There are no bad people. There are only good people who have  still to find the road back home. —Ellaeenah

Dear Friend, the year 2017 is not too far away. It is a year in which we must focus less on our differences, and more on the unity of spirit that runs within each of us. It is time to give others a second chance. In the last week this has been strongly reiterated to me through two very strong experiences…death and birthing. This turning-point week has taught me how difficult it is to give another a second chance, if you or a loved one has been hurt or wronged. Your instincts of protection roadblocks this, even as the intellectual mind urges you to forgive, and let go. The importance of a second chance cannot be stated enough, for it this that makes another feel loved.

In order to remove the inner barricade, we need to expand our comfort zone. What is this comfort zone? It is an emotional limit that is established, without conscious awareness, which controls what you find acceptable and unacceptable. Anything that threatens you, at any level of your existence, is firmly placed outside the comfort zone. Beliefs, personal and social norms, attitudes and value system, habits and routines are the bricks we use to create this comfort zone. The narrower your comfort zone, the fewer are the situations ‘acceptable’ by you. The large number of persons that are kept out of the comfort zone are judged, condemned and punished, either overtly or subtly.

All of this is such an instinctual and unconscious process that if pointed out to us, we would most likely deny it or justify it with strong moralistic statements. But wait a bit. Do you ‘accept’ lies kindly? Do you ‘endure’ deception without any reaction? Some cannot abide those whose sexual preferences differ, those who escape into addictions in order to avoid their deep pain, those who follow beliefs systems that diametrically oppose their own. Sometimes we play intellectual games about our so-called broad-mindedness, but dare our sons talk of being gay or our daughters decide to marry one who has religious background that we do not approve of, and our true colours become obvious. The lip service we often pay to compassion and universal love is revealed in its entire fraudulent disguise. When circumstances such as these knock too close to home, the contracted boundaries of our comfort zones become painfully apparent.

To greet 2017 in the true spirit of oneness, let us begin to work on expanding our comfort zones NOW. They need to broaden in order to let in those whom we have judged as ‘a bad influence’ and all those many, many people who do not hold the same beliefs that we do. Remember, my friends, THERE ARE NO BAD PEOPLE. There are only good people who have  still to find the road that takes them home. If you have truly found your road, you will not be superior and unforgiving about those who are floundering under the weight of their pain, hunching under the burden of the ‘I Am NOT’ existence. Each time you find yourself sitting in judgement, remind yourself that it is time to push your boundaries, to be honest that your compassion and tolerance extends only to those who are within your comfort zone. Ask yourself what it is about the ‘outsiders’ that threatens you. Recognise that censure, condemnation and scorn is in direct proportion to the inner threat perceived by you.

Once you have recognised this, go deep within and search out the nature of the threat. Is it fear of annihilation, fear of loss/separation, fear of loss of control, fear of not belonging, fear of the ineptness of your facades?

Our spirituality tells us to love all, and oh! what mind-games we play to make ourselves believe that we do! Humanity and human kindredship ask us to like all — a task that seems so impossible that some don’t even attempt to cover their dislike! True love is that which allows you to dislike the action without disliking the person who acts. True love is that which recognises that all persons are pure, but not all know that they are. True love is that which knows that it is loathing of self that makes another transgress, and that punishment is actually what he seeks; an act that deepens self-hatred. 

As parents, as teachers, as siblings, as spouses, as friends, as acquaintances, as strangers, we have all been guilty of one common feature…encapsulating ourselves in our comfort zones. NOW is the time to shatter those boundaries, to experience Divine Discomfort, giving everyone a second chance; a second chance to express their truth, to find their divinity, to love themselves…Again.