Patterns

Are there any recognizable patterns in your life or is everything a mystery? Do you ever wonder if there is a rhyme or a reason to what happens in your life?

Sometimes I wonder if readers ever see the pictures that precede my posts. I try to carefully select them to either give a clue about the meaning or provide a spark of interest in what might be coming.

In case you can’t see the picture for this post, it’s a nautilus shell, which has a repeating interior pattern that becomes more intricate the closer it gets to the center. It’s a fascinating shape and one of many repeating designs in the natural world.

According to one website I found there are four distinct repeating patterns: symmetries, fractals, spirals, and Voronoi. Each are unique and represent different ways of developing according to a plan.

Symmetries are organized around the principle of identical halves, like the feathers of a peacock or the wings of a butterfly or dragonfly. Fractals are detailed patterns that look similar at any scale and repeat themselves over time, such as snowflakes, tree branching, and ferns. Spirals occur in curved patterns on a center point and then form a series of circular shapes revolving around the center point, for example, pinecones, pineapples, and hurricanes. Voronoi patterns provide clues to nature’s tendency to favor efficiency. They form from a seed point and extend outward like the skin of giraffes, corn on the cob, honeycombs, and leaf cells.

Okay, so why the science lesson and what possible difference can this make in my life or yours? Do you see any clues that could shed some light on this?

I admit I am fascinated by how nature evolves and the patterns that occur, so it seemed a logical step to me to wonder whether our lives develop according to any sort of natural patterns, and if so, what could they be?

It turns out scientists have studied this quite a bit. They believe that humans recognize patterns as a way of allowing us to predict and expect what is coming. The process involves matching the information we receive with the information already stored in our brains. The idea is that we benefit from remembering and being able to use patterns to help us navigate our lives.

So, I began to wonder what patterns I see that aid me and what additional possible patterns would make my life better.

My first thought was recognizing how easy it is to fall into non-productive patterns. To think the exact same thing about someone or something, merely because I’ve experienced it with someone else. I’d call this my ‘assumption pattern’, expecting the same outcome without any valid reason.

The next thought to arrive was how easily I gravitate toward putting things in separate buckets in my mind, or to give it a name, my ‘labeling pattern’. Oh, that person arrived late, they go in the ‘can’t get anywhere on time bucket’, I wonder why?

As I got started, it became easier and easier to discover the host of patterns I have, most of which are not beneficial to me, except to recognize I need to take another look and make some changes as to how I see things.

Each of the patterns I came across exist for my convenience, so I don’t have to think about and decide what to do with all the new experiences I encounter. Choices are made quickly to place things in categories and then I’m done.

One of the beautiful things about seeing so many different patterns in nature is that they serve as a reminder to me to make conscious choices about my own human patterns. To take myself off autopilot and look more carefully at what goes on in my life.

It takes some effort, but it is well worth my time and energy.

Suspending Judgement

I’d like to ask you three questions.

Here are two simple requests before I do, which are really the same thing stated two different ways:

1. Please don’t THINK about your responses and

2. Be SPONTANEOUS.

When was the last time you felt judged?

For some, this might have happened a minute ago, for others it might be longer. For some unfortunate folks, their response might be, “it happens all the time!”

Okay, question two.

When was the last time you judged someone?

We’d probably prefer not to answer, or we might be tempted to give ourselves some latitude with our answer. This type of judgement can happen so quickly we’re not even aware we’ve done it.

And lastly, question three.

When was the last time you judged yourself for something?

This might be the most difficult to answer. It can be challenging to give ourselves a pass and not find fault with our actions. In addition, we’re pretty good at repeating patterns that have been taught to us, where judgements have been placed upon us so often that it’s no longer necessary for someone else to initiate them, since we now do it to ourselves. Regrettable, self-judgements can become one of our automatic responses in life.

I’m curious. Which of these three questions was the easiest to answer?

Question one often permits us to blame folks outside of ourselves, question two offers us an awareness of our role in the judgement process of finding fault with others and question three focuses on self-criticism.

I wonder how often our patterns run on autopilot. I also wonder what amount of time we accept others judgements versus create judgements about others. Perhaps they are part of a circle of judgement where they run together and become almost unrecognizable to us.

When I get wrapped up in this process, I find it difficult to stand back, even while knowing I need to observe it all from a distance. On my good days I stand far enough away to see that all forms of judgement hurt everyone involved, both the sender and receiver.

