Tag Archives: Equality

AWAKENING TO OUR SOUL’S GARDEN

“Our uniqueness is God’s garden and God calls us to walk in this garden in love…for one another.” Reverend Naomi Tutu

Does your spiritual belief allow you to love all people? Does your life include diversity?  How are you able to accept those who are different?

On Sunday, August 16, I was very moved by the main message Rev. Naomi Tutu gave at the online Jubilee Community service in Asheville, NC.  Related to her statement that I have quoted, she talked about how diverse her mother’s garden was and how much she loved that diversity in nature. I was very moved by the metaphor of the garden.  Although I have rarely grown gardens, I love the natural gardens of the forest.

Most of us would find a garden with a wide variety of blossoms to be very beautiful.  Around here, the Biltmore Estate has a popular flower garden filled with color especially in the spring and summer where people love to walk and relax.

My husband and I recently wandered off a hiking path to discover a lovely community garden.  We were amazed by the wide diversity of colorful fruits and vegetables that lusciously feed those who cultivate the field.

We are blessed to live in this Appalachian area around Asheville because the natural environment is the most diverse in the world.  It is a gold mine for those who wish to explore the diversity of the natural environment and we frequently find flowers or mushrooms we’ve never before seen.

Most of us appreciate the diversity in our natural garden, but what about our human garden?  Are we comfortable walking among its diversity?  Does the variety of humanity feed us in some way?

What Diversity Can Teach Us

Our ability to be comfortable with human diversity is deeply rooted in our background, experiences, and open mindedness. As a child I was taught to respect all people, but for many years the only people I was around were white like me.  In high school and college, I had minor contacts with people of African descent but did not really know anyone until I acted alongside a black student in a theatrical performance. It was the first time I realized I really had no idea what it was like not to be white.

Later, living in Washington, D. C., I encountered few people in the suburbs unlike me except when I was teaching at a Catholic girls’ school.  I’d grown up Protestant so I had to get used to the culture of nuns, dress more conservatively, and adjust to attending the school’s religious masses.

It was not until I lived in Denver in the eighties that I experienced an even more diverse spiritual environment.  I had always been searching for something without knowing what it was that was missing in my Christian spiritual life.  I had long ago stopped attending services, and because of a deep friendship with a man who was a Buddhist, I became curious about his faith.  I studied eastern religion, learned to meditate, and taught dance for a short time at the Naropa Institute in Boulder.

From this new experience, my understanding of God’s love expanded.  I dealt with life’s challenges in a calmer, more centered manner.  As I moved through this new spiritual garden, I enjoyed its diversity because it opened my mind to an expanded understanding of humanity.  I felt connected to people from Eastern countries in a way I had never before experienced.

Differences May Teach Us

Diversity is easier to accept when we understand the nature of our differences.  Except for the gender prejudice I had experienced as a woman, I had never been treated differently because I was white until I lived in New Orleans where, in some areas, whites did not feel welcome.

It is hard to imagine any place on earth that is more unique than New Orleans.  It is a multicultural city with a large black population, where most of all families are Catholic, and the food is unique, based on French and African influences.  I moved there to be with my family.

Having previously taught in a Catholic school helped me understand those I met who were dedicated to Catholicism.  Teaching multiracial gifted students in the inner city helped me understand their challenges and I felt compassion for the difficulties they faced trapped in poverty. I still remember the girl with a dysfunctional mother who got pregnant so someone would love her and the boy who feared his brother would be shot by a gang member.

Accepting Diversity Opens Hearts

It is so easy to judge people at a distance because we cannot see who they truly are.  It is much easier to simply dismiss them as different, but when we take the time to know them, they can potentially enrich our lives.

The diversity in my life experiences has taught me that we must learn to love those who are different from us and to respect all humanity.  When we focus on what we share in common rather than only on what is different, we plant seeds of love that will grow into a garden of understanding and respect.  Anais Nin has said, “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”

The more we open our eyes and our hearts and come to understand that we are all God’s children, the more our soul’s garden will expand and feed us abundantly.

© 2020 Georganne Spruce

AWAKENING TO LOVE THE WORLD Part 2, DIVERSITY

AWAKENING TO COMPASSION

AWAKENING TO OUR WORLD COMMUNITY

 

AWAKENING TO THE VALUE OF CHANGE

“If we don’t change, we don’t grow.  If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.”  Gail Sheehy

How do you feel about change?  Does it frighten you?  Does it excite you?  How do you approach the changes in your life?

Currently, we are experiencing change in many areas of life.  The pandemic has forced us to stay in, wear masks, clean everything we touch, zoom with friends and family rather than sit face to face.  The death of George Floyd has provoked outrage and a revolution to eradicate racism, not just in this country, but throughout the world.

We may not like the changes that are being thrown in our faces, but they offer us a significant opportunity to grow in a better way personally and as a country.  On the personal level we had to shift the way we interact with family and friends.  Some we cannot visit because of the risk to their heath.  We feel sad and inadequate as a result.

We Need To Release Our Fear To Change

This is reality.  What can we do to keep our negative feelings from taking over our lives?  At the root of all this is fear.  We need to let go of our fears and see the situation clearly.  When we do, we will see that this situation is not a matter of our inadequacy but of needing to change how we think about the situation.  Staying away from those with weak immune systems or wearing masks is not a weakness; it is an act of prudence.

