So much is happening in our world right now. Yet there is a way through. For me, it is always about finding deeper ways to connect. We have to connect with our pain to find our way through, for out the other side is a profound experience of love, connection and healing; illuminating a way forward that will transform us and the way we live together. We can do this for the love, grace, wisdom and understanding that is of God, is ours as well, holding us and guiding us through the process. This is our freedom.
Thus, my first response to the death of George Floyd and the deep hurt and anger this has released, is to seek to understand and explore what is being shared; then to find ways to respond that help me connect in a much more authentic way to my fellow human beings.
This is because my experience growing up as a white person, born in the UK during the 1960’s in a mostly white community, is very different from my black friends, whether born here or arriving from another country. I have never thought of any of these lovely people as different from me and certainly not less than equal to me. However, I have also never sought to explore and understand how my culture and experiences have been so different.
In one way that is very real, this does not matter – we are all the same – one in the sight of God, whatever our colour, creed, culture or experiences.
Yet in another way, it does matter, for many people are not treated as equal and it is time for this to change. I believe it is very important to find ways to connect with each other and we can only do that when we seek to understand each other: To explore our differences as well as our similarities and honour it all.
As part of this, it is important that we feel heard – really listened to – in a way that mostly we do not do. Very often, we come with our own agendas, beliefs and opinions to defend and cannot hear the other person’s pain, which is why it gets louder and louder.
So I write today, saying that I wish to hear, understand and explore your experiences, especially if they are different to my own, so that I can recognise and release my entrenched and unconscious beliefs. As I feel your pain and honour your experiences, we can connect in a much deeper and more profound way.
This is the beginning of positive change – a change that is needed. It will happen as we commit to being the change we wish to see. God is always expressing in and through us, which we experience to the extent that we accept and allow. So let our awareness and connection be God-driven – Oneness-driven. As we let God-awareness be our own awareness, more of us will make an inner shift in how we see and relate to each other and the world will change.
For we are all one: We are all inter-connected. As Eric Butterworth (Unity minister and author) put it so wonderfully, we are each a wave on the ocean, each a unique expression of God. One wave is no more important than another wave. Yet each is important and connected to the next through the ocean, the totality of all, that which we call God.
It is time for us to love and honour everyone, even those we do not understand, and find a way to do so. As we let love open our hearts and minds, we play an active part in this healing and resolution opportunity we have taken on, simply by being alive. Let us step up to the mark, seek to listen, hear and connect as we find ourselves in each other.