The Michigan / Michigan State Rivalry

I grew up in the thick of this rivalry.  Jackson, my home town, was 30 minutes south of East Lansing and 45 minutes west of Ann Arbor.

Green = East Lansing. Blue = Ann Arbor. Purple X = me.

The day before the UM/MSU football game was like a school holiday, halls splattered blue and green.  I frequently went around sticking my thumb out chanting Michigan👍🏽State👎🏽!

I was wearing Maize and Blue before I could walk.  I graduated from the University of Michigan.  I won’t touch a green Sparty shirt.

I can tell you firsthand that the anger some people feel toward those associated with the rival is palpable.

When I was reading about my alma mater turning green ahead of Saturday’s basketball game, I felt that anger bubble up within me and realized – I am one of those people.

I realized that I take a friendly rivalry well beyond the point where it serves me.  I have actual conditioned anger toward someone who associates with MSU.

So this morning, I sat in that feeling.  I processed as much of it as I could.

On the other side, in what I call solution energy, could I finally see how silly it all is.

I’ve spent years angry at people based on where they chose to educate themselves.  And not just any university.  That one.  (And maybe a little directed at that school from Ohio.)

The thing is, anger is a conditioned response.  That is not who we are by nature.  We’re taught to be angry at others, based on their association to something that isn’t like us.

Even those of us who choose to live from love can have anger within our energy system.  That doesn’t make us bad people.  That just shows we have absorbed the divisive conditions imparted on us.

Sadly, it often takes a tragedy like the one at MSU to bring people together.  With each tragedy, I see people temporarily getting to the truth: that we are one humanity.

Then I see us forget it again when the next trending, divisive topic is dropped on us.

For those in the back (including me) who need this reminder, uniting is not:

❌ “this school” versus “that school”

❌ “left” versus “right”

❌ “pro” versus “anti”

The real coming together is:

🫶 Humanity against hate

🫶 Humanity against fear

🫶 Humanity united for love

My answer to how we can stop these sorts of tragedies from occurring?  For each of us to find love in our hearts, and treat others with the unconditional unity and compassion that we want to see in our world.

And not just toward the big, tragic, obvious things. The small, everyday things.

👉🏽 That person that cut us off on the highway.

👉🏽 Or that said something you don’t agree with.

👉🏽 Or that attends that school in Ohio.

The waves of change start with one person. One person that chooses to do things differently.

You can be that person.

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.  Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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I (Andrea) am a Transformational Coach and Spiritual Mentor. I am passionate about helping female leaders who lost themselves in their work reconnect with their inner radiance!

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