I recently spoke with a spiritual direction client who had been not stepping toward the altar every day, not sitting in meditation or contemplation, not engaging will or making time. Why? Because ze was afraid at what ze might find. My response was this :
“Avoiding yourself does not make your life go away.”
Some of my long term students right now are looking at the ways in which family taboos shape our lives. They are struggling to even see what the taboos are, and then look at the ways in which adherence to these permeates their lives. They are doing this to gain a greater measure of freedom, of autonomy, and to call their life force back from shadowy hallways, from secrets and lies.
I’ve been holding many situations in compassion, and continuously re-centering around still others. Various spiritual communities are boiling over with finger pointing and accusations, other people are unemployed, still others are in physical or emotional pain, and meanwhile, the US government seems to be falling apart at the seams, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain are in economic trouble, war continues, cholera spreads… This morning, I listened to that old X song: “The World’s a Mess, it’s in my Kiss” and then went to check wikileaks.org. The site is inaccessible. Why? Because a lot of people think that denying the problems will make them go away. A lot of people are angry at Julian Assange for telling family secrets, you know breaking taboo. The site has been hacked in order to shut it down. I don’t know which is worse: US pundits asking for Assange to be assassinated, or government hackers taking the site down. I do not have the full story on Assange and Wikileaks. Nobody does. But I do think governments, multinational corporations, and citizenry need a bit of shaking up.
Here is why: Some of us are still willing to trample others in order to get a good price on electronic goods. We camp out for weeks, or stand in line in the cold overnight, in order to buy things we do not need. Some of us are more concerned for our reputation, or the good name of our religious traditions, or petty games of social chess, than we are with cultivating justice or compassion. We fight amongst ourselves for scraps of power, and meanwhile, when someone tries to tells us, “Hey! These government agencies and corporations have been lying to you!” What is our response? “Go away. We’re busy. We don’t want to know” Really, what we need to hear is this: We have been lying to ourselves. We have been living in a fantasy: spiritually, politically, economically, emotionally.
Avoiding ourselves will not make this go away. There must be change, the change a candidate once spoke of, but has not delivered on. We must cease buying things to assuage the yawning gap in hearts and souls. We must listen to each other more carefully before jumping into a fight. We must realize that living with honor has long term rewards, even if dishonor gives the short term payoff. We must cherish this planet and each other, and not just with lip service. We must feed each other, care for each other, nurture each other, challenge each other. It is like any other relationship: saying “I love you” alone is not enough. There needs to be action that backs this up. Corruption has rotted our culture. But I do not think we are rotten to the core.
I think we still love. Within us there is still life, still hope, still something good that can grow, given the possibility. What do we need to clear out to make space for this? What wounds need to be lanced and healed? What can we choose to not buy in order to create something with our families? Can we look at what choices are we making that will help our spiritual growth and the health of our communities rather than what will cover our asses or prop up fearful egos in this moment? What can we show up for instead of avoiding? Do we really believe that life, and earth, and choice, and will, are sacred? Do we? Will we?
It is time. It is time to stop lying to ourselves and to each other. It is time to stand up for what we purport to believe. For ourselves. For each other. For the world.
We are Gods and Goddesses in potentia. Let’s act like it. Let us be Divine for real.
(I thank these compatriots for the image)