A few weeks ago I submitted a second round of questions to the IRS to officially receive Trauma to Art’s tax exempt status. After I paid the post office for the primo postage to ensure my document would arrive safe and sound my heart practically beat out of my chest. Any time I feel the hint of stress or anxiety I take a minute. I find a quiet place where I can focus and regain my center. Usually I will list all the things I am grateful for and then I list my aspirations.
When I listed my aspirations being the founder of a non-profit wasn’t one of them. I want to help build an inclusive community for grievers. I want to work to alleviate the stigma of talking about death and aging by emphasizing the important our elders’ wisdom. Once a mentor of mine told me religion is not a label like Christianity or Judaism or Hinduism, it is the way we practice our faith. I allowed the process of making Trauma to Art a non-profit blur my practice of faith: helping others.
After regaining some clarity I started to look for answers as to why I allowed the process to give me such anxiety. Like most anxiety, mine was born out of fear. I was afraid of letting people down and scared what people would think of me if I failed to attain my very public goal.
In a search for inspiration and understanding I came across this from Jonathan Granoff. In an interview with Deepak Chopra he said, “People have become attracted by the pornography of the trivial and the bottom line. The duty of religion is to take us to a higher resonance to build bridges rather than walls. If we can separate from ourselves that which separates us from one another–our pride, our bigotry–then I believe the deeper understanding of religion, which is to see the underlying unity and blessing in every religion will resonate and that to me is the vision of the founding fathers of the United States.”
Jonathan’s words challenged me to uncover something I hesitate to publicly admit. While I can serve my goals and ambitions with or without a tax exempt status, I cannot if I find myself engulfed in pride. I will keep you updated as I check the mail every day for my official IRS letter. No matter the outcome, my mission will remain the same.
The Similarities of Our Major Religions
Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.
Christianity: All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets.
Hinduism: This is the sum of duty: do naught to others which if done to thee would cause thee pain.
Islam: No one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.
Judaism: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow men. That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.
Alice Law #10. challenge and evolve the way you think about love and life.