Our beloved Statue of Liberty, a beacon of hope for refugees, freedom from religious oppression, and terror, announces to the world:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
The Declaration of Independence claims our values as a country:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.—Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.
Let Love Unite Us
I know there is a lot of divisiveness in our country right now, the “us” versus “them” rhetoric that threatens to disempower us as a nation, sowing the seeds for a fascist or dictatorial regime that dismantles the very values upon which this country was born. I am not seeking in any way to further this divisiveness. In fact, what touches my heart is that what I am witnessing in the past few days in the wake of the immigration ban is a coming together of people who thought they were on opposing sides of a political debate.
Yesterday, 1000 of us in San Francisco protested the ban. Immigrant rights lawyers heard the call to action and showed up to serve love and stand for what this country upholds—“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” The protest worked—at least in the short run. The five detainees were freed. New planes are arriving, so it doesn’t mean new detainees may not be in need of further legal assistance, and it doesn’t mean that this issue is in any way solved. But it touched me that people who have never felt called to activism before have shown up in the past week, saying yes to the call to stand for what we believe.
Avoid the Spiritual Bypass
I’m not a fan of the spiritual bypass, when we use spiritual concepts to bypass painful feelings in a way that can make us passive and disempowered. If you feel angry, hurt, scared, betrayed, shocked, or horrified by this immigrant ban, don’t try to skip your painful feelings. Feel them all the way through. The other side of anger is passion. The other side of disappointment is desire. The other side of outrage is activism. Let your feelings guide you and energize your calling. Let us hold that tension of surrendering to Divine Will while listening deeply and feeling the call to action that makes us leap off our meditation pillows to say, “Hell No! Not in my country!” Let your emotions move through you in waves of grief as you dance them into action.
The Bright Side of What’s Happening
Yes, I’m upset about this immigration ban. I spent two hours yesterday with my 5 Rhythms/Sweat Your Prayers dance community, dancing my outrage, my grief, my horror, letting the waves of those emotions move my body. But I can also flip the lens of my perception and see that this administration may be giving us a huge gift—the gift of finding purpose, of finding our voice, of coming together as a country to decide “What do we stand for? Who are we? What matters to us? What unites us?”
The protest at SFO and others airports all over the country was not restricted to people who didn’t vote for Donald Trump. Yesterday, I spoke to some Trump voters who support many of his agendas—but not this one. This one cuts straight to the core of what we as a nation say we care about—Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Angry Activism Doesn’t Work
Let us not repeat the angry activism of the sixties. As Martin Luther King, Jr said:
Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.
Hate multiplies hate,
violence multiplies violence,
and toughness multiplies toughness
in a descending spiral of destruction . . .
The chain reaction of evil—
hate begetting hate,
wars producing more wars—
must be broken,
or we shall be plunged
into the dark abyss of annihilation.
Let us stand calmly in our hearts, enlivened by role models like Martin Luther King, Jr, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and the Christian and Muslim Libyan women who came together and stood up to an oppressive regime, as beautiful modeled in the documentary “Pray the Devil Back to Hell.”
This is our time, my priestess friends and the men who support us. We are the ones we have been waiting for. We were born for this. This is what a calling feels like, and each one of us will have a different, unique role to play.
What Is Calling You?
Some will volunteer their legal services.
Some will feel called to hold picket signs.
Some will be calling their Congresswoman.
Some will be blogging or speaking on activist stages or preaching love and tolerance at the church, in the temples, or in the mosques.
Some will go to Standing Rock and offer free medical aid to those who need it.
Some will give the gift of their music to calm our nervous systems when so much uncertainty abounds.
Some will serve love in their own unique way, staying home to take care of a beloved child or elder so someone else can go to a protest.
The Anatomy of a Calling
Four years ago, I co-taught an online program Find Your Calling, and shortly thereafter, I started writing The Anatomy of a Calling. I strongly sensed that this global time of transition in the evolution of our species was coming, and I was told by my guidance that we would need a road map. As I debunked in “7 Myths About Finding Your Calling,” callings don’t come with business plans. They come one little breadcrumb at a time, one impulse to choose love after the next, one heart-pull after another, one intuitive hit after the next. Then when you look back, you see that you have been training for this calling your whole life, and it all starts to make awe-inspiring sense. You suddenly see that everything is relevant, that even your most painful struggles, your seeming mistakes, your traumas—all of it made you perfectly suited to serve the revolution of love in just this way.
We Were Born for This
You were born for this, my love. Do not be afraid. Let the bursting of your cracked wide-open heart guide you to do what you must. Now is the time for every pulsing heart in every human to come to the aid of all beings. Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with you.
Singing a Love Warrior chant,
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