Are you sure?
In times when all around seems to be moving in ways with which we disagree, in directions we resent or even fear, we can respond by fighting or by becoming overwhelmed. As I look at the past few years and to projections of the next, I am visited with the same possibilities of response. We have seen much anger and fear at government and medical policies, and much anger and fear at responses to them. We’ve seen people being people, wrestling with what to do, reacting from a base of the awareness they have no real control over life. Not just their own life but society and policy have been seemingly out-manoeuvred by a simple virus.
We’ve experienced these things in concept, like in the downturn of our economy, the upturn in interest rates, the attack on family values, the genetic manipulation of our food along with the streamlining of products available so as to prevent us from having any real choice about what we eat, and less and less response or actual change from producers and manufacturers when we express our dissatisfaction. There is an elusiveness in the “powers that be” and a distance in the effort to reach out, underlain with the appearance of synergistic values and agenda, which don’t seem to really reflect our needs.
This is how many people frame up life and consequently feel they are falling victim to it. Whether there is truth in any of this or not, it’s what we believe about how it affects us that makes the inner impact.
But life is an entirely different thing. If we attach our sense of security to externals, we will always experience shortage and a sense of being derailed or driven in directions with which we are not comfortable. Of course, externals are evidence of the internals of other things, and so there is value in recognizing what they may offer. In addition, what comes out of us, our external contributions, are evidence of what is going on in us, and so, in the same way, are useful to recognize what we may offer or what we may curtail. We can choose amongst external options or assert one of our own as an alternative in our own lives. Just remember, we must live with how those choices role out and interact with the rest of the externals out there. That has been our choice, and it was included in the choice at the start. If we don’t recognize there are lives of equal value, equal consideration, and equal influence all around, we will have a tendency to try to enforce our style on others. Considering our inner narrative, our inner perspective, and how we will respond, is vital to our own peace and the security of others also.
This inner life is a place nobody can touch or impact unless we choose to give them permission. Think of it, a teacher may try to teach, but no good thing happens until a student chooses to learn. An attacker may choose to do harm to another, but ultimately the one attacked can choose whether this will become what defines them or whether they will overcome inside. Disease may attempt to deform the path of our lives, but how we choose to grow differently will make our lives worthwhile.
So when we start to say things like, “My life is this way because… they did…, this happened…, I’m sick so I can’t…, nobody was…, I just can’t…” it often may not be the case, but more of how one has framed the picture and approach to their life. Your approach is based on what you have learned, through errors of others and through truths. But just like Galileo discovering the earth revolves around the sun, when we put it out there, not everyone will embrace what we offer. In fact, they may even come against it. But does this make it of no value? I believe it says more about the person who attacks than the one who offers a new perspective. Your opinion has merit, always, but it is only equal to other opinions. However, what goes further is what it offers to help the lives of others. This is what makes it big, from a big heart.
Right now, there is a reconciliation being offered to Indigenous people in North America by the Pope of the Catholic Church. A true response to the many and varied hurts done to them in residential schools of the past. We must not miss it because there is an opportunity here; it’s being offered by the Great Spirit who created us all. We know Him as God. He is not the one who committed the offence; He is the one who paid for the offence and made a way for Great Peace, for all of us and our pain, through His death on the cross. But you don’t have to be Indigenous to have a struggle with God’s offer through His Son. What remains is what will we do with this open sincerity. Will we brand it from the viewpoint of nurtured pain, allowing cruelty from the “powers that ‘were'” to reproduce in us and deform us with the disease of resentment and bitterness all over again?
To truly heal, we must truly recognize the real enemy, the enemy of all of our souls, and that is the devil. He has always attacked the ranks of those who desire to do good, for it is the most effective way to overwhelm and bring discouragement and grief, as Indigenous peoples and those who would inject themselves into their cause, let victory over this harm rule. Let it rule by the forgiveness God offers, in the opportunity of this moment, so it can truly bring The Great Peace from the Prince of Peace.
How you frame your perspective will be the door that opens to the freedom of your future or the progression of your pain. It’s up to you now. Will this be past and no longer part of our today? We can choose to grow differently here to make our lives worthwhile. Not being a victim is about what we choose in our inner life. So let’s be sure.