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Changing Times

We’ve all been hearing a great deal of talk about change and real change, not just fancy talk or political speeches, but change we can really sink our teeth into! The holiday season is also the end of the old year and the beginning of the new. We often spend time reflecting on what has passed and what we hope for the future. Most of us want some sort of change. Every minute of every day brings a change of some kind, so it is a natural process to expect it. But change can also bring stress, we want it, but we fear it.

Many people watched the great hope rise in the U.S. election, then slowly taper and gradually the old chaos and conflict crept into the mix. The news is filled with turmoil and seemingly old trends. Canadians followed the contagious energy of hope and excitement of our southern neighbors. Some were skeptical, some hopeful and some wishing we could have a political leader of equal stature in our home country. Part of the excitement was knowing that if an African American could become President of the United States after so many years of slavery, oppression and inequality, then anyone anywhere could also overcome the odds and achieve their dreams. Perhaps the dream was wrapped up within one but touched us all at our core? Perhaps we are ready to let go of all the special relationships we have with other human beings? Perhaps we really do want to see ourselves and each other as equal, unique, individual but very very equal?  So what happened to all that enthusiasm and hope for something new, better and fairer?

I believe it still exists, but as with most any euphoric period, the day to day challenges return and we realize that change, that dream will take some time. Very often we have dreams of a better way but are not quite certain how to make it real. It is enough to have the vision and to enjoy the process of visualizing how the dream will look and revise it in our minds eye, for a period of time. This time period helps us to adjust and become comfortable with the new idea. We can become impatient when the change doesn’t come fast enough and for many that is what is happening now. We want peace and we want it yesterday! We want it so badly that we are willing to fight for it, to go to war for it, to demand others get along and change their behaviour to suit our ‘ideal’ of what peace looks like. Our methods often are not peaceful and therefore peace remains illusive. Peace can never come from violence and that we know is the key.

Many of us have experienced a job or relationship that no longer fits our ideals but we are afraid to let it go. We dream of something better and visualize it constantly. We want more, better and different. We also share a collective belief, ‘better the devil we know than the devil we don’t’. That shared agreed statement or belief is in part behind our not achieving what we really want.  Most of us living today have never really known peace. Even if we have not lived in a war zone, or lived through any of the major world wars, there has always been conflict of some kind, somewhere in the world, in our communities or families. Real peace seems like the poetry of dreams, the utopia of the gods, or the fuzzy talk of spiritualists and new age followers. For some people, peace isn’t even desirable, never mind possible. After all, conflict is the thread that keeps our world moving along.

Conflict is competition, its in our sports, our schools, our dating games, our t.v. shows and job searches. Competition is behind our monetary system, our profit and loss statements, our business practices and marketing ideas. Someone has to lose if someone is going to win. That’s how we’ve been living and how we’ve been accepting life must be. So what do we really mean when we say we want peace? What did the people mean when they said they wanted, ‘change we can believe in’ and elected Mr. Obama as their President? They were still forced to make one person a winner and the other a loser, were they not?

We’ve really only been playing with the concept of peace, visualizing and creating an image in our minds, that we are learning to accept. But how can we access a reference point for the potentials of peace, when we haven’t seen it?

Real lasting peace is going to take a leap of faith! It is going to take hearts, rather than minds seeking the new. Our minds have developed all kinds of systems to challenge us and build a system that we now know is not in harmony with the rest of our selves, nor with the planet herself. We need change we can feel, not just believe in. But change does not come without chaos, as it is difficult to let go of what we know, even if what we know is no longer serving our best objectives. Even if letting go means something better, we often find great conflict prior to great change. Many times we hear it said that someone has to hit bottom before they will rise up and make the changes that support something better. I suspect that we are going to collectively hit bottom very soon. When we do, we will have no choice but to depend on each other and learn to live in harmony. On the other hand, I think we have the ability to move into this change with ease and grace, but like everything in life it will be our choice.

Nothing changes people faster or creates stronger relationships than facing a collective challenge, especially a situation that means life or death. We really hate the thought of death and so it is in the face of our deepest fear that we shall rise to our greatest potentials. It is my hope that we can face it sooner than later.

So this holiday season I wish each and every one of you, a change you can live with, a change you can embrace and a change that brings all of us peace, harmony, joy and abundance in all great and wonderful ways!


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Filed under: Social/Political/Human Issues

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