My esteemed colleague the Rev. Dr. Sheila McKeithen, President of the Universal Foundation for Better Living (UFBL), recently shared her thoughts about what’s separating us.
In her talk at the 2020 International New Thought Alliance 105th Congress, McKeithen stated that the “message of identity – and therefore divinity – is the key that unlocks the answer to the expressions of separateness being experienced in the world today.” She went on to challenge us to “cut the ties that bind you and me to the limitations of a human identity.”
McKeithen focused on the need to cut our ties to any idea of supremacy originating from human factors. She declared that healing the world requires us to “first heal ourselves of any vestiges of supremacy and superiority originating out of – or tied to – our human identity.”
Yet, this is only half of what’s required for healing.
Moving away from our human condition and truly embracing our divinity requires us to go even deeper. Yes, we must cut our ties of superiority. And we must also cut our ties of inferiority as well!
Our human tendencies are two-fold: 1) to view others as superior to us and ourselves as inferior and 2) to view others as inferior and ourselves as superior.
We can only think someone is superior to us after we first have the thought that somehow we are inferior. Our belief that someone else thinks we are “less than,” is a projection from our minds. Such a belief has a singular goal: to help us alleviate our guilt for first considering ourselves inferior.
In New Thought, a universal thread runs through all our teachings: God is All, in All. We are neither greater than nor less than All. We can’t see anyone else as the bad guy and still see ourselves as the good guy. My brother and I are one. There is no separation – even when confronted with different political beliefs.
A Course in Miracles says we are never upset for the reason we think we are. We are not upset about other people playing big. We are upset that they are showing us where we are playing little.
It is time to refuse to play little in order to make someone else feel big. It is time for us to release our inferiority complex as well as our superiority complex – which is simply the external materialization of our internalized fear that we are not big.
As Divine Science tells us, Divine Love IN me, AS me, IS me. God is All in All. Nothing can, will or ever has separated me from anyone else in this entire Universe. I am my brother. I am my sister. And they are me. Our resistance, our fears, our desire to have someone outside of us make reparations for where we believe we have been harmed, will all lead to empty victories.
Empty victories occur whenever we expect someone else to change their behavior so we will feel better. So that we will feel more equal. So we can feel the superiority we blame them for having.
To truly heal the world, we need a resurrection of personal sovereignty. Not in the common conception of “free will” and absolute authority to take action we deem proper and desirous from an outer perspective.
The personal sovereignty required now is a resurgence of knowing, with absolute conviction, that we are Enough. That our authority and power come from the true nature of who we are: Divine. One with All that Is.
Only we can give this gift to ourselves. People treat us the way we treat ourselves. The more we own our true power, without needing to defend or attack anyone else, the more sovereign we become within ourselves. From this space, nothing and no one has the ability to reduce us.
As long as I felt inferior about myself as a gay person, as long as I had internalized homophobia, I was subject to the whims of homophobia I saw “out there” – most of which came from other gay people.
As long as I felt inferior as a woman, I was subject to sexist misogynist actions by “those people out there.” Including other women.
The moment I stopped believing I was in any way inferior – the moment I accepted my personal sovereignty – no one else’s words, actions or thoughts had any power over me.
What is required to accept your personal sovereignty? It’s simpler than you think. It’s like the change in perception taught in A Course In Miracles. It’s not difficult. It’s just different.
It all starts with recognizing your inner power. We each have power over our own words, thoughts and actions. Each of us has power over how we respond and react to anything anyone else does or says. We claim that power by first identifying and owning where we do to ourselves the things we blame others for doing. People do unto us as we do unto ourselves.
During the last election cycle, a member of my spiritual group came into the room ranting and raving about how much she hated “that Donald Trump.” I acknowledged her statement and asked her to be more specific about what she didn’t like about the Republican presidential candidate. “For starters,” she said, “he’s a misogynist. He hates women.”
I asked her where she’d been hateful to herself that day, or in the past week. She acknowledged that she denigrated herself often, every day.
When I asked, “What else don’t you like about Donald Trump?” her answer was a brisk “Never mind.” Her awareness dawned: she was projecting her perceived, self-inflicted inferiorities outward, onto this particular person.
It is easy to blame others; it is easy to fall into the role of unworthiness. It’s time to claim the Truth about our Oneness with everything and everyone. It’s time to release our core beliefs that we are somehow guilty, abandoned, lacking or limited, unworthy, powerless, or dead or dying off.
Or that anyone, outside of us, has power over us to transform our inner beliefs into outer circumstances in our lives.
Our political beliefs do not need to lead to difficult conversations and difficult situations. There are no difficult conversations, and there are no difficult people. They are only different.
We have the ability to act with dignity and grace and embrace the civility in our differences, as did Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Antonin Scalia. We hold the high watch. We chose civil discourse.
Despite what media and pundits and lobbyists would have us believe, the political affiliation of a sitting President appointing a supreme court justice matters less than the character of the people appointed to that high court. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Justice Antonin Scalia left us a roadmap to elevate civility and personal sovereignty to their rightful place in our lives.
When we commit to this transformation, we begin to truly embrace the truth of personal sovereignty. When we no longer need to say I deserve something, I am entitled to something, I demand something – when we can stand in a still place of un-attached wonder, free from the requirement that others change their behavior so we don’t have to – we will see all people rise up in equality. This is how we create a world that works for everyone.