by: Jenn Shepherd
Love and Light
Let Go and Let God
Forgive and Forget
Only the Highest and the Best
What are we doing? Really, WHAT are we doing?
Love and Light can’t go anywhere if there are not hands and feet and mouths spreading that Love and Light.
When we Let Go, and Let God are we remembering that is synonyms with acting in the present moment with Love and Light? Is it recognizing that we are the hands and feet and eyes and ears and mouth of Creation at this present moment?
How are we expressing that Love and Light? How are we expressing the reality that we are that Love and Light?
It is time to Let go of the platitudes and Let the Divine within you lead the way to understanding, to reconciliation, to listening and to ACTION!
Hiding our heads in the sand hoping that God will work it out leads the way for limited perceptions to win out over the broader perceptions of reality. The reality that we are Spirit. We are the Universe Manifest in this moment and in this time.
Healing, Prayers, and Thoughts are nothing if the flow of that Love witnessed in the prayers, in the healing isn’t transformed into action. What is sparked in your soul through the love of the prayer? What revelations does it unfold?
Prayer is Love + Action. Action to speak. Action to not shrink away from living and showing truth. Action is not always reaction. We are good at reactions. We are good at waiting until the problem is so large that we become the atheist in the foxhole looking for answers. We are good at finding quotes, parts of history, rebroadcasting those who speak with passion and with truth. It is time to move.
There is a botanical garden near my family, and both of my teenagers have made a connection with the education director, who welcomes and encourages their involvement
My sons this past weekend gave many hours of time to be at a recycling tent at a local music festival. They learned from someone that was very versed in recycling, the cost, how it works in our county and how to educate people on its merits and how to submit material in a way that it does not end up in the land fill even after it reached the recycling center. I showed up unannounced to hear my 13-year-old sharing what he knew to an adult who was about to throw her used item into the incorrect bin.
My 14-year-old asked if he could go and volunteer his time to help teach younger children how to start seeds and to grow them. Having plants, growing flowers, and having a garden to weed and harvesting one’s own food has helped him be connected in ways that an introverted kid prone to depression may not have otherwise. I do not know if he has pieced these things together for himself, but he does understand his pull to make sure other young people are exposed to the experience and the knowledge.
I watch them and I see healing, I see prayer. They don’t use the words love and light. They don’t even choose to come to the Spiritual Center with me on any type of regular basis. They are, however not shrinking away from the pull of their heart. They are moving and sharing and speaking about what they know and topics they are passionate. Topics that indeed have an impact on the world around us.
They are not political, but they realize that adults help make the rules that help people have a decent environment and decent food and places to explore a clean nature.
As adults, we send love and light. We share thoughts and prayers because we don’t want to be political. Or as soon as we share an opinion we are labeled as something or other and if that label does not fit our own, we stop listening. We turn off the TV, the news and figure if we don’t hear anything bad then it doesn’t have to deal with us. We get so angry that we go after others that do not agree with us.
STOP. Just stop.
None of the above work. Do you know yourselves? Do you know your own body? When you feel a trigger, a stress, an anger… do you follow it? What are you really and truly angry about? Which part of the story? Are you willing to do some research, some reading about the topic beyond memes and headlines? Are you willing to do your part through action? Sharing money to a group or organization that is working on the topic? Are you willing to volunteer, to write letters, to share what you are passionate?
Are you ready to be truly informed? Are you ready to read? Are you ready to have conversations? Are you ready to go to lectures? Are you ready to grow up in your information and perceptions? Are you ready to engage? Non-violence, love and light, healing, and prayers, does not mean non-engagement.
Why are you angry? Why are you passionate? What is your spark of Divinity telling you about your drive and your ability to improve the world for others?
Are you angry and irritated because you don’t want the world to change? Because there is an underlying fear that for something to go different than you will somehow have less? Less money? Less Power? Less say? Be honest. How much is ignorance and an unwillingness to restructure one’s perception at the heart of your personal outcry? How much is the perception that your way and they way you have been brought up and your tradition is weighing in on what you believe is happening in the world? Be honest and then be willing to use the honesty to grow something more, something less ignorant and narrow in perspective.