So, I ask myself three new questions, why do we do it, who does it serve and how does it prosper anyone?

My answers to these questions seem simple enough to me…we do it because we allow it to happen, it serves no one and it prospers no one.

The truth hits me hard, I judge as a way of placing myself above others, as if I am special and others are not, as if they are less somehow than me, therefore subject to judgement. It’s a terrible feeling and I want to make changes, but how?

I believe for me that it starts with a clear view about who we all are. We are co-journeyer’s, all from the same heaven, all returning to the same heaven. But while we are here, we’re having different experiences and making different choices, some more challenging than others.

What if I recognized that everyone deserves consideration, no matter what? What if I realized that I know virtually nothing about someone else’s inner life and therefore their outer actions? What if I could give them (and myself) the benefit of the doubt that they are doing the best they can at the moment, whether I can understand that or not?

Ultimately, these decisions will impact me and also everyone I come into contact with. If a goal of mine is to experience a joy-filled life I’m sure that suspending any judgements will assist me greatly.

Why Did You Come Here

Why did you come here is a deep question, potentially prompting many more questions in its wake.

At first glance, it implies that there is a reason, or perhaps multiple reasons, but does not suggest that you consciously know what they are.

So, I’m wondering, do you think your being here is random OR part of some grand design OR through a choice you made OR because some part of the divine wanted you here?

I believe our answer(s) go a long way toward how we experience our lives while we’re here.

If you think your being here is just a random act, you may be likely to view the rest of the world in the same manner. This might mean you feel a complete lack of control over anything in your life, because after all there are no guiding principles at work.

You may believe that there is a profound grand design to the entire world and that you are playing a part in it. Your part may be small at times, moderate or incredibly important, at least to you and those surrounding you.

On the other hand, it may feel to you as though you made the choice to come here to earth for the awesome adventure it can be and that somehow some part of you was able to consciously select the time and place for your current existence on earth.

And finally, of the options I listed, which are simply not complete, you may believe that the divine (god, by whatever name you use), decided that the world needed you here and that you have a purpose or many purposes.

I’m curious, what do you believe about why you are here?

What do you hope or plan to accomplish? Are there specific things or experiences you want from this earth adventure?

It’s a lot to ponder and you may have already done some thinking about it. What conclusions have you drawn and how have your answers shaped your life here?

I also wonder, if you’ve decided a few things you want to achieve or experience, do you have the skills, money, and time to accomplish them? Do you think you would have come here without them or the promise of them?

Okay, enough questions for now.

I’d like to share some thoughts with you, ideas that have expanded my views about this life. Ideas that have come ‘from the inside out’, meaning that I was previously unaware of them, and they did not arrive by intellectual means, but rather from spiritual insight.

I share them with you, as considerations, not expectations. One of my firmest beliefs is that we each choose our own path through life. We share what we think and believe but leave it up to each other to decide what to accept and embrace.

When I dive deep into my spirit there are always answers to my questions. I’m positive the same can be true for you, should you decide to go inward.

What has come to me is that I am here to remember my truest nature, that I am love. Deep joy is revealed when I am in alignment with and centered in love. I am here to share the awareness that we are all made of the same love, that we came from it and return to it. I am here to assist any others who choose to be a part of this revelation. This is in fact the reason I write books and posts, to broaden possible views and open windows into a more loving world.

I am here to encourage others to share their love in their own unique, special, magical ways because that is what makes for a beautiful world.

Ideas

Here’s a mystery for you to consider.

Where do ideas come from?

Sometimes I am overwhelmed with the number of ideas that come to me. Far more arrive than I feel I can actually accomplish, despite wanting them all to become real.

At other times, no single idea stands out. There is just a swirl of activity inside me, but no clarity whatsoever.

It’s hard to make sense of this phenomenon.

Recently I was experiencing a wave of wonderful ideas and wondering what to do with them all. I found it very challenging to prioritize them or organize them in any meaningful way.

Maybe there are times when this happens to you too.

As usual I decided to ask my divine guide, Lia (which stands for Love In Action), a part of god who speaks to me in an ethereal feminine voice, to help me understand what was happening.

She told me to think of ‘ideas’ as menu choices and to choose the one (or ones) that most appeal to me. The ones that deeply absorb me or that I feel drawn to create or simply find the most joy in.

