Cast Book Study – Week 4
Unity’s core belief and mission statement talks about “awakening to our Divine nature through…personal transformation”. Part of this Awakening process is understanding that there are teachings we have inherited through our society that are not in alignment with who we really are. Studying the book Caste by Isabel Wilkerson opens us up to a new realization that we have been part of a deep rooted system that unjustly suppresses some people and lifts up others.
This caste system has become second nature to us and as we learn the depth of the horror and injustice of it, we come to realize there is a lot of work to be done to correct it. It will take a collective effort and it won’t happen overnight.
What can we do to help the process?
Education is fundamental. It’s a shameful history but we must not let the emotion stop us in our tracks. It’s important to learn about this history and how it still lives on today and then to turn that knowledge and emotion into action.
See no one as a stranger. When we listen to the stories of others, we relate to them as humans who carry hurt and love their families just like we do. We are all connected by our similar emotions and desires.
Everything is a call for love. If someone is acting in an unpleasant way, beneath it all is an unhealed wound and a desire for acceptance and love. Every time we see beyond the unpleasant action to the hurting soul and extend love and forgiveness, it moves us further along the path to healing. Jesus taught us to love our enemies. Acting on this example of unconditional love benefits the perceived enemy as well as the one extending love. We realize there is an unlimited amount of love to give and express.
Love yourself first. We cannot give what we don’t have. When we care for ourselves and show ourselves honor, respect, and love, we then have more capacity to extend those gifts to others. One way to care for ourselves is to feel our emotions – without the story that brought that emotion. Suppressing emotions builds up tension within us that may explode onto someone else. Sit with the uncomfortable feeling without telling the story behind it and it will disperse. Letting go of fear and negative emotions opens us up to choose love as our primary force.
The Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal. This truth was not available for everyone when it was written, but over time we are getting closer and closer to allowing all people to feel and experience that equality.
We have the awareness and ability to facilitate change within ourselves and in our world. With our hearts open, there is room for hope. Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.