Unity, as defined by Merriam-Webster.com, is "the quality or state of not being multiple: oneness."Unity was displayed in Boston last week, and it spread like a benevolent contagion around the world. We saw it in New York, Chicago, London, Australia.The thoughts, prayers, and grief of millions cascaded into a sea of oneness. Wave after wave of it flowed from and through us. We gasped in disbelief, cried, prayed, grasped at hope, held our breath, cheered - as a team; as one.

Perceiving Unity

The power of unity - oneness - gelled with me at some point after my Reiki II class.I think it was due in great part to the concept that I could aid someone's healing on the other side of the globe. It took the actual practice of that extension of Reiki, and the verification of its effects from those on the receiving end, to quell my skeptic's brain and allow acceptance to enter in.I got it. I got that we are all inexplicably, inextricably connected.

It's the Force

Remember in the first Star Wars movie, the original one that George Lucas released in 1977, when Obi-Wan Kenobi staggered aboard the Millennium Falcon?He put a hand to his heart, leaned feebly against the wall, told Luke, "I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened."What he felt was the demise of Alderaan and its people at the hands of Darth Vader, who ordered the Death Star to destroy the planet, and forced Princess Leia to watch. The resultant ripple in the Force deeply affected hyper connected Obi-Wan. In time, Luke would come to know that level of connectedness, too.When something on the extreme end of the spectrum happens - the tsunami in Japan, the devastating tornadoes in the midwest, the bombing in nearby Boston - I feel the force of it to my core. Rather than a tsunami of water, it's a tsunami of the emotions attached to the event.On the other extreme, when an event fueled and/or followed by positive emotions occurs, I feel that, too.Of course, unity needn't be that dramatic.It can show up at a dinner table where five women gather in friendship, and sing "Amazing Grace"; in a Twitter feed where two blogging buddies check in with each other; in church during the recitation of a beloved prayer; at the bedside of a loved one passing from this earthly plane; on a curbside where a homeless person feeds his dog first.Unity is embodied by compassion, empathy. No one is alone. You are not alone.

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