Friday, October 16, 2009

Shine! The light is in you to share.

When you no longer need to learn how to deal with disharmony in your life you'll stop creating it. Dr. Wayne Dwyer
Yesterday I met with a woman who is working on a video about street people. Her target audience are police officers. The purpose of the vid is to connect with their compassion so that they can work with street level individuals on a consistently more caring and concerned basis.

Interesting concept.

Yet, as I kept thinking about it during the night, knowing that something in the concept was not working for me, it suddenly struck me -- In my conversations with police officers, and all the workshops I've presented on homelessness, their issue isn't a lack of compassion. The majority of officers I've met are very compassionate. They believe they treat everyone with respect. They believe they are compassionate. They believe they are doing a good job, the best they can, given what they deem the judicial systems 'catch and release policy' whereby, a drug dealer is caught and back on the street within hours. And given they have limited resources and options on how to deal with someone who is 'breaking the law', yet doesn't belong in jail.

Their issue isn't a lack of compassion for those suffering from homelessness. It's frustration, anger, and confusion because they have few options on how to deal with someone who is 'breaking the law' and needs help, not incarceration. Often, because their frustration levels are so high, they lose sight of the human on the street and fall into the trap of believing they are powerless to do the very thing that inspired them to become police officers in the first place -- make a difference.

In a world where the human spirit is beaten down and shaken up with drugs and alcohol, mental health issues and disorderly conduct, they rail against the one size fits all constraints of 'the law'. What do you do with someone who is breaking the law, destitute and incapable of paying a fine for public intoxication when they are seldom sober in the first place? The law says, arrest them and throw them in jail. Compassion says, find another path. Reality says, I don't have time.

The street is the microcosm of the macrocosm of our world. On the street, disharmony, disorderly conduct, despair mirror the disharmony, disorderly conduct, despair in our greater world. What happens on the street is not an aberration from life, it is life. It's life to the nth degree times 1,000 volts of darkness.

Street life is the dark side of our world. It is our shadow. And we cannot get rid of our shadow until we stand in the light and celebrate all that is great, magnificent, holy and divine within us.

Until I claim all my wonder, I cannot create a wonder-filled world around me.

Until I claim my right to live in harmony, I cannot let go of creating disharmony in my life.

I work in a world where people crawl silently beneath the darkness pulling them under their despair, hiding them from the light. It is a world filled with compassionate and caring people -- on both sides of the street. And everywhere we go, we search for the light, out there. We search to awaken the light in each person we meet.

Reality is, when we start shining our own light without hiding it, or diffusing it because of the conditions of the street, we will stop creating darkness in the world around us.

This morning, I am choosing to create joy in my world.

Last night I had a heart talk with my eldest daughter over dinner that broke me wide open in love. Last night, I participated in all that is great, magnificent, holy and divine between us. We created a space where beauty rose up and embraced us with its ruffled, unruly, uncomfortable and unconditionally loving arms and said, "WoW! This is life. This is living beyond the edges of your comfort zone."

Outside that space where I am comfortable treading water, is a big wide world of wonder. Here, on the outer limits of my life, I am free to shine light, to live in harmony, to be all I'm meant to be.

Because out here in the wonder zone of fearlessly living up to the possibilities of this wild and precious life that is mine, I embrace all of me -- beauty and the beast, light and darkness, light and shadow -- and know, I am love.

May you be love today. May you embrace your darkness and your light. May you dance in wild wonder of your magnificence. May you shine.



Maureen said...

It is interesting that we write today about something similar. My post is called "Give Back the Human", after a poem by Toge Sankichi of Hiroshima, which I contrast with a line from another poem. I added to my post the link to the Ted Talk, as it seemed so appropriate. Thank you for a lovely essay.

M.L. Gallagher said...

Thank you!