404: The Forgiveness in Diversity

I talk a great deal about community on this podcast and many of you may not understand the fullest reason why I do.  It’s twofold actually. 

Firstly, when we do things to create unity we connect with each other on a deeper level.  We understand that we are not alone.  You would think in a world dominated by social media we would feel totally together, totally one.  However, the converse is true.  The more we “connect” online or through texts the more isolated we become.  True community, sharing of ideas and energy, is a process that happens face to face. 

Secondly, when you reach out to others you lift yourself up.  It is not possible to assist someone or simply connect to another person in a giving way without feeling happier about your life and who you are.

If we know these things then why does community escape us?  Why are there such challenges between countries, religions or even sometimes family members?

The easiest answer is ego.  Each of us grows up believing what are parents and caregivers told us was “right”.  Hopefully as we grew up we tested these beliefs and found out which ones resonated with us.  Some thoughts that we grew up with we keep forever, the continue to hold value for us.  Others did not hold the same power as they did in our younger years.

The thing to remember is that you are constantly growing.  Your thoughts are meant to change, to evolve.  There are no absolutes.  You can hold on to the values that serve you and also evolve others to serve you better as you grow, physically and emotionally.

However, somewhere in the process of understanding our beliefs and values we attached our sense of worth to those ideals.  In doing so our ego latched on quickly to assert itself to those understandings in an effort to gain importance, prominence.

Ego is like that.  It likes things to stay the same.  It asserts that how can you be anything if you cannot define who you are?  How can you define who you are if you don’t have one religion, one job, one belief about the meaning of important topics.

This is exactly where your ego conflicts with your higher self.  Ego professes that in order to feel whole, you must rigidly adhere to the things that make you “who you are”.  You must stick steadfastly to your beliefs about right and wrong.  You must never waver in your devotion to your religion or spirituality.  In no uncertain terms can you embrace the thought of being incorrect or not knowing. 

Certainly these are all thoughts that fly in the face of living as your higher self.  Your higher self does not need to define itself by any parameters.  It is one thing, divinity.  That divinity is light, love and growth.  There is no need to create the façade of  compartments or identity.

You may be wondering why the crash course in the structure of ego and divinity.  It is simple.  Once again it is to create oneness.  It is to elucidate that we are all brothers and sisters, one light.  That understanding is necessary to bringing about community.

   breaks down when people feel separate from each other.  It breaks down when there is dissention between people due to differing thoughts, beliefs and ideals.  That breakdown is the ego manifesting itself.

When you sit down at the dinner table this night or any night, you have the opportunity to create bridges with people you may dislike, people with whom you disagree   With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching it seems an even more auspicious time to forge bonds that were at one time broken.  And with the holiday season starting it seems even more fitting to begin the process of forgiveness now.

Will there be people absent from your table due to family squabbles or riffs?  Will there be people at your table for whom you will be cordial, yet distant?  Are there people in your life at this moment that you are at odds with?

Regardless of stature or circumstance, on Thanksgiving many people will come together to celebrate Love and togetherness.  For those of not in the United States November 26 will not have the same historical context but that doesn’t mean you can’t practice what I am proposing.

What is that exactly?  Forgiveness.

The ego tells you to profess who you are through your religion, your political party, your ethnicity, you favorite sports team, through any one or many various categories.  Your ego stresses that those who differ in the categories that make up who you are, are less than you, wrong.

That is not your higher self.  That is light or love.  That is humanness.  That is ego, frail and weak, clawing desperately to survive.  But you are not ego.  You don’t need to define yourself by any parameter.  You are who you are and the aspects that make up you serve you. 

We all have a history that is unique to us.  There are so many variables that no one category or set of categories will ever be suitable for everyone.

There will never be one religion.  There will never be one ethnicity, gender, political party, orientation or sports team.  There will never one category for everyone.

With that knowledge allow people to be who they are.  If you are missing someone from your holiday table because of differences then reach out and forgive.  Perhaps forgive is not the optimal word, but reach out to those who are seemingly      unlike you.

You don’t lessen who you are by treating everyone with kindness and love, even those who don’t share your “categories”.  In fact, you grow.  You become better.  You become your higher self.

You become your higher self when you allow people to believe what they believe, think what they think andsimply be who they are.  On November 26th (or even now) create a bond with someone you may have lost touch with.  It may be a family member, friend or peer.  Reach out and find the similarities that can bind you, tear down the barriers that keep you both from experiencing your higher self.

There is no past.  There is just this one moment.  Whatever happened days, months or years ago is done.  Hurts can be mended.  Holding on to grudges will crush your spirit and make you hateful.  You are not vindicated by holding firm to the thought that you were right.

There is a day of thanks in the United States.  While it may seem trite to say it is nonetheless true.  Every day is a day of thanks.  Be grateful for the people who are different than you.  Be thankful for the people who supposedly wronged you?  Be thankful for the people that are suffering and in need.

All these people help you realize your light, your divinity, your higher self.  The different teach you acceptance.  Those who wronged you teach you the power of forgiveness.  The suffering and needy teach you compassion and kindness.

It is amazing to see how profoundly orchestrated the Universe is when we come together. Eight billion people are all woven together to bring our planet to a place of splendor.  That magnificence can only be experienced when we are grateful for each other, grateful for absolutely everyone.      

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