I have always wanted and loved to travel, and it has become almost a spiritual quest at this point. I am being taught lessons about myself, about survival and about what I don’t need in life. I have learned the difference between wants (ego based) and needs (Divine provided for growth). My ego is being stripped bare, my will is being challenged, and my faith is being tested. Every place I have stayed, I have learned lessons and faced realities I had no idea existed.
Currently, I am staying in beautiful Amish country in Pennsylvania where the people are kind, they are respectful of the land and each other and they embrace God’s love. They are true stewards of the land and God’s word. Yet, a mere 15- and 30-minute ride away are cities (Lancaster and Harrisburg) which have become cesspools of hatred, intolerance, discrimination, and cruelty. How can this be? How can such beauty lie side by side with such ugliness?
It’s because of God, baby. The Amish have embraced the true meaning of THE WORD. They respect the gifts they have been given, they respect each other and each other’s life. From a young age, their children are taught to release their ego, surrender their will (understanding that God’s will is and will always win out over human will), and they have faith they will be taken care of and provided, and seeing their homes and farms, it is clear this is so. In New Hampshire, I discovered the beauty of Catholicism being led to two beautiful nuns and a Deacon who opened amazing teachings to me. I also met some beautiful spiritual beings at another church in Massachusetts as well as one in Etna, Maine. So, there are souls who understand. I was taught lessons of graced and humility from them.
Kindness and respect are hallmarks of their daily lives. Yet right next door, cruelty and disrespect run rampant.
I have been called the ugliest and vulgar names imaginable since I have been up here in Pennsylvania; I witnessed incredible selfish and cruel behavior in Maine, I have witnessed soul debilitating substance abuse in New Hampshire (including my daughter), I witnessed white privilege so rank it stuck like rancid honey all over Newport, Rhode Island. All these horrible human behaviors amid incredible God-given beauty. Ego is toxic and rampant everywhere. ME ME ME first. You see it in daily behavior, you see it in anger, you see it in manipulation and cheating. You see it in cruelty. Everywhere I go, it seems I am shown the natural beauty and God’s gifts and then shown the human ugliness and destruction of these gifts. Kindness, love, and respect are gifts. Embrace them.
You can’t vote this hatred away, you can’t cover it up with toxic positivity, you can’t excuse it. It’s not excusable, someone who tries to make you lose your job or says soul crushing insults to your face is not just having a bad day. They are controlled by their toxic ego into thinking they have the right to take joy and happiness from other people if it benefits them financially or makes them feel momentarily better about themselves in comparison to someone they have destroyed. You can only rid the world of this by being good. And no one wants to hear that. Each and every one of us needs to release ego (we are not as individually special as we think we are), surrender our will (accept that the Divine knows what he/she is doing and accept the will of a higher power instead of our own very infallible human will), and have faith that the Divine has a plan (trust that by letting go of ego and surrendering will, we will be drawn to the right path). And we need to be willing to call out bad behavior no matter what the response is.
We are on the path to self-destruction. If everyone does not start praying or meditating to release this toxic hatred that is destroying our planet.
As I was driving back to the campsite last night, I again was caught behind a horse and buggy and for a brief moment, I was annoyed at being slowed down when it dawned on me.
Maybe we should go back to horse and buggy transportation. It would eliminate road rage. You can easily road rage behind the wheel of a car; but it is much harder to road rage behind the ass of a horse.
Julie O’Hara 2022