It is difficult to understand our worth in this world. Who am I? Am I a part of something? Are we all separate or are we all connected? Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese writer and philosopher, is known for saying, “[w]hen I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” This is not to say we can not learn about our heritages and cultures or our personal interests and disinterests. That is not the ‘who I am’ that I am referring to here. The way I see it is, we are more than the lies of ourselves we have created and the expectations we, and outside forces, have placed upon ourselves. We all lie to ourselves, thinking we are not strong enough, or beautiful enough, or talented enough, or intelligent enough, or wise enough. Our limitations come from what we tell ourselves we are not, instead of letting go of all of our definitions, and celebrating who we are. This is the cop out of the century because you are so ridiculously enough. It is so much easier to say what we are unable to do instead of what we can and will do. When you say, ‘I can not’, that gives you a pass to try and means you never have to fail.
We are all extremely capable of powerful things and are more connected to ourselves and each other than we think. Our beauty comes from our infinite possibilities and the ability at any moment to decide that we want to make those possibilities reality. We must let go of who we are and address the walls in our lives that keep us from reaching our amazing potential.
Our ever changing society loves to dictate our beliefs of who we are. We cling to the fluctuating rules of beauty and eat up the man made idea that money is power. The funny thing is that true power is the ability to master your own happiness, instead of allowing others to dictate who and what you are. We must realize that we are suddenly and violently out of balance and connectivity with who we are, and to grow into who we might be, we must return to how we used to view the earth and ourselves. Before the unholy stripping of its beauty. Our mirrors have become distorted, and instead of loving our neighbors for our similarities and learning and growing through our differences, we are wary and combative and isolate others and ourselves. It is so important to create welcoming communities instead of tearing them down.
I am constantly inspired by cultures and religions that still hold sacred the ideals of love and respect, for both ourselves and the land we live on. The original residents of North America, Native Americans, preach a connectivity to nature and a level of respect that is almost extinct in today’s Western culture. Arapaho, a Native American tribe, says, “[a]ll plants are our brothers and sisters. They talk to us and if we listen, we can hear them”. Imagine if this were a worldwide thought today. Who we are and what we could be would be drastically different. Imagine if we treated plants with such respect, how highly we would view each other’s human worth.
Instead of reviving our flowers, enriching our soil, and nourishing ourselves with energy, we are melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning ourselves until we are so disconnected from our true self, that we are still recognizable – but fundamentally different. Bill McKibben, author and environmentalist, uses these words to describe the planet we live on today. We treat our land like garbage, acting as if everything is replaceable, and as it turns out, it has become a reflection of how we view ourselves. We see ourselves as dispensable in the work field, uncreative, and not worth of the love we want. If we view ourselves as a reflection of our world at this moment, I feel bad for both ourselves and Mama Earth. When we start to love our land, we then start to love ourselves, and then consequently, we can share that love with others.
Happy International Women’s Day.