“I haven’t been following it, I feel nothing at all,” said a friend when we were discussing the outcome of the recent American presidential election. I winced. How could she not care? “If it’s bothering you, it’s your projection,” she said: “All is well and all will be well.”
My whole life has been about trying to change things and make life better, either for people disadvantaged in some way, or, more recently, for the planet as a whole. It didn’t sound as if the new president-elect had the same agenda. How could I be OK with that?
I began dabbling in personal development and spirituality a decade or so ago. Previously I had seen all ‘that stuff’ as being self indulgent navel gazing that could bring no good to the world. While I do now understand at a personal level that all will be well, I am very uncomfortable with the idea that that understanding means not taking action in the world to address what looks wrong.
I do now see that we are all innately fine, perfect as we are (even Donald Trump), connected to the essence of our humanity and all part of the universal energy behind life. Clearly we all have thoughts which provide us with a fantastic range of separate realities, innocently created out of thin air and telling us very plausible, believable stories about ourselves and the world around us. And those can totally mask that oneness and connection.
When we ask ourselves what we really want, and in response to the answer, ask again: “And what will that get you that you truly want?” eventually we all respond the much the same way. We want peace of mind and trust that whatever happens in the outside world, or has happened to us in the past, we are just fine.
So everything that any one of us ever does is just to help us feel a bit closer to that ideal in the moment, oblivious to the fact that we already have it, but have hidden it from ourselves by innocently believing that our insecure thoughts and feelings are true.
Of course anyone with any psychological or spiritual interest had picked up that to some degree it is an inside job because obviously there are people in similar circumstances who have very different states of mind. People have different priorities and interpret circumstances differently.
But the truth is, it is 100% an inside job. We all already have all the wisdom, clarity and creativity we could ever need. And when we get caught up in changing our outside world in order to feel better about ourselves, we are innocently misunderstanding where our well-being comes from. At any moment, we can see the truth of that and recognise the universal energy of which we are all an innate part, the oneness of everyone.
So why do I feel uncomfortable about the world’s most powerful country being run by someone whose values happen to be different from mine? I know that he is only doing the best he can to feel better about himself given his innocent misunderstanding of thoughts about his inadequacy – which makes him no different from the rest of us. Do I trust the intelligent energy behind life to take care of it? Or instead do I see that empathy for the roots of someone’s behaviour does not make that behaviour acceptable? Hence I may need to do something if the behaviour is not OK?
But didn’t I just say that re-organising the outside world to feel better on the inside was an innocent illusion? Well yes it is. If your intent is to do something in order to change your uncomfortable feelings, that is true.
But we also get nudges from our deep knowing, call it instinct, or your heart, or the still quiet voice, which comes not with a feeling of discomfort that seems to demand to be fixed, but with a quiet almost non-feeling of gentle knowingness and clarity. My friend’s mantra: ‘All is well and all will be well,’ isn’t wrong, but it doesn’t mean take no action.
On the contrary, if we are part of the universal web of life, then our feet are held to the fire and we do have a job to do. We do not act in response to our fear or anger, but listen to what comes from that place of clarity and peace. And what we hear will be different for everyone, it might look bigger or smaller and feel easy or not.
I know that when I allow my self judgement to settle and see through my fears, more and more I do know what to do next to help us create a better world together. Of course I still get hypnotised by the stories I tell myself along the lines of who am I to do this? I’m human, after all. But deep down, I will still know what to do in response to Trump’s election so I do intend to get on with it – whatever that turns out to be.