It seems as though our world is moving into a new stage in the coronavirus pandemic as some restrictions begin to lift. I am left with the question: have we learned the sobering lesson Nature has given us that we must honour its rhythms for our collective health? Have we listened to the urgent call to reawaken our interconnection as the foundation of our shared wellbeing? Are we willing to meet that which is with open hearts, ready to serve the greater good with courage and compassion? All of this begins as we choose inner peace, moment by moment.

In support of this, let’s continue healing the sorry stories that keep us from inner peace, so that we may love ourselves, each other, and the world.

Like the feelings of “no room for me” or “I gotta get it right”, the sorry story of “I suck” can creep into our minds and leave us feeling disconnected from the world, as though we simply do not deserve to be a part of it at all. We may rationalize or minimize the tendency, thinking that negative self-concepts are better than being excessively proud, or that they only hurt ourselves. But neither of these is true. There is essentially no difference between “I suck” and “I’m so great”, because both are expressions of our ego. And since we are all interconnected, we cannot hurt ourselves without hurting all of life. In fact, when we are in our ego, we are inadvertently takers. By focusing on a feeling of “I suck”, we are trying to pull energy towards us to fill up our sense of lack. “I suck” is actually sucking on life.

When we are willing to open to, and rest in, the unconditional love of Nature that is always present for us, we find the courage to meet this moment with honesty and humility. In compassion, we realize that the “I suck” has been masking scared, broken parts of ourselves that are in need of care. Instead of judging, condemning or hiding those places, we can welcome them into our heart for healing. Then we root and expand into the richness of who we truly are, as a loved and integral part of an intelligent whole.

In this broader, self-compassionate perspective, we see more profoundly into our sorry story tendencies and the way they close us off from life. For example, when we perceive the source of our unhappiness to be something outside of ourselves, we identify with the sorry story of “happening to me”. In so doing, we have given our energy away to victimhood and powerlessness. When there, we mistakenly believe that other people or situations are the cause of our pain. This thwarts our growth. We blame. We resent. Rather than making positive changes in ourselves, which lead to making healthy decisions in the world, we act out our suffering on those around us. In turn, we all suffer.

But when we are willing to learn from our mistakes and painful situations, we begin to see life as a gift, as a supportive process, rather than something “happening to me”—even if a situation is challenging, such as it is today for us all. We then discover that we have choice. The ability to create a life we love begins with one healthy decision at a time. If we are willing to admit our faults and shortcomings, we can feel compassion for those of others as well. Then we find the courage to see even more clearly.

When we are willing to move into deep quiet, we can feel the thrum of a collective pulse beating through the world. It is that of greed. The humble truth is, it is even in ourselves. It is the shared voice within that tells us that life is never enough and we must always have more. This is the voice of entitlement, a powerfully destructive disease of mind, body and spirit. It is based in wanting and disconnect. In entitlement, we are convinced we need something external to make us feel fulfilled, as opposed to having a healthy sense of self, anchored within. If entitlement consumes our mind, we have no empathy for others or the world, because the only thing that feels real is an endlessly hungry “me”.

When we consider the situation carefully, we can see that even the feeling of “happening to me”, “I suck” or any painful tendency comes from tremendous entitlement. To choose to perceive life as against us is to appropriate the moment in order to feed pain. Just as, when entitled, we lose sight of the other person and fixate on what we think we are owed, when we are disconnected, in againstness, we lose sight of the whole. Our entire universe revolves around the sense of “mine”.

With our hearts and eyes open, we can understand that such entitlement is not who we truly are. Like a virus of the mind, it has long been sickening us. We no longer wish to perpetuate that kind of pain and suffering in ourselves and the world. Our hearts overflow with both remorse and love, as we choose to live in the truth that we are already connected.

When we understand that these sorry stories are based on the illusion that we are not within a compassionate and supportive universe, we can witness them playing out in obvious and subtle ways. In gratitude for the opportunity to see and heal from these painful tendencies, we let them go. With growing inner calm, we develop compassion for ourselves and others. Through this, we strengthen our collective wellbeing. May it be swiftly so for each one of us.

This week, consider:
– In which ways have I engaged with the “I suck” sorry story?
– Am I willing to pause and immediately put to practice the three steps to transformation— understand, witness and release—when I see this story playing out in my thoughts and actions?
– What do I discover when I do?
– In which ways have I engaged with a feeling of “happening to me”?
– Am I willing to pause and immediately put to practice the three steps to transformation— understand, witness and release—when I see this story playing out in my thoughts and actions?
– What do I discover when I do?
– In which ways have I felt entitled? When? How did I express it?
– What could I have done differently? What effect would humility have had instead?
– In what ways have I inadvertently been a taker?
– Am I now willing to let these ways go for good?

From my heart to yours,