The Harmony Within
October 19, 2013, 12:00 am
Filed under: Human Potential

“Nothing real can be threatened.” (A Course in Miracles)

I think art as I’ve seen it lately in some movies and shows does not imitate life and lacks the harmony of life. I think this art imitates how we fantasize life to be, as we rely on societal ideas of what is desirable instead of our own. I did this as a kid in love stories I made up with all blonde-haired, white women in them. I considered using black women instead, but chose not to–just wasn’t as juicy a love story like the soap operas I watched sometimes with my mom. (I never questioned the use white men in my stories I replayed in my mind. I liked them most even then, probably because I was looking for my soul mate who is white–and arrogant.)

I think real life is truly artful and beautiful (and varied!), but we might not see it (or what we truly have) because the fantasy seems so much better based on the societal norms that have influenced our thinking for many lifetimes. The stories presented in today’s art are not better than ours, just drawn with a heavy hand and that’s good news because truth is effortless.

Even as you watch the movie or show, harmony is unfolding within you. Societal influence can’t stop it. You don’t even have to try to undo society’s hold on you, just recognize its judgments in your thoughts and feelings and allow it and know it cannot touch you. Even if you let popular ideas rule your decisions, the truth and beauty of who you are and what you really want never goes away or stops expressing itself.


Believing More In the World Than In People
October 18, 2013, 3:58 pm
Filed under: Human Potential

“You already are who you are becoming.” –A man told me this quote was painted in the hallway of his middle school in Gadsden, Alabama

Sometimes I tell myself I’ll be a better person some day, but what does that make me now? Sometimes I look back at things I did and think of how wrong I was, but what did that make me in that moment? Less than? I believe the truth is that people are never lose their value, and therefore, are never “wrong.” No matter their mistake, people are always reliable in their capacity to show the challenges faced by all of mankind, no matter how superior one person may seem to another who is “wrong.” In this way humans are more trustworthy than the ways of the world in expressing how things should be.

Unlike the ways of the world, people aren’t made up, and unlike the ways of the world, people are our brothers and are infinitely useful in making the world a better place, no matter how wrong they seem based on the judgments of systems like the education system or the mental health system: rebellious kids, people with mental illness, high school drop outs can be the canaries in the coal mine, highlighting the dysfunction of the ways and beliefs of the world. And I believe they can give us a hint as to what to do with the ways of the world: Let them go.

Even the commonly held belief that people are wrong, or defined as less than because of their “mistakes” tells us something about people. The beliefs of the world (such as that someone is fortunate just to have a job, for example) reflect humans’ systematic disbelief in the value each person holds. And even this “mistake” makes sense. People can be easily misled by popularly held beliefs because they are misleading, seemingly telling others that their happiness lies in gaining things outside themselves like a job, a diploma, or a spouse, rather than in believing in themselves.

That’s all happiness is: believing in yourself and, inevitably with that, believing in others. Believing in someone is the same as loving someone because it means that you see who someone really is. That’s all love is. Believing in things that aren’t true, such as the ways of the world, as opposed to one’s self still doesn’t make someone wrong; it makes someone representative of the challenge all humans face today. And that’s a good thing because you have to start out somewhere in order to get anywhere. Plus the current ways of humanity, when seen clearly, help us understand why things are as they are, show us the central issue to address (believing in ourselves), and help us see how similar and connected we all are.