“Times are difficult globally; awakening is no longer a luxury or an ideal. It’s becoming critical. We don’t need to add more depression, more discouragement, or more anger to what’s already here. It’s becoming essential that we learn how to relate sanely with difficult times. The earth seems to be beseeching us to connect with joy and discover our innermost essence. This is the best way that we can benefit others.”
― Pema Chodron
I’ve spent most of my life beating myself up. Constantly plagued with an inner voice that quietly sabotages me, damning me to a state of social anxiety and self doubt. When my husband had an affair I was perhaps at the lowest point that I have been in my life, a point where I was completely and utterly shattered… but there is something very powerful about hitting rock bottom, when you get there, the only way out is up. At some point I decided that being miserable, that feeling helpless, that being jaded was nothing more than self destructive.
I had to learn to allow myself to be vulnerable, I had to learn that surrendering was not the same as giving up – that to surrender to emotion, to surrender to a child, to surrender to a situation is to accept and to trust and to lean back into the emotion. With that surrender comes acceptance, and acceptance frees us of hate.
We live in a world that is shrouded in a lot of hate and a lot of inequality. We live in a society where the way we value human beings is intrinsically unjust. We can’t change that in one fell swoop. We can’t fight hate with hate. Many of you have asked me how it is possible to live an alternate lifestyle alongside those who choose the norm…
We cannot change other people. What we can do is surrender, to yield gently and without judgement, to live peacefully within towns and communities that may not be built on the same values that we build our families on. We can yield and make choices every day that make small and positive changes in our own lives, when we are happier, when we are more generous, when we live connected – the rest will follow. We must trust this, because when we doing we get caught in a spiral of desperation – when we start to believe that we cannot make change, we start to lose hope for a better world. We can encourage (through our own actions) a system that is based on the value of human connection, not on competition. We can encourage a world that we want to live in, purely by living alongside our neighbours peacefully.
One lifestyle is not intrinsically ‘better’ than another – we are all doing the best that we can, with what we have. There is no space for judgement.
When we trust in the good in one another (and in ourselves); we shine light on the good that already lives within.
Trust each other. Surrender to each other. Build relationships with new people. Relationships that are built on trust and equality not on competition and comparative lifestyles. Make every transaction an opportunity for human connection. With connection comes relationships, with relationships comes community.
We are all in this together.