Here are some things I’ve been thinking about lately. Current goals for my ongoing, ever-changing state of awareness:
1. Noticing and taking in all visible and invisible forms of disparity I encounter and holding them as an expanded awareness of how to be most human and humane. There is always a worse circumstance or a better outcome no matter where we exist on the spectrum. Almost nothing is equal and life is most certainly not fair at the level of the human heart. Great generosity, kindness and mercy is needed constantly in epic amounts equally towards ourselves and others. It’s almost impossible to know all that is happening under the exterior of another person and often we failed to accurately understand the nuances of our own inner landscape as well. None of us are exactly the same and yet at some level we aren’t all that different. Vastly differing experiences can hold the same amount of truth, except when they don’t. Yet knowing, remembering and acknowledging our country’s most egregious and continual crimes against humanity is paramount to creating a present and future that closes, rather than widens, the disparate gap that we know, see and live daily, but may feel helpless to impact. The weight and gravity of this information will not break or distract me from the things I am uniquely talented and built to do and provide in my lifetime, but I can neither ignore nor fixate on it if I desire an effective, useful and reverent life. There is a constant ebb and flow style of balance that must be possible or at least I hold the possibility of awareness of it as a goal.
2. Holding the space that humans are unimaginably multi-dimensional and that the most heroic of lives have included a multitude of unspeakable actions and the most heinous of souls have no doubt had moments of great mercy and bestowed much love and kindness on many. This information should be expected instead of shocking. Letting our proverbial skeletons out of the closet, both personally and professionally, must become more normal and acceptable, so we can learn greater mercy for ourselves and others and understand what we are all capable of in the name of despair. Criminal and unethical behavior is never OK, but we also need to examine often our bias around who and what we consider to be criminal and unethical. There is almost always a double standard. Justice is almost never actually just. Punishments rarely fit the crimes and yet we are all making and remaking these decisions all the time with differing levels of success and recourse. Resisting my mind’s desire to categorize and stereotype out of a need to understand and define is an ongoing awareness. Becoming more comfortable with not knowing, with botching my efforts to know, and being ready and willing to be wrong again and again without shame or self-criticism is another goal I hold awareness of.
3. Also I have a desire for a more solid awareness of both cultivating and also disrupting the flow. Creative, energetic, emotional and spiritual flow can be beautiful, productive, empowering and desirable. And I think chasing it too much or too intensely is often disruptive. Flow is not inherently better than disruption, they are both powerful and useful. As a Taurus, I may often get too attached to stability and comfort and need to shake up my life from time to time to avoid stagnation and depression. I like to make a shocking or unexpected choice, comment or action, and it also challenges me to my core to do this as I struggle to make the impact I desire while still trying to be in control of the outcome. And there is something inside this ever-present tension seems to contain everything that makes living life seem like a good idea. My goal is to stay in awareness of the tension, how it impacts me moment to moment, and tend to it experimentally with different amounts of encouragement and resistance.