So here -- I practice again today.
Today I am committed to the work it takes for me to be able to remember and experience that I am in kinship with everyone I encounter. I may not understand how that works. I might not even FEEL it as true all of the time. But there is not a living being to whom I am not kin. It may sound sappy or naive and simplistic, but over and over again in my life, I am brought to recognize this as the central fact of my existence.
When I cannot (or do not) live in a state of kinship, then I feel out of place in the world -- on the outside and ill at ease. Feeling kinship -- or, in another way of expressing it: a responsibility and love toward all of life, and a joy in its very existence, and in my great luck of existing among all of you -- this is what I want more than anything else in my life. Not as an always and ever state of being. I'm human. Never going to happen. But to be there more of the time -- to be there most of the time -- that, maybe, is in sight.
And, I am learning, I cannot live in a state of kinship with those I hold resentments against, or live in fear of what they think of me or might do to me. I can't live in a state of kinship with others if I'm holding resentments against myself. Happily, today, I have a path to follow which promises me relief from the ways I hold others and myself apart. I know real people who do live in kinship with others most of the time. And I hope, I pray, I'm on their path, even if miles and miles behind them.
For today, my job is just to keep moving in their direction to the best of my ability, one footfall at a time.