She went on to say that it was very important to realize that I might feel a sense of obligation or stress or some other negative emotion during the process of bringing an idea to life. She counseled me to release any idea that produced these feelings.

I guess Lia felt it would be helpful to provide an example that would stand out for me, and she did.

She said it would be like my going to a delightful restaurant and ordering liver and onions, which I can’t stand, and forcing myself to eat it. Ugh! Point taken.

Lia went on to say that all of the ideas I receive are flowing ‘to me and through me’ to have a voice in the world, if I choose to give them one. And before I could respond, she added, that if I chose not to act on any of the ideas, they would travel on and find a ‘home’ elsewhere. No worries.

This prompted a question in my mind about the nature of ideas.

“So, all these ideas are on a journey of their own, headed into reality, but not necessarily by or through me?”

Lia responded, “Yes, ideas have a life of their own and will seek out those that wish to bring them to into reality. Remember, even though you don’t like liver and onions, someone else thinks it’s a wonderful meal.”

This put an entirely different spin on things for me. I’d been feeling pressure to give every idea that came my way a life. And here was Lia telling me that it was not necessary, nor even beneficial for me to feel this way.

She encouraged me to consider how often it happens that the same movie or book themes take center stage or that the same invention happens, but in different countries across the globe.

Lia explained that ideas are energy in movement. They seek out those that are likely to be receptive, sometimes appearing once and other times coming back repeatedly.

I confessed that, at times, I feel so limited and can only help a few ideas become realized.

Lia responded by saying, “This is not true, you are not limited, but if it feels true for you, it becomes true for you. I encourage you to allow yourself the emotional freedom to give life to what moves you with joy and release anything that does not come from joy. When you use this principle as your barometer, all is well.”

What Is Your Stride

What is the distance between your feet as you walk? Do you take generously long strides or tentative short ones?

What do you think it says about you?

What messages are you sending to yourself?

It strikes me that there is something quite valuable to learn from spending some time observing this simple physical phenomenon.

I find that I take very long strides. I can gobble up distances quickly, especially if my pace is intentionally fast. The other day I wondered why this was. It seems to be my default. But why? And what, if anything, does it mean to me?

I had to sit with these questions.

As you probably already know, sitting with questions can be somewhat uncomfortable. I find I want to know the answers and am not always patient enough to wait. I’m inclined to want to move on to something I can solve.

Well, there’s a pretty big clue for me!

Perhaps one of the reasons I take long strides is because I am impatient. That feels very familiar to me. I think I’ve told myself this before. And this answer seems to link automatically to another insight. It’s the one about ‘running out of time’.

There is an internal time clock running in the background somewhere inside my head. It prompts me to move and suggests I need to move NOW, or risk running out of time to get done what I say I want.

And the clock is connected to a list, identifying all the tasks and accomplishments I seek to complete. Tick tock, time to move and take some more long strides.

It’s interesting to me, that when I take long strides, I find I often lose my balance. Could it get any more metaphorically obvious?

The sheer act of walking too quickly affects my balance.

Hmmm.

When I’m conscious of this, I try to slow down and shorten my stride and give myself an opportunity to consider the path I’m taking. Would it enhance my life to be more careful and more patient?

I wonder too, where am I going in such a hurry anyway?

I’m not sure exactly. And this observation feels important too.

I encourage myself to stop and sit for a while and consider. Where am I going and how do I want to get there? And how do I want to feel once I arrive? Each of these questions seems worthy of answering.

So, here’s a question for you.

What is the length of your stride?

Is it slow and thoughtful? Is it just the right amount of slow, or is it so tentative that you risk never arriving anywhere?

Does it vary? Does it change whether you’re going uphill (facing hardships or challenges) or downhill (when everything seems easy, and nothing is out of place)?

I wonder whether, like me, you’ve rarely thought about this. I wonder too, whether now that a seed has been planted, what will happen next for you?

For me, I believe it’s time for some changes.

I’m going to try to shorten my gait and stay in balance more often. I’m going to give myself a break by releasing the inner need to beat the clock ticking away inside my head. I plan on hitting the pause button, so that I can find a new sense of balance, without the misplaced belief that I will run out of time. And I’m going to pay attention to the length of my stride and listen to see if it wants to share a message with me.

Not Accepting Shame

Are you familiar with the feeling of shame? Do you know where it comes from for you?

I wonder how often we can answer this question, because most of the time it just appears, unbidden.

