Updated: Mar 22, 2018
It's a busy time for Essence Health and Research and Christian Middle Church (two businesses as one), and in the work to get out there into the community officially, I have started a few video teachings/blog posts to celebrate women during March. I sensed that 2018 would be both a year of action and marching against the grain, and if you are a pioneer like I am, you know that staying motivated, healthy, cleansed, and renewed is part of your story. After all, as a pioneer, you are leading the way, especially in times when a culture may not want to change in its ways. Yet, we know it can happen, and many of us out there are making our footprints, supporting the good work of getting our communities and our culture in the way of God (Love) and jumpstarting new impacts and innovations in health, science, research, thinking, and discernment. I started this month off teaching about Abiding, a concept of dwelling inside, and then followed it by a series of good questions for the divisions of our current times. The Rising of integrity and right action is the response. You don't have to look far for that response, Just look at a nationwide calling by Parkland, FL student generation and you'll see that we need a wake-up call. So, let's get at it.
Today's question: Why don't people do what is right?
In the teaching video above, I talk about five (5) good pointers to get at this question with answers, and even some of the frustration, tension, and resistance that you'll run up against trying to get there. It doesn't have to be the big stuff, it can be in the little stuff of the day in just trying to work together to get something done, One of my jobs is working for a corporation, and as you know, working for a large corporation requires some foundations of common ground understanding to get into teamwork. It's just the way it goes when you sign up for the job. When I work for someone else, I'm learning the lay of the land, I'm learning rules or guideposts, I'm learning policy, and I'm learning culture. Wherever you are, there is that element involved. You have to learn how to function. Not everyone is on the same team though as you may find out, and you'll see differences in opinions, values, and ways of doing things. Yet, there's always a deeper way of right that is involved too regardless of all of these differences, and it usually meets in the middle.
What are some things to consider in why people don't do what is right and how to get back on track?
1. You have to give something up. This could be something physical (purging the closet), a bad habit (waiting 2 weeks to do the dishes), or something symbolic (pride, fear, etc).
2. They think they are in charge. (This sits in the boat with #3)
3. Power vs. Authority vs. God struggles
5. They don't know how to do what is right. (this could be situational or lack of awareness)
In the teaching video, I talk more about these five ideas and you might be surprised about what is really going on and how to look deeper into these important cues and signs. If you want to learn more please listen to the video above!
Some wise indigenous medical perspectives...
I also mentioned in the teaching video that I was going to add more to this, and recently I was studying indigenous medicine and healing practices in much more depth as part of an integrative nursing class. So, I'm going to link some of those ideas with some biblical scripture here because it's important to get at this from a God sense. God shows up in our culture, in all of it, not just in the bible. I'm convinced that we are missing out when we reject learning of cultures and religions because they don't belong to you. There are many similar ideas that might help you understand the common ground even better rather than just sticking to traditional thought.
In integrative medicine, there is a deeper thought going on as to why we as people become imbalanced. Many ancient systems of medicine see the body and the environment as an interactive and inter-relating system. Our body is a system and the environment is a system and together we are another system. So, everything is influenced by the other, and I might say the work we do to either protect or resist being influenced or affected will also tell a story about our health.
There is a concept in the Navajo American Indian culture of Hózhó (wellbeing, harmony, beauty) and Hóchxó (disharmony, evil, ignorance, or chaos) (1). Since these were the first people in our country of the United States, I thought it important to reach deeper into an ancient wisdom to source the answers for these times. In ancient medicine philosophies (American Indian, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, etc), the foundation is harmony and ease in our being, spirit, and body. Hóchxó is caused by any element that is disrupting the mental, emotional, psychological, physical, and soul health.
In American Indian culture, the soul is vitally important because native healers cannot be a conduit of healing if their own souls are not healed, and I believe that is true of us all (2). In order for us to make a stronger individual and collective impact, the healing of the soul matters. Native healers conduct "footprint ceremonies" as a way to heal from trauma and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and to put the trauma behind in order to invite the deep essence of your purpose in (2). We are in these kinds of times. The healing of our country is taking place while at the same time coming up against the civil war resisting the change. Bullets, volatility, and words are flying. We need to start to make sense again, and it is the drive of all indigenous medicine and the soul, as well as God's work.
Christ's simple message was one of turning toward....a turning toward Love (God). We make this extremely complicated. I'm not a particularly religious person, I'm spiritual so when I came across these scriptures, I found them important because of how I am made. It steers us toward what is right, what is good, what is healthy for us. It takes us out of disharmony on the soul and into harmony.
James 4:17 ESV
So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
Romans 12:21 ESV
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
"Do the best you can until you know better.
Then when you know better, do better.”
Do you see some similarities? It's important for us to understand God better. When teachings in religion teach us to fight and compete instead of doing better and joining together in the forces of good, we achieve chaos rather than right action. When we disrespect the common good and each other, we achieve chaos rather than harmony. When we refuse the common ground, the ability to get the good thing done is getting lost. To do the right thing requires us to look within, abide, heal, and go forth with purpose. I believe we can get there, but it is a choice.
Found/Tonight: "No matter what they tell you...tomorrow there will be more of us...."
A song called "Found/Tonight" is given to us as a support for the March For Our Lives happening this weekend, March 24, 2018, as a call for better gun sense regulation and enactment of laws and protections against senseless gun violence. It's a fight for what is better and a footprint in the healing of our country from what is unjust, senseless, and traumatic. It's a step forward in our purpose together. Let's join together in support, goodness, proaction, and transformation. Let's do better because we know better.
(1) Kahn-John (Diné), M. and Koithan, M. (2016). Living in health, harmony, and beauty: The Diné (Navajo) Hózhó wellness philosophy. Global Advances in Health and Medicine, 4(3), 24-30.
(2) Institute of Traditional Medicine World. (2013, January 2). PTSD and Native American Medicine. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scAgN__svvY.
Note: I am currently seeing that other churches in the Sammamish, WA area have begun to use my work to create sermons without citing or giving credit. I have brought this up before and this is considered plagiarism. If you plan to use any form of my ideas or work for your teachings, please reach out to Jennifer Coomes at firstname.lastname@example.org for permission to collaborate in synergy since credit and payment will be due to Essence Health and Research LLC if it is discovered that this original work is being used without citation/credit. It is my hopes to encourage sound ethics with Christian Middle Church practices and good business is one of those ways to promote better culture in times of division. Thank you for respecting this request. ~Jennifer