As I find myself approaching another new year, I'm hearing and reading a lot less about "new year's resolutions" than usual. Instead, I'm sensing a deeper yearning for transformational planetary change -- the kind of change we can't accomplish with SMART goals. This year the questions "When did things go so wrong?" and "How did we become so divided?" are on the minds of so many people.
To offer a vague answer, we have always been divided and we have always had an underbelly of hatred, greed, pride, and other such vices, which are just symptoms of separation. We've chosen to live in separation -- from our Divine natures, from each other, and from God -- and we allow it to define all aspects of our lives. But, separation is a choice and in every conscious moment we have the opportunity to make a different decision.
And so we can decide to shift our focus toward living in the spirit of unity. While we can't make this decision for others, each of us can make an individual choice to do so. Personal unity is always within our reach. Each person who makes this decision raises his or her vibration, which positively impacts the planet's vibration.
I have also heard - and been guilty of saying myself - that 2016's end can't come soon enough. As if 2017 will be a fresh slate without the problems of 2016. It is easy to make 2016 out to be one of the worst years in recorded history. It is equally easy to make 2016 one of the best. If you list only the negative things that happened, this will be your experience. But then, if you list only positive things, this will be your experience. In this light, the year 2016 becomes something entirely different: a matter of perspective.
I don't mean to wash away the unsavory aspects of our world and the real problems that we face. Our spiritual work is cut out for us as a new political leader transitions into power in the US. Many wonder how we can maintain progress with social justice and continue to encourage more compassionate living. As Charles Fillmore, founder of the Unity Church, said, "Look for the good in every person -- and you will find it."
As we move forward into 2017, let us be guided by Fillmore's words. Finding the good in everyone may seem a difficult (if not impossible) task until we consider this: we may choose to fill our hearts with hate or with compassion. A hateful heart will eat one alive, doing far more damage to the one choosing to feel hate and anger than to any others. However, a heart of compassion will lift one's vibration and will positively affect those around them. Compassion is the better choice.