The Syrian refugee crises continues to heighten. Now, more than 11 million people (half of the country’s pre-war population) have either died or been forced from their homes since the war in Syria began in 2011. And while there are many other refugees fleeing from their homes in other parts of the globe—Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gaza, South Sudan, and Somalia to name a few—our attention to the plight of the Syrians has been center stage. Sadly, it wasn’t until the tragic image of a Syrian boy washed up on the shores of Turkey that many of us began to truly feel compassion for what is now the gravest refugee crisis since World War II.
This has weighed heavily on my mind and in my heart, perhaps even more so since I just returned from a trip to Turkey a few months ago. Istanbul is truly a convergence of the East and West where I had wonderful experiences visiting with families from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East. We laughed together, we talked about our lives, we shared pictures of our families. Some asked my friend and I to pose with them in their family pictures as we were enjoying a cruise along the Bosphorus. My consciousness opened to the reality of how much we all share in common. Sure, we come from different cultures and political and religious ideologies, but we all want the same for ourselves, our lives, and our families: the basic tenets of what it means to be part of humanity.
And so, my daughter and I, following up on our conversation from the previous week, approached our board to learn more about how we could, in our own way, assist with the strife in Syria. Khaled quickly joined us to offer his perspective.
Elena: By the way, your comment about the grain of sand in the eye of inhumanity touched us and many others we told. It was very beautiful! Thank you!
Khaled: See how one grain of sand can seem as impressive as the face of a mountain? Such is the power of intent with light.
Elena: You are a great philosopher!
Khaled: Indeed as I am in the company of like minds!
Elena: Thank you! So we were talking about assisting in the conflict in the Middle East and what’s going on in Syria. How can WE be the grain of sand?
Khaled: Elena, ask of yourself, how you are too a child of refugee in life, in spirit, in past life. When you ponder this, you open yourself to the compassion which heals.
Khaled: Eryn, what value do your words carry?
Elena: So you’re asking these very self exploratory questions for us to consider…why?
Khaled: As always, turning inward is the best way to assist your brothers and sisters. No need to abandon life, no crusade age to appear again.
Elena: Oh, so being a spiritual aid worker is helping people to go inward and seek the answers that way?
Khaled: Yes and no. Both, for action will be necessary but first it is necessary to discover light within and what that means for each and every soul on this planet.
Elena: Is there anything as I’m looking inward, any insight you can give me as I continue with my inward exploration and how this relates to being that “grain of sand”?
Khaled: Accountability and sight unclouded. As Americans you are on the energetic forefront of change but still there is much which needs to be brought to bear such as the insatiable violence and hatred among citizens. The pervasive disparity in security and the absence of compassion that fosters hatred between people. How can we assist the broader global community at large as Americans if we do not first look to ourselves, it is akin to clipping the wings of a bird and asking it to fly.
After Khaled departed, we continued our conversation: that before the U.S. can assist in the Middle East (or any other areas of the world), we must first look inwards as a nation and deal with the issues that plague our society. It makes sense. [Think about how you are instructed to first place the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others when flying?] But Khaled takes it further. For it is equally important to first turn inwards as individuals…this is part of the internal work we must do.
So, are you ready to turn inward and discover your light within? What does this mean for you and how can it make a difference in your life? These questions, if you’ve never considered them before, are a good starting point. For when we open our awareness to and begin to explore these deeper aspects of ourselves, an energetic shift in our subconscious mind occurs. Think of it as a ripple in the lake that grows larger and larger. But awareness should be accompanied by a willingness to do this internal work, which is when we truly begin to heal and elevate every aspect of our lives. And while we may only be just one grain of sand, our power to bring change to our lives, our communities, our countries and world at large, can be as ‘impressive as the face of a mountain.’ Yes, as Khaled says, such is the power of intent with light!