• Carol Hansen Grey

I love this quote by life-long pacifist Jeanette Rankin, the first woman ever elected to the U.S. Congress and the only woman from Montana to ever have been elected.

The idea of war has always puzzled me, even as a small child.  I can remember hearing adults talking about WWII and I would wonder why men had to fight one another.  Why couldn’t they just settle their differences by talking it out instead of fighting.  But then, I was just a child, and of course, couldn’t possibly understand the adult concept of war.

The Vietnam war was heating up when I was in my early 20s. Again, I found myself wondering why so many young men, men my age, were being drafted and sent to fight a war that seemed to me to be insane.  My husband’s draft number was going to be called, so he decided to enlist in the Air Force.  I was relieved when he was stationed at a base in northern Maine for two years and then sent to Japan for two years before being honorably discharged.

I’m trying to remember a period in my lifetime that we weren’t engaged in some kind of war and for the life of me, I can’t think of any.  Did we “win” any of those wars?  Did ANYBODY win any of those wars?  What would “winning” look like anyway, with dead and wounded on both sides.  It’s just as Jeannette Rankin states: “You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.”  What will it take for the human species to understand the futility of war and make a different choice?  It will take a change of consciousness — a consciousness that “only love prevails.”

Please consider joining the Only Love Prevails World Peace Experiment, an experiment aimed at achieving peace through a shift in consciousness.

  • Carol Hansen Grey

We will always meet people who come from a different point of view. It is my belief that it’s important to keep an open mind and try to find common ground. This blog post illustrates how I did this when I received the following email from a person who had registered to participate in the World Peace Experiment. After registering he had followed a link to my personal website where I have a great deal of information about my political views. 

Here is what he wrote:

"The “onlyloveprevails” site was so good and I liked your prayers, etc. that I submitted my name along with my wife’s to make the 80,000. Then I went to your site and found something completely different (I guess I shouldn’t have gone to the Politics page first). I am a supporter of the president AND of peace, but all I saw on that page was leftist propaganda garbage that did not seem to come from someone who meditates from A Course in Miracles. I hope someday you rise above duality consciousness and really represent a peace movement. I am not there yet either which is why the Politics page struck a bad chord. Peace, Lee”

I responded with the following:

Dear Lee:

Thank you for your email and for your heartfelt observations about my CarolHansenGrey.com site. I took your email into meditation with me this morning and asked for guidance.

I do believe that “only love prevails” and practice its principle in my day-to-day life. However, I also believe we each have a responsibility to work in our own way toward making our world a better place, whether that be in areas that personally touch my heart (including raising spiritual awareness, promoting peace, facilitating health and healing, supporting truth and integrity in government, helping to empower the disempowered, safeguarding our environment) or in other areas just as important. One of the reasons I created the CarolHansenGrey.com site was to give me a space to share my work and my personal views on various topics.

That being said, I also know that there are ways to share my views that are respectful rather than sarcastic. You did not specifically indicate on which page you found the “leftist propaganda garbage” so I took the time to carefully review the material on my site. I agree that some of the material I have posted in the political humor section and the political quotations section of the site is not respectful and I will be taking down the material that, in my opinion, fits that description.

Other than that, however, I found only articles that were a meaningful representation of the concerns I have regarding the direction the current administration is leading this country and accurately reflect my point of view. I am sure that your point of view is much different than mine and that does not mean you are wrong or I am wrong — it’s simply a different perspective.

Most of us are aware of the political polarization in the U.S. (and throughout the world). My sense is that there is actually more common ground between those who find themselves on the left or on the right of an issue than what appears on the surface. I believe if we were willing to start from that place of common ground we could begin to explore many ways to heal the polarization. I admit, however, that sarcastic humor is not one of those ways. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to see an area in myself that is in need of healing.

Thank you also, once again, for participating in the World Peace Experiment. Together, no matter what our political views, we will work to co-create a world of peace where… Only Love Prevails, Carol"

A few days later I received the following response:

"I really didn’t expect a reply, seeing as how I live in the “red” heartland and you live on the “left” coast, but my heart was warmed as to how you responded. You obviously do study A Course in Miracles (I have on and off for two years now).

Since you were willing to re-evaluate some of the text on your website, I felt that I had to do the same (since I started this). It will be hard to get rid of a whole section of Hillary humor (there is a lot of funny stuff there, but it does create divisiveness). I will also get rid of the political quotes section showing the "less-than-fully-awake” statements of Kerry, Gore, Dean, Pelosi, Harry, and the rest.

