I had a challenging conversation yesterday with a member of my extended family. During this interaction, he accused me of being completely out of touch with reality; of living in a fantasy, a land of make believe. He told me I have no understanding of the real world.
I wonder… what is this “real world” he speaks of?
A world where neighbors close their doors to one another because they choose to focus on their differences rather than what they share in common?
Where we go along with the crowd because we weren't taught to think critically for ourselves?
Where we have to resort to violence to feel seen and heard?
Where we would gladly trade our freedoms for the illusion of security?
Where our paralyzing fear dictates every decision we make?
Where lies are disguised as truths for the sake of corporate profit?
Where we cannot see that in hurting another, we are only hurting ourselves?
Then, YES—He's absolutely right.
I AM out of touch with that “real world.”
Perhaps because, that is not the real world that I live in.
No, I live in a world where family is not defined by shared ancestry, race, or religion, but by the divine spark of which we all contain.
Where intimacy, open inquiry, discernment, and authenticity are of the highest regard.
Where life is a quest for true freedom, discovered in the process of questioning our assumptions, relaxing into our fears, and embracing the great unknown.
Where we are driven by the courage to be true to our hearts and whole unto ourselves, no matter the outcome.
Where we choose to give generously, feel deeply, and forgive unapologetically.
Where healing and transformation are based on personal responsibility + hope + mindful action.
Where our unrivaled strength comes from loving more, not from control or dominion over others.
My lived experience has brought me face to face with my own varying levels of privilege many, many times over the course of my life. I do not deny that there are incredible struggles that group and individuals are living through on this planet right now... Struggles that I will never even begin to comprehend. But there is no denying that there also exists great beauty... Beauty that takes your breath away and acts of kindness that can melt your heart.
It is not my M.O. to deny nor aggrandize any aspect of what it means to be human. Rather than glorify the light and condemn the darkness, I will choose to meet each with an open hearted curiosity.
Our "real world" is not defined by the content of our lives, but rather, by both our perception of our lived experience and how we choose to act in the face of whatever might arise.
It would seem that we were all walking around on the same planet, at the same time in history. But things are not usually what they appear to be, are they?
The truth is—we are all living in our own worlds. Some, in worlds that are frightening, dangerous, and full of terribleness out to get you. Others, that are caring, supportive, and full of kindness to share. And most, they are living somewhere in between.
I consider a pair of identical twins who experience the exact same life circumstances, but live in two very different worlds. Nothing differs between them but their attitude and their free will in action; And that makes a world of a difference.
Were you aware that you live in your own fantasy, your own unique dream world?
Did you know that with that awareness, you possess the power to focus your intention and create your own reality?
Not to run from or resist the flow of life, but to open to the grace that naturally unfolds when you meet every moment with an curious openness and a fullness of heart.
One of my teachers once told me, “It’s all made up anyways. Better make it up great.”
So, open up and use your imagination. And get out there and make it great.