True Belonging, Part II

What happens when we don't belong anymore?
How do we find our way back to one another when the fabric that held us together has been shredded by perverted ideologies? 

It's something we need to begin asking ourselves and quickly.

Revisiting  Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone  . ..

Revisiting Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone...

When asked, "What are people trying achieve? What are they worried about?" Brené Brown says the answers she received were complex. People want to experience connection but not at the cost of their authenticity, freedom, or power. The feeling that we are surrounded by an "us vs. them" culture lends to spiritual disconnection, a diminished sense of shared humanity. We are bound together by fear and disdain, not trust, respect, or love. Rather than choose between the herd and themselves, many felt pressure to just "fit in" and conform. I think this is important in explaining the disdainful behavior many of us have witnessed in people we thought we knew. 

We’ve sorted ourselves into factions based on our politics and ideology. We’ve turned away from one another and toward blame and rage. We’re lonely and untethered. And scared. So damn scared. But rather than coming together and sharing our experiences through song and story, we’re screaming at one another from further and further away. Rather than dancing and praying together, we’re running from one another. Rather than pitching wild and innovative new ideas that could potentially change everything, we’re staying quiet and small in our bunkers and loud in our echo chambers.

We have allowed - I am holding all of us complicit for not fighting harder when the insidiousness began trickling in - dehumanization of others to a degree that should disgust everyone. We accept violations against human nature, against the human spirit and against the central tenets of our faith. Which faith? It really doesn't matter, since no faith worth acknowledging should condone human rights violations. We've allowed for complete moral exclusion based on gender, ideology, ethnicity, and religion. And this diminishes our own humanity.

Where is the middle ground?

Challenging ourselves to live by higher standards requires constant diligence and awareness. We’re so saturated by these words and images, we’re close to normalizing moral exceptions.

So how do we find our way back? 

Focusing on the past, on what he said and she did, or even how events led to the current situation just perpetuates the cycle of blame and disconnection. 

Focus on the future. That shift doesn't have to mean we agree but we can start to identify a shared future and how we can create it together.

One of the most common things I find when I speak to my friends who have different ideologies is that we actually want to same things for our future: a preserved planet and a safe world for future generations. Our beliefs on what caused our problems are not the same. Our ideas on how to achieve this may be slightly different. But we want the same damn thing.

So to everyone who wants to help heal the world:
● Listen with desire, be open-minded and work to understand the other person's perspective.
● Dump the desire to bullshit; lying may be defiance of truth but bullshitting is dismissal of truth.
● Move in close, it's hard to hate people up close...so get closer. Hold hands if you have to.
● Remember your humanity when you see another in pain.
● Focus on what's right and good and not what seeks to divide us.

I believe joy is probably the most vulnerable emotion we experience. We’re afraid that if we allow ourselves to feel it, we’ll get blindsided by disaster or disappointment..png

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