There are plenty of things we want to change in the world. The news is filled with the horrors of war, violence, crime, financial ruin, family disturbances, disease, poverty. If the 24/7 scoop on the news doesn’t numb you over time, it can break your heart.
In our attempts to change all that – to create peace and love and joy in the world – we often want to jump right in and figure out how we can change “them” or “that”. We can vote, rally, protest, volunteer, and do all sorts of things in the outside world to make it a safer and better place to live. And these things are extremely important. However, it is all to easy to ignore the most important thing that we can be doing every minute of every day.
Change what is inside of us.
There is a lot of talk about seeing our reflection in the world around us. Friends and lovers become mirrors for our own strengths and weaknesses, and our situation reflects the state of our lives. Somewhere along the way we have come to think if only we can change our situation – or our friends’ behavior – our lives will be better.
I would like to propose that you join me in an experiment.
Begin by looking at all your situations as reflections of who you are. Look at the world and all its troubles, and all its beauty, as a mirror of what is inside of you. Imagine events, things, people – everything – as simply an extension and expression of your internal world.
If you look at the oil spill in the gulf, ask yourself in what ways do you contaminate your precious body or your soul. Do you feed your body toxic food and drink? Do you smoke? Do you fail to keep a clean system?
Think of crime in your city. Horrible, tragic. Then examine how you may commit small transgrressions in your life. Do you rob yourself or others of pleasure? Do you withhold love and compassion? Do you create debt for yourself to satisfy your need to impress others while refusing to spend on something that could create a happier or healthier situation for you or others?
You watch the updates on the war. Which war? The Middle East, the US southern border, the drug war, the corporate wars? They are everywhere. Sure you may say that you don’t engage in war. Yet, if you break down the elements of war, you may see a reflection of something inside of you. Do you get angry at your neighbors, offended at someone else’s behavior? Do you experience desire for retaliation or evening the score? Do you get angry or agressive in traffic?
There is a time for war and crime – think Revolutionary War for instance. When there is a dire need to stand up for your rights and win the freedom to live freely in peace and happiness. However, that is a diversion to the topic at hand.
This topic is actually an extension of the discussion we have been having on intention. If we intend to live in a world of peace and freedom, those conditions must start inside of our own hearts. Right now, right here.
Who is willing to join me in the quest to change the world by changing ourselves?