Let’s face it: The world is in trouble. Every day is filled with an ongoing litany of BAD THINGS. Yet life goes on, headline after headline. There are days when the onslaught is so intense I begin to feel like Atlas shouldering the cares of the world. That’s when I have to say to myself, “Stop with the rubbernecking—you’ll get a crick in your cognition!”
It’s so easy to get dragged into the world’s dramas. There’s so much of it—anything you can imagine and more! If you were to present a screenplay of this stuff, people wouldn’t believe it: “It’s implausible, outlandish, preposterous!” But, truth surely is stranger than fiction.
As a ghost writer of books, I have one overarching criterion before considering taking on a project: your subject must uplift humanity in some way. That’s it. If what you want to put out in the world meets that criterion, then we’ll proceed.
Once I’ve begun interviewing my client and doing research, I’m supposed to immerse myself in the subject matter, all while our chaotic world with all its troubles, tribulations and pain swirls about me. I’m called on to stay informed of events, statistics, trends, etc. That means I need to read several news outlets, newsletters and forums. That’s when I can trip and do a faceplant into life’s emotional and psychic muck.
Today’s muck seems to be mostly filled with pain, anger and fear.
What I’ve noticed is that so many people from all walks of life have become firmly attached to their level of consciousness. They will fight tooth and nail—do anything—to not budge. Budging would mean they might have to let go of cherished beliefs and understandings. They might have to admit that they’re wrong or at least misinformed. They might have to no longer support their esteemed leaders.
If you look around, you’ll see people stuck, either unable or unwilling to let go and change. They’ll forego all their principles and values, whether religiously derived or not, and support any manner of ill-begotten behaviors of theirs and others in order to avoid change. What this has done is throw the world out of whack. We’re no longer in balance, no longer sane. Aberrant, mean, spiteful, uncompassionate and destructive behaviors are becoming the norm.
The only way around this is to realize that we can’t change the world—we can only change ourselves. What that entails is practicing detachment from our fixed states of mind, perspectives, attitudes, beliefs, values and judgments.
Much of the chaos in the world is based on fear of losing something that has meaning for us. That can be anything, especially our sense of reality, our place in that reality, and how we define ourselves according to that reality. If something comes along to shift that, then we’re brought to a life juncture. We can either dig in and hold on to what was and what we know or take the risk and step into the unknown to discover something new about ourselves and life.
But how to detach? My particular method is through contemplation. I first allow myself to let go of all the mental chatter bouncing around in my head by focusing on my heart and envisioning it opening to greater Divine love. I can easily do that by remembering all the things I’m sincerely grateful for such as my two doggies, Bearded Collies, bright beings who brought so much fun and joy into my life.
The next step is to center my thoughts on one particular subject I’m challenged with, which can be anything from a relationship issue to a concept that’s pushing my buttons. Instead of directing or envisioning any kind of outcome, I just let the universe step in to guide me. Through this process, I find insight that takes me deeper into who I am, how I operate and the “why” behind my actions and how I think.
I am often provided a clearer and more expansive understanding of the bigger picture, the one that shows me being part of a larger, interconnected and integrated whole. The key is to listen, not with my mind, but with my heart and that larger, intuitive part of me attuned to my authentic being. The authentic me is the one unencumbered by my ego, desires, fears, insecurities, wants, needs and agendas. I’m just residing in the greater flow of universal energy. That is when I am able to find unhindered balance.
Finding balance in an unbalanced world has everything to do with where I put my focus, my perspective, and the meaning I give to that perspective.
The more importance something has in my life, the more emotionally attached I am to it and want to hold on to it, to enshrine it in stone. That’s when I’m more likely to faceplant into life’s muck, which exacerbates any problems I was having to begin with.
There’s nothing like my ego stepping in to manage something that will ensure continued life lessons that could have been easily avoided through thoughtful contemplation and detachment. Once I’m attached to something—and it can be a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g—I’ve become a slave to it. I will have lost my free will because in the back of my mind will be running a racket that says, “Hold tight or else you’ll lose it, lose yourself—lose everything.”
That’s the ego safeguarding my survival. It’s a total delusion. It’s when I let ego take a backseat that I can experience freedom. Once I let ego go, my stress level decreases significantly and I can then secure myself in a space that allows me true freedom.
Fundamentally, balance comes from within, not from without.
To seek balance out in the world is akin to trying to herd cats. You can try your hardest, but a rosy feeling of accomplishment isn’t what you’ll end up with for long or at all.
The only way to experience the true contentment of balance is to go within and consciously seek a position of neutrality. It’s known as the Middle Path, a path that is neither for nor against, observes rather than judges, is detached yet compassionate, relaxed yet engaged.
The Middle Path takes us outside the emotional turmoil of life so that we are in the world, but not of it. Following our inner guidance found in contemplation, we can be far more effective in dealing with life’s challenges because we’re no longer letting our egos run the show. We’re now in step with the universe.
We can either go to hell in a handbasket of our own making or soar above it and apply our energies more appropriately, as well as allow ourselves to be more open to Divine love. In the process, we’ll experience far less stress, drama and chaos. Instead, we’ll develop balance within ourselves and experience peace, centeredness, and love. The choice is ours.
This post is republished on Medium.
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