Just before Christmas I received the letter below from my dear friend, Deepthi Jayatilaka. I read and re-read it, stirred to the core, and then asked Deepthi if I could share it with all of you. She graciously agreed. This feels like the right post to start the new year.
This year, instead of my usual handmade greeting sent via snail mail, I am sending you this heart made e-greeting to wish you (and yours) a happy winter/summer solstice; a joyous holiday season and a bountiful, easeful and wonderful 2015! Whatever you dream of, may this New Year find it fulfilled beyond your wildest imagination!!
I think most of you know that I have taken to painting like a duck to water. Painting is not just a time when I play with paint; it is also a time when I have heart opening conversations with my spirit. Sure, go ahead; think that I have finally lost my marbles! It’s OK, I can live with that. But, I hope you will still indulge me by reading this to its end.
To say more about these conversations……..during a recent one, my spirit suggested that I learn to accept Racism. I was dumbfounded! “How DOES one accept something so heinous?” said my very logical, rational, (self-righteous and egocentric) mind.
Though upset, I sat around with the idea while I painted. And, my spirit continued the conversation. She said: “accepting racism doesn’t mean you condone it – it just means you open your heart and face what IS. Because, it is when you face what IS with an open heart that you fully understand; and find solutions that go beyond the simplistic quick fixes that your mind finds, to heart led solutions that can truly transform.” Lo and behold, there was my mind leading the charge, going “right on!”
Time ticked on and a couple of weeks later I stumbled upon this Huff Post article about a Cartoonist who is using his art to respond to racism. My spirit danced…. because here is a fellow who is showing us one way to do what she suggested. The Cartoonist, Vishavjit Singh, says: “I just feel if you are going to respond to hate with hate or anger with anger, the first victim is going to be you. I’m going to be the first victim because I’m going to have that emotion in me, and I don’t want to do that.” Now, my experience was nodding madly and repeating, like a mantra, “isn’t that the truth.”
“Hatred also sets up a wall between people”, Singh said, which is why he would discourage people from labeling hateful commenters as “racists” or “bigots,” no matter how well-intentioned that labeling might be. “My hope is with my words and my work I can poke a few holes in this wall and we can talk to each other” he said in the interview with Huff Post.
What awed me about this simple experience and inspired me to share the story with you was the synchronicity. At least, that is what we call things that just seem to happen – the natural connections that are made through the Sacred Web of Life through which we are all connected to one another. (Yes, dear ones, that includes the ones we love to hate). We connect with people and circumstances – in real or virtual time, when we are ripe for the meeting. If we accept these encounters without judgment, they can be wonderful lessons to learn from (or not).
Coincidentally (or not), I had titled a recent painting “The Sacred Web of Life” (below) which I share with you, because I am grateful to have had the right ripening to meet you in real time in this life. Thank you for that blessing!
With love and gratitude,