I’ve begun to investigate some of the emotions that make me uncomfortable to see if unraveling them helps in letting them go. I’ve discovered several are insidious. They can’t always be traced back to a source. It’s also possible that they are buried so deeply that there is no thread to pull to start a healing process.

When I stop and think about ‘shame’, some obvious causes come to mind. As a child you are particularly vulnerable. You have so little power and so few defenses.

I distinctly remember having a finger pointed at me and being told that I should feel ashamed of myself. This brings up so much for me. To start with, the gesture of having a finger pointed directly at you is very threatening and is reinforced by the negative energetic force that flows through it.

And then, the implication that you ‘should’ (a word I’ve eliminated from my vocabulary because of its negative power), feel ashamed of ‘yourself’. To me, this indicates that you are supposed to obey your training and ‘know better’ and rather than having to be scolded by someone else, you should perform a self-scolding.

The idea here is that you’ve received enough scoldings that it is now your responsibility to monitor your behavior and to shame yourself.

I wonder who makes up all the rules that we feel we must abide by? And more concerning is what makes their version correct? Why are ‘they’ able to set standards of appropriate behavior, including the ones that regulate shame?

I looked up the dictionary definitions for shame, which can be used as a noun or a verb. The definitions split off in several directions, so I looked a little further and came across this.

“Shame can be defined as a feeling of embarrassment or humiliation that arises in relation to the perception of having done something dishonorable, immoral, or improper.”

Again, according to whom?

Is it not possible that you know when you’ve done something that hurt another and after thinking about, want to apologize and make amends? Are we not all capable of this on our own without having to suffer being shamed?

I believe shame is a weapon.

It is used by people to control others, to shape their responses and behavior and to force them to comply with arbitrary standards. I also believe it is used by weak people whose goals is to make themselves feel more powerful.

The purpose for shame is domination.

I believe there is great value in listening carefully to what others say, but also to what they do. Actions and words are very powerful. Paying attention provides opportunities to evaluate our own and other’s choices.

If we believe we have acted in a way that has created problems or hurt others, we can take corrective actions. That is up to us.

I don’t believe anyone ever has the right to hand another a dose of shame. And I believe we all have the right to reject it if it is given to us. Not accepting shame is a powerful tool in protecting your feelings from those who seek to control or dominate you.

I believe we all know the right course of action for ourselves and always have the ability to ask for help and guidance, when we don’t.

Trust

I’ve struggled with the whole idea of trust. Have you?

Partly it’s the concept. There are a lot of implied ideas involved but not a lot of agreement.

When you trust someone else, how open are you? Perhaps at first your trust is rewarded, however, at times you may end up disappointed with others because they break your trust, leaving you guarded for the future.

Maybe you ask yourself, was there an agreement or did you presuppose others were innately trustworthy?

And then there is the question of whether you trust yourself. Based on what I know about me, I wonder if I am as trustworthy as I think I am. Certainly I’ve let myself down on many occasions, but does that make me untrustworthy?

I feel I need to ask myself another important question to help get my bearings. What am I basing my sense of trust on? Is it evaluated solely on the outcomes I experience?

Or is it as simple as, if I don’t get my way, my trust is broken?

Clearly there is confusion here for me.

No doubt there are very intelligent and keenly insightful people who could share much about trust with me, but if you’ve read my posts before, you’ll know where I’m going for my answers. Yes, to Lia, a part of the way I see god (a name I have, in this case, for a decidedly feminine voice of god, which stands for ‘love in action’).

When I asked for clarity, this is what Lia said.

“Do you trust the universe?”

I responded, “I’d have to say the answer is ‘no’, based on how I’m interacting with the world”. I asked, “What can I do about it? How can I relax and allow the flow to carry me?”

Lia’s voice was smooth and calm as she spoke, “Trust is a big word and concept, BUT it isn’t what you think. Your version goes something like this”. All will be well, if I believe properly, rely and trust that the universe (divine, god) has my back, which means things will turn out essentially the way I want them too or I’ll see clearly that what is happening serves me.

“Does that sound accurate to you?”, she asked.

I said, “Pretty much, yes” and added, “so what is trust, if not that?”

There was a moment’s hesitation, as if to underscore the importance of her next words. “It is the belief that nothing matters, as it relates to the observable outcomes.”

I felt that would require more explanation for me to understand and said so.

