I haven’t written or shared much in the last year. I wanted to share a little about why that is. There are of course reasons like, “I’ve taken time away from my work to recharge and cultivate more clarity and perspective.” Or “I’ve been working with my own patterns and beliefs about self-worth and having a voice in the world (I am human after all).” Or even. “I’ve shared my thoughts and perspectives in the past and either been ignored or even attacked for that so why should I keep going?”.
There is more than a little truth in these reasons, but the one I want to share with you about today is something a little different and something I see as central to what we will need if we truly want to make our way as a global human society.
The challenges we face are not small. And although these challenges include some rather monumental conundrums like global warming, dysfunctional capitalism and social unrest and conflict, the real battle ground we will need to traverse is that of the intra and inter personal space. Let me explain what I mean by that.
There are clearly difficulties in our present and future lives. They include the domains of geology and climatology, sociology and psychology, and economics and politics. But, in my years of working with people and in my own journey of discovery and understanding, there is one place that lies at the heart of any change “out there” we may be able to influence or act to enable. This place, this dimension of life is less obvious and because of this, far easier for us to miss or neglect. What dimension is this, you ask? It is the dimension of the human heart, the domain of love. Now if reading these two words makes you roll your eyes or want to disengage this article, I strongly encourage you to invest the time in reading it in its entirety. As with most valuable truths, this one is lying in plain sight but requires us to stretch past our conditioned preferences in order for us to see and properly recognize it for what it is. When we look at the things we might call problematic or wrong in our world, what do we see. Often our metric for this measurement has something to do with destruction or death, illness or injustice. It too often as a frame of right and wrong and because of this brings inaccurate and often rigid black and white thinking. Things have to be this or that and we make judgments because of how we personally feel about these false dichotomies. We do this because it strengthens our sense that we know what is happening and we have a kind of surety in that. It carries the benefit of grounding us in a clear sense of self, even if that sense of self feels negative. We then go about our day operating in relation to circumstances and others from this paradigm of dichotomy and righteousness.
The cost of this way of operating is that we lose our ability to see and make sense of all the beautiful nuance of life. We also lose the incredible complexity and nuance of our interpersonal connections. In essence, we lose our ability to truly see one another and, in that, we become unable to deeply and meaningfully be together. If you have done any deep transformational work you know that our world’s greatest opportunity to change and evolve comes when we come together and, with open hearts, become vulnerable and compassionate towards ourselves and one another. While life unfolds and we are touched by circumstance in ways that are not easy for us, we have a choice. We have the choice to receive what the present moment holds with open heartedness and curiosity or in some way say no to life as it is. The is, of course, utility in saying no to life. If makes us feel like we are in control and that we are the center of things. The cost is that we become blind and calloused towards all the myriad layers of delicate, intricate complexity that is life. We essentially become incapable of seeing into the deeper truths of life and in them the deeper potential of life and what the present moment is actually calling for. These things, the hard parts of life, are not signs of the desperate hopelessness of life and the evil of humanity, but markers that something is going on that is calling for attention and care. Our predominant frame work for interpreting and acting on these difficulties is such that we mostly operate blind to what is actually happening. The real opportunity for us to engage and intervene and in that, the truth of what the present moment, in its current configuration, is calling for. This presents a real and important challenge when it comes to authentically responding to what the present moment is calling for and for me it brings up a question I want to leave you with. What is it that you are here to be and do? What is the deepest why for your life?
I know, it’s a big question and not an easy or comfortable one to engage and answer. It is, however, one that if not answered, leaves us playing out our past as an unconscious act of coping with what we don’t like instead of a profoundly creative and joyful expression of being alive. When we honestly come to this question what we discover is that life isn’t actually first about us. Life is about the whole. Life is about all the part that make up the whole and first including them as integral constituents. When we let this truth all the way in we start to see that we are meant to include everyone and everything as an integral aspect of what our future needs to fully manifest itself. We need what we have called the bad as much as we need what we have called the good! This is not about celebrating suffering and wrong doing in the world, but a warm inclusion of life as it is so we can honestly and sincerely engage it all and call into being what is possible. When we are honest to the deepest we know inside, we discover an amazing and transformative truth. Nothing can be different than it is until it is fully and warmly included. Transformation and change then are a function of love and openness and not opposition and control. Spend some time with this one and please feel free to share with me what you discover.