by Julianne Kulosa
Julianne is a Spiritual Intuitive and Ascension Guide, empowering others to live a life of miracles and magic through trusting the power of love.
On vacation with my family this past weekend, we stopped into a thrift store just for fun. Casually looking at clothing, I came upon a 1980’s down hunting jacket. I knew I had to have it. My husband loved it of course, with its two NRA patches. My 20-year old son hated it, as he has the opposite view about hunting and guns as my husband.
As for me, I know have strong viewpoints around hunting, animal rights, and meat eating. It was around 7 years ago that my husband’s brother was talking about deer hunting and I could barely listen and began to cry. I felt great pain in my heart. Today, after years of seeking to truly understand the viewpoints and values of those who hunt and eat meat, my husband will soon be going on another hunting trip, and I admit that I’m happy he has yet to actually kill an animal.
While I’ve been vegetarian on and off since my teenage years, and a strong animal rights activist into my late twenties, today my values around animals are more grounded than ever.
It was just this past January that I decided to come out of the closet fully in regards to my values. What this means for me is to live by my values, without strict rules or dogma (yes, boy do they still come up), and without fighting against others opposing viewpoints.
Let’s be honest: we are all paradoxical beings, doing the best we can in any moment.
For me, being a whole foods plant-based vegan isn’t a statement, judgment or stance against the environmental, spiritual, ethical or health issues regarding the treatment and use of animals. It is a natural choice given my personal values regarding all of the above. Meanwhile, I still wear my Ugg boots. I put cream in my coffee about once a week when I’m out of the house. I go out to eat, and you never know what’s in your food if someone else is cooking it. I’ll wear a used animal item, such as a down jacket, because the animal already gave its life for it, and/or to be eaten. Should that leather be thrown away, or utilized until it is completely unwearable?
If someone is interested in my perspective, I’ll tell them. I know that my intentions, thoughts, feelings and actions speak more loudly than any lecture I could give.
So why did I get that hunting jacket? The one I plan to add PETA and vegan patches to? It’s for me and my head, not to mess with others heads. It’s a statement to remind me to confront my own prejudices, limitations and beliefs. It puts me in an external situation to stand confidently yet neutrally in my values amid others reactions or judgments.
As I perused the web for my new patches, I came upon a “coexist” patch. Some of you know the term. It became popular because of the non-profit organization, Coexist. They address the hate, prejudice and violence that arise due to conflicting social and cultural identities.
What would it look like if people with opposing viewpoints sought to truly understand and respect each other, and work together to build a better world?
When the passion and beliefs around your values and ethics come into play, it is a prime opportunity to grow and expand. Are we here to eliminate anything that does not match our viewpoint, or are we here to lift all viewpoints into the light and love of the divine? Is the universe an intricate web, all connected and weaved together, or are things separate?
If everything is here to serve us, to say, “Hey, look at me! You still have judgment, fear or doubt around this,” how do we discern when to take action? Do you jump in and educate, stop the abuse, say, “No more!” or do you ignore and walk away?
The path of the spiritual warrior is not an easy one, for we don’t want to add to the hate and violence, yet we want to create a world of connection, love, compassion and care.
On the “self-help” path, you’ve heard the idea of noticing when you are upset, angry or judgmental with someone and then looking in the mirror, knowing they are reflecting the things in you, your shadow side, that you judge so harshly.
While this practice is potent, it’s not so black and white. Do I hate the part of me that has eaten meat in the past? I would say, no, I don’t. When my judgment arises, it calls me to look my core beliefs about reality and how I think the world should be. When my anger arises around the unnecessary harmful treatment of animals, I’m called to be neutral and compassionate, to trust that what others are doing is a call for me to bring in even more love and light to a planet in darkness. When I watch people hurting themselves or others, I am called to remember that they are powerful beings just as we all are, and their path is theirs to walk, not mine. When I feel sorrow and pain in my heart at the harmful treatment of animals and nature, I’m called to live by my values even more consciously.
You might think that the world will remain the same if we take no overt action. I’m not saying not to take action when necessary. However, activism begins with our internal actions, doing the work within. By unraveling our own judgments, our automatic responses based on deep-seated beliefs about reality, confronting our fears and doubts, we do this for all of mankind.
Every thought we think, every feeling we experience, every intention we set, is a powerful frequency that is added to and affects the collective.
You can sit at home and stew about the horrible things happening in the world, filled with anger, hate, helplessness or frustration, and add to the anger, hate, helplessness and frustration of the world. You can sit at home and confront your thoughts and feelings, releasing the anger and hate into the light of source, of unconditional love, and add divine light and love to the world. We think we are in a bubble, that our internal world doesn’t affect others, but this is an outdated viewpoint.
From a standpoint that whatever is happening is purposeful and a tool for the evolution of your consciousness, you can then discern what next action step to take in the world. The struggle and fight is over, and yes, the hard work begins.
We are used to dissecting our lives and the world by seeing what is good and what is bad. Striving to be a “good person”, we often look at what is bad and must be eliminated. From a different perspective, what is happening is that as you reach up, as you grow spiritually, everything comes up to be seen, loved, and released into the light of the divine. Habits, beliefs and automatic ways of being are called to be noticed and replaced with ways of being and acting that align with your values and soul purpose.
It’s all unfolding quite purposefully, and with each conscious choice we make in thought, word and deed, we get to make our experiences mean whatever we want to.
Notice what comes up for you if you saw me wearing that down hunting jacket. Does it mean that I hunt? That I eat meat? That I advocate hunting? That I’m cool and “part of the club”? That I am uneducated? A redneck? “Outdoorsy”? A true-blooded American? A Republican? Part of the problem? An idiot? Adding to the bad stuff – or the good stuff? Trying to upset people, given I’m a vegan yet wearing it? You get to say.
It's not just you, my beloved. The world is transforming and we're all in this together. You are a master and expert in your unique experiences and contribution to the world. Together we'll navigate through these challenging yet oh so juicy and magical times.