This is a spaghetti jar full of cigarette butts that I collected this morning from the sidewalks, parking spots, and driveways of my little neighborhood. It was a catalytic mix of emotions that called me to do this — mostly sadness, frustration, and anger. (And at the time, I hadn’t yet begun to feel the heat from all of those squats.) To be honest, my first impulse was to use this space to rant and rave about it, about the fact that a layer of smokers’ confetti has settled over my community. Rage was my second and third and fourth impulse, too, but I’ve been studying me and my impulse to fly off the handle long enough to know that nothing good ever comes from that space.
Interestingly, I can tell you that the piece I almost wrote would have been a huge hit. It would have been scathing enough to activate the rage that simmers in the Care2 readers who share my frustration about the way we are treating this planet. It would have been funny enough to distract those like-minded readers from the fact that they’d been betrayed by my call to hysteria. It would have had a confrontational title, which, sadly, would have made it very clickable.
Those readers who already agree that nicotine litter sucks would have been energized enough (by my bitter validation) to share it far and wide, hoping to rally more of “us” and shame “them” into acting “right.” But before I could cash in on my little rage fest, I got this gentle little reality check from one of my teachers:
“Please, consider that when we do good with a heart in judgment or blame, then we are canceling out the good we have done. Dig deep and release the blame, do what you do in praise of your Creator and gratitude for your life; let the act be pure for the sake of us all.” – Carrie Hanlin Churchill
I’ll be honest, it stung a bit. Sure, I’m on this “spiritual path,” and sure, I am committed to my evolution as a teacher and healer. But there is a wounded little girl in me that wanted it to be appropriate to rage against the “others” whose pollution of my beloved planet she can’t stop. She/I feel powerless. When I announced my intention to give “them” a piece of my mind, Carrie invited me to allow that surge to recede into something far more powerful and useful.
What if I could say what needs to be said from a place of love and oneness instead?