So much has been written of late regarding division. It seems like so many want to talk or write about the division between people, groups, philosophies … you name it. Division though is more a matter of perspective than reality and it all starts within each of us. If we feel divided in some way, then we are. Being divided is a state of mind and the place to start is how we look at things. Division is a perception not a reality.
Division is another way to describe separation. When we feel distant or separated from others, the first thing to consider is our own role. For example, when you have a disagreement with someone you love, do you step away and distance yourself, or with courage do you step into the situation seeking understanding, mutual respect, and opportunity for healing? Division is often rooted in a lack of mutual understanding and unwillingness to recognize the perspective and perception of others. When a situation is created where there is “right” or “wrong”, the stage has been set for division.
What is true in individual relationships is equally applicable to groups. When we decide it is better to be right than to understand, we have chosen the path of division. Once divided, it’s more difficult to find connection and mutual respect. It’s as if territory has been staked out and it’s assumed each side is motivated to protect their position above all else. No matter what you may say or even do at that point, your motivation will be in question. So the best time to stop division is before it even starts. Sounds easier than it may be in practice.
In the long run, division is unhealthy. If you are motivated by love and respect, there is no room for division. The old Lincoln saying that a house divided cannot stand starts within. When you are internally divided, you cannot stand. It’s not possible to segment yourself into separate territories. Division also has long-term implications for your physical and emotional health. Holistic living calls us to respect the views and perceptions of others. It doesn’t mean we have to accept or even approve of different views, only that we’re willing to allow others to hold their views without judging them or their motivation as we have no true way of seeing into their hearts. When we get to the point that we love without conditions, we will find the path to heal any division that exists and to avoid separation in the future.
So it all starts with you. When you feel the walls within you going up, ask yourself this simple question. Is being right or feeling righteous in this moment more important than the relationship? Will you be building bridges or erecting walls? What purpose does division serve in this situation? Are you willing to respect that others may not share the same perspective yet are still lovable and worthy of being treated fairly.
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