Relinquish the safe territory of us and them

So much happens in this world because we can shirk responsibility – ‘them’ as a concept is such a relief, such a gift. ‘They’ are destroying the world, hoarding resources, dominating space, etc.

In that scenario ‘we’ are generally the righteous force, advancing deeply accountable visions, constantly. If we weren’t thwarted by ‘them’ there would be liberation and a perfection of balanced power.

It is so easy to go on in this way, holding the lines we inherited of mainstream and margin, powerful and powerless, bad and good, friend and enemy, divided, divided.

I just finished facilitating the Building Equity and Alignment Initiative. Environmental justice groups, national environmental organizations and environmental funders came together for an historic set of conversations for Mother Earth. Once again, I have glimpsed another way, a way that gives me hope we can actually reach a next phase of humanity that is worthy of both earth and the miracle of our brief lives.

I used to think transformation was mostly about people stepping into our own power, and I still believe that is a major foundational part of it: ‘presuming our power, not our powerlessness.’

But I am understanding more and more that it also has to do with how much we can see ourselves as one organism at the species level. That we as a species are learning how to bring justice, love and future generations into the center of our existence.

Some parts of the organism already remember this, never forgot it. Other parts are awakening to it, other parts sleep yet. If we are able to see it is all of us, an experience of being whole is within reach. The heart does not rail against the fingers, she feeds them. Amongst humans I see that sustenance come when we see each other’s humanity and possibility instead of focusing on each other’s mistakes and limitations, when we move to stand with each other, instead of holding the space between us as more sacred than our shared work.

People who appreciate the miraculous create futures full of miracles, generating more possibility – not in spite of other people, but because of connection.

It means we relinquish the safe territory of us and them, and walk onto the dynamic creation ground together. We endure the imperfections of each other until we reach understanding, shared vision and laughter. We pick up the work of future building, no less complex because we all carry it, but lighter, easier to sustain.

What we withhold of ourselves becomes our prison…that includes what we withhold of our need to connect, of our need to see our interdependence on this home planet. But when we see each other and are seen, hear each other and are heard, move each other and are moved, there is a chance for love, and for liberation.

We long for this, as a survival wisdom. We are learning to be of each other.