A woman walking down the streets of New York may have the latest Louis Vuitton bag, but goes home to an empty house. A man may come home from the hospital after a rough day at a construction site with ten stitches in his arm, but comes home to a supporting partner and children (four legged or two legged) who haven’t seen their father day. A tree was planted two hundred years ago on a farm in Upstate New York – three generations of farmers have passed but the tree continues to grow and provide fruit.
The blood of a ruler runs just as red as the blood of a cashier at the store. A shade of skin is not better than another. An apartment in New York City is not above a ranch house in The Philippines. The size of a diamond ring is not above the size of someone’s heart. The wolf is not braver than the bear. The Hawk is not more majestic than the owl. Humans are on a similar, but different, path of life than animals, but all start and end at the same destinations: birth and death.
As we discussed in The Balance Starts with You, we discussed that peace is the balance of the Self, Higher Power, Earth, and Life around them all at once. In so doing, we also discussed that balance is a part of peace where we must find ourselves as The Connection, understand we are Individuals Part of a Whole on Family and Rebuilding Family & Forgiveness. As we are the connection between The Higher Power, the Earth, and all life around us, we must also understand we are also individuals part of a whole and family is the building block to allow us to be part of this greater whole. The final part of finding balance is a combination of the connection and our individuality part of the whole: No Life is above another.
The Balance & The Connection
If we see the pattern between the Connection, Individuals Part of the Whole, and No Life is Above Another, it is a path that starts with the Self, then the Family, then all Life around us. First, finding our Connection, where we stand, and how we can better that connection starts with the Self First. In order to find balance and peace, we must start with self-reflecting and seeing where we currently stand and how to maintain and improve on the connection we have with the Higher Power, The earth, and Life around us.
In Individuals Part of a Whole, we discussed how after the self, we must look at where the family stands. Family can be anything and family has become as fluid as gender identity. With that in mind, who we consider to be part of our family, and where those relationships stands, is a building block that can complement our connection on the Self level if we so choose to improve on those relationships.
If we do not understand our connection within ourselves and our families, the Higher Power, and the Earth, how can we truly understand our connection with all life around us?
In my view, when we lack this view of ourselves as the connection, we cannot truly find balance and peace with the Higher Power, the Earth, and all life around us. In so doing, as we discussed in building a mutually symbiotic relationship with the Earth, if we do not understand how we are all connected and find balance, then we will continue to have a parasitical relationship with the Earth that is detrimental not only to the Earth – but all other life forms that live with the Earth as well.
We will continue to see cows as livestock to turn into food as we do today, we will continue to harvest millions of fish in the sea just to maintain the supply chain of mass consumption, and we will continue to harm the Earth in this fashion until our own undoing is met – as we discussed in The Nature of Humanity.
When we understand we have a stronger connection to the Higher Power, the Earth, and all Life around us than we think, and once we understand and improve on our relationships within the family, then we can move on and see where we stand in the world.
I remember when I first discovered I had a connection with not only The Higher Power, but also with the Earth and all Life around me. I was walking with my dog one day and we walked into a field in our neighborhood. Here, I saw a heard of deer grazing. They saw me and I saw them. My dog, of course, was going crazy and wanted to chase after them – a 50lbs dog wanting to take down a 200lbs dear. Typically, the dear will run away; however, when we locked eyes, they attempted to slowly walk up but with caution in their steps and content their eyes.
I have heard through many different Native American Folklore and other faiths that dear are considered “the kings of the forest.” When this encounter happened was shortly after I started praying again to the Higher Power after a period of darkness in my life. The moment I started rekindling my connection with the Higher Power, so to did my connection with Life around me and the Earth began rekindling – an epiphany I hold dear to my heart for the past four years.
When I began praying more, so to did the Earth and Higher Power sent me messages in many ways. I was in Home Depot in an interior section of the store, looking for some wire. Out of nowhere, a black feather fell from the ceiling and in front of my feet – a sign of protection in some circles. I found my prayers were being answered in mysterious ways. With my understanding that we are all connected in some way and with my view that all faiths are different paths to peace, I found that finding my own way to peace and balance involved a whole lot more than bowing my head and praying to God/the Higher Power above – it also involves everything around me in human and non human forms.
No Life is above another
My epiphany those days with the dear and the feather stem beyond those two encounters, but those are stories for another time. My epiphany; however, involves a view that all life forms due matter. When I read some news, I see many different posts regarding human rights and animal rights in all their varying forms regarding Gay Rights, Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, the Humane Society, and when these news sessions debate on what aspect is truly right/wrong, I find we all matter – how is this up for debate?
The birds fly in the sky for reasons balancing the natural world around us. The wolves prowl the great plains and many valleys to keep the herbivore population in check so flora and fauna can continue to live in peace. The bees and some bats exist to pollen the plants we rely on. Humans, in all their shades of skin, faiths, creeds, matter. It is not up to what particular leaders of a nation say who matter and how they matter, it is up to us to see we all matter and we are all here for a reason.
Your reason for being alive today may be very different than my own. Your reason may be to confirm that LGBTQ lives matter just as much as non-LGBTQ lives. Your reason may be to shed light that Black Lives Matter, Cops matter, animals matter, and so on. Your reason may be to be a home health aide for an elderly woman who is far away from their family. Your reason may be to save animals from abusive homes. Your reason may be to confirm the path of peace as told by Jesus, Guru Nanak, or the Buddha or the ways of your faith. Your reason may be anyway that benefits all life.
Whatever you find your reason to be alive today may be, remember that you do matter and no life is above another. Just because a Queen or a President may say you matter, it is not enough when you live in a life that feels as though their words contradict the actions made within certain protocols. The blood of a ruler bleeds just as red as your blood and in the end, we are all human and we are all born the way we are, in the creeds we live, in the faiths and families we know, for a reason. The reason is your choice to understand and connect with.
Just as we humans bleed red, so too does the deer, the wolf, the dog, the cat, and many other animals. As we die when someone cuts our bodies in half, so to does a tree when we cut them from the trunk. Just how the bees now must rely on humanity for their own survival, so to do humans have to rely on bees to continue pollinating our plants and crops. We are allowed on this earth for a reason and, because of this reason, we must see that our lives are not as individualistic as they are made out to be – we are part of the greater whole in life.
When we understand our Connection within ourselves, we can then see how this connection affects our families and all life around us. The balance involves humility that we humans are not the only lifeforms on earth worth living. With there being more to life than money, there is more to life than just humanity.
More to come on this.
Be well and be safe & healthy.