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Finding Sameness in Our Difference

HeartChain

The human body has three primary layers of skin. Beneath the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, that provides a waterproof barrier and creates our skin color, we’re basically the same. So, I believe as human beings who’ve been to the moon, cured diseases, shot a telescope into outer space, we are perfectly capable of collectively moving ourselves forward on the emotional evolutionary scale by honestly admitting we do not have a race, homophobia, or gender relations problem. We own up to the fact we have a respect problem.

We do not respect one another’s differences. We do not respect one another’s sameness. We do not have compassion for one another’s challenges. We do not listen to one another to understand each other.  We do learn about other cultures and religions, about the biological causes of sexual orientation and gender dysphoria, so we can better relate to one another in intelligent and informed ways. We do not learn about the endless things that make us, other people, and the world tick. We do not press pass the boundaries of our comfort zone.

We are not critically looking at the limiting, judgmental beliefs we were taught about one another that we are choosing to perpetuate. We are not assuming responsibility for the different choices we can now make as adults to create the world we say we want.

We’re talking a good game about our faith and religious beliefs while judging one another in the name of God and looking for someone else to lead the way to peace on earth. But, leading the way, to be responsible for our choices, is exactly what walking a spiritual path or following a religious faith is all about. If we are truly a world of believers in a power greater than ourselves, the time has come for us to walk our talk and choose to treat other people as we want to be treated.

I am white but I did not choose my color.  You may be black or brown but you did not choose your color. I am gay but I did not choose my sexual orientation.  Most likely you are straight but you did not choose your sexual orientation either.

I was born in the U.S. to an unwed teenage mother but I did not choose my mother or my birth country.  You may have been born in a different country but you did not choose your birth country either. I was adopted. Maybe you were too.

I was raised Christian. You may have been raised Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or Atheist. Growing up I had friends from different ethnic groups. Maybe you were raised to accept others too.  I was encouraged to learn and to ask questions about the world. You may have been taught to be inquisitive too. Getting a good formal education, exposing myself to difference to find sameness was encouraged in my home. Possibly these were encourage in your home too.

As children we do not come out of the womb knowing how to navigate in the world, to gather facts before making decisions, and to weigh the consequences of our actions.  We are not born with the values that shape us into respectful, responsible, and contributing members of our family and social units. We must learn what to value and how to behave so we get along as a human family, how to care for, nurture and preserve all life, and how to help one another on this journey called life.

Everyone on the planet desires to have belongingness, status, recognition, and personal power. If we grow up without a sense of belongingness or without feeling support and acceptance, we seek groups with whom to associate where we do get support and acceptance.  If we do not feel we have status and recognition among our peers we seek to find those elsewhere.  If we do not have the power to make our own decisions to be an active participant in the direction of our life we seek to find power by other means.

Children do not enter the world as harbingers of hate, prejudice and ignorance.  When a child lacks healthy exposure to a variety of people and experiences, to an education which excites the imagination, to a family unit and friends where he feels like an important part, to values that result in positive behavior, he will look for somewhere to belong. Without the skill of discernment any port becomes a refuge from the storm of an abused, uninteresting, tough, and neglected life.  Children are sponges soaking up what is around them. They either absorb love, acceptance, and a sense of belongingness or they feel abandoned, unworthy, and unimportant.

If we do not grow up being exposed to the vast wonders of the world and to the beautiful tapestry of our different human being’s colors, beliefs, cultures, and customs we only trust what we’ve been allowed to see.  If we do not grow up encouraged to associate with people of other religions, other races, other socio-economic groups, as adults we tend to associate with those people who look like us, believe what we believe, and interact with those who have the same standard of living we do.

We must be taught to value others, to have compassion, to be respectful, helpful, and kind. We cannot find sameness in our differences if we’re being taught to judge, to elevate ourselves above others, to fear difference, to disrespect who other people are, and to devalue what they care for.

White people who hate and judge are ignorant. They are run by a fear-based, narrow minded, and victimized view of the world. Black and brown people who hate are no different.

Regardless of skin color people who chose to participate in animosity and divisiveness are ignorant. Their ignorance is a result of refusing to open their eyes and hearts to anything other than their narrow and biased point of view. Those with a closed heart and judging minds will always be part of the problem while deluding themselves into thinking they are being the solution.  The solution they see is one-sided, based upon what they were taught to believe. But, narrow-minded prevents a big picture view.

