Sustain, maintain, and retain your open heartedness, your loving kindness, and your compassionate presence in all you do, towards all you meet, in who you are, and in how you act in the moments that are most important in your life, as well as in the moments that are mundane and ordinary. Operate from your heart center at all times so that your life flows like a gentle river, with intent, with bountiful energy, and with all its gifts ready at hand. Practice being openhearted toward self and others in the natural flow of everyday life and find that as you maintain this openhearted self you become more susceptible to love overall, in all its varied forms, within and without. And that is good, for you and for others. As it should be.
Our world has many separate parts that interact to maintain our wholeness. The reigning principle that holds us together is homeostasis, a tendency toward balance and stability. When one part of our world becomes extreme other parts of our world become extreme in the opposite direction in a compensatory effort to restore balance.
Currently, our world has devolved into such an extremist state of tenuous balance, with volatile groups expressing deep opposition to one another. The ability to appreciate the needs and perspectives of others in an effort to restore peaceful equilibrium is lost to our current circumstance.
Suspend judgment. In such time of extremism, all cling to the one-sidedness of their individual or group positions. The truth appears radically self-evident; the “other’s” view is clearly distorted and wrong. Emotion intensifies to convince, defend, and attack. Reason is stretched beyond reason. In fact, reason is one side of a pair of opposites, deeply suspect to many.
Realize that all the opposition outside ourselves courses equally through our inner selves. Here we can contribute to our own inner balance, as well as the greater world’s, by inwardly facing the one-sidedness of our own ego positions. Even the most contentious positions encapsulate some grain of truth. Our ego is charged to use its analytic and feeling capacities to find the value and necessary place for all parts of the self and the world.
Outwardly, we do well to not fall prey to blame and hate, as these reactions simply further and intensify the divide. Though we must stand firm to who we truly are, upholding our beliefs and values, we are equally free to feel compassion for all. Compassion is directed love energy, where all are acknowledged as legitimate parts of the whole.
Compassion can be expressed through civility. Regardless of the intensity of our beliefs or feelings we can treat each other with respect. This is an enormous task in these times of extremism where many say and do things that evoke strong visceral reactions within the self. Nonetheless, we can all take up the challenge to resist getting taken over and acting out our rageful impulses, verbally or otherwise. This act of containment keeps ego control above water, not causing further damage. Being civil may not result in a kind response, but it will at least not further inflame.
Next, the responsibility is to care for the self and the intense emotion suppressed within. Allow the self release in total private. A brisk walk, deep breathing and, yes, even throwing stones may be warranted. Once the emotional charge has diminished, reflect deeply on the source of inner activation. Something important is being revealed to the self in the emotional reaction. Know thyself, love thyself.
Love the part of the self that feels victimized, betrayed, or disempowered. Although you may choose to have no relationship or engagement with the triggering “other,” find compassion for them within the self, perhaps simply seeing them as a fellow human being struggling with human life. At that level we are all one.
Upholding civility is the bridge we have now, in these times of raging rivers that threaten to flood our civilization. Join in supporting this bridge, through action with civility.
Keep love in your heart and kindness on your tongue for yourself as much as for others. You already know how easy it is to fall into self-despair and to find fault with yourself. Let your loving heart share its beauty within as much as you share it without. Direct yourself to speak kindly to yourself rather than repeat the old negative patter that you normally say to yourself. Change what you say to yourself today, and extend some compassion to yourself as well. You are part of the greater interconnected world and the greater interconnected world is part of you. Healing will only take place when everyone recognizes that you are all part of the whole. Begin the great healing now by starting with yourself. Let the healing begin within.
Life pushes for change, but even as you focus on changing yourself, on your own goals and intentions, look outside of yourself and give a little in small kindnesses, in gestures of appreciation for what you have, forgetting for a moment what you lack. It is often only in getting out of the self that you discover that you are not so bad off after all, and that your own discomforts may be small in comparison with those of others. In this manner learn compassion and awaken your heart to its true desires to give rather than receive. A giving heart is a good heart indeed! And the funny thing is, in giving you receive!
Be the best you can be at being yourself. And what does “being the best” entail? It entails being a kind and loving person, compassionate and open to understanding and embracing all other beings as equal. It entails being gracious and giving, eternally grateful for all that you have, all that you are, and all that you receive, even if it is not much. It entails a certain impeccability in all that you do so that you leave nothing behind for others to have to deal with as you make your way in the world. Being the best you can be entails growing up into all of these mature qualities with a mix of grace and humility, even while seeking always to be even better within the self and in the world you inhabit. Be the best you can be, always, for what else really matters? Begin small–just be kind to another person today.