How Are We Going to Do This?

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This has been a question that I’ve been pondering over the summer. There is just so much happening in the world, I wonder just how we are going to do this – to get through it all! We find ourselves in unprecedented times – we haven’t lived through a pandemic like this for close to 100 years, the western world has not lived through times like this since the end of the Second World War. At the same time, I have to acknowledge that there are those living in the world that live through what we would call unprecedented times as a matter of daily life. Talking with a friend of mine from Bolivia who is in her 50s, she tells me that she’s used to living through
coups, famine, and war and so are many people living around the world. It’s only us in the Western world that are facing this anew.

My columns over this year will address different aspects of this question. This month, I focus on how we are going to do this and still remember ourselves home – how are we going to address the question of belonging when we are physically distancing, particularly as the colder months
come upon us. And we are being asked more than ever now to widen our circle of concern to include those who are at the margins and are the most oppressed in our societies. Dear ones – if you think about it – you belong to this world right now! In this place and time your spirit was called into being from a long line of ancestors that came before you. Indigenous peoples are able to call upon the ancestors for close to 6,000 years. To figure out how many ancestors it takes in 10 generations to create the divine spark of life that is you, simple math tells us that it takes 1024 ancestors to have lived, celebrated, grieved, and died for you to exist. It took 1024 people to create you! That is startling.

And yet, somehow, there’s an ache – a longing – a hungering to belong that shapes us in ways that we are largely unconscious of. We feel the deep fissures within our being that ache with the need to find our place in the world and in our lives. For me, this ache only intensifies when I look at what is going on in the world. When George Floyd lay dying on the pavement with a knee upon his neck cried out for his mama, this ache became excruciating.

It is only when we are able to delve into that aching need and lower ourselves into that holy longing that we are able to get a view of who we are meant to become in our fullness – what it took 1,024 ancestors to create. It is here in our silent acceptance of what is, that we are finally able to accept everything just as it is – holy and perfect in just this moment, and then this moment, and so on; for it is the way of nature to accept everything just as it is. When we do that, we see that everything contributes to the whole and trickles down into a gathering river that rushes through our very core with the knowledge that this too belongs – that you too belong – that we belong to each other. And that, my dear ones, tells us that we were made for these times. When we hold onto each other, see each other, be with each other, we fill that aching need with this Beloved Community.