Fix Yourself And You’ll Help To Fix The World…

Two weekends ago, my partner and I, along with a few friends, were sitting on a couch at a Mardi Gras party having a great time when a woman sat down near us and abruptly asked if any of us were watching the television coverage of the Democratic conventions. Two nodded their heads. She then asked if we all were backing candidate Pete Buttigieg because he’s gay, as she knew we were all gay individuals. Immediately, I could feel where the conversation was going to head, as I’d been down this path one too many times in my life with others, especially when politics or religion was the topic of conversation.

As I looked over at the woman and read her body language, it was pretty clear judgements were forming within her. When one of my friends responded that he liked Buttigieg simply because he seemed like a good candidate, she quickly exclaimed, “That’s exactly the problem with you Democrats, none of you have any valid reasons you can offer as to why you are for any of the candidates!” Instantly, all the positive energy and enjoyment of the party went away for us, causing each of us to get up one by one and leave the situation and shortly thereafter, the party as well.

It’s sad when people in society, like this woman, think the answer to their problems or our country’s problems is with someone or something “out there” like the president. For as long as they choose to believe that, judgments will continue to form within them with everyone else who doesn’t buy into their beliefs. Divisions will in turn continue to be made along the way between them and those who don’t agree with them, and society overall continues to drift apart as more and more people take their sides on issues.

The same negative principle holds true with Christians who continue to believe they are the only true path to God, who place judgments on other religions and the people who follow them, while the people who follow those other religions in turn do the same with them. It’s true with whites who feel superior over blacks and other races, and the other races who feel that whites are the problem. It’s true with pro-lifers who feel abortion is wrong and pro-abortion individuals who feel it’s their choice to make. It’s true with pro-second amendment advocates who feel the right to bear arms and pro-gun-control supporters who feel the need for laws banning guns. And it’s true with all the other hot issues too, such as health care, the environment, immigration, marriage, welfare, etc. Whatever the issue, judgments are constantly being hurled at those who have opposing views from them, with each feeling their viewpoint is the correct one. So, how does this ever end? How does it ever get better? The sad reality is it doesn’t, so long as people continue to judge one another for the stances each take on those various issues in life.

People seem to think that if all of those issues got fixed in the way they imagined they should be fixed, that their life would be grand. What they don’t realize is that even if the person they wanted for president got elected, that even if everyone suddenly started supporting their belief system, and even if all the laws somehow got changed to support every single one of their views, they still wouldn’t be happy and instead, would find something else to judge. Why? Because happiness doesn’t come externally, it comes internally, from letting go of the past, from forgiveness and release of all resentments, and from loving oneself unconditionally, which, in turn, leads to loving everyone else unconditionally. And the more one is able to love unconditionally, the more the world becomes the one they find peace with. But, not working on any of those internal disturbances and keeping them pushed down, only leads to judging others with unloving comments like what that woman said to all of us at the party the other night. The fact is, hurt people continue to hurt people through their judgments, all because they keep on avoiding doing the work within to fix themselves.

I honestly just wish people would wake up and realize that the person they want for president isn’t going to make their world any better, because it’s not the world that’s broken, it’s they who are broken. And no matter how many people they may convince or pull onto their side of an issue, there’s always going to be someone else just beyond with a different opinion, causing them to get disturbed with judgments all over again.

Fix yourself, heal your inner wounds, love your inner child, and in doing so, you’ll help to fix the world, because the more your inner world is able to be at peace, the more you’ll be at peace with the outer world, even when it doesn’t quite align with your views.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

My Love-Hate Relationship With Facebook…

I most definitely am having a love-hate relationship with Facebook these days. What began as a simple effort for reaching a wider audience with my writing has grown into something far more complex for me, one that holds both the positive and the negative, often leading me to question whether I want to remain on this social media tool at all.

Let’s start with the negative first. I’ve regularly found myself measuring my self-worth by how many likes I get to each of my postings, sometimes even posting pictures of myself just to boost my self-esteem through the likes I get, been envious of postings by others who appear to be far happier in life doing things I’m not doing or may never be able to do, struggled each time I’ve gotten unfriended and/or blocked without any reason, especially by those I considered to be real friends, grown weary of the constant arguments I’ve seen between others due to religious and political differences, taken it personal each time I’ve experienced friend request rejections, especially when my partner’s gets accepted and mine doesn’t, felt disappointed each time a personal message I’ve sent doesn’t get responded to, and battled at times with old addiction urges that used both Facebook pictures and Facebook messaging as tools of acting out.

That seems to be quite a bit of negative reasons my presence on Facebook brings me doesn’t it?

So why bother remaining on Facebook at all?

