Around the same time of year last year, I wrote an article entitled, “Whatever Religion we do or don’t follow, Let’s Forget Judgment and Resurrect Love Instead.”
Today, I am restating my plea for universal love, respect, and understanding between all religions and all belief systems.
During and beyond Ramadan, (March 22 to April 20), Passover, (April 5-13), and Easter, (April 9), I urge everyone to find the common ground between us all. As we celebrate with those who believe as we do, it is a gift of respect to embrace all ways of believing, and it is a gift of compassion to allow our prayers to bathe us in humility, humbleness, generosity, and open-mindedness.
Consider this. The convergence of three religions during the same time period may be a call to action from God asking us to love and respect all our global brothers and sisters. Despite differences. Despite skin color. Despite different beliefs. Despite the country in which we live. Despite how we each define our God.
If you have chosen to belong to a formal religion, then fully pray, wholeheartedly connect with God, and feel the spirit of gratefulness for the gift of religious freedom. At the same time, release negative thoughts of right, wrong, self-righteous indignation, prejudice, hatred, and any separation of the heart and to the heart.
Keep the holy season holy and bless it with love. Love those who believe as you do, and love those who don’t. As part of our personal growth journey, let’s make it our intention to learn more about each other’s religion, and for dessert, fine-tune our research by discovering the common ground between all of us.
It is not a threat to know the belief system of others. Just as we multitask during the day doing many things at once, we can believe in our sacred identity and traditions while also respecting others.
Don’t allow fear to rule your body, mind, and spirit. We don’t need to be afraid we will lose who we are by being curious about who “they” are. We won’t lose anything. We’ll gain everything. Personal growth, transformation, friendships, an open heart of love, understanding, peace, and inner peace.
How we view people depends on the lens we choose to wear. Choose the lens of curiosity, inclusion, compassion, kindness, and above all, diversity celebration. We can still value our religion and maintain a strong identity with it, and at the same time, embrace the diversity in our world, be curious about differences, and in the process, come to understand our commonalities as perfectly imperfect human beings.
We all cry, bleed, laugh, and feel in the same way. We all seek to love and be loved, and we all seek to be seen, heard, and understood. We don’t need to change each other. We just need to respect each other and see each other through the warm eyes of love and heart-listening.
It is difficult for me to believe in a God who would want us to hate each other because we are different from each other. Religion isn’t right versus wrong, and it isn’t my God versus your God.
If you believe in God, how do you think God wants us to behave? Does our God want us to murder people in churches and synagogues, write swastikas on the walls of temples, bomb mosques, harm those who aren’t the same color, creed, religion, race, or sexual orientation?
If we believe in a loving God, or even if we don’t believe in God at all, the vibration of love is what we are all craving. Not prejudice, hatred, or racial profiling. Only love. We don’t need to be afraid of each other for believing differently or for looking differently.
I find it impossible to believe that there is just one linear way to pray, to love, and to believe in God. We can stand tall in our religious beliefs, but if they override the healing power of unconditional love for all humanity, we have failed the invitation.
When we forget that unconditional love is how we can write a new story for our one humanity, then we have lost the meaning of religion, the meaning of God, and the meaning of life itself.
As more food for thought, I leave you with an excerpt from my inspirational book, Heart-Dreamer.
“Earth angels are everywhere. They come in all colors, creeds, shapes, sizes, genders, ethnicities, ages, personalities, and religions.
>> He fell off the railway platform. Before it was too late, random strangers who were earth angels suddenly showed up and lifted him to safety.
>> She was about to jump off a bridge, and a stranger, an earth angel, talked her out of it.
>> The house was on fire. The baby was thrown out of a second story window and a stranger, an earth angel, opened his arms and caught him.
>> They lost everything in the hurricane, and a family of earth angels took them in.
>> They had gifts on layaway, and a stranger, an earth angel, paid for them.
When people find themselves in a desperate situation, an unexpected earth angel often shows up to save them. Suddenly, differences in skin color, gender, race, religion, ethnicity, education, economic status, sexual preference, style of clothes, or the number of tattoos become immaterial.
When we’re in trouble, the only thing that we feel is deep appreciation for everything our personal earth angel did for us. We can’t thank them enough for their outstanding courage and spirit of generosity.
In a moment of need, everyone’s heart becomes open to unconditional love and beautiful earth angels are only seen through the eyes of gratitude. Every narrowminded judgment evaporates and a world usually burdened with bullying, bias, religious prejudice and racial profiling is suddenly uplifted and healed.
Can you feel the amazing possibilities in my visualization of hope, love and unity? What if inclusion, tolerance and acceptance didn’t require a crisis for it to happen? What if we could see each other through the heart of love all the time?”
The compass for religion is defined by who we are as human beings. It only requires us to be love, shine love, and stand for love. During this sacred season and beyond, let’s make room at the table of unconditional love for everyone.