Journey to Equality
Equality is a state of consciousness. We cultivate equality when we see each person we meet as an equal brother or sister. That means that we do don’t feel better than others and look down on them, nor do we feel inferior and put others up on a pedestal. Each person has the same existential worth and deserves the same rights and respect that we do. In order to cultivate equality we must overcome our own shame so that we do not project it onto others. When we see others as guilty or “less worthy,” we are betraying our own guilt and unworthiness. We see in others only what we believe about ourselves. We are mirrors for one another.
Opposite States of Consciousness: Inequality, feeling “greater than” or “less than” others. Judging or despising some and worshipping others, believing that some people are better or more spiritual than others, some people will be saved and others will suffer in hell. When there is lack of equality there is injustice. We objectify others and rationalize our attempts to attack, condemn or oppress them. People are brutalized and crimes are committed in the name or God or country.
When we are little, our parents are so much bigger and stronger than us, it seems they have all of the power and they can use it to control us. They can beat us or withhold love from us when we are bad or uncooperative and there’s not much we can do about it. So we learn very early to behave in a way that meets with their approval.
Later on, we may become the victim and attract parental figures into our lives who dominate or victimize us. Or we may become just like our parents and victimize others. The seeds of inequality are sown early on in life and sprout and bear fruit in adulthood. The whole thing is a set up.
So we can’t really talk about equality without talking about inequality. In our world, some people are strong and others weak. Some are rich and others poor. Some are educated and others not. Some are victimizers and others victims.
Except in a few rare cases, we do not experience equality so much as we do inequality. Granted those times when we were really treated as an equal and afforded dignity and mutual respect are life-changing. When we are loved and appreciated as we are, we are inspired to love back. We understand that equality is the goal that we must strive for, even though our experience consistently runs shy of it.
Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, “All men are created equal, (and are) endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” Yet as we know, Jefferson himself was a keeper of slaves, and they were not equal nor were they endowed with the right to “liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” It took 90 years for slavery to be abolished and 190 years for some of these rights to be realized during the civil rights movement. Still, today, in spite of the progress, we do not have equality in the United States of America, or anywhere else in the world.
Equality is a goal we aspire to, but it will always be “the promised land” until the promise is fulfilled. We can and must continue to struggle for equal rights for all, but we also know the real struggle is not out there in the world. It is right here in our hearts. Until we walk through our shame and cease to blame others, equality cannot get a foothold in the world of form.
That is why we must focus on all the ways in which we do not feel equal to others. We must look at why we feel inferior or superior, why we victimize others or allow ourselves to become victims. There are childhood wounds, erroneous beliefs and reactive behavior patterns that must be faced. Until we heal the wounded child within, s/he will never stand as an equal with any of her brothers and sisters.
How can you win the war against poverty if you carry poverty in your consciousness? How can you win the struggle for equal rights if you yourself do not believe you are equal? How can you stand with your brother or sister if your heart is not open?
The seeds of inequality have been sown within our consciousness and it is there that they must be uprooted so that the seeds of equality and justice can be planted. As long as you and I carry prejudice in our hearts and minds justice cannot be done in this world.
The world, after all, is just a reflection of who we all are. What we carry in our hearts and minds will eventually out-picture in the world.
Realize today that when you feel “less than” or “greater than” someone else you are encountering your own shame and unworthiness. You aren’t unique in this. We are all carrying fear and shame from childhood. Our shadow has been lurking within, unseen and unheard, although we have been projecting it out into the world non-stop.
Today, do not project the fear and shame, but see them and hold them compassionately. See that the judgment you would make about another person is but a reflection of how you feel about yourself. See that the person you would attack or condemn is a mirror for you.
When you bring awareness to your shame and your prejudice you see that you withhold love and acceptance from others only because you feel unworthy of love yourself. When you bring love to the child within who feels unlovable, you can take others off the hook. The more you fill up on love, the less need you will have to judge or attack others.
The truth is that, in your humanness, you are existentially equal to others. What you want and what they want is the same. You want to be respected and treated with dignity. You want to be accepted and loved. The other person wants the same, even if his skin is a different color or he has a different name for God. You both have “inalienable rights.” When these are rights are mutually honored and respected, you and he can live in peace.
There are karmic laws at work in this world. What comes around goes around. What you grant to others will come back to you in the end. When you know this, how can you entertain a single prejudicial thought? How can you judge or attack anyone?
The decision to project fear and shame, to judge and attack others, comes from within your own consciousness. If you connect to love and bring love to the child within who feels unworthy, then you will not project your shadow. Instead you will own it and integrate it. You will feel more connected to others and you will bring understanding and compassion, instead of blame and shame.
Today, take a few baby steps forward on the road to equality. For what you believe in your mind and nurture in your heart will find its way into manifestation. As within, so without. As with you, so with others.
When have you experienced the most equality with others? When have you experienced the least equality with others? When have you understood that others are mirroring back to you aspects of yourself you have not yet learned to love?
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