I’m a middle-aged white woman who decided it would be fun to ride my bike from our home to our church on a gorgeous spring morning to clean. While I pedaled I began to sing made up lyrics and using my vocal instrument to sound out different tones and notes. This is really new for me! I have believed the story that I have a horrid singing voice my entire life. Maybe you have a story you believe too and are coming to wonder how true it is.
I came across a few men with brown and black sking and they were very friendly in waving my way. I suddenly had a wave of shame wash over me. I was recalling a day when I was in my front yard in our primarily white neighborhood, maybe 10 years ago and a man of color was biking by in the middle of the day. And what did I think?
- Why aren’t you at work?
- Why are you here where you don’t belong?
- Are you up to no good?
The reason I want to admit my thoughts is because we are all ignorant to so much of life and how our thoughts do not define who we are. We do not have the full light of awareness of God. We have been influenced and conditioned by society and its fears. After 14 years of yoga and meditation I have come to make much of my subconscious conscious..bringing the dark into the light. It is the only way to grow and speak and act from love, from connection, from wisdom.
I hope you won’t judge me too harshly. I hope you’ll take an opportunity to contemplate the ways you have grown and realized something you once believed to be true is no longer true and you are actually a bit mortified. This is good!! This is what the world needs…for us to humbly admit our wrong-thinking without a whole lot of shame, moving from a moment of regret to surrending it to God.
I want to move and think and breathe and act the way love feels. I dont want to move and think and breathe the way fear feels…we can only do this when we are honest about our having been conditioned, especially by prejudice in our own families. We can only ‘hear’ our own thinking with practices of mindfulness– or else we just go on believing our negative thoughts instead of realizing not every thought is rooted in truth. Most are not!
I like singing a new song. My song is one of hope that we can all grow and find our inner safety and not project our anxieties onto an innocent world. Peace can be cultivated within but it takes practice and commitment to let go.