I say this in my head as I take a huge deep breath and let out a sigh, almost one of exasperation, yet sprinkled with an undertone of great fondness. Relationships: a nurtured and loving bond between living beings—at least this is how I think we ideally want to define them and have them BE. Relationships are not just between humans, but this kind of one-to-one connection is what I was thinking about when I was inspired to write this article.
In my experience (although I am in the process of changing that experience), many—if not most—people in today’s “modern” culture are afraid of real relationships. I find myself asking time and again, “What are we—those of us who are unafraid of rediscovering and living the true heavenly meaning of ohana is—to do?” By heavenly, I mean an ohana without judgment, one of openness and truth, loyalty and loving interaction…partners who want to have fun, live in peace, and support one another. A family- and friendship-based community founded on love, faith, and integrity, which eliminates all fear of being able to extend these gifts to everyone—not just to our own.
The answer I come up with is always the same: live by example, continue to put yourself out there, love as you wish to be loved. Still, I have been doing these things for many, many years, and the tide is slow to change. Unfortunately, I find myself wanting to give up, to throw in the towel and just forget the dream of heaven on earth. So far, it’s been too much work for just one person. The only way I find myself wanting to continue is if I am reassured that there are others out there just like me. Others who will rally with me to induce the winds of permanent change I assume we all hope for.
So I tell myself to get over it. I pick up the phone and call my friends, make new friends, try and open my circle, encourage everyone to get together to relax, have fun and talk story to inspire the heart, mind, and soul, to inspire laughter and solidify real connections. And, damn it, if you’re in the same position as me, when your friends call, answer the phone, say “YES”, and show up when you can. All of that so-called responsibility holding you back will be there when you wake up the next day. And who’s to say that letting go and celebrating with others more often won’t just make that responsibility more enjoyable, but also help you to create the kind of responsibility that your heart desires more than anything else?
I try and remember that my children are observing and learning by my example—right? So I try and practice leaving the negative drama at the door and picking up a new script on life, one that works out for the highest good of all. I try and remain open, remembering to include the strangers I see daily, too. To stop looking at my feet while I walk and look people in the eye (at the very least) and understand that they, too, are just like me. They need love, kindness, inspiration, peace, and so much more—especially those who are obviously hurting, stuck in a hell that past experiences have helped them create. So I say, hug them. Do something light-filled for them. You will be amazed at the release that takes place when genuine care is practiced for them and for yourself. Treat others the way you want to be treated, be the friend you desire, and so forth. I’m generalizing, I know. But, from my experience, this is what life is showing me I should do. Is it any different for you?
I guess what I would love to see is everyone opening their doors of compassion through truth and honesty, to stop holding back, to feel that nervousness deep in our bellies and embrace it…knowing full well that it’s our best life beckoning to us. Yes, there will be moments of uncomfortableness, but this shows us where growth needs to be to help us on our way to the healing and the greatness that we all deserve.
Image Credit: Catherine Velasquez