On a recent Oprah show, a woman was sharing how she had invested all the savings she had, all the retirement money she and her husband both had, in a bakery, which was to be their dream of a business. However the savings were flying out the window and the business was almost belly up.  Oprah asked her what she could be thankful for.  The woman had no reply. Oprah asked her, “Could you be thankful that you are breathing?”  “Yes”, the woman shook her head, she could do that, but she didn’t seem any happier.

I could feel the pain this woman was in, the suffering of losing her seemingly safe financial future, and the dream she had of being a successful business owner. Oprah asks if she could be happy for family and friends. She shrugged, with pain crossing her face. It sums up the fact that the family has been constantly fighting, and she wasn’t sure the family was a blessing.

Later that same day, an ad for a World War II documentary came on. It flashed a woman running thru a city, bombs behind her.  I felt her struggle too (one of the many blessings about being an empath). The city she lived in: gone to rubble.  Not being safe walking out in public, shrapnel strewn about, that woman had little to be thankful for. It was obvious she had lost family that the city businesses weren’t operating.  She HAD lost everything, and with that, seemed no longer afraid.

The spirit guides shared that we co-create our reality.  Because so many people were afraid, (everything can be dissected down to love or fear, just like all colors are made from primary colors) a war in Europe was created that destroyed many people’s way of life, precious artwork, buildings and lives.  Yet, if more of them had made a different choice, a choice for love, and not given their power over to a spell, the third Reich may have never existed. When a civilization goes to an  “us” or “them” mentality, cruelty and violence tend to follow.

What if the Oprah woman had lived in World War II Europe? (Or Afghanistan today for that matter). Could she then find something to be grateful for?  Do you think women in World War II Europe were worried about their retirement savings being gone? Do you think that they “tighten their belts” to survive hard economic times? Are the women of Iraq praying that the occupation ends and they are again allowed to plan their own futures? While the war in Iraq for Americans may have given us a gigantic national debt, no one has lost their homes to a bomb.  No one has had their freedom of movement interfered with.  Given the choice, doesn’t loss of retirement savings seem like a high-class problem?

Think of the audacity, to be living in a warm home, with clothes, food and loved ones, saying you have nothing to be thankful for, when miles away in a country we have never been to, an army is killing many innocent people. That in Darfur, women are homeless, with children, husbands dead, not knowing where food that day is coming from, let alone next year. Makes that ad for fat-free cookies seem a little indulgent doesn’t it?

Americans who go to work, raise children, laugh, play, and buy a half of the world’s “stuff” worry that they may not have “enough” in the future. In Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, Americans are the highest on the ladder. Yet we still are choosing fear instead of love.

What if this IS a world of plenty: with more than enough to go around– but only by sharing it the way Jesus did with the loaves and fishes? That by giving to others we in no way diminish but actually strengthen ourselves? That the safer future is not a strong military, not a retirement account of money in the stock market, but a future where actual LIFE is valued?

If life is valued above oil and possessions, if we empathically feel for those around us, will that not lead to a richer “retirement”?  What needs to happen for Americans to quit fearing for their own situation and lift up the vibration of the world? Power is in knowing our value, knowing that we are safe no matter what the storm that we are confident enough in our own skin to not hate and fear others for theirs. In this holiday season, please look at what you really have to be grateful for, and whether or not you have the grace to stand unafraid, whatever the future may hold.

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