Today I want to talk about unity! Unity sounds like a great thing, right? We all say we want unity in our world and that it will bring more peace to our lives and our greater existence. But what does this actually mean? What does this really look like in our everyday lives?
With everything that is going on in our lives right now, unity is more important than ever. Unity can feel out-of-reach for a lot of us because we all have differing beliefs that can make us feel separate, misunderstood, and alienated from one-another. Diversity is not the issue here. In fact, diversity in who we are and what we believe in is actually a great thing. According to Sherri Mitchell (2018), author of Sacred Instructions as well as activist, speaker, and lawyer from the Penobscot tribe, “diversity and distinction are essential for a healthy system. It is our diversity, not our singularity, that allows us to grow” (p.118). Trying to be the same as everyone else and fit into societies tight-knit box of what it means to be “human” is what contributes to the problems of our modern-day species. “One of the things that colonization seeks to accomplish is to make everyone homogenous, or the same. We were not meant to be homogenous.” (Mitchell, 2018, p.118).
So what is the problem then? If diversity is so great and is the natural order of things, why is it so hard to find unity within our manifold species? One problem is the notion that we are not open to looking at both sides of certain issues. We are not looking at how EVERYONE will be affected by the decisions that we make. We are narrowly focused on only one side of the issue. This way of thinking only contributes to the problem at hand. When one side is chosen over another, someone always loses. It is a never-ending cycle of thinking we are “winning” or “on-top”, when suddenly we end up on the losing side just as we first started.
What we miss is that there does not need to be this competition between us. There does not need to be this scarcity mindset of “my way is the only way” or “my way is the right way”. The cool thing about the multitude of perspectives we have is that there are always new ways of looking at the current problems that we face as a human race. It is only when we can work together; when we can take everyone into account when we make our decisions that we can really unify and make the change that we all truly wish to see in this world.
No one wants to be on the losing side. No one wants to feel misunderstood and unheard. We all have our beliefs and yes these beliefs are important to us and our lives. But what is more important is our capacity to hold space for others beliefs; to hear their side of the the story. This is where true growth can occur. “Oneness is not a measure of sameness; it is transcending our resistance to difference and embracing the full integration of our diversity”. (Mitchell, 2018, p.119).
Perhaps take some time in your life this week to ask yourself, “am I open to hearing another’s side of their story? Can I hold space for them without judgement for their beliefs and their actions? Can we engage in dialogue that is open and healthy for both of us?”
Of course this is difficult to do, especially when first starting out. If you cannot hold space for someone in a healthy and compassionate way at that moment in time, it might be best just to take some time away from the conversation, cool down, and then re-enter it at another time when you feel more emotionally balanced. There is nothing wrong with this, so don’t beat yourself up if this happens to you. (It has happened to me many times).
The most important part is that we are trying to let others express themselves as they authentically are. We are opening up our ways of thinking, being, listening, and making decisions to make room for the rest of humanity and not just what we believe to be right (even if we may think this way). This is so important in making lasting change on this planet. The time for fighting and turning away from each other has come to an end. A new dawn approaches. It rises in unity.
Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or comments about this!!
If you haven’t read Sacred Instructions by Sherri Mitchell, I highly recommend you do. She has a great deal of insight not just from her, but from her experiences in life, as well as her interactions with others.
Here is a link to her website: https://sacredinstructions.life/about/
References: Mitchell, S. (2018). Sacred Instructions. North Atlantic Books. CA.
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