I was reading the other day about how our emotions are felt in various parts of the body. Scientists have determined that there really is a close link between worry and the stomach -- butterflies in the stomach, rumblings in the tummy. Grief is associated with the lungs (crying), kidneys with fear. Think about it, if you're frightened enough you can lose bladder control. The expression, "that galls me"? speaks to our anger, which has a close connection to our liver functions. The heart is connected to self-esteem and self-worth, which is why 'broken hearts' have such a devastating effect on our lives.
What's amazing is that while scientists today are studying the mind/body connection, over 5000 years ago, the acupuncturists who created Traditional Chinese Medicine "discovered" these relationships. There is nothing new under the sun!
What about our positive emotions? Love is also associated with the heart. A broken heart is an open heart and an open heart is a loving heart. If we pour love into our hearts, we fill up the cracks and ease the pain of our broken heartedness.
When we are crying, what do we do? We need to breathe. Deeply to find peace and calm. Filling our lungs with oxygen dissipates the grief.
There is so much we know, but sadly, in our knowing often forget, we don't know what we don't know.
Yesterday, I was listening to Paul Brandt, (yup -- of C&W fame) talk about his volunteer experiences with World Vision. He described a trip he took to Cambodia in support of World Vision and their work to alleviate child prostitution. Karma is a big factor in how the people of Cambodia can ignore the suffering of a five year old child sold into prostitution -- it is her fate. In some way, their belief in Karma dictates that she has not lived a 'good' life before this life and thus, deserve the fate she is given.
We don't know what we don't know.
For Cambodians, their belief system supports letting these children be abused and ultimately, to die. They don't know any different. They don't revere the innocence of a child. Is what they're doing wrong? In our eyes, absolutely.
In theirs? Depends upon their 'enlightenment'. For the peasant scrounging a living off inhospitable soils, trying to overcome the war torn years of Pol Pot and trying to piece back their education system, their intellectual and arts society -- what is one child?
Recently, the town of Cloverdale, just outside Vancouver, banned steer wrestling and calf roping from its rodeo. I listened to an Alberta rancher interviewed on the radio who decried the move because it just 'weren't right'. Steer wrestling and calf roping have been part of the rodeo circuit for a hundred years. They're part of the tradition of the rodeo. They're part of Western culture. His red necked response to the Cloverdale rodeo organizers was from his place of not knowing that history does not make something right, longevity does not justify its existence today.
Child labour used to be allowed. It is no longer so.
When it was permissible -- it was because we didn't know what we didn't know. We didn't know the impact upon our society, our psyches, upon the health and well-being of the children involved.
We are capable of learning so much in our lives. And of sharing our knowing -- but when we do it in anger and fear, we create broken hearts that gall the people within whom we are attempting to create change.
I listened to Paul Brandt yesterday and felt anger sere through my body. I wanted to get out and STOP THEM.
And then I remembered. I cannot stop other people from doing what they do by using force as my instrument of peace. I can, in the words of Mother Theresa, be the peace I want to create, but killing my enemies won't create peace. It just doesn't work. For every mother's child killed by a bullet a seed of anger and fear and sorrow is sown that will bear fruit in future generations.
I listened to Paul Brandt yesterday and felt his pain as he described the suffering and sorrow he witnessed on his journeys through war torn countries and AIDS riddled Africa. For an instant, I was overwhelmed by the enormity of the problems, of the broken heartedness of our world. I wanted to crawl back into my little world and be ignorant and uneducated about what on earth is going on in the world. I wanted to fold up my wings and stick my head in the sand so that I could ignore the world around me.
Knowledge is power. I have learned a great deal about abuse, about standing up for me, about being true to my values, principles and beliefs. In my knowing, I cannot sit back and do nothing. I must be an agent of change that creates peace and harmony in my world.
Let it begin with me.
When I move into a peaceful place, when I move through my day with grace, ease and dignity, I am contributing to the peacefulness of the world around me. When I imagine myself to be like the pebble dropping into a pond, the circles of my peacefulness radiate outwards, further and further, touching upon other circles of peacefulness. As we touch, the magnitude of our circles of peace expand and we begin to affect change where ever we go.
I cannot change the world. I can change my peace in it.
I was an abused woman. Today I am a woman who believes, who knows, I cannot stop abusers from doing what they do. I can stop abuse in my life. And when I live my life with the conscious knowing that all things are connected to all things, I am inspired to be an agent of change in which my heart is filled with love and in which I participate in an ocean of change beating in the hearts of all whose lives I touch and am touched by as I move forward in harmony with the world around me.
Be an agent of change today. Choose to move through your day with a peaceful heart and mind. In those moments when anger erupts, choose peace. Your peace will radiate and create more peace and more peace and more peace......
May you be filled with peace and harmony today. May broken hearts be healed by the love of your touch and my tears flow freely into joy with every breath you take.