One of the interesting things about writing is that what you write is not read right away. Whatever you have to say, no matter how urgent, may pour out in the present moment, but unless someone else is literally looking over your shoulder it won’t affect anyone until some point in the future. I suppose that doesn’t really matter much. Even if the content is edited, even if the message changes in some way, people seem to find what they need when they need it. I happened to write most of these words in the morning. I am modifying the content, four days later, in the late afternoon hours. My heart is heavier today, but the message is still basically the same. I am still writing about freedom, still talking about surrender, thinking about healing and wondering when these words will find you.
When I consider all of the wars that have been fought in the name of freedom, I find myself utterly conflicted. There is a part of me that is incredibly grateful for the sacrifices that have been made and another part that is equally devastated by all of the losses. That grateful part stands in awe of the bravery, the commitment, and the pure conviction to a cause. There is so much to be learned about discipline, about courage, loyalty and perseverance through the study of war.
Most of us can understand that deep desire to protect what we’ve got, to fight for what we need and what we love, for family, for what we believe in and yes, for freedom.
Yet there is that other part of me that stands in an equal sense of awe, in grief and horror, at the devastation left in the wake of battle. It’s hard to even imagine the ways in which the people on every side of every conflict throughout time have suffered.
We may be able to empathize on some level when we consider the pain that we ourselves have suffered in the face of personal tragedies. There is a connection if we are willing to make it. There is something to be learned about ourselves, about what we’re fighting for, about surrender… and yes, there is something to be learned about freedom. These connections that we make between events, thoughts, experiences and all of the emotions that go along with them are valuable and most of them don’t seem to be affected much by time. In spite of the date or the exact circumstances, people are still people and almost everything that we’ve ever felt or experienced has been felt and experienced before.
For some reason all of this information is hard to hear, especially during the early days of recovery. We don’t really want to hear about the lessons we can learn from our losses or the growth and change that can come from the battles we’ve endured. Most of would rather hold on to the sense of “specialness” for a while. There is some sense of pardon, maybe an excuse or an explanation for our behavior, in the idea that no one really knows how we feel or what we’ve been through. Holding on to pain even after the battle is over is fairly common in people who have been in the trenches for a long time. The lingering results of extended conflict include a kind of suffering that becomes almost comfortable at some point and the thought of letting go can be scary.
It makes sense that sometimes our pain and battle scars start to define us. Have you ever heard of soldiers and even prisoners of war that are actually afraid to come home? That’s real. It happens. It can seem almost impossible to break free from that kind of internal struggle.
Some variation, some degree of that same struggle can come up for all of us from time to time. There is a feeling of separation and isolation that sets in if it lasts for too long. The division and conflict in this world can become exhaustive and eventually it takes a toll. Fear and hate spew from unexpected sources and many of us are left feeling helpless and confused. It is a sickness, a malady of the spirit, a condition of the heart, a false belief about who we are… and no one is immune. The ways in which we are affected and infected can change with time and circumstance but there is only one cure, and that never changes. We will have to make some connections if we want to be healed. Mending the wounds and putting all of the pieces together is the only way to recover our natural state and become whole. This requires a connection with the Source of all Power and a connection with each other.
It is our belief in separation that makes us sick. That is what has started every war since the dawn of man. It is this perceived separation that makes us turn against each other and eventually it is this disconnect that makes us turn against ourselves. We carry our flags of pain and division, champions of our chosen causes and vices, only to find that those banners will proclaim us victims and increase the strife. It can be a hard truth admit and hard to understand, but so often surrender is the only way to peace. Even after we lay down all of our weapons we may find ourselves back in the trenches of despair from time to time. But we are learning that we must surrender again and again to win the wars that wage inside. At some point we will realize that we can still fight for what we believe in, because surrender isn’t about giving up or giving in. It’s about freedom.
Saluting all of the heroes today. Those that have fought for freedom on soil and those who have fought on the battlefields of the heart.
Always Peace, Always Love,
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