All of this is to say prejudice, hate, homophobia, xenophobia are learned behaviors.  People are taught how to behave and what to believe. Those who are disrespectful will never win the respect they so desperately seek. Respect, like trust, is earned. And being respected is not the same as being feared or liked.

To move our collective emotional evolution forward, to have our heart be an equal partner with our technological growth, we must teach ourselves and our children to love.  I know this sounds like a spiritual guru’s pat answer. But only because it is the right answer; one enlightened teachers have been sharing with the world for millennia.  But now, to walk the talk, we must listen.

Hate and prejudice will only be solved by elevating the emotional consciousness of the planet.  So yes, this is a spiritual responsibility but one that has been supported by all the emotionally conscious heroes among us. Albert Einstein wisely said, “Problems cannot be solved with the same level of awareness that created them.”

That means discernment is different than suspicion. Self-protection is different than instigating violence. And increasing exposure to the best of what different cultures, genders, ages, and races has to offer is setting children up for an open-minded and open-hearted attitude about those who are different.

Along with instruction on how to protect themselves, how to stand up for what’s right, we need to give children tools to do so in a peaceful and productive manner.  We must show them how to deal with anger in constructive ways and how to turn off hate-filled propaganda. We can only teach what we know and practice.

We are human beings who must learn to live together as one big, often dysfunctional, but always respectful and non-violent family. Devoted to the heart-evolving path of finding sameness in our difference.

RYS 090: How to Make Albert Einstein Proud

In this Episode:

 

Have you noticed there are some truly rude and self-centered folks out there? Their actions are those of people who seem to care only for what they want, where they are going, how fast they need to get there, and what they are doing.

• We can’t continue to point the finger of blame at other people if we choose to fight rudeness with more rudeness.
• We gain nothing positive from lowering ourselves to how someone else chooses to behave.
• Treating other people as we want to be treated does not mean waiting for them to go first.

 

Romancing Your Soul ™ is a show where Regina gives you the keys to create a joyful life. In a world filled with limitless challenges and stress, who can listeners count on for real-life solutions? Just check in with Regina Cates, acclaimed author, positivity junkie. Regina is a champion of heart whose common sense tips will make your relationships better, your communication clearer, and your boundaries healthier.

 

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To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:

 

Click Here to Subscribe Via iTunes

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Leave a Review for the Podcast

If you haven’t left a review I would greatly appreciate it if you would take a minute to leave a rating and review of my podcast on iTunes by clicking on the link below! It’s extremely helpful for the show and getting my positive words out worldwide.

As a ‘Thank you Gift’ for your review, please send a email with “I left a review” in the subject line to: Regina@RomancingYourSoul.com letting me know you left a review, and I will send you my pdf on “How-to Set Boundaries Out of Love for Yourself”.

To leave a review, click HERE. When you get to the next page, click the blue button “Listen in iTunes”, listen to an episode, and click on “Ratings and Reviews” across from my photo. I am grateful for your review!

To receive a FREE chapter of my book “Lead With Your Heart”. Fill in your name and email under…Join Our Heart Family and Receive a FREE Gift! Click HERE.

 

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Put Your Heart Into What You Do

koi fish

This is an origami Koi fish created by a friend of mine who works in the medical field. She is an expert at origami as a hobby and creates many beautiful things. She says creating this Koi fish takes her the longest amount of time and it is the hardest. About six hours. WOW! Such patience and dedication for something she does just for fun.

I asked why she spends so much time doing these when her other creations take much less time. With a huge smile she replied, “Because they are the most challenging and take the most time.” Simple yet profound wisdom from an artist who reminded me  satisfaction and joy come from putting our heart into what we enjoy; no matter how long it takes.

You’ve heard the saying anything worth doing is worth doing well. No matter what you do in life put yourself into it. Be passionate about your hobbies, the everyday chores you must do, and the times you play just for fun. The quality of life truly is found in the moments we are fully immersed in what we are doing. We feel life move through us to create, to enjoy.

 

RYS-089: Pay Attention When God Speaks

In this Episode:

 

Each of us has access to an aware, watchful, and protective guidance inside us. To benefit from its direction, we learn to trust that our inner intuitive wisdom is more accurate than the information offered by our often biased and self-centered minds.

