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Assignments from the Universe

6 December 2012 2 Comments

Patricia Smith Melton interviewing Sobhi Bahloul, from Gaza, at a peacebuilding conference.

-An Interview by Mary Liepold, Editor in Chief

Mary interviewed Peace X Peace Founder Patricia Smith Melton for this December PeaceTimes to celebrate our 10-year anniversary. This is part 3 of 3.

What has to change to get the kind of future we want?

Do you mean for Peace X Peace? An amazing thing about Peace X Peace: From the beginning it has been flexible―seeing what was needed in the world and changing to meet that need. Now we are active in mentorship and training because we know where the womanpower networks are. In some places we have helped create those networks. Now we’re training these catalyst women because we have the expertise, and we must always do what we can to give these women a voice in the world.

The fundamentals are still the same as when we were founded: connection, communication, individual consciousness shift, critical mass, then consciousness shift in the culture. For this, we must have women’s voices and perspectives in places of power―not token voices, but voices of depth and influence. “Is there a woman at the table?” is a silly, outdated, ignorant question. If there aren’t women at the table, start over. New table, new people. Let’s grow up here. No patience left with this…

What’s your personal assignment from the universe, at this point in your life?

The needs of the world are so huge that we each have to make choices about where to place our energy. If we look inside and pay attention, we can find our assignment. We know it when there’s a heart response that has to be answered. It’s the place where we have energy, where we know what we’re doing is what we’re supposed to be doing, where we hit a flow, where we have fun, actually.

For me that keeps coming back to the Middle East, to Israel and Palestine. I could not tell you why, but that’s where I want to do something, where I can do something, and where I feel my heart to be larger.

My specific part is to bring to the Western world the facts on the ground in Palestine and in the Palestinian – Israeli interface. It’s not fair that my voice may be heard more in the West than a Palestinian’s, but it’s true. My assignment is to state the facts about what’s happening in Palestine and East Jerusalem and parts of Israel, to make the situation real to Westerners so it’s no longer abstract and distant and “unsolvable.”

That area is a Gordian knot of prejudice, historical pains, beliefs and disbeliefs, different cultures. The threads can be gently unknotted because peace IS possible there. I can help loosen up that knot through ways people can understand, ways they find non-threatening, so they can see light and move forward. This little thread is a historical belief that’s not true. This little thread is pain I’ve been holding for two generations that maybe I can look at in a different way now. There are threads of greed, arrogance, and skewed statistics. It goes on. But it can end because most people want peace more than anything else.

I plan to be back mid-January to look at the evictions of the Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem. Peace X Peace will be the main venue for our reporting of my on-the-spot blogs, commentaries, and photos.

How can our readers find their personal assignments?

Finding your life assignment is the first step of a miraculous path. That spiritual-social assignment, if it’s truly found, is not a heavy burden. It may have its rough days, but it’s not a burden because it’s life giving. It gives purpose, it gives meaning. It brings you into sisterhood and brotherhood with others. It takes you into the world as your truest self, a person of authenticity and integrity. To find it, if you haven’t already, means to be alert to what resonates with your heart. It’s where you feel your energy motivated to come forth, where your sense of self becomes lighter instead of heavier.

Like many women, when I was around seven years old I experienced great independence and confidence and security. At seven, we knew who we were. Finding your assignment is a little like being seven years old again: knowing what you like to do, what you don’t like to do, what’s honest and alive, and doing it because that’s what healthy people do. There’s a caveat, of course. I’m talking about those of us who are not abused or struggling for survival.

Here’s a scene: I’m seven and I had just heard we were at war with Korea. I was a little Iowa farm girl. I was extremely angry with my parents for not having told me earlier of this horrific fact about the state of the world. I went to school and David, Jerry, Tony, Rosemary, and I were in the big old-fashioned coat closet. I told them: “We’re at war! Did you know we’re at war?” Jerry started shooting his fingers, wanting to be a soldier, saying “I’ll kill them all.” And inside me was the realization “He’s just a little boy. He has no idea what war is about.” It was a moment of existential aloneness.

Building networks of like-minded people to fight against the brutalities of the world is also about overcoming that aloneness. We have found our tribe, and we support each other.

Also in the December PeaceTimes:

Getting Women Off the Sidelines (Part 1)

Stepping Up: Emotional Education (Part 2)

Or read the PDF version of PeaceTimes

The views and opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Peace X Peace.

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2 Comments to “Assignments from the Universe”
  1. Milet Mendoza says:

    Dear Patricia and Mary,

    This is a very beautiful piece about the conception of PeaceXPeace and how it has evolved over time and space. So many beautiful thoughts and insights shared here by Patricia and captured so well by Mary. It needs more than one reading to give justice to the meeting of the spirits. It resonates well.

    I realize that the fundamentals in our aspiration and work for a quality of life still remain intact. It goes back to the basic truth. Wherever and however the world turns around, we experience so many paradoxes but they certainly lead to the same path.

    Will share my deep insights on this.

    Love and gratitude to you both.

    Milet Mendoza

  2. Mary Liepold says:

    Bless you, Milet, for making time to read this and comment. I look forward to reading your wise insights!

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