Lia told me this, “Your version of trust tries to tie together your desired outcome with my actions, so that you experience what you say you want.” Then she added, “Trust (in me) means that, in advance of any outcome(s), you believe all will be well. Nothing specific is preplanned, but ALL outcomes exist. If you altered your belief system to accept that ALL outcomes serve you, you would not need one specific outcome to occur, you would be satisfied with what showed up. Knowing that whatever shows up will/does serve you (and others) is trust.”

I knew she had more to say, and I would have to come back to this to truly understand her message to me.

Lia continued, “Placing or demanding any specific outcome(s) represents a lack of trust and you will feel this across your essence- physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and ego. Part of the reason you will feel this is that the feeling is a message to/for you, a directional arrow pointing the way to living a peaceful, happy, joy-filled life.”

“Your feelings are giving you cues to follow. Those of discomfort tell you to move in another direction and those of pleasure and comfort encourage you to continue on your path.”

“If you don’t find or observe any cues, try something different, pay attention and move accordingly, trusting your insight to guide your way.”

“All of that is a lot to think about,” I stated.

“Yes,” she said, encouraging me to feel that I could return to this conversation any time I desired.

I’m sure I will. I need to feel more trusting in my life.

I Know Who You Are

I know who you are.

You may be wondering how that’s possible. After all, as a reader of this post you could be from anywhere in the world. You could be any nationality or speak any language. How could I possibly know you?

And yet, I do.

You may be thinking I’m joking or crazy to make such a claim.

I’m neither.

You may be asking yourself why I would say such a thing. Aren’t we all very different beings? Don’t we all have our own points of view? Isn’t there too much variety for everyone to be known?

What do you think?

Are there enough similarities between us that bind us together? Enough commonalities that each of us can be known by the other?

It’s an interesting thought, isn’t it?

Could it be possible that we each share the same basic traits or are we dependent on the idea that we are all totally unique and cannot be known to one another without a great depth of connection?

So many questions.

Here are some of my answers. I supply them as considerations because I never want anyone to believe anything I say if it doesn’t feel true to them.

I trust you completely to decide all things for yourself (for your self).

But you see, I still believe what I said. And the reason I feel I know you is that I know where you came from.

I believe each one of us here shares the same birthplace…heaven.

I believe we swam in the same ocean of bliss, and we chose to come here to this earth to live a part of our symphony together. And although we may play separate parts, we share the same source.

I believe we were united in heaven, known by each other, bound by love.

When we arrived here, some of us may have chosen to forget everything, even our connection to each other. We may have released great parts of our truth, even who we really are.

I’d like to help you remember.

That’s part of why I’m telling you that I know who you are. So that you can look at all those who seem so different from you, but aren’t. You can look past their appearance and see inside of them. And when you look carefully, you may realize that we are one beautiful being, split into many shapes and sizes. Each of us a reflection of the divine, walking here together.

I know who you are my beautiful, radiant friend and I’m glad that we are here together.

Spiritual Blueprints

Do you believe a blueprint exists for your life? A path forward that is already laid out? Or do you feel that everything that happens is random?

These are interesting questions to consider.

My father was an architect and dealt with blueprints his whole working career. For many years he had his own architectural firm in the town I grew up in. He eventually moved from a small set of rooms on a second floor that he rented to a two-story building that he owned. It was quite large, with a full basement and huge attic space.

I got to know every inch of the building because in the summers I worked there performing a number of different tasks. I cleaned, took care of the yard, did small repairs, helped with office work and whatever special jobs my dad needed.

The most challenging was when he decided, one incredibly hot summer, to have me move all his stored blueprints from the basement to the attic. He was concerned about the moisture degrading their quality and potentially needed them for future reference.

It turns out there were hundreds of them, and they all needed to travel up three flights of stairs and be organized and stored in the attic. That may not sound like much, but consider I’d start out each trip in the 60-degree basement and end it in the 110-degree attic. Those 50-degree changes, done over and over, were exhausting and I ended up drinking an unbelievable amount of water just to stay hydrated.

I remember having to take quite a few breaks. On one of them, I pulled out and unrolled one of the blueprints to see what I was transporting.

If you are unfamiliar with blueprints, they are large sheets of blue paper that show various levels of detail on different pages and are used by contractors to build structures. They’re meant to be unrolled on a flat surface and often are organized to display different levels of what is being built and are extremely detailed.

On several occasions my dad would explain them to me and even let me do some basic drafting, a simple version of a blueprint. I found them fascinating, but not enough to follow in his footsteps, which fortunately, was okay with him.

