In this new time of learning and growth, learn to sit quietly, learn to breathe deeply, learn to walk slowly, learn to wait patiently. Learn to open your heart, open your mind, and open your spirit, so that you may be available to guidance from all around you, in the world and beyond the world. Make these inner practices your spiritual practices. Learn also to respect fully, share equally, consider others, even as you turn more inward and get yourself in order. Let this adjustment, this New Year, manmade marker that it is, be the catalyst you have longed for. Take care of yourself in a new way and let this New Year be the one, the marker granting you permission to finally just be you again, the real you, inside and out, matured and honed in a new compassionate way. And know that all other beings seek only the same, to just be at peace, within and without. Keep it simple.
Steer clear of judging others. Hold them in a place of loving kindness in spite of your reservations and in spite of your own convictions. Hold yourself accountable just as you hold others accountable. One way may not be right, but the other may not lead to compassion either. Seek balance in alignment with the truth, with the flow of what truly is. For to rush the river destroys everything for everyone. Supreme patience and patient waiting for change to happen naturally, for all the pieces to fall into place, adds stability to any situation, as does love. In the flow of it all, don’t forget to be loving. It’s the energy most important for now, and forever. Be patiently loving.
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.