• Our thoughts will discount our heart-wisdom because when fear is allowed to enter into a decision making process we are no longer open to hear the guidance of soul.
• When it is truly our heart/soul/gut offering guidance it will feel peaceful, clear and it will always just feel like the right thing to do.
• Divine guidance always feels calm and certain even when our wise inner gut voice is advising us to take an action exactly opposite of what our mind is telling us to do.

 

Romancing Your Soul ™ is a show where Regina gives you the keys to create a joyful life. In a world filled with limitless challenges and stress, who can listeners count on for real-life solutions? Just check in with Regina Cates, acclaimed author, positivity junkie. Regina is a champion of heart whose common sense tips will make your relationships better, your communication clearer, and your boundaries healthier.

 

Regina PC cover 300x300

 

 

To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:

 

Click Here to Subscribe Via iTunes

Click Here to Subscribe Via Stitcher

 

Leave a Review for the Podcast

If you haven’t left a review I would greatly appreciate it if you would take a minute to leave a rating and review of my podcast on iTunes by clicking on the link below! It’s extremely helpful for the show and getting my positive words out worldwide.

As a ‘Thank you Gift’ for your review, please send a email with “I left a review” in the subject line to: Regina@RomancingYourSoul.com letting me know you left a review, and I will send you my pdf on “How-to Set Boundaries Out of Love for Yourself”.

To leave a review, click HERE. When you get to the next page, click the blue button “Listen in iTunes”, listen to an episode, and click on “Ratings and Reviews” across from my photo. I am grateful for your review!

To receive a FREE chapter of my book “Lead With Your Heart”. Fill in your name and email under…Join Our Heart Family and Receive a FREE Gift! Click HERE.

 

Follow us on Facebook HERE

 

Acts of Kindness Change the World

Acts-of-Kindness

I was walking my little dog Ruby when we came upon a shattered glass bottle. Sharp shards of clear glass were strewn several feet across the entire width of the sidewalk. I carefully picked her up and went around. When we finished our walk and returned to the apartment I got a broom, dust pan and paper bag. I lined the bottom of the bag with a thick newspaper and in big red letters wrote “Careful broken glass,” on the outside of the bag. Then I headed back over to the next block with my clean up tools in hand.

I bent down and picked up the big pieces. Then I spent 5 or so minutes carefully cleaning up the small shards that had fallen into the grass.  I finished by sweeping up the length of sidewalk and stairs leading up to the apartment building where the bottle had broken.

As I returned home I felt a great sense of peaceful satisfaction. In taking time to clean up the glass I realized the majority of my contentment with life comes from doing what I can to make a positive difference. It makes my heart sing to think I may have prevented a person, or child, or pet from being hurt.

Each and every time we do something positive we feel good. And the truth is, feeling good from lending a helping hand when we see something that needs to be done is addictive, in a very heart-healthy way.

RYS 088: Embrace and Nurture the Little Wounded You

In this Episode:

 

There are two parts to each of us. The adult part that is responsible, kind, compassionate, and understanding. And a wounded child part that behaves like an irresponsible and emotionally immature brat.

• The wounded child part of us does not know better to do better.
• Our childlike side does not have the skills to create healthy adult relationships.
• Our adult side is totally capable of learning how to take the lead to create our best life.

 

Romancing Your Soul ™ is a show where Regina gives you the keys to create a joyful life. In a world filled with limitless challenges and stress, who can listeners count on for real-life solutions? Just check in with Regina Cates, acclaimed author, positivity junkie. Regina is a champion of heart whose common sense tips will make your relationships better, your communication clearer, and your boundaries healthier.

 

Regina PC cover 300x300

 

 

To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:

 

Click Here to Subscribe Via iTunes

Click Here to Subscribe Via Stitcher

 

Leave a Review for the Podcast

If you haven’t left a review I would greatly appreciate it if you would take a minute to leave a rating and review of my podcast on iTunes by clicking on the link below! It’s extremely helpful for the show and getting my positive words out worldwide.

As a ‘Thank you Gift’ for your review, please send a email with “I left a review” in the subject line to: Regina@RomancingYourSoul.com letting me know you left a review, and I will send you my pdf on “How-to Set Boundaries Out of Love for Yourself”.

