There is so much talk about how divided, tribal, isolated and separate we are becoming. At a time when science, technology and authentic religion point to our obvious interconnected oneness, voices cry out that there must be some kind of mistake. But there is no mistake. We are all cut from the same cloth. We are kin, woven together with everything and everybody.
The problem with accepting the truth of our undeniable kinship is that it is always followed by a sense of civil responsibility. It is far easier to go with the lie of separateness. When we recognize brothers and sisters in one another, there comes a call to compassionate action restorative justice, and mercy. It no longer makes sense to hate, to seek retribution or to find a scapegoat. Good families work together to find solutions for differences because our relationships have a firm foundation of love.
“We carry the whole world in our hearts, the oppression of all people, the suffering of our friends, the burdens of our enemies, the raping of the earth, the hunger of the starving, the joyous expectation every laughing child has a right to.” ~ Sister Joan Chittister
It wasn’t until I discovered the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) that the full realization of my oneness with the struggles of others really hit me. Although my lifework had been working with children who suffered unimaginable abuse, none of my counsel seemed to apply to me or connected to my own woundedness. Forced by the consequences of drowning my sorrows in booze, I stumbled into AA. It was a remarkable experience. Men and women freely and intimately joined in a common oneness surrounding their most devastating tragedies. They forged an alliance and healing community. I left with a sense that everyone on the planet should join AA whether they ever had a drinking problem or not. The result for me was that I became a better counselor and a better human being.
This acceptance and acting out of our undeniable kinship is often referred to as “oneing”, a term first used by Julian of Norwich in the fifteenth century. Bill Wilson and AA figured it out in the 1940s. Once pursued, nothing short of it will ever satisfy you again. When fully embraced it will change your life and it will change the world.