I realize I've been carrying a heavy load of stress over the past months and I'm ready to shed it. You can't live with heavy burdens for too long before they weigh you down miserably. I've been stressing about the increasing divisiveness in our country and our world, with people pitted against each other over race, ideology, religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation. I see it played out in news reports. I see it played out in business. I see it played out in families, among friends. I even see it played out in my own church denomination. I am ready to see the light.
How did we get here to this growing chasm of insecurity, anger, bitterness, judgment, hostility and, with increasing frequency, violence? Where did we get so afraid of our changing world? Surely, change is happening quickly, but with that change is an opportunity for us to change, too. We have the ability to replace our fear with curiosity, our rancor with understanding, our hatred with love, our darkest feelings with the light of kindness.
We don't live in a sanitized world where we are only with those who are exactly like us. It's impossible. We all have our own experiences and values that form us into the people we are. As much as we might like to live in a 1950's sitcom-kind of world where everything was perfect and squeaky clean, the ending was always happy, Dad came home with his tie and briefcase and Mom was polished wearing her best dress and apron, such is not life.
So that means we need to change in order to live in the world that actually exists. I believe we all carry the light of God in us and that we are called to seek out that light in others, never to diminish or suppress it. We are called to look at our differences with new eyes and see instead those things that are common to us.
Nothing good comes from a place of profound fear. That is where worry and anger are housed. It is there where the seeds of hatred are sown. It is there where we form a mindset of scarcity. It is there where we see differences instead of commonalities.
We are blessed, truly blessed to live in a world that is rich with the complexities of its fabric. The next time I'm heading down a path of judgment toward someone, I intend to stop myself, breathe and then look deeply to find the light in that other person. Only when we allow ourselves to see that light in another and then seek common ground, will that light truly be reflected back to us.