Building bridges Instead of walls

As we walked into the county zoning office, the very first thing that caught my eye was a paper sign, printed in bold font, saying"Do not cuss, swear, or use foul language in my office."

My partner and I were there because we had received a Notice of Violation from our county to "cease and desist" all work on our property, due to our two tiny houses on wheels being parked there.

Thankfully, I was not in the county office when I got the notice, because I used as many foul words as I could string together in an unintelligible, angry stream of shouts. 

Which, after several minutes, I realized was not doing any good, and was scaring the bejesus out of my small dog, Baxter.

After I calmed down, we called the county office and went in to set up a meeting to go through an approval process for our project.

At some point on our car ride over there, I realized this important Truth:

If I continue to see people who think or live differently than me as the "other," than I am only perpetuating a growing schism of disharmony. 

My calling is to bring the world into greater harmony. To believe in and be an expression of the good of humanity. To be a pioneer in how we can address our challenges with creativity, collaboration, and ownership. 

It felt like the Universe has whacked me upside the head with my purpose. Like it was saying "You want to create harmony, practice harmony, BE harmony. Ok. TRY THIS."

I don't believe the Universe is "out to get me." I believe that when you are ready, you are not only going to be gifted with amazing miracles, you will be gifted with unbelievable challenges.Because only by leaning in to our greatest fears do we experience the miracle. 

I believe that as a whole, humanity's greatest fear is letting go. Letting go of attachment, letting go of control, letting go of identity, letting go of life. 

So we keep holding on. We grip so tightly to our version of how things must be that we feel threatened when anything new, different, or "other" than us comes into the arena. 

We start to take actions to block, to defend, to fight, and to leave people out, so we can feel like we are the ones in control. 

But this only cuts us off from our true power. Our power to unite. 

We cannot continue to build walls between each other and expect that to solve our problems. The only way to truly unite and face our challenges is to build bridgestogether

I don't believe this means being passive, rolling over, and letting people walk all over us.

I believe it means standing up for our rights, doing and speaking what matters to use from a place of centered calm, being present with what others have to say, and having healthy boundaries and accountability. 

I believe building bridges is what Brene Brown says in her book Braving the Wilderness:

"...a call to courage. A call to move closer to each other, because people are hard to hate close up. A call to speak truth to bullshit, but be civil. And to hold hands, with strangers."

It may feel intimidating, excruciatingly vulnerable, and the practice of a lifetime to do this...

...but if we are not building our world together, then we are tearing it apart.

...if we don't create a world where all of us belong, than the truth is that none of us do. 

Building bridges in our world means that we affirm with conviction and compassion:"I belong...and so do you."