Recently, I was involved in cleaning out my mom and dad’s house to get it ready to sell and came across some of his blueprints.

Something registered with me.

According to my personal spiritual beliefs, each of us comes here to earth from heaven with our own spiritual blueprints. They are all unique and serve as a guide for our lives. We are not bound by them because we have free will, but they rest in the background and provide wisdom and direction, much like the mechanical blueprints architects create.

So how do you access your spiritual blueprint? Where can you unroll it and lay it flat to look at?

I first became aware of mine during one of my conversations with god. god made a reference to it, saying that each human is made up of physical, emotional, intellectual, ego and spiritual components. They intertwine, but the spiritual component is the only one that knows their spiritual blueprint.

I wanted to know how the rest of me could be let in on this.

What I discovered was that every quiet contemplative state allowed some access. So, when I sit and breath, stilling myself, I open the door to it. When I slow down and wait patiently and give my intuition a chance to come to the surface, I open the door. When I meditate, going deeply within, finding harmony and calmness, I open the door. These are peaceful, wonderful practices to open to the wisdom available in a spiritual blueprint.

And there is one more.

When I can’t seem to settle myself and find the open door, I ask for help, promising to pay attention. I ask god to help me find a stillness where I can listen carefully. I ask god to unroll my spiritual blueprint and help me see it clearly.

I’ve seen it many times and am always grateful for the insight it provides. I believe you can see yours too and hope that in your stillness it comes through your open door.

Oil and Water

Have you ever heard anyone say, when referring to people who always fight and argue, “Oh, those two don’t get along at all, they’re like oil and water”?

It’s a common phenomenon. I’ve seen it happen many times and perhaps you have too. I’m pretty sure I’ve been part of this equation, sometimes consciously and sometimes without even being aware. There seem to be some people you run across in life who feel like your polar opposite.

It made me wonder how the expression came about. It turns out this one is based on scientific principles. Not to get too technical, but to give a frame of reference here’s a quick explanation.

I promise there is real, tangible value to understanding this principle, so please keep reading.

Water molecules are made up of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms. The oxygen atom has a negative charge, while the hydrogen atoms carry positive charges. This allows water molecules to form very strong bonds with other water molecules and also gives them the ability to breakdown and dissolve other molecules, like sugars and salts, because of its polarity.

By contrast, oil molecules are nonpolar and are referred to as hydrophobic, meaning they are “water fearing”. Instead of being attracted to water molecules, they are repelled by them. As a result, if you combine oil and water the two separate, with the lighter oil molecules floating on top of the heavier water molecules.

One vivid example of this principle may be seen when there are puddles in the street and a car leaks some oil into them causing an oily film to stretch across the surface of the water. Although it may appear quite beautiful, it creates difficulties to properly clean up…think monstrous sea-going oil tanker with a crack in the hull, flooding the ocean with thousands of gallons of oil.

Can anything be done about this? Yes. When detergent is added to oil and water it helps to break up the surface tension between them and allows the detergent molecules to bind to both the water and the oil molecules.

Science lesson over.

Remarkable when you think about it.

But why all this talk about molecules?

Here’s why. Consider the polarity of other entities. I’m sure you can come up with many of your own, but here’s a few to get you started: ecologist and big business, two countries or gangs fighting over disputed territories, two religious communities arguing about which can claim spiritual superiority, or two political parties failing to see the bigger picture.

The list of examples we could come up with is no doubt voluminous.

As I thought about these polarities, surprisingly I began wondering about ‘detergents’ and what role they could play. Not the detergents used to clean dishes, but rather acts of openness and compromise that could be used to bind both sides together and aid in resolving conflicts and finding common ground.

I confess I am a dreamer.

I see what happens when one side ignores the other and how it fosters added hard feelings. I witness how blind faith builds fences and boundaries to be protected.

I’m not saying this as if I am exempt. I’m not. But seeing this from the direction of oil and water and detergent speaks to me. It offers me an insight and a way forward.

What if, instead of seeing polarity we added some detergent to the mix (listening skills, opening to the bigger picture, compromising, agreeing that we want the best for the next generation, caring, a bit of generosity, compassion and empathy).

What might that look like? How might that feel? What difference might that make?

I wonder about these things every time I pour some detergent into the sink and wash the dishes and I remind myself to do my best to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.