Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Guys, Stop It! (or Where There's Lily, There's a Way)

(This story has been tinkered with for years then set aside in order to write something related to nature or my cats. Fear may be the real reason I've chosen pets and plants over people as a topic. Lily, as you'll soon understand, would say, "Aunt Dawn, stop it!")

Some time ago, I was hanging out at Lily's house with her parents. She and her sister were engrossed in a movie while the grown ups nearby talked and laughed. Suddenly we were silenced by "Guys, stop it!" Lily, sitting on the sofa still engrossed in her movie on the other side of the room, admonished us to tone it down. I personally thought, 'How cute' as we complied with her wish at least for awhile. Our volume gradually increased as was noted by Lily who shouted, "GUYS!" The four adults turned to see Lily standing on the sofa, hands on her hips and scowl on her face firmly but loudly commanding, "Guys, stop it." We did.

As I walked home later that night I thought, 'We should run Lily for president.' This was in 2007 as the prior administration piled up the now trillion dollar debt thanks to the Iraq war, profiting companies with deep political connections. Lily's authority and attitude in my book were exactly what we needed.

Over the coming weeks I fantasized about creating "Lily for President" t-shirts and a website.
Of course, if anxiety kept me from writing this simple story, how on earth did I think I could create a movement?

Nearly three years have passed and Lily's spunk has not faltered. Last Fall she quietly went out one afternoon and taught herself to ride her bike without training wheels. Shortly afterward she began to learn to ride her older sister's bike.

The saying "Where there's a will there's a way" should be "Where there's Lily, there's a way."

We've continued to desperately need Lily's message of "Stop it." When the car honchos flew to DC in their private jets as we were bailing them out, I wanted to shout, "Guys, stop it!" When that CEO spent more money than all the folks in an entire third world country will have in a lifetime to redecorate his bathroom, I wanted to say, "Guy, stop it!"

Every time I heard Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachman over the past year refer to 'death panels' as a means of scaring folks in relation to health care reform, I've wanted to say, "Girls, stop acting like those guys. Stop it!" Now when I hear of Sarah Palin firing up tea party crowds with her winking, folksy, gun referencing, gottcha rhetoric I want to really say, "Sarah, stop it!"

Lily's command seemed even more applicable in the recent months as politicians on both sides of the health care debate received hate-filled phone calls from voters on the other side.

I think of myself as kind and slow to anger , but these events ignite my inner-Lily. I imagine rising up, fierce and fiery in order to scare the bejeeesus out of these folks not to cause them harm but to get their attention. Then in an earthshaking, earth quaking voice, I would like Lily command, "Guys, Stop it! What are earth are you people doing? You can do so much better than this. Now stop it."

Of course what makes me think I would actually take on these people, when I haven't dared risk an interaction with my facebook 'friends' one who referenced attending a tea party to 'take back our country' and another being distraught that her tv reception didn't include Fox news.

I imagine Lily in one of her quieter moves nudging me and saying, "Hey, Aunt Dawn, you might want to start by taking on yourself. Stop being afraid."

And she would be right, right in more ways than one. This takes me back to the mid-80's when I went to Russia with a peace and reconciliation group. Little did I know there in was the problem. Everyone knows you can't reconcile and find peace with the Russians now, let alone in the Eighties. They were and are COMMUNISTS and SOCIALISTS, those two scary words tossed out by the right in relation to anything President Obama proposes.

Here I was returning home to Nashville a naive twenty-something desirous of sharing my encounters. I lined up talks, did a radio interview, wrote stories for my work and college-related papers and found most people curious as to what I had to say. Most people, but not all people. I wasn't prepared for one phone call and one letter received from two different people whose reactions were the same. Both in choice words suggested I did not love America, therefore I should leave the country. They verbally threatened me because my message of friendship threatened their belief system which needed an enemy.

These two interactions were part of the soup of my life prompting me to a great degree to give up my voice as well as my enthusiasm in regards to creating bridges between people of different cultures. I allowed two frightened people, a man and a woman to nearly silence me.

Lily I'm certain would say, "Aunt Dawn, you and all the folks who have been quiet for whatever reason have got to 'Stop it.' I'm not saying be hostile and angry, but you've got to find and use your voice in relation to these things. They are not going away."

I catch a glimpse of why I've been avoiding completing this story.

Lily's suggestion to start with myself would be right in another way. I think about the tea party folks and what possibly motivates them. I'm assuming they do not want change, nor do they want to be controlled (by the government) or to loose control. Well, bingo. Guess who else doesn't necessarily go running toward personal change, embracing it with great anticipation? Guess who else doesn't want to loose control nor be controlled? I need look no further than my mirror to find my kinship with these folks.

Quantum science has found that just like the threads of the spider web are all interwoven and connected, so are we. Therefore my resistance to the unknown and my fears of being controlled is connected to the resistance of the tea party folk. (It's becoming much clearer why I've procrastinated completing this story.)

Since my shadow is connected to the universal or collective shadow, I must tend my own shadow and own the many ways fear hides out in me.

Lily, whose name is one of the flowers associated with Mary the Mother of Jesus, would have a special message to us women. I can see her frown while adamantly saying, "Girls, Stop it! She would really take us to task reminding us we are the ones hardwired to care, to care for others, the environment, the plants and the animals. We are the gender taught to be concerned with relationship. We are vehicles for love.

Before she parted she'd look at me and say, "Instead of scaring the bejeesus out of folks, Be Jesus or Be Buddha, Be Mary just make sure you realize you're here to Be Divine."

It's really that simple. Let's stop fearing and more importantly...let's start loving! Imagine that or better yet start that!

For those curious as to how I could go on.....let's....

Stop treating Earth, nature and animals as objects and start being grateful that all of Creation is here to be in relationship with us.

Stop treating your body as an object and start looking at how you really relate to your body and being grateful it is the container in which your spirit lives.

Stop ignoring the foods you put into your body and the way animals and plants are treated.
Start with finding a farmer's market that sells local produce and grass fed, kindly treated cows and chickens for meat and eggs. Go meatless one day a week and don't enter the doors of a restaurant that sells a 16 ounce steak. That is obscene.

Stop contributing to the hobby of shopping in this country and start getting out. Walk, meet your neighbors. Be friendly to folks you meet. (I wrote this before the May Day Flood which ultimately prompted folks to wade out and meet neighbors who rescued them, cooked for them, lived with them in shelters, took up collections and donated in a myriad of ways for them!)

We must stop letting fear separate us and instead start owning our blind sides, our ignorance, our tendency to label those we don't really know. We must stop wringing our hands and instead use them for love, hold a child, plant a seed, feed someone hungry, wave to a stranger, help someone in need. We must stop being ignorant and instead get informed. Let's learn to use our will in creative, conscious ways!

I could go on but for now I'll stop and invite you to imagine Lily, hands on her hips saying "Stop it" to you. What would you stop? And what would you do instead? Imagine, Invoke and Embrace that Shift!
-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 5/5/10

2 comments:

Anna Grossnickle Hines said...

Very well said, Dawn. Sign me up for the Lily club!

Arthur said...

Dearest Dawn,

I love who you are and what you're about.

Yes, indeed we are in the midst of a paradigm shift. That from survival of the fittest (force) to that of survival of the wisest (engagement).

It is my intention to accelerate this shift.

The door is unlocked - all that is needed is a some pushing from a few of us.

This is the single most important moment in the history of mankind. Our mutual fb friends are completely in agreement as to what's at stake.

The realization that 'REALITY is our friend' will soon begin take hold.

Tonto, I have a plan!

Hoping to connect with you in the next few days. - Arthur