Changing our negative thinking is a sign of growth and aids us to see the whole picture, not just our lives and desires. When we accept the reality of facts and choose to act wisely based on them, we are able to grow even if the change is not easy.  When we ignore reality, we risk other’s wellbeing as well as our own.

We Must Accept Change

We are living in a time that requires significant change.  The protests taking place around the world signal that we must change so that all human beings can have equal rights – now!  During the 1960’s some change took place, but since then, there has been much backsliding.  Laws have changed but too many people and institutions have not; thus the inequality has stunted the growth of this country and many of our citizens.

Change disrupts the status quo for those who hate change. It creates extreme discomfort which often pushes people to act out of anger and commit violence.  While violence has occurred at some of the protests, it is encouraging that most have been peaceful.  They are a clear signal that it is time for major change as a huge number of  people around the world stand up for equality.

Deep Change Is Based On Love

When people come together for positive change, that is holy action.  Together we are powerful, especially when we act to make changes that will uplift humanity.  But more important than being more powerful, making these changes reflects the spiritual elements of our humanity.  When we love one another, we work for what is best for all.  We grow into a spiritually deeper human being so that what we do in the world reflects the sacredness that is  within us.

The decisions we make now, in our lives and in our countries, cannot only change the world, they can make us grow individually in ways that will take us into the future with more love, equality, and compassion for all people.  That is what “really living” means.

© 2020 Georganne Spruce

Readings:  AWAKENING TO EFFECT CHANGE

AWAKENING TO DEEPEN OURSELVES

RELEASING OUR FEAR TO AWAKEN

 

AWAKENING TO OUR CHOICES

“If we really want to be full and generous in spirit, we have no choice but to trust at some level.” Rita Dove

When you make a choice, do you think about the consequences?  Do you think about how your choices will impact those around you?  What do you expect our country’s leaders to base their choices on?

The Balance of Power Has Shifted

Yesterday was a game-changing day for the United States.  Barack Obama was re-elected as president, but who elected him is as significant as the victory itself.  Something is shifting in this country.  Ninety-three percent of African-American voters voted for him.  Seventy-one percent of Hispanic voters voted for him, and fifty-five percent of women voted for Obama.

These groups of people, who during my lifetime have struggled for equality in the system, are finally stepping into their own power.  Now the numbers are great enough to influence change in this country, and I think that’s a good thing.  Their choices count in a way they never have before.

We are fortunate to live in a country where we have a system that allows us to choose the people who run the country.  The choices we make on Election Day are significant, but the choices we make each day of our lives can also bring about huge changes.  The diversity in this country will not go away.  We have only one choice—learn to live with people who are different from us.

We Must Choose To Trust One Another

To be the spiritual beings we truly are, we must be willing to trust.  To do that, we have to give up the need to be “right” all the time.  Our need to be “right” keeps us attached to issues that need to be released.  In Rasha’s Oneness, Oneness says “When you are able to let go of the need for ego validation on the issues that help define the history of this lifetime, you have taken the tentative first steps toward liberation from those patterns.”  This is how we become unstuck.

Fear Beneath the Need To Be Right

Have you ever made a decision to prove you were right only to have it blow up in your face?  When we let our egos run our lives, we often miss making the wisest choices.  When we feel the urge to prove we are right, we need to look for the fear beneath that need and deal with that first.  Releasing the fear frees us to act from a deeper place and calms the ego.

Likewise, our leaders need to stop worrying about whether the vote on an issue is won by the Republicans or the Democrats.  This isn’t a football game.  The only thing that matters is did they do what is best for the majority of the people?  Will this decision help people to live better lives?  Our leaders must choose to be trustworthy so that they can trust each other and the people can trust them.  Too often, good ideas have been dropped because one side couldn’t stand to see the other “win” and blocked the law’s passage.

Act For the Highest Good Of All

The question then is not “Am I right?  Did I win?”  The only question we ever need to ask when making a decision is “Is this for the highest good of all?”  If it isn’t, the decision isn’t the right one.  Our decisions are energy flowing into the cosmic ocean to support its life or to pollute it.  When we act out of love and generosity, our spiritual energy feeds the whole.  We should expect no less from our leaders.

As Oneness says, “All the rules are changing now.  Your world, as you have been schooled to understand it, has already ceased to be.  The cellular structure of every life form on your planet has been altered.  The resonant vibration of every living thing has been augmented.  And the attunement of all consciousness to heightened levels has been achieved.  As a race, the human population has opened itself to receive the gift of Grace.  And even though precious few are aware of that shift, all are manifesting the result, in one form or another.” (Page 104)  One result of this shift is that we are no longer in control.  Resistance to the change taking place is pointless.

Those who are creating the positive changes in our society are the ones who are aware and are leading the way for the rest of us.  Because of these changes, we need to make better choices in our own lives and insist that our leaders make better choices that will create a life that will uplift and enrich us all.  We all deserve a life that is “full and generous in spirit.”

© 2012 Georganne Spruce                                                                  ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

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