One summer morning when I was a young girl I woke up very early and decided to go outside with a trash bag and pick up all the litter around the shore of the bay near to where I lived. It had really been bothering me to look at it every day. As I walked along the shore surveying the assortment of things that people had thoughtlessly cast to the ground, the ground I loved, and the place where my friends and I played, I tried to imagine where their thoughts could possibly have been when they behaved so carelessly. I was getting angrier as I walked along the shore stuffing trash into the garbage bag when suddenly an image came into my mind accompanied by a strong feeling. The image was of myself, as that young girl, stumbling and struggling to hold the planet earth up on my shoulders. It was accompanied by a dark and heavy feeling of burden. It scared me. I sat down in the grass and cried, because it felt like such a lonely, heavy load. I believe I was about ten.
One would expect that I became an early environmental activist or the like after that, but I didn’t. The busyness of life took over and that episode receded far back into my psyche. I grew up and like most of the people around me, I married, worked, had kids, divorced, work harder. Once or twice over the years a veiled memory of that image passed fleetingly through my thoughts, sparked probably by something I was reading. I would have a chuckle and shake my head, amused. Where on earth did such an idea ever come from I would wonder.
I recently turned 50. Over the last 25 years I have done lots of reading and studying and soul searching about religion and spirituality. I tried the Course in Miracles; I’ve taken classes in different meditations, yoga and Chi Gong; I’ve gone on weekend retreats. Mostly I just confused and frustrated myself. I’d take a break from it all, but eventually, something always takes me back to the seeking, a sense of an underlying knowing that is bigger than just me alone, something that is just below the surface.
I believe that we have been like children playing at being creators. We have created this world over the years, and if you look around honestly, you will see that it is not so great. It reminds me of looking at the aftermath in the kitchen when the children attempted to make pancakes all by themselves. Someone is left with a huge mess. Because we are like children in that we are still immature, there is an innocence to what we have done. We didn’t create the mess intentionally. We created the mess out of a lack of knowing. The mess remains however, and it requires a maturing, an evolution of awareness to not only correct it but to prevent us from creating it again.
In a way, I have come full circle from that time when I was ten because the image returned to me now in full awareness. It arrived when I was thinking about how it’s not just the politicians job to clean up all the mess. Each one of us must learn how to clean up the messes we create, through healing and forgiveness and by finding new ways to create – new perspectives.
I believe we have to teach each other how to do this, how to change, how to get better, how to evolve. I decided that I’m willing to carry that garbage bag around again and start the cleaning up, but I’m going to need help this time.
The universe is holding it’s breath, waiting for mankind to wake up, and take it’s next step.
The time to evolve is here.
This I believe. This I know.
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