Thursday, October 23, 2014

My Canadian Perspective

Today is the day after.

It is the day after a soldier fell and died from being shot guarding a war memorial. It is the day after the same shooter ran through Parliament only to find his own final moments making his peace with the bullet of an others gun. It is the day after Canadian news made international headlines for an Attack on Ottawa.

First, let me clarify that if there is an underlying stereotype that I am operating with, it is that the majority of people associate Islamics as terrorists. I believe terrorism has many faces, religions and ideals. This planet has a long history. Second, I will tell you that this is merely my perspective, through the lenses of my own life experience. Third, get a grip on reality. Fear, greed and violence vs truth, ownership and solutions. Filter all the media input and chatter through the question, "Am I really seeing this from all angles?"

Yesterday, as I watched the news take over the television and my Facebook feed I only felt still and aware, listening for more information, trying to avoid the constant replays of video footage and checking back to see if there had been updates. As the day went on my anger began to rise not at the shooter, rather at Canadians naive enough to believe that this cannot happen on our soil. Do we feel so entitled to our freedom that we believe that these so called terrorists do not live in our country, that they cannot get on a plane tomorrow and land in a Canadian airport with the goal of terrorizing us? Do we genuinely believe there are not people in the world who dislike us? Do we actually believe we are immune simply because because they are 'over there' on the other side of the ocean?

There is no country on this planet that is not accessible by some form of transportation. There are any number of technological devices that can be used remotely. Our world is small and we are more connected than ever. We are not out of reach of anybody and I don't mean that just as a Canadian, I can confidently say that about every country in the world. If you don't believe me, look at Ebola. How far away are the countries in West Africa? One plane ride...

For the last five months, while in Europe, I repeatedly said that coming from a country that has not seen a world war on it's own soil, it is hard to imagine, to integrate all the war experiences you are exposed to. You simply cannot comprehend the magnitude of what that does to a land, to a culture, to it's people and their faith. To their families and communities. It is too overwhelming to imagine. You can see it in their eyes. And here I am today, hearing Canadians lash out about how we have been wronged and violated and how we are victims of terrorist crimes. We lost a single soldier on our home land yesterday and today the nation commemorates his life because we had the ability and safety to choose to do so! Despite what we might believe, there are soldiers in the middle east fighting to keep civilians safe. There are true Islamics fighting the extremists every day, but I doubt those people get the freedom or safety to commemorate anyone. They might be lucky if they get to mourn. That is violation.

Yesterday, today and for likely all my tomorrows I will be grateful to have lived in a country that has, so far, been free of war on its soil. I do not feel violated. I do not feel wronged. I feel alert and aware and investigative.

This is an opportunity to find perspective. We, as Canadians, have not been wronged or violated. We have merely been prodded. It is easy to mistrust when fear is all around. Some people are counting on this. Our responses (as individuals and as those representing us) and steps following this day will dictate how our future unfolds both within our own borders with our own people and outside it internationally. We must start paying attention, if only for ourselves.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Random Findings on a Mac

I was fumbling through folders on my laptop and came across this piece. I had to share it...I am so grateful for my writing and for another years worth of experience that I have brought to reading this. I would not change a thing.

Crack Me Open…Please!

God damn the last few months have been challenging. From health to happiness to work and relationships; anything and everything I could possibly feel has run through me with an intensity unlike any I have experienced.

My life has reached a perturbation point…AGAIN! And this time the reorganization of my life is less about letting go and more about moving on. I want to make a distinction between the two for myself. Letting go, for me, is releasing my attachment to what should or should not be and allowing it to be as it is because it is beyond my control. Moving on, for me, is a realization that the situation may be beyond my control, yet my ability maintain my happiness and health is dependent on my own conscious choices to honour and respect myself.

I have been wanting for months to feel something other than frustration and hurt and disappointment. I have been loathe to the fact that I have felt out of alignment for far too long. I have been resentful for circumstances in which I have found myself in and have been wondering if I am not becoming a martyr for a cause that seems to care so little about me.

And then I found myself in a room of 200 people this weekend as an event supervisor, completely unattached to anything other than getting the event delivered to the best of my abilities. It was not my designation position to help clients enroll in programs, or train the staff on how to communicate effectively with clients, or worry about whether or not I would offer someone a benefit of the doubt in the hopes that I could help them to help themselves change their lives. I found myself in support of a gracious and kick ass team who showed me what it was like to be of service again. Who modeled to me what it was like to have fun and smell the roses and who showed me in more ways than one, that they had my back and would do anything to make my job as smooth as possible. They showed me over and over again what it means to care about something bigger than yourself, to care about others because they are scared and new to change, to care about each other because that’s all we’ve got. They showed me a part of me I have long since lived in…and that’s a tough pill to swallow.

And there was a room full of people who reminded me that there are always wounds that need to be healed, that the most minute details can have a major impact, that people are always seeking something and usually the root of that something is a wound that needs healing whether it’s personal, financial, physical, mental, spiritual. The healing of those hurts is what allows them to transcend beyond their reality to create a new one. The healing is what creates their freedom from whatever chains may lay around their ankles, wrists, or necks.

I want more of this. I want more of these moments of vision, compassion, heartfelt caring and empathy and I want more of the moments that bring me to tears as I listen to people share from the back of the room and think to myself awestruck, “I helped create that for that person…wow. I helped to create freedom for that person, I helped to create empowerment for her. I helped to create healing for him. I helped to create a lighter, more conscious world this weekend…”

It’s not OK for things to continue as they are. I have always been willing to stand in the fire and hold space for shifts to occur. I have been standing in the fire long enough…I am beginning to get burned.