AND Change Starts In the Hearts of Each of Us

November 13th, 2016

When I was little, my mother used to tell me, If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

After last week’s elections, I thought about ending this week’s blog with the above. With a little reflection, and some still unresolved anger about the kind of sexism, and incivility we appear to be accepting for ourselves and our children, I am aware that this is a time for clarity before any action.

Who does each of us want to be? How will we show up in the world? Angry because we didn’t get our way? Willing to blame others or judge them negatively because we are afraid to listen to points of view different from our own? Unwilling to stand for values and treatment of ourselves and others that demand compassion and acceptance?

Where we will choose to invest our precious life force? In anger and frustration? In victim stances? In fighting a tide that is overwhelmingly clear in its direction? Or in learning to ride the tide in ways that align with what our hearts tell us? Either a flight or fight response, puts us in an unconscious and reactive state, hopelessly disconnected from our individual and collective wisdom.

What do you love enough to give your attention and energies to? Who or what is worthy of your emotional energy? What is worth thinking and talking about? What are we called to abandon? It is time for a faith walk grounded in our heart’s clarity and totally disconnected from how we think the walk should unfold.

Decades ago when I worked with a then-popular leadership development organization, we used to ask our executive and international leaders two questions in our core leadership program. Those questions were:

Would you follow someone who was doing something she or he did not believe in?

Would you follow someone who was doing something you did not believe in?

The interesting thing in the decades since is that I have noticed quite a gap between people who say they would not follow someone who was doing something they did not believe in AND what they do. They work ridiculous hours and abandon their health and time with family, while saying that family is the first priority. We say we will live our passions and bring our full voice to bear in issues we care about. AND yet, we often choose to keep quiet and live in fear of rejection or validation by peers, authority figures, and family.

In this time of social upheaval and challenges to living in an inclusive society that is welcoming to all, that listens and shares with an open heart and an open mind, each of us is invited to choose how we will show up and whether we will be a part of the healing or a part of the power, bullying, and fear that judges harshly and excludes others not like us.

What is going on outside of us is only a mirror for what is going on inside of us. The outside circumstances are only a context, an invitation, to bring our highest and best. AND the invitation is to change the world from the inside out. AND that starts in the hearts of each of us.

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