“We must stop concentrating one our differences and look for what we have in common; then we can begin to realize our greatest potential and achieve the greatest good in the world”. – Bonnie Oscarson
As I sit in my car with the sun warming me at one of the most glorious, beautiful, rewarding, tumultuous, hated, missed beaches I have ever known I’m constantly thinking about the word unity. Started collecting quotes (which you will see a few of in the blog ) about unity, sisterhood, relationships, spiritual binding and so on but there is still a tugging at my heart. A want for a deeper understanding than just the words of another human being. Quotes are great but what is behind the words. What do they know that I don’t?
Spent this last weekend bowling a very long hard tournament with a group of ladies that have come dearer to me than most friendships that I have seen over my many years and it became clear to me that we are finally bonding in ways that would resemble what the quotes talk about. But there’s something deeper to it. Right!?
Upon returning home and while sitting in the ferry landing waiting for the boat to take me home it became clear in a phone conversation that unity can also be lost. A sense of attachment can wither away or be turned off simply over a misunderstanding.
But does the bigger picture or deeper understanding of the definition of unity truly go away?
“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided”. – J.K. Rowling
When bound by ideals or expectations unity does not survive. When struggling to put pieces together and force a united front then true unity does not survive. When looking for a quick fix or a half assed promise given, unity will not survive. Division is clear. Unity crumbles.
So what is it? What is the common thread that hold the union together?
If we are strong when bound by a common thread and that thread stretches through time eternal then I can understand how the bond holds forever together. There because a deeper reason and understanding to hold the unity tightly. Looking into this a bit more I can see that there has to be a certain something that binds more then two or three people together. Hell, it’s the same certain something that holds together two people say in a relationship.
“I can do things that you cannot, you can do things that I cannot; together we can do great things”. – Mother Teresa
We are not all built the same. We are not all meant to do the same things. We are not robots waiting to be programmed or reprogrammed for our next day or mission. We are humans that come and go, we bleed, we cry, we laugh, we search, we dig. You have different experiences than I and I have different abilities than you. You share your experiences out loud when you go through them where I share my experiences when I’m ready and in understanding of the lessons learned through such experiences. You may not speak at all and keep things held in so no one knows what you are about, maybe you are the kind of person that opens up through song and your emotions feel safe in the lyrics. See you are all different yet there is a bond that keeps us all together.
We may differ politically, financially and socially but still there is a unity that keeps us bound together.
“Unity is oneness in purpose not sameness of persons”. – Tony Evans
Breath. The breath that flows through us is something that we all share. It could be oxygen or it could be the breath of life that we all experience when we were created through that special magic in the womb and that perfectly placed smack on the ass at delivery. We are all at some point trapped in a small space and delivered to a big grueling world of hates, laughs, rumors, loves, deaths.
We all experience the exact same things yet we are completely different. Only a few of us find a unity that binds us so closely together that we get being the same in purpose. Church goers understand this well. Sailors all over the world understand this well. The Mason’s also get what I’m saying. They are groups that support a oneness in purpose, rather than a oneness in persons.
It’s pretty safe to say that we can all agree that kindness is a unifying precept that can move massive people into a movement such as showing kindness daily. Kindness is one of those eternal hopes that draws us closer as humans and draws us closer to unity than say hate. Hate for a cause can only last until the cause is defeated then the people that rallied behind the cause disperse, they go back to their own ways. This kind of unity is short-lived in my book. A competition against the wrong ways of thinking or what we assume is a wrong way of thinking so we fight to defeat the cause competing with the opposition. One side wins and those thoughts and ideals get placed on a shelf until the next time a hot issue comes up and we feel the need to compete again.
“We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what there color”. – Maya Angelo
In high school, on of our English classes we were instructed to write an essay, of course. Honestly, I don’t not remember what the directions for the essay was to be about or how it was to come together or what the rules were but in this case it really didn’t matter, what this is going to come right down to is the details if my essay. I do remember writing from the heart. My central core poured out an essay on weaving. I knew nothing than about weaving and to this day I still know nothing about weaving. Guess I could have gained the clues right there that my writings were not my own but from the one who lives within me.
Much of my essay resembled the quote above by Maya. As a high school student in a public school surrounded by other normal kids, there was a consistent stream of emotions and drama that literally filled the hallways. There were days it ran thicker than others and there were days that it was so thick that one needed to wear A life jacket just to swim from class to class.
I remember the essay described the differences of people and our emotions as they ran through us with their very vivid colors creating what looked like a woven tapestry. Not everyone could experience life the same way so this would mean that their were happier people in the world and their tapestry were full of blues, greens and serene colors that would represent joy, growth and movement much like the sea that lies in front of me. Other people suffered deep emotions of wounds that were bound up and were keeping them in their own prisons of sadness. When looking closely at the weaving of the sad people there were thick black streaks, death or reds of sore painful wounds that could never heal ( or so we thought at that age ) yes, life through both at us now and then and we all do experience loss or happiness but what I was seeing and expressing in my essay was which emotion was running dominantly through these wonderfully produced wall hangings.
Now that I’m older and wiser I can see how these beautifully created textile arts are just a clearer understanding of the healing process that we all eventually go through to find that one small voice that will unit us all in healing love.
Everyone’s tapestry hangs different, everyone’s tapestry displays all the colors it’s just that the colors represent a full visual of a life lived through their personal experience with their emotional states from beginning to end. Little did I know then I was being shown some pretty amazing things.
“We are too prone to engrave our trials in marble and write our blessings in sand”. – C.H. Spurgeon
The quote above is soooo true. How often do we wallow in our traumas rather than the blessing that are in front of us. How many times do we here the same sad story from our friends that we have heard so many times? One of the interesting parts of bowling with the group of ladies that I have grown to love is this very concept. One of the beautiful souls is stuck in a unhappy marriage and we have heard for two years that she is going to make this monster move to get out. She needs a break through but until this break through comes she reminds herself and all of us that she is hurting, reenforcing the ideas of unworthiness, which drives me crazy. We had to shut it down. We were to focus on the goal at hand and be unified at the cost of not hearing the story over and over again. We had to leave her extra baggage at the door, only her bowling balls were allowed. Amazing things began to happen for her and the rest of us. We could finally use are bowling balls as the weapons of mass destruction that they were and wield them as swords against our opponents. One of the ladies stepped up and fought against the thoughts technically on the lanes while another stepped up to help the ladies mentally be quieting the negatives that kept us in a downer position physically and in our games. We became unified for the weekend for the sole purpose of a pay check. But … but … that unity now runs a bit deeper. Each one of those ladies has a woven tapestry that can be seen. It they all look so completely different. Some a little dark and dreary and their marble stones deeply engraved with woes while others even though they have a much lighter look to their weaves there blessings are still written shallow in the sands. All of us suffer from wallowing in our woes and not in our blessings. Even I find myself on the wrong side of joy. It’s that constant tug of the white wolf and the black wolf on our shoulders or as Plato describes it the white horse pulling our chariots up and the black horse dragging us downward.
Somehow when we take that breathe of life we start to search for balance. It looks a little like hushing the barking and noise of the wolves and focusing a little more on the still quiet voice that doesn’t belong to either animal.
We are all bound together by the art that we weave, we are all united by the treasures of learned lessons, we are all free to choose how we live our lives and how those live intertwine with peace, joy and love and we all have the choice to write our blessings in the sand or in the stone but what we are all united in is the precious gift that waits for every single one of us. Love. A healing, unadulterated, clarifying, love.