As we honor veterans who have fought, suffered, and died over the long history of human warfare, I invite us into a deeper honoring. I invite us to honor the deepest part of them with the deepest part of us. Soul-to-soul.
This kind of honoring is different than traditional ways we have historically honored those whose genuine desire to serve the greater good compel them to put their lives on the line. Work holidays, parades, flag-waving, and yellow ribbons are fine ways to honor their egos, but they are more than their egos. They are magnificent human beings who have endured soul-level trauma in the name of service. So, it’s only fitting to honor that deeper part of their beings in a language all souls understand—the language of love.
Soul-to-soul honoring comes from and goes to a place deeper than nationality, pride, politics, or patriotism. It speaks from one human heart to another, where our common Source energy resides and where things that divide us do not. This is the place where we all share a common humanity, unimpeded by the constructs our brains and our society use to separate us from our own true essence and each other.
Because this sacred place is common to all human beings, soul-to-soul honoring speaks to all veterans on all sides of all wars. Today, let’s hold all military personnel and their families in a deeper place in our hearts, no matter what side of the arbitrary dotted line between the ideas we call countries they’re on.
After all, the pain, death, and destruction of war break all hearts equally.
I can’t speak for anyone else’s soul but my own (and words fail in the soul department, anyway). So, I will do my best to answer this invitation by way of my own soul-to-soul expression of honor.
Dear Veterans on All Sides of All Wars,
From the deepest place in me, I say to the deepest place in you:
I’m sorry you’ve endured the suffering of war.
I cannot even fathom the suffering you've experienced. Underneath the physical and mental suffering is a soul-level pain that comes from learning, seeing, participating, and experiencing things that run counter to your true nature.
Your true nature is creative, not destructive. You didn’t have to be taught how to create; you do so naturally because that’s what you were designed for. You were not designed to kill. You had to be taught how. That’s why when you’re creating, it feels so good and when you’re destroying or being destroyed, it feels so bad.
Your true nature IS and therefore seeks only peace, abundance, joy, and freedom. Give yourself permission to go to the deepest part of yourself and ask: “What does my dream life look like? What does it feel like?” And, “What am I doing in my dream life?” Then ask, “What does my dream community and world look and feel like?”
Stay there long enough to really experience what it’s like. When you go to that place where your soul resides, you won’t find what you’ve experienced in war because what you experienced in war does not exist in your heart. A soul full of peace, abundance, joy, and freedom was deployed on a mission based in violence, scarcity, fear, and oppression.
It's killing you. And, my heart is with you.
Being asked to see and do things that do not reflect who you truly are is why your brothers and sisters are committing suicide at unprecedented rates and why you experience lasting effects of your war experience as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Trauma, stress, and disorder are obvious signals that who you truly are and what you’re experiencing are in direct conflict with one another. If the activities of war were aligned with your true nature, the lasting effects might be called Post Calming Relaxation Health instead.
Parts of you—physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual—didn’t come home with you. My heart grieves for your loss and is inspired by your tremendous capacity to heal and become whole again.
I’m sorry you’ve been lied to by those who sent you to war and that you courageously sacrificed it all for reasons you might not have if they’d not been kept from us.
Too many lies have been told about why and how wars are initiated and sustained to inventory here. You deserve to know. If you are willing to die for a cause you believe in, at least do so for one that’s worthy of your sacrifice. Do so for a cause that has not been fabricated by those who would profit politically or economically by the blood you and the men, women, and children on all sides are forced to shed.
Your admirable intention to serve your fellow human beings and the ideals of freedom that lie deep in your soul have been exploited and manipulated by those that hold the power to send you and all those you might harm to your deaths, but who do not themselves live by the very laws of the land you are sacrificing it all for.
This video by one of your own about the nature of his own suffering and the betrayal he feels speaks more powerfully than my words will ever be able to express:
Again, you deserve to know what has been hidden from you—from all of us—under the guise of “noble motives” and “defending freedom.” I urge you to read War is a Lie, by David Swanson. If you looked into the deepest part of your soul, as encouraged earlier, you now know that at the soul level, war IS a lie…it is not a reflection who you truly are. This book will give your intellect a well-researched, well-reasoned, evidence-based account of the lies that sent you and others into harm’s way from a practical, real-world perspective.
It won’t be easy to read. Discovering you’ve been betrayed never is, even when the betrayal isn’t as profound and tragic as this. You may decide it’s better not to know. You may decide it’s less painful to continue believing the lie than it is to know that the whole construct upon which you dedicated your life is a farce. Your heart may, out of self-preservation, not want to fathom the number of lives lost and the extent of destruction wreaked by the lies that have driven the entire history of human warfare.
Either way, may you heal. May we all heal.
I’m sorry for my role in your suffering.
I’ve paid for your experience of war through the taxes I diligently contribute each year. My heart breaks when I recognize that money I earn in my work to create a world of peace, abundance, joy, and freedom for all supports the violence, scarcity, fear, and oppression of war. Unlike the corporations who profit from and influence war decisions, I have contributed my share of the over 1.4 trillion dollars over the last 10 years to finance the many wars you have and are suffering through.
My freedom is what you’ve burdened yourself to fight for. My soul wants you to unburden yourself of that responsibility. Know that I am already free by the “unalienable rights endowed by my Creator,” and that I would feel better served by your commitment to live and work in harmony with your own true nature.
I’m sorry you and your brothers and sisters are not receiving the care you need and deserve.
I’m sorry you have been taken away from those you love.
I’m sorry for all the ways your war experience has caused you and those you love to suffer.
Thank you for your courage. As a soul, you have taken on such a difficult task--physically, emotionally, spiritually--to help humanity see the anguish and great human cost of perpetual conflict between who we TRULY are as human beings and who we've decided to be instead.
I honor your inherent beauty as a human being, your tremendous capacity to heal in all the ways you seek, and your God-given right to live into your deepest truth and highest aspirations.
May you walk in peace, abundance, joy, and true freedom.