing?” “How can I approach this differently in order to find a new outcome?” (and from the Yoga philosophy) “How can I help or be of service?” Asking ourselves what we can offer to others is not only powerful but empowering, and can lead us to be more accepting, compassionate, forgiving, and open… a helpful member of the human family that we are all a part of, all equal and equally loved in the eyes of the Divine….what spiritual practices are really all about.