Yesterday many Americans celebrated the anniversary of a legendary group of brave, inspired, noble (and critically ignorant) men declaring their Nation’s Sovereignty from a distasteful and exploitative monarchy. They stood firmly in their unwillingness to collaborate any longer with injustice at the hands of governmental authority they did not recognize as fit or amenable to true change.
And they fully accepted the consequences of honoring their innermost truth and deepest sense of what was right and good for the communities they stewarded. They knew well that it would be a difficult road to Freedom and they were willing to walk it, despite tremendous personal and collective risk.
Whatever your opinion of the merits of the United States of America today, I think we can agree that this (R)Evolutionary act changed the world and echoes across the planet to this day. And that America has been home to so many kinds of beauty and pain, so much co-creative genius and tragic individual and collective ignorance, since it’s inception.
None the less, the spirit of uncompromizing commitment to a truly innovative form of social agreement and governance based on balancing the Sovereign needs of the individual with the Collective needs of the Whole will ever remain something to be celebrated!
I think our forefathers would agree that the most exquisite way to celebrate such a spirit of (R)Evolution rooted deeply in the common good is decidedly NOT to consume Budweiser, Doritos, and “the game,” and then set off encendiaries that terrify animals and veterans alike.
I think they would feel more celebrated by us taking honest stock of where we are personally compromising our values by collaborating with systems that do not actually reflect those values.
I think they would smile upon us now from their statues and greenbacks if they saw us preparing to take a principled and artful stand FOR what matters most, even if it means facing seemingly insurmountable odds and unjust consequences.
Because they know what it means to die having lived courageously aligned with one’s own sense of inner truth and deep purpose.
Because they know that three or four hundred years from now the citizens of the Earth could be celebrating the (R)Evolution that carried us, together, across the threshold of a more evolved society. One that strikes a more elegant and harmonious balance between Sovereignty and Unity than any civilization we have ever yet seen or heard of. (Even as they critique our relative ignorance!)
And living here in the Queendom of Hawaii, occupied as it is by a government that has zero legitimate claim to its shamefully acquired position, has been sharpening my awareness of the deep injustices many Americans take for granted. Every day I see the tragic consequences of colonization that inequitably fall on indigenous Hawaiians and the Haoles who don’t seem to mind it, really.
I no longer get to rest in the relative privilege of being less directly impacted by the tragically flawed and ultimately imbalanced/unjust systems that pervade our society: imbalanced food systems, unjust medical systems, imbalanced economic systems, unjust “justice” systems, continued violent occupation of sovereign nations…
Because the actual Supreme Court of my life is within. Because the collaborative intelligences of my body, heart, and mind, when stewarded with care and nurtured to maturity, deliver clear verdicts of virtue and discernment. As I heal my personal trauma more deeply, I trust my instincts for what is Pono (righteous/just/balanced/aligned/integrous) with growing cellular certainty, no matter how inconvenient the truth may be.
The Law cannot tell me what is right for me, it can only punish me for not agreeing!
As the Sovereign Steward of this body, heart, and mind I know myself to be fully responsible for ONLY collaborating with forces and strategies which agree with my sense of virtue and integrity. Recognizing that when I compromise with any form of corruption I damage myself first, I see behaving consistently with my values as an essential form of Self Love.
As a Collaborative Steward of my Ohana/Family/Community, I am fully responsible for being an agent of the values and behaviors that align fully with my best intuitions about our collective thriving and prosperity. And I am responsible for bringing the healthiest, most loving, mature, open hearted and empathically honest version of me to my relationships.
And I have a LOT to learn and grow into on both of those accounts. Ask anyone in my community!
And I give great thanks and honor to the Kanaka of Hawai’i Nei for the Ahonui (patience), Ha’ ha’a (humility) and Lokomaika’i (grace and generosity) they continue to demonstrate in the face of continued occupation and violence to their land and indigenous way of life. Especially to those who have been so generous to me personally with their affection, friendship, and teachings.
One of my most precious and heartfelt dreams to see come to fruition before I leave this body is of a Sovereign and Unified Queendom of Hawai’i.
A Sovereign and Unified Commonwealth designed to uplift the genius of every individual and steward the thriving of the Whole.
If we agree that a mature, Sovereign person is one who is fully accountable for the alignment between his behavior and his values, then we can see denial of personal responsibility as a trauma response rooted in fear of shame and retribution.
A society rooted in unreconciled injustice and inequity can only survive in denial for so long.
Eventually that society will come to terms with its past and right the wrongs that still echo through the culture—no matter how difficult the path to restoring integrity might be—as it evolves into a more mature structure.
Or it will succumb to its own untreated cancer and collapse into chaos, clinging to a false sense of identity.
Change is inevitable. Growth is elective.
As within, so without.
As we sow, so shall we reap.
I think our forefathers—and the countless women who were instrumental in their ability to influence history—would prefer we celebrate their courage and faith 365 days a year. But not with fireworks.
Rather with a life lived in humble, joyful service to a more Just and Prosperous and Harmonious society for all.
I’m pretty sure it can actually be really fun!
We are all familiar with the chronic consequences of compromizing our Innermost Truth—whether in personal relationships or to get by in a profoundly corrupt and exploitative economic system.
And we are all learning to Trust ever more deeply in the consequences of standing in our Truth, and risking our “safety” in the name of living congruently.
What would this kind of (R)Evolutionary Sovereignty look and feel like in your life?
*If my words here ignite any impulse towards violence in you, please seek the counsel of a trusted therapist or family member. I think history is pretty unequivocal about the tragic failure of that strategy to create peace.*