Well for as much as there are those negative reasons, there’s just as much positive reasons for me to remain on Facebook as well. Of course, the original reason is still true in that I continue to reach a far wider and more diverse audience with my blog writing, some of which have even become daily readers because of it. Beyond that, there’s those friends I’ve lost track of long ago who were able to find me and reconnect with me only because of my presence on Facebook. Then there are those friendships that started on Facebook, that eventually moved beyond that to real life, some of which have even become my dearest of friends. There are also amazing public events I’ve been able to attend I probably never would have known about if it hadn’t been for Facebook. The same holds true for Invites to parties I’ve been sent that I really enjoyed going to that I might have missed out on if it wasn’t for Facebook. I also treasure all those people who have related so much to what I’ve shared that they’ve either commented publicly so or personally in the private messaging tool. It’s also been a great tool to find inspirational quotes and pictures that have helped to motivate me at times. And lastly, being on several Facebook groups have assisted my spiritual journey quite a bit too.

So, I’m sure you can understand now why I have such a dilemma when it comes to Facebook and why I feel this love-hate relationship with the social media tool. I know many others share the same feelings as I do about Facebook, a number of which have chosen to remain active on it, while an equal number of others have chosen to free themselves of it completely, expressing it was the best decision they ever made.

For the moment, I continue to be undecided as to whether I want to remain on Facebook (and Twitter for that matter, as it’s the only other social media tool I’m still on). While I know it’s been a benefit on many levels, it continues to also be a burden at times on my spiritual journey. I pray that in time it all becomes a little clearer, as to whether it really is serving a Higher Purpose for me or only feeding my ego…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Another Political Conflict, When And How Does It Ever End?

As I drove through the intersection of Secor and Central here in the Toledo area a Saturday ago, I suddenly became bombarded with 100+ people shouting and yelling on one of its busy corners. Many had signs in hands, but all were protesting the new Iranian conflict that has now become an issue due to the recent military airstrike that killed a very prominent Iranian general.

While I don’t support the killing of anyone, no matter what they’ve done, I’m also not one who feels that protesting it is the answer either. Sure, some of those protestors I saw on that corner genuinely looked like they just desired peace and were demonstrating in that way. But others there looked the opposite and were angrily holding their signs, almost shoving them into the windows of some of the cars that slowly passed them by.

I have my opinions about pretty much every political and religious hot topic in this country including this one. But unless someone asks me for that opinion, I normally don’t share it. Why? Because freely sharing my opinions without being asked has only ever created more separation and division, which is the very thing our country doesn’t need right now. Rather, don’t we need a lot more unity, love, and support for each other? Sadly, it seems we don’t have much of that nowadays. Instead, everyone is taking a side on what they believe should be happening with each of these hot topics.

I typically don’t share my views only because I don’t truly know what the best solution is on any of them. I don’t know because I’m not God. I’m not all seeing and all knowing. What I do know though is that we are all fighting amongst ourselves these days because of our opinions being thrown upon each other. And this latest conflict is just another example of it. Each of these conflicts remind me of kids on playgrounds fighting over some toy or a swing to ride on or simply for attention. Yet, below all of it is nothing but fear. Fear of losing something we have, that we think we’re always supposed to have, or fear of never having something we want, that we believe we deserve to have.

So, our fears cause us to invade other countries, killing prominent generals in the process. And in turn, our fears also cause us to protest those invasions and killings as well. Yet, what’s below those fears? And what can safely remove those fears?

I have preached this from my writing for years now and believe the only solution for those fears is simply and quite basically to love each other a lot more than we all are doing right now, no matter what our views, no matter what our beliefs, no matter what!

Shoving our viewpoints down the throats of one another is no different than invading another country, as it’s only going to create more division and move us in the exact opposite direction of that where love gets cultivated.

I stand with love. Even when it hurts. Even when hatred gets thrown my way. Because it’s the only solution I’ve ever seen that has overcome fear, no matter what the fear is. And while I’m not saying that those protestors are wrong for demonstrating their views of the Iranian invasion or that the United States is wrong for the Iranian invasion itself, what I am saying is that maybe greater efforts of expressing love for each other is actually a better solution, one that CAN in the long run, prevent all of this from happening.

Maybe if we just start lifting each other up, no matter what our beliefs, instead of putting each other down for our views, is the solution?

Maybe the solution is a lot simpler than we all keep trying to make it?

Maybe the solution is within us and not out there in trying to change someone or something?

Maybe the solution is in working on letting our fears go and trusting in a greater principle, one that’s founded on the basis of love?

Maybe by working on fixing ourselves and loving the parts of ourselves we really don’t, will help us to see through eyes of greater compassion and love for others, where both going to war and protesting those wars becomes unnecessary, where who’s president doesn’t ultimately matter, where sexual preference or identity doesn’t matter either, and where the same holds true with things like corporal punishment, abortion, religious identity, gun control, etc.?

In the end, what if what does matter is just looking at each and every person as a part of ourselves and as a whole? Maybe then, in doing so, we might see that hating another is really only just hating ourselves…and that the only solution is to love, no matter what…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson