Wednesday, May 4, 2011

And All The Kings Horses...

I recently had a conversation with a young woman who I've known since she was a child.  She is my daughter's age now, married, with two children.  I know she used to cut herself when she was a teenager, and the parents had everyone believing she was a "problem," and needed counseling.  She was the only one in the family who went to counseling.  I remember watching her, and there was something I identified with in her.  I knew that it wasn't just she that needed counseling, it was her entire family.  In our conversation she revealed how she'd always felt a great responsibility toward her mother, felt it was her job to watch over her, and make sure she was okay.  She made sure to always be present to ensure her mother's safety.  One day she decided to do something for herself, she went to church, and when she came home, she found her mother on the floor after an attempt to commit suicide.  It validated for the young woman that her mother's life was in her hands.  The pressure to remain by her mother's side, to be responsible for her very life, was a heavy, heavy burden.  


Was her mother evil?  No.  She was in pain, and couldn't see anything but her pain.  She couldn't see past her pain to be able to see the impact her choices and actions were having on another.  I have often been shocked at a person's absolute belief that what they do has no direct impact on anyone else.  Feeling isolated and alone in their pain they refuse to see they are indeed connected, and everything they do creates an effect.  But I have also found that most people don't want that kind of responsibility.  They don't want the burden of accountability, and would rather blame it on something or someone outside themselves.  There is nothing outside themselves regardless of what they believe.  They are not separate because there is no such thing, regardless of appearances.

Look at Bin Laden.  There was a man who also refused to believe we are all connected, alone in his pain and rage, wanting to strike out away from himself so he wouldn't have to face his own accountability.  He sought to make others pay, carry a burden that belonged only to himself.  He blamed everyone else but himself.  What makes him any different from the person who, instead, goes to destroy their own life?  One struck outward, the other inward.  But both blamed others outside themselves for being in the pain they were in.  Both saw and believed in enemies.  Believed they were alone.  Look at Hitler's history.


All these people had a choice.  Hitler had as much capacity for love as he did for hate.  Bin Laden had just as much capacity to build and unite as he did to destroy and divide.  This young girl's mother has the same capacity to make the choice to value all life, including her own, as she does to destroy it.  Yet what happens when they've gone too far?  Indeed, what is the measuring stick on that?  Who says when enough is enough, and these people who are insistent on making choices of destruction and division are causing wide range effects.  Even the mother who tried to commit suicide made an impact that will be felt for a very long time in her family.  Who has the final say of when enough is enough?


We do.  We are the ones who decide within ourselves that patterns and thoughts and beliefs of division and destruction stop with us.  The buck stops here, with me.  Or otherwise we go on carrying the same old routine, same old family dysfunction, same reactions, same old, same old.  We have the power to choose differently.  It has been my message here from the creation of this blog.  We choose.  We are always choosing, every moment, every day, every sunrise.  We are choosing whether we will love or hate.  Fear or trust.  Build or destroy.  We are choosing...whether we think we are or not.


Through those choices we reap what we sow.  ( Which isn't the same as an eye for an eye.)  That law of cause and effect, what you give out will return to you, is for everyone, good, bad, or indifferent.  And no one can escape it.  We are all accountable for every act, every thought, whether we like it or not.  We can ignore it, we can deny it, yet its true regardless.  Bin Laden chose.  Those who choose to celebrate his death are choosing.  Bin Laden was one of us.  He was connected.  Hitler was one of us.  You are one with all of us.  There is no separation.  What you do is significant, and has an impact.  Think you that you do not have the same capacity within you to make the same choice Bin Laden or Hitler did?  Think again.  We all have the full range scale of humanity within us.  We are the one standing in the middle of that scale of negatives and zero.

Making choices.


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