Charles Eisenstein isn’t the first to speak of how we’re all connected. All matter, all energy, every sentient being, all of nature. I think many of us are aware of this in the abstract, but don’t see or feel it fully day in, day out. When we huff and puff about the slow grocery line, when we’re short with a person of service, when we comment under our breath at the blazing stupidity of others; we are not honoring the fact that we are all one. And trust me, I know that can be a disturbing thought. I spent my 20s fueled by alcohol and angst; certain I knew better than my fellow humans. My 30s was a stew of self righteous superiority with a dash of cynicism and piles of misanthropy thrown in. A recipe for depression, isolation and discontent. I was the person who got a dozen roses and complained about the thorns. It took me a long time to recognize this. Longer still to understand why, and years to begin to rectify my conditioning. My advice? Don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself seeing the glass as half empty; you can change that programming with a few tweaks.

Think about it for a moment. If we are all made of the same ‘star stuff’, if we all exist on the same energy continuum, it would mean that if I express anger towards you (even if it’s warranted) I am also directing anger towards myself. Every negative thought or emotion we put out into the universe hurts. Hurts us individually and as a whole. You know how you feel big events like Sandy Hook, 9/11? It’s visceral; you feel the suffering of the world, even if you’re not directly touched by it. Does that mean that putting out positive vibes, smiles, random acts of kindness, does the opposite? Does that mean that we, as lone, tiny, individual humans have the ability to make a massive shift in universal consciousness just by being aware of the energy we’re giving out? How fucking cool is that? If we heal ourselves, we really do have the ability to heal the world.

If you’re like me, it’s easier to begin with plants and animals. Finding joy in a crashing wave, a stunning sunset or the perfectly executed ballet of pelicans is easy. It’s hard to forgive fellow humans for perceived or imagined trespasses. Especially in this political climate. Eisenstein pointed out something that helped me immensely: think about a group of people you can’t stand and don’t want to be affiliated with under any circumstances. Then focus on what you have in common. Think about how we all feel lost, we all ache from guilt, pain, loss. We all look towards something to fill the god shaped hole inside. We are so much more alike than we see. The CEO making 50k/mo who drinks too much and has no relationship with her grown children feels the same empty isolation as the tired homeless man sleeping on the beach. We are all looking for a feeling of connectedness, a secure, harmonious way to interact with and become part of a whole. But unless we love and accept ourselves and, in turn, one another, we stay supremely divided, adrift in the world, each separately searching for peace.

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