My sons’ connection to the earth and to the idea of using resources and plants wisely is thought by some to be outrageous when there is oil in the ground to be harvested. The idea that there can be other ways that brings up the whole of humanity and does not diminish it causes an outcry from those who fear a change in the economics, a fear of change and of mutual gain and understanding.
There are a great number of people not willing to look outside what they have already experienced, and the diatribe spewed by those who perpetuate a narrow perspective of humanity. Ones that are not willing to read, to reflect, to consider anything that goes beyond the confines of an accepted label.
It is time to grow up. It is time for those what have widened their perspective to show up.
Show up at the polls. Show up in reading peer reviewed material. Show up in listening to first-hand stories of trauma and grief. Show up in recognizing elected officials that are willing to be run through the ridicule mill for doing the right thing. Show up in the local communities to speak out against violence, bullying, and hate in all forms. To recognize that decency and equanimity are not the province of a dogmatic tradition, but at the heart of creation and humanity. In cooperation and respect, we flourish. In arguments on who gets to keep guns, which rights women should be allowed to have, and whether there is a systemic racist undertone to United States society no one wins.
This is not an argument. It is a recognizable and quantifiable reality. Arguments take place when the people who feel as if they will receive less if the whole of society is recognized and treated with dignity and protected yell louder than those who are praying and sending thoughts and healing. The Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King Jr, Mahatma Gandhi, Jain Tirthankara Rishabhanatha, Gautama Buddha, John Lewis, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Jesus of Nazareth, Leo Tolstoy, and Albert Einstein are just a few of the people that have shown us that it is not enough to say the words. We must walk the talk. We must act on the feeling. We must be seen and heard. Be the change we want to see in the world and do so in such a way that brings others along with you. Actions. Words. Votes.
YOU are the Light. You are the hands of Creation. You are the Divine. What is that intuition telling you? Where do you feel it in your body? How are you willing to express the Divine Mind today? What kind of world do you want for your children? One where people are always at odds? One in which people are carrying and brandishing weapons? One in which a hairstyle or clothing choice or the choice on which person or people to love is cause for ridicule? One in which seeking professional guidance for emotional and mental health are seen as weaknesses and often times not affordable. One in which skin color or facial features bring about a hateful response? One in which women and their doctors are fearful of seeking or prescribing care? One in which a small part of society makes the rules based on a narrow interpretation of what is the right way for someone to live and experience life? We are so much more than this. We are more than thinking that school is only about getting a job, and more than thinking that creating laws for the protection of the most vulnerable of breathing humans somehow detracts from the liberties of a few.
Grow up. Show up. And Keep learning, keep reading, keep expanding. Keep praying: love and healing PLUS action. You are Creation. You are Spirit. Know it, feel it, be it, SHOW it. ***********************
There needs to be NO MORE entries to this list:
Thurston High School. Columbine High School. Heritage High School. Deming Middle School. Fort Gibson Middle School. Buell Elementary School. Lake Worth Middle School. University of Arkansas. Junipero Serra High School. Santana High School. Bishop Neumann High School. Pacific Lutheran University. Granite Hills High School. Lew Wallace High School. Martin Luther King, Jr. High School. Appalachian School of Law. Washington High School. Conception Abbey. Benjamin Tasker Middle School. University of Arizona. Lincoln High School. John McDonogh High School. Red Lion Area Junior High School. Case Western Reserve University. Rocori High School. Ballou High School. Randallstown High School. Bowen High School. Red Lake Senior High School. Harlan Community Academy High School. Campbell County High School. Milwee Middle School. Roseburg High School. Pine Middle School. Essex Elementary School. Duquesne University. Platte Canyon High School. Weston High School. West Nickel Mines School. Joplin Memorial Middle School. Henry Foss High School. Compton Centennial High School. Virginia Tech. Success Tech Academy. Miami Carol City Senior High School. Hamilton High School. Louisiana Technical College. Mitchell High School. E.O. Green Junior High School. Northern Illinois University. Lakota Middle School. Knoxville Central High School. Willoughby South High School. Henry Ford High School. University of Central Arkansas. Dillard High School. Dunbar High School. Hampton University. Harvard College. Larose-Cut Off Middle School. International Studies Academy. Skyline College. Discovery Middle School. University of