To leave a review, click HERE. When you get to the next page, click the blue button “Listen in iTunes”, listen to an episode, and click on “Ratings and Reviews” across from my photo. I am grateful for your review!

To receive a FREE chapter of my book “Lead With Your Heart”. Fill in your name and email under…Join Our Heart Family and Receive a FREE Gift! Click HERE.

 

Follow us on Facebook HERE

 

From Me to We

Sad dog with funnel

Have you ever seen a dog with a plastic collar? Sometimes they must wear it after surgery or when they have an injury so they do not lick a wound. But the collar severely restricts their vision to only what is directly ahead of them.

For many years I went through life wearing an invisible collar. My focus was so narrow I could only see my point of view. My thoughts, preferences, desires, and goals were the only ones that mattered. What other people thought or felt was not important because I was always right. My egocentric tunnel vision view caused me to believe I was the center of the universe. But living alone with my personal importance was not satisfying or easy. It seemed I was always in conflict. I had to defend myself against people who challenged me. I found fault, tore other people down in a need to be better, different, and special. It was a lonely and angry way to live.

One day someone close to me had the courage to tell me how self-absorbed and narrow minded I was. At first I was defensively angry. Later I realized I was hurt and embarrassed. Eventually I became grateful because she was right.

It was the painful wake-up call I needed to take off my “it’s all about me” collar. Only when I was free from the narrow view of “me” did my heart open so I appreciate the greater wisdom and power of “we.”

RYS 087: How to Make a Relationship Last

In this Episode:

 

On June 2 my mom and dad celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary. Over their sixty seven years together they weathered betrayal, affairs, learning one of their daughters is gay, and financial challenges. How did they manage to make their relationship last?

• Begin with a solid foundation of shared values.
• Stay focused on the commitment.
• Let each other know they are wanted and valued.

 

Romancing Your Soul ™ is a show where Regina gives you the keys to create a joyful life. In a world filled with limitless challenges and stress, who can listeners count on for real-life solutions? Just check in with Regina Cates, acclaimed author, positivity junkie. Regina is a champion of heart whose common sense tips will make your relationships better, your communication clearer, and your boundaries healthier.

 

Regina PC cover 300x300

 

 

To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:

 

Click Here to Subscribe Via iTunes

Click Here to Subscribe Via Stitcher

 

Leave a Review for the Podcast

If you haven’t left a review I would greatly appreciate it if you would take a minute to leave a rating and review of my podcast on iTunes by clicking on the link below! It’s extremely helpful for the show and getting my positive words out worldwide.

As a ‘Thank you Gift’ for your review, please send a email with “I left a review” in the subject line to: Regina@RomancingYourSoul.com letting me know you left a review, and I will send you my pdf on “How-to Set Boundaries Out of Love for Yourself”.

To leave a review, click HERE. When you get to the next page, click the blue button “Listen in iTunes”, listen to an episode, and click on “Ratings and Reviews” across from my photo. I am grateful for your review!

To receive a FREE chapter of my book “Lead With Your Heart”. Fill in your name and email under…Join Our Heart Family and Receive a FREE Gift! Click HERE.

 

Follow us on Facebook HERE

 

The Power of a Paper Clip

paper clips

I have an unusual habit – picking up paper clips I find on the sidewalk. My partner, Barbara, will confirm that no matter how twisted or tarnished or embedded in a sidewalk crack, I insist on picking up the clip. I take it home and put it with my ever-growing collection.  I do so for a very good and heart-filling reason. Several years ago I was deeply moved by the documentary Paper Clips about Whitwell Middle School’s extraordinary experiment in Holocaust education.

Struggling to grasp the concept of six-million European Jewish and other victims, the students decided to collect six-million paper clips to better understand the extent of the Holocaust. By the time they were finished the children had collected many more, closer representing the millions of people in other groups who also were victims of the genocide. So each time I see a paper clip it tugs at my heart, and I pick it up, put it in my pocket, and take it home to honor the victims, and those incredible children.

Often it is the smallest things that remind us of the what is most important in life.  I encourage you to watch the film. Then I challenge you to begin picking up the paper clips you find. It is an unusual practice that will always satisfy your soul.