It’s Spring, a time of healing and restoration, a time of new growth and promise. The snow is melting here in Sun Valley. I went for a walk and reveled in the warm sun on my back. I can see crocus and tulips are beginning to pop up. As I look out into the world, I feel relief at the promise of the vaccine to free us from the grips of the pandemic and the new stimulus bill that was passed in Washington, which will lift nearly 13 million Americans out of poverty.
I also see the challenge of the great divide in our country between the haves and have nots, blacks and whites, left and right. There is fear in the white patriarchal culture about the great change we’re going through bringing the loss of rights and freedoms. As the light shines brightly on our differences, people hold on tighter to the status quo, and the voices on each side of the divide get louder. Fear turns to aggression and then to violence as in the latest tragic shootings of Asian Americans. It seems we’ve lost either the ability or the will to find common ground with each other.
I can get overwhelmed by it. What can little ol’ me do to make a difference? And then I turn to the wisdom and practices of the spiritual traditions I’ve studied, and I find some answers. In my many years studying with author, teacher and cross-cultural anthropologist, Angeles Arrien, something she repeated over and over was, be a bridge builder. Start with yourself – find the internal divides where there is self-judgement, shame, blame, deep wounding, where you do violence to yourself, and do the work to heal them. Do the same in your close relationships, and in your community. Just pick one place to start and take action – have a conversation, write a letter, meditate, bring a meal to a sick friend, smile at a stranger, give to a food bank.
At the heart of it is love. Love for self, love for your neighbor, love for the mystical wonder of creation that breaks out in a song of color and joy in the Springtime. Love that inspires kindness and generosity, and seeks to find common ground and understanding with others.
When I struggle to bridge the internal and external divides, I’ve found a wonderful healing practice from the Buddhist tradition called Loving Kindness Meditation, that reconnects me to a sense of calm, peace and clarity. In the words of Sharon Salzberg, “As more than just a concentration practice, loving-kindness can function as an antidote to fear, anxiety, and emotional withdrawal. It can heighten a sense of connection with others, help us be more assertive, and even transform the most difficult of relationships.”
Spring is an opportunity to reignite love and bridge the great divide. How will you respond to the invitation?
Sabrina Roblin, CPCC is a retired executive, founder of Life Reinspired, and a coach, trainer and speaker who is happily enjoying her best chapter of life. She now helps others do the same.
To learn more or schedule a complimentary Life Reinspired Strategy Session, contact Sabrina at: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.lifereinspired.com.