Alabama. DeKalb School. Deer Creek Middle School. Ohio State University. Mumford High School. University of Texas. Kelly Elementary School. Marinette High School. Aurora Central High School. Millard South High School. Martinsville West Middle School. Worthing High School. Millard South High School.Highlands Intermediate School. Cape Fear High School. Chardon High School. Episcopal School of Jacksonville. Oikos University. Hamilton High School. Perry Hall School. Normal Community High School. University of South Alabama. Banner Academy South. University of Southern California. Sandy Hook Elementary School. Apostolic Revival Center Christian School. Taft Union High School. Osborn High School. Stevens Institute of Business and Arts. Hazard Community and Technical College. Chicago State University. Lone Star College-North. Cesar Chavez High School. Price Middle School. University of Central Florida. New River Community College. Grambling State University. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ossie Ware Mitchell Middle School. Ronald E. McNair Discovery Academy. North Panola High School. Carver High School. Agape Christian Academy. Sparks Middle School. North Carolina A&T State University. Stephenson High School. Brashear High School. West Orange High School. Arapahoe High School. Edison High School. Liberty Technology Magnet High School. Hillhouse High School. Berrendo Middle School. Purdue University. South Carolina State University. Los Angeles Valley College. Charles F. Brush High School. University of Southern California. Georgia Regents University. Academy of Knowledge Preschool. Benjamin Banneker High School. D. H. Conley High School. East English Village Preparatory Academy. Paine College. Georgia Gwinnett College. John F. Kennedy High School. Seattle Pacific University. Reynolds High School. Indiana State University. Albemarle High School. Fern Creek Traditional High School. Langston Hughes High School. Marysville Pilchuck High School. Florida State University. Miami Carol City High School. Rogers State University. Rosemary Anderson High School. Wisconsin Lutheran High School. Frederick High School. Tenaya Middle School. Bethune-Cookman University. Pershing Elementary School. Wayne Community College. J.B. Martin Middle School. Southwestern Classical Academy. Savannah State University. Harrisburg High School. Umpqua Community College. Northern Arizona University. Texas Southern University. Tennessee State University. Winston-Salem State University. Mojave High School. Lawrence Central High School. Franklin High School. Muskegon Heights High School. Independence High School. Madison High School. Antigo High School. University of California-Los Angeles. Jeremiah Burke High School. Alpine High School. Townville Elementary School. Vigor High School. Linden McKinley STEM Academy. June Jordan High School for Equity. Union Middle School. Mueller Park Junior High School. West Liberty-Salem High School. University of Washington. King City High School. North Park Elementary School. North Lake College. Freeman High School. Mattoon High School. Rancho Tehama Elementary School. Aztec High School. Wake Forest University. Italy High School. NET Charter High School. Marshall County High School. Sal Castro Middle School. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Great Mills High School Central Michigan University Huffman High School Frederick Douglass High School Forest High School Highland High School Dixon High School Santa Fe High School Noblesville West Middle School University of North Carolina Charlotte STEM School Highlands Ranch Edgewood High School Palm Beach Central High School Providence Career & Technical Academy Fairley High School (school bus) Canyon Springs High School Dennis Intermediate School Florida International University Central Elementary School Cascade Middle School Davidson High School Prairie View A & M University Altascocita High School Central Academy of Excellence Cleveland High School Robert E. Lee High School Cheyenne South High School Grambling State University Blountsville Elementary School Holmes County, Mississippi (school bus) Prescott High School College of the Mainland Wynbrooke Elementary School UNC CharlotteRiverview Florida (school bus) Second Chance High School Carman-Ainsworth High School Williwaw Elementary School Monroe Clark Middle School Central Catholic High School Jeanette High School Eastern Hills High School DeAnza High School Ridgway High School Reginald F. Lewis High School Saugus High School Pleasantville High School Waukesha South High School Oshkosh High School Catholic Academy of New Haven Bellaire High School North Crowley High School McAuliffe Elementary School South Oak Cliff High School Texas A&M University-Commerce Sonora High School Western Illinois University Oxford High School Robb Elementary School Credit for school list goes to: Scott K. Fausett And I want to add General McLane School District, the district from which my children graduated and I have two children attending. A mass shooting took place at an 8th grade off site dance in which a teacher was killed and several others injured. That was about 20 years ago and we have yet to come to any meaningful movement on these issues of guns, protecting our children and teachers and of mental health.