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Rainbow Light

BY Parvati

Image credit: Jes Mugley

As I prepare for Parvati.org’s free yoga and music event on July 11 at 11am at Trinity St. Paul’s Centre as part of Al Gore’s Climate Reality visit to Toronto, I see a rainbow light shining hope in a world still full of darkness. I love rainbows, one of the many reasons I have created my new website around the theme of light through a prism and its rainbow refracted colours. Rainbows can remind us of the varied hues it takes to create the full spectrum of light. Though we perceive multiplicity, in reality we are unified as one.
On Friday, President Obama delivered the eulogy of the funeral of Clementa Pinckney, one of nine people murdered in the shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church last week. It was a goosebump moment. His speech was compelling as he spoke from the heart and from his faith, not simply as a politician. When he broke out into an impromptu “Amazing Grace”, the crowd was on its feet singing along.
Also on Friday, the White House was lit in full colour, celebrating the Supreme Court ruling to legalize same-sex marriage, which will put an end to same-sex marriage bans in the 14 states that still maintained them. The ruling concluded with these words, now shared virally all over the world:
No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.
It has been 37 years since the first openly gay man was elected to American public office. He was shot in 1978 for trying to give voice to a new way of perceiving people and community. Harvey Milk, the most famous and significantly open LGBT official ever elected in the United States, was a visionary who set about creating the righteous world imagined possible.
Just as no two snowflakes are the same, no two flowers or leaves on a tree are identical. So too, no two humans are the same. As we evolve, we are learning to see beyond the limitation of our five-sense perceptions that sees things in singular colour bandwidths, and look deeper into understanding our inherent interconnection within a greater totality – the whole of which we are a part, our rainbow unity. Just as every flower and every spider are part of a vibrant jungle, so too is every shape, size and orientation of each person part of our one Earth family.
But most of us lose sight of our inherent flow within a changing whole. We strive to control our environment, and invest in living in a box where we have to get things right and fit into a narrow idea of our self, of others, or of the Divine. In reality, there is no box and there is no-thing to get right. Yet, in fear, we make the box our reality.
Though most world religions, politics and scientific fields promote love, acceptance and tolerance, these very sources of understanding have often been used throughout history as tools to justify persecuting those who don’t fit into a ready-made box. Somehow, a little bit of knowledge is often a dangerous thing. People will preach certain parts of the Bible, the Constitution, or scientific evidence to justify their means.
We need to ask questions, inquire into how we may be making assumptions about life, health, community and reality as a whole. We need to question our ideas about who we are, how we interrelate, and what love is. Love is not a contractual arrangement, but a profound focus on the light that is the substratum beyond our personalities, likes and dislikes. It is the very fabric that ties us all together.
In a world where our deepest poverty is the lack of love, with family structures broken, divorce rates high, violence rampant, anything that supports heartfelt presence and a commitment to love is a good thing. When we support each individual being their most natural and loving self, we support the greater whole. So “yes!” to same-sex marriage!
It is important to remember that there is a very significant difference between wanting and love. Wanting someone else to fill you up, or to make you whole, will not work in any relationship — gay, straight, married or not. When we love, we do not want. In love, we surrender our ego to a greater good, to a greater whole, in a healthy, balanced way founded on respect, kindness, and humility.
I am very happy for everyone celebrating Pride this week! What an amazing time to be alive, and what a great week to celebrate same-sex relationships! Yet, if I had a magic wand, I would change the name from “Pride” to “Relaxed Beingness”. Ok, not as catchy – but this is why:
The concept of pride may seem to be the antidote to shame. Toxic shame is a bondage that poisons our lives, work, relationships, our sense of self. It thwarts our natural brilliance and joy. Those with same-sex attraction have experienced generations of being shamed. But to be truly free and experience joy in who we are, we need to move beyond the perception of oppression.
When we live our life in opposition to something, such as by assuming the identity of pride in order to push back against shame, we are still reacting to an energy of oppression. Those who oppress are in a deluded state of ignorance. We don’t need to define ourselves in relation to them. I explore this in length in my blog series Being In the Wake of Violence. To be in a state of beingness is to rest in knowing our own true value.
The word “pride” is about relishing in “mine” and implies an againstness, as I say in my soon to be released book “Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie”. Having a relaxed sense of self is healthy. But to relish in “mine” pushes others away and inflates the illusion of separateness, rather than deepens our awareness of interconnection.
So my wish for you now and always, whatever your orientation, whatever your belief, is that you experience the joy and richness of being fully yourself, free from fear, shame, judgment and wanting. You are a flower or a tree or a snowflake in this amazing Earth garden. You are a light ray within the rainbow. You are also the whole light spectrum. May the light of true love and compassion that is your true nature illuminate your world with vibrant colors. May you radiate the light of love and share it equally with all beings, including yourself.
Until next time,
Love yourself.
Love others.
Love our world.
We are one Earth family.
Namaste,
Parvati