“Meeting the Challenge of Love”
March 2, 2003 –Today as we are confronted with the threat of terrorism, war, and economic instability, we are prone to look at these external events and react. The challenge of Love is not to react, but to act.
As one on a spiritual journey knows, there is no limit to challenges. Sometimes those who are devoted to spiritual purpose seem to confront the most challenge. Why? Perhaps because internally they are the most prepared.
When we question why horrible events such as fires, accidents, and even intentional violent acts occur, we sometimes find our spirituality challenged. We must remember that the true challenge is not simply what happens to our bodies, but what challenges our spirit.
In these days of horrific events and the possibility of total planet annihilation, we are essentially living on the edge. Many would tell us that this condition causes stress reactions such as post-traumatic stress syndrome and depression. Is it any wonder that we are stressed! Is it any wonder that we are depressed as we see our life savings and dreams vanish, sometimes due to the greed and deceit of others?
How can we maintain an equilibrium in the face of all that potentially besets us? How can we not only be brave, but be calm, even serene? It is what this ever-present danger does to our spirits that matters most.
I don’t think we’re imagining it when we see tension expressed in the form of verbal nastiness; reckless driving; domestic, school, and gang violence; and other aggressive forms of behavior. Is it increasing? I think so, And why not? Our spirits are not allowed to rest when our media portray terror alerts, gas masks, smallpox vaccinations, war scenes, and continually revisit scenes like the imploding of the world trade centers. We are the adults. Hopefully, we have nurtured our spirits over our lifetimes, and have some spiritual resources to deal with this stress. But our children are less prepared. And what they witness and experience on a daily basis shatters their trust in their world, communities, families, and themselves.
What can we do for our children that will matter most? Take care of ourselves. Nurture our spirits. Open ourselves to prayer and meditation as never before. Renew our commitments to our higher power, our family, and ourselves. Stop foolish and unnecessary behavior that takes us away from the children and families who need us. Decide to cope. Decide to commit to taking better care of ourselves. And decide to develop our spiritual lives so that when we are confronted with these challenges we are better prepared.
Life is precious. Life is a gift. Every day that we get out of bed and see the sun and moon and stars is another reminder of how great and precious life really is. When we look into the eyes of our children and realize how totally dependent upon us they are, we realize that we must lift ourselves up for them. We must. And we can.
The International Peace Meditation is one way we can unite with others who also desire Peace–within their lives and within their world. Individual meditation and prayer is another. Reading spiritual writings such as those that appear on our web site at www.humanempowerment.org is another. Revisiting our churches, synagogues, and mosques is another.
We can prepare for defending our bodies, but we must also prepare for defending our minds and spirits. And we must be resources for our children, and those less able. We need to assess where our lives are going, and whether they have meaning to ourselves and others. We need to see where we can give. Service organizations are a great place to bring necessary supports to many within an already established framework.
Don’t wait to be asked; volunteer. Don’t wait to pray; do it now. Don’t depend only on medications and others for your mental well-being; be pro-active and develop your spiritual life as you have never done before.
In democracies we have some say in the direction our country decides to move, but we do not have control. There are many events initiated by individuals as well as nations which we cannot control. All that we can control is our own action: preparation and response. It is now time to prepare as never before.
Here are some steps to assist you in your preparation. Remember that we are each responsible to assist those, such as children, who have fewer resources.
1. Pray and meditate. Follow your own spiritual path. Join with others who pray and meditate, whether of your path or another.
2. Join service organizations that are struggling even more due to lack of caring by many people, and to economic changes. Organizations which depend on donations of resources and services need us now more than ever.
3. Remain free. Know what’s going on in the world, but don’t let the world control you. Stay free within your own mind regardless of the actions of others. Freedom is a state of mind and can occur even during oppression by corrupt leadership.
4. Console your children. Stay focused on the positive. Deal with your own fear through meditation and commitment to higher ideals. Be their strength, and that will give you strength.
5. Be responsible for your own spirituality. Remember that no person, no leader, has all of the answers. The true answers to peace reside in each of us. Do not give over your responsibility for your own spiritual well-being to anyone else.
6. Give. When we give, we are focused on a higher purpose and the needs of others. This improves our health mentally and spiritually.
7. Read. Meditate. Contemplate. Write. Let Love be your Source and you will know what to do.
Please join us, from wherever you are, in the International Peace Meditation to be held during the 24 hours of Sunday, March 2, and again on the first Sunday of every month. For more inspiration, go to Spiritual Writings on our web site at www.humanempowerment.org.
Send this e-mail to all on your e-mail list, as well as to your place of worship, and encourage them to participate with us. You may be saving a spiritual life with your message of love.
‘Let all you do be done for Love.’
Sue Kidd Shipe, President
International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.
P. O. Box 3920
Albany, New York 12203 USA