Since I’ve been here in New York with my family these past several weeks, I’ve been paying more attention to beliefs and relationships. Specifically, my beliefs, and my relationships with my family.
As some of you know, I was born and raised a Roman Catholic in a family of Sicilian immigrants. I no longer practice Catholicism or any other traditional religion. But most of my family are still practicing Catholics.
Before I came to New York toward the end of last month, I was a bit apprehensive about being here so long — I’m not going back to Wyoming until mid-January. It’s been many years since I’ve been with all my family for that long a time. Most of them think I’m more than a little weird for living and believing the way I do.
Despite that, we’ve generally been a close and loving family over the years, even though I may be a “black sheep” among them.
Although I don’t dwell on it, Spirit and I have occasionally gotten hate mail over the years from folks who think what we do is evil or satanic. I’ve written about that a few times in this newsletter.
And there are several of my family who’ve let me know they don’t approve of me or my lifestyle. They make it clear they don’t want to associate with me. And they make it clear they just plain don’t like me.
But most of my family, bless their hearts, simply accept and love me for who I am, despite our differences. I feel the same toward them.
These situations within my own family, and with the hate mail, remind me how, more and more, people all over the planet today are basing their relationships on the other guy’s — or girl’s — or nation’s — beliefs and values. And not on the human beings behind those beliefs and values.
We haven’t yet learned, as a human race, to simply accept folks and allow them to be whoever and whatever they choose. It’s like that old saying from when I was a kid — “There’s my way, and then there’s the wrong way.”
You don’t need us to remind you of all the havoc and horror humans have wrought upon their sisters and brothers in the name of religion or God. Most of your wars throughout human history would not have been possible if you were being truly faithful to “the word of God,” or to the real spirit of religion.
We are not here today to criticize organized religion, or spiritual beliefs of any kind. We are here, however, to remind you of something you know and acknowledge, but often do not live out in your daily lives as individuals, churches, nations, etc.
And that “something” is you are all “children of God” — or the Great Spirit — or whatever name you choose to call that divine energy that forms and permeates all that is.
If you are all children of God, literally part of God, then how can you deny the birthright of other children of God to live the lives and follow the paths they have chosen?
If you all fully and consciously realized who you really are — divine beings in human form — it would be impossible for you to do harm to another human. It would be impossible for you to wage war. It would be impossible for you to judge or criticize another for his, her, or their beliefs and values.
You would, instead, value each other for the treasures you all are.
Yes, there is great diversity among you. But it would be a boring, unexciting life if you were all the same.
And yet that seems to be the goal of so many of you — to create, or re-create, the whole world in your own image.
That will never happen. And the peace on earth you long for will never happen until you acknowledge your common divine heritage with all humans and with all that is.
You are all children of God. And you are all free to choose whatever path feels good and right to you.
When you can simply allow all others the freedom you demand for yourselves, you will find your lives — and your world — changing in magical, miraculous ways.
You’ve heard it said, “Love is the way.” One of your greatest teachers has said “Love others as you love yourselves.”
Love truly is the answer to your world’s woes — love for yourselves, love for others, love for all that is.