SHINE: Affirm by the Spirit — Affirm Oneness, Make the Connection

SHINE! … By the Spirit™ with Tonya M. Evans

Affirm Oneness, Make the Connection

© 2011 Tonya M. Evans

March 30, 2011

AFFIRM: I am one in Spirit with all people.

Every Sunday morning, I take a longer pause than in my daily ritual to pray and to meditate. I gather various spiritual texts, as well as e-mails, videos, magazines, notes on little scraps of paper or typed into the Notes app on my iPod Touch that I’ve flagged throughout the week as must-reads for my special time. Part of this Sunday’s materials included Sunday morning’s Daily Word. It began with the affirmation: “I am one in Spirit with all people.”

At first I flagged it as a potential starting point for one of my April By The Spirit™ posts because April’s theme is “Connect … By the Spirit.” But the affirmation resonated strongly with me on Sunday morning because I’d also just watched a “TED presentation” by Brené Brown that SPEAK Contributor Erica Hawthorne shared with the group. Brené Brown is a vulnerability researcher at the University of Houston and a renowned public speaker who studies authenticity, shame and courage. In this particular presentation, she focuses on the transformative concept of vulnerability as an essential precursor to authentic connection. A link to the presentation is provided at the end of this post.

Suddenly it became clearer to me– if not consciously, at least intuitively – that in order to truly CONNECT, first we must AFFIRM our relatedness.

We must recognize that our earthly experience of separateness is meant only to lead us back to the truth of our divine interrelatedness. Perhaps this human experience is intended to affirm our need to actively pursue and to maintain connection in our lives with each other, our world and with God, especially in times like these when so much of our daily experience here on earth seems to focus on and encourage us to be separate.

“Me,” “mine,” “my” and sometimes “I” are lauded as better than common, communal and community. We’ve even invented “virtual” social communities (social media, electronic communications, text messaging and so forth) that we use to “communicate” even when we are in walking or shouting distance of the very people we are actually communicating with! Admit it. It’s not just me, right? We’ve all had the experience where we are tweeting or texting or “chatting” online or reviewing Facebook updates about people who just might be under the very same roof or even in the same room.

But maybe … just maybe, all of this virtual community and faux individuality is leading us back to the truth of our need for, and indeed actual connection to, each other as a reflection of our ultimate connection to our Creator. Simply a reminder that this earthly experience is a brief blip in “time” where we see ourselves as the creation apart from the Creator; a loving lesson-filled journey back to the oneness we never left. In the same way the wave never leaves the ocean.

To truly be prepared to CONNECT you must first AFFIRM oneness; that is, the absence of separation. This can be a great challenge in a culture focused so acutely on form; the separation of the great ‘we’ by defining “I” and “you” and “it” and making everything outside of ourselves the “other”. By categorizing and relegating any and everything and everyone by physical characteristics, geography, pedigree, finance, education, religion, genus and species. We worship individuality with a dogged commitment to the platitude “a place for everything and everything in its [separate] place.” Yes, God is penultimate example of order. But God is also the omnipresent reminder of oneness.

We do take on a certain, unique physical form in this realm. Even twins have some essential spark of uniqueness. But at our core, we are one. We all sprang forth from the same timeless, formless Creator and to it we all return. Remember … we are both the wave and the ocean.

So (continuing the theme of affirmatively praying God’s Word), AFFIRM the following biblical passage that reminds us that we are one, we are connected:

You are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind.–Philippians 1:27

[Brene Brown’s 20 min. video now!]

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