Just yesterday, I couldn't help but sit in awe at the juxtaposition I witnessed. While two fellow human beings were on their way to space, below them on Earth were millions of people in turmoil.
Like many, I had a hard time making sense of my thoughts based on the latest, but certainly not the lone occurrence of injustice and oppression. Watching the two streams simultaneously made me remember the greater situation, which is that we're on a planet spinning in the middle of outer space, yet killing ourselves over things that should not matter.
In response to these recent events, there are many things we can do in the outside world. Those are documented all over. Donate, call your local authorities, spread awareness, peacefully protest, learn how to interact with others of different races. That's all wonderful.
However, since this blog is focused on your inner environment, I approach this like everything else in life. What can we do within ourselves?
First, we can observe the reactions bubbling up inside. We can hold them in our awareness without trying to change them. In times like these, this is just as, if not more important than what we do on the outside.
We can also remember that, whatever action we take, it will always serve the greater good if we first center ourselves and act from a place of clarity, wisdom, and love. I’m not saying we shouldn’t feel angry, but is acting out our anger the best action for the greater good, or is it just so we feel better in the moment? It's critical to understand this difference.
Reactive forces are at an all time high. With the amount of pent up anger, all it takes is one slightly misused word and people are up in arms.
The very reason there has been so much outrage over the recent senseless police brutality is because people are carrying generations of pent up anger. That’s thousands, probably millions, of collective human years of suffering, injustice and oppression. Of course it’s going to come out when something like this happens.
Leaders of society must understand this. However, we can’t just speak to leaders and expect them to change. We can only control our own level of change, and do our best do influence others.
I believe meaningful change starts with understanding. Not at a race level. Not at a society level. But at a human level.
We need to revisit the basics of what it means to be human, what it means to be this quality of awareness living inside this vessel of flesh and bones in a world full of uncertainty.
We need to start by putting aside all that separates us and makes us different, and instead focus on what makes us the same. When I think about what we share in common, I always revert back to the same truth.
We’re all just trying to have a pleasant experience of life, and feel the beautiful, inner flow of energy, regardless of what triggers it.
Knowing this fundamental predicament of being human, we can then understand others’ actions, regardless of how moral or immoral they might be. We can understand - not condone, not approve of - just understand, why someone acted the way they did. They were just looking for that inner energy to flow.
If you cannot understand someone's action at this basic human level of them trying to be okay, then any solutions you pose likely won’t contribute to the greater good.
While there are countless violent protests and reactive forces, I’ve also seen many people taking their time to find the right words and actions. Some might see this time as wasted, but I see it as intelligent.
After being shaken up, as long as your body is not in immediate danger, it’s always intelligent to first center yourself before taking action. This act of centering yourself need not take extra time, as it's something you do within yourself.
Ask yourself: do I want to react with my pent up anger and insecurities that have nothing to do with the situation? Or do I want to first make sure I’m acting consciously from a place of clarity and willful, guided energy?
Realize that the latter approach will always be the one that’s more productive for the greater good.
You may disagree, and that’s perfectly fine, but in no way, shape, or form do I feel that rioting, looting, and spewing out pent up anger is the most beneficial long-term solution to what we are facing.
I understand why people are doing it, and I certainly do not impose judgment. As I said before, millions of collective years of injustice and oppression are a sure-fire way to ignite rage.
All I’m saying is, when individuals learn how to work with their inner energies rather than being thrown around by them, we might start to see more systemic improvements.
Leaders might start to lower their guard and make it less about their ego. The oppressed would feel safe to explore their inner dimensions while still going about their lives. Unfortunately, many people of color do not feel physically safe enough to do this, which is a tragedy.
Finally, I’ll end with another common theme of this blog, but one that’s more important now than ever - acceptance.
If you’ve understood what I’ve said about this before, you know why it’s so important. But maybe you still get hung up on the word acceptance. Let me say this.
Acceptance does not mean leaving something the way it is.
When painful things happen, then by definition they hurt. What follows - our reaction to this pain - is what will determine whether or not we get a different outcome in the future.
If we cannot accept that something happened, then our subsequent actions will not be rooted in reality, and therefore will not solve the problem. Acting in disharmony with reality does not bear the fruits needed to solve a greater problem.
We must accept, so that we can participate harmoniously with reality and do whatever it asks of us in the moment.
Many people are showing courage by doing that today. I admire these people. However, there are still many others who are not, and instead, understandably, letting their reactive personal energies guide their actions.
If there's one thing I leave you with, it's this. There are billions of forces in the universe which are out of your and my control, and only a small handful within our control. How you handle your heart happens to be one of those few things in your control, and luckily, a key to lasting change in the world.
Will we learn to handle our hearts, or will we continue to let our reactive energies guide our behavior? The choice is ours.
I pray for the world, and more importantly, for every individual to access that place of wisdom and strength that lies within.
Live with substance! Gabe Orlowitz