Einstein said that a problem cannot be solved at the same level it was created. For years, I have gotten really good at debating the polarizing issues of the day. I’ve got the facts on my side, but the problem with that is – you and many others have a different set of facts from which to operate.

You are probably right about us having much common ground and I am sorry that I came down so hard on your personal website. I guess it stemmed from a seminar I went to the previous weekend, given by Judith Pennington. She is a highly-evolved person who occasionally lapsed into duality-consciousness when talking about the president (I believe that Bush 43 is the most honest and straight-forward president we have had in my lifetime). Anyway, I saw how this highly-evolved person quickly came down into the lower vibrations and brought me down also.

My goal in life is to be able to rise above the chatter and really “know” the material in A Course in Miracles and the other study group I attend – A.R.E (Association for Research and Enlightenment). Thank you for rising above my accusations and raising the bar for me to do the same.

It is true that Only Love Prevails, Lee"

This exchange helped me to see the importance of keeping the lines of communication open, even if the person is coming from a completely different viewpoint.  I feel a closeness with Lee now, where if I had chosen to simply ignore his email or even worse, had responded in anger, that bridge to common ground would have never been built.

  • Carol Hansen Grey

One of the most important lessons I am learning in this lifetime is the importance of expressing my truth and allowing others to express theirs without judgment. I’ve come to believe that when a person is expressing something from their heart, whether or not it resonates as MY truth is not the issue. Their expression is THEIR truth in that moment and is valid for them and deserves to be heard. With this understanding I can be tolerant, non-emotional and non-judgmental when discussing belief systems with others. I can fully hear them and at the same time be the observer and detach from emotional involvement in their truth.

Expressing my own truth, however, presented a more challenging lesson for me. When Victor and I entered into a committed relationship in 1994 we took only one vow. It wasn’t a vow of undying love or a vow that we would be there for each other for eternity. It was a vow to always express our truth, even at the expense of possibly hurting the other person’s feelings.

On the surface, that vow appeared to be a simple one to keep. I had been brought up to “not lie” and so I always thought that this was the definition of an honest person — someone who does not lie. However, Victor pointed out to me that expressing one’s truth not only means “not lying,” it also means “not withholding.” Whoa! I have always been a master at withholding. When something is bothering me, I can opt to not hurt the other’s feelings and bottle up my emotions like a pro. Could it be possible that I was now agreeing to reveal all my emotional reactions to what was going on in our relationship? Needless to say I was going to have to make some fundamental adjustments to my way of being in this new relationship.

Because I really hate to cause upsets or to be caught up in emotional turmoil, my pattern during my first marriage was to “keep silent” when something bothered me until I couldn’t contain it any longer. Then I would explode. I really didn’t know any other way of being! Now Victor was going to model for me a new way of being in relationship. He was not going to let me withhold my feelings any longer.  The turning point for me happened early on in our relationship.

As Victor and I got to know one another more deeply, I came to recognize and appreciate his many wonderful qualities and to feel blessed that this man was in my life. But there was, however, this one tiny, little thing that he did that really bothered me.  It was such a small thing that I didn’t want to even mention it, especially because he was so wonderful in so many ways and this was just so insignificant. One morning he did this small bothersome thing once again and I had a quiet, internal reaction to it. Victor immediately asked, “What’s wrong?”

I turned my back to him and between clenched teeth responded, “NOTHING!”

He took a breath and said, “You know, we took a vow to always tell the truth and I’m getting the distinct feeling that you are being less than truthful with me.”

What a shock! I got caught in what amounted to a lie! I turned to him and said in a quiet, guilty voice, “I don’t like the way you put the silverware into the dishwasher.”

There! It was out! I had told him what was bothering me.

Victor immediately smiled. “Thank God that’s all it is,” he said as he gave me a big hug. “Show me how you want me to do it.”

He was obviously relieved and I learned a valuable lesson! If I had continued to withhold this little thing that bothered me, it might have built into something huge that may have created a wedge between us.

During our many years together we have had numerous opportunities to “walk our talk” by expressing our truth.  And, each time a new situation presents itself where one or both of us feel out of alignment, it has become easier and easier to work through it and talk it out. We have developed a level of safety and trust that I have never experienced with another human being.

I feel the reason many relationships fail is because the partners don’t have an agreement to express their inner truth in a safe, loving environment. If we could all reach a point of feeling safe to communicate our truth to everyone with whom we are in relationship, and know that our truth will be heard and honored, the world would be a much more peaceful place.

© 2019 Carol Hansen Grey

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