I love Alicia Keyes song "We are here." I have a penchant for visionaries and in this song she sings the impossible: "We are here for all of us...that's why we are here."
My soul loves the challenge in this song. We are here for each other whether we are Syrians detained in Hungary or a teenager locked in solitary confinement on Rikers Island. We are here for all of us. None of us gets left out. As I sing along, I know the truth of her statement, but the tears well up because the gap between that truth and this reality seems infinite.
Are we really here for all of us? How about the folks doing Rebel Runs in Lancaster County to support the Confederate flag? How about the people who kill children in Gaza or Nigeria?
Am I here for all of us? Am I here for the police who arrested and knocked African American tennis player James Blake to the ground even though he repeatedly told them who he was? Am I here for the clerk in Alabama who does not want to marry same sex couples?
I know these folks aren't here for me, but in the face of this reality, Alicia still sings:
We are here...
We are here for all of us
We are here for all of us
That's why we're here.
How do I pray for the dominating and overpowering? Based on my early childhood experience of domestic violence, I automatically feel for the underdog. If it's David and Goliath, I'll side with David every time.
Yet Alicia's song invites us to another order of logic, another paradigm, the paradigm of Oneness.
When I'm feeling grateful and safe, this paradigm of Oneness seems obvious and superior to Separation. However, when I'm angry and feeling abandoned, Alicia's invitation doesn't even occur to me. I'm automatically in Separation.
Because I'm human, I've got to cultivate the capacity to see and hear and ACT from the space of "We are here for all of us." It does not come naturally. My brain's default is threat and defense; judgement and separation. To cultivate Alicia's song requires practice and forgiveness.
Here are 2 ways we can cultivate Oneness:
1. Practice Mindful Meditation:
Meditation is just practicing bringing all of you into the present moment. "We are here" refers to accepting all of you: your mind, body and heart/spirt. When you practice being present with your self, you are practicing Oneness and expanding your capacity for holding. In a previous blog, I listed a bunch of Meditation Resources.
2. Hold Space for Transformation
I once heard Transformation Leader Niyonu Spann describe holding space as being in a consciousness of active unconditional acceptance, a space of prayer...
When I hold space, I adopt a mindset akin to the Sufi poet Rumi beyond wrongdoing and rightdoing. I listen with lovingkindness to all parties and parts of me. For me, this means that I participate in a Black Lives Matter March and I cultivate a feeling of lovingkindness even to those who defend the systematic degradation of Black people. Holding space is a wide embrace of the possibility of transformation of the situation and the players inside it.
Let me know your thoughts and experiences. Please.
We are in this together. All of us!
Peace and love,