It looks like there are millions of problems, right? Well, are there, really? Or is it really about HOW we handle the problems? Many of us try to cope with all the challenges of life by avoiding, denying, pretending that things are just fine the way they are, or that we are helpless to make any difference. We eat, drink alcohol, gamble, get angry, escape into TV, boss the kids around, look the other way when we see something that we know is not right. Let’s WAKE UP instead! We all get to be self-aware and see the impact we have on ourselves, others and the world! We have the power of choice and we can choose to be guided in those choices. You can choose to hide, escape, and act out your pain or deny your discomfort or you can fight for your dreams and fight for a better way to cope with the challenges of your lives. You can either go unconscious or you can develop your skills at being more aware and more conscious. One will end up making you weaker and weaker and the other will bring you greater and greater strength. Which do YOU think will make you feel better?
As my friend and mentor, Beth Green, says, “There are not a million problems on earth. There is only one problem and that problem is human consciousness.” If we look at all the ways that humans behave and if we brought consciousness to them all, we could work them out. Fighting for consciousness may look many different ways. It might be deciding to fight your ego tendency to criticize your partner. I often find that fighting my own ego tendencies is the hardest fight for me! Or it might be consciously fighting to find supportive ways of interacting with a co-worker who challenges you. Or it might be fighting against your tendency to get defensive when your partner is being blaming or grumpy. Fighting for consciousness might look like taking a hard look at how much you drink. It might be taking accountability for the money you are spending on gambling or shopping. As you can see, there are so many ways that we try and cope with the challenges of life rather than being conscious and actually facing those challenges head on and dealing with the problem itself and resolving that problem! Instead we often just stick our heads in the sand and find a way to avoid the bad feelings that come up when this issue arises.
Another area where we often go unconscious is our tendency to polarize about politics or any other area where people tend to be contentious and separating from each other. We have gotten into a very reactive and unconscious pattern in our political world. Here again, what if you try identifying the real problem and seeing what both sides have in common regarding that problem.? What if you brought consciousness to the issue instead of reactivity? No matter how far apart you are on the spectrum, you can find things you have in common. Everyone is afraid of losing good jobs in our country. We can probably agree on that, even if we disagree on the solution. Let’s face that challenge with consciousness instead of anger and blaming. Who knows what brilliant and creative solutions we could come up with for healthcare, climate change, racism, immigration and all the other very real challenges we face as humans if we approached all these challenges with our consciousness instead of our opinions?
Another important way to fight for consciousness is how you respond when you see someone you care about behaving in a way that is painful. What if you brought consciousness and you went toward them and offered your support instead of leaving them alone in their pain or criticizing them? Bring your awareness and discuss openly what you are seeing. Don’t pretend that there is no problem. It doesn’t matter if the problem in within your family or a global challenge, like global warming or famine, the answer is the same! It’s about developing our ability to use our consciousness to solve the real issue!
As you can see, it SEEMS like there are many issues that block our dreams of a peaceful and loving world! But, there is only one problem and one answer (and it’s a tall order, for sure!) and that is to bring consciousness to every single place that there is pain and conflict and separation. Let’s decide together that this is the path we want to take!