April 13, 2017

This is What we Need when we’re Feeling Hopeless about the World.

“Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of sh*t and not be squeamish about taking a good look.” ~ Pema Chodron


There are days when I feel utterly hopeless about this world.

Days when I know that I cannot control most of what is happening, and that all my efforts over time seem to be like drops in the proverbial bucket—simply not enough.

I’ve stopped saying: “I want to change the world.”

The world does not need changing—it needs us to wake up. The world itself is just fine; it’s the self-absorption of the human condition that is truly terrifying.

The world wears no masks. It is as it is. We, on the other hand, are seldom aware of our own identity. The pain that arises from that disconnection with self is the mayhem that is visible on this planet.

It is said that to create a shift in the world, we must begin with ourselves. But lately, I have been wondering if we should be changing less and knowing ourselves more. Perhaps we need to sink deep into the heart of our being and look with empathy at our own pain—and then love it.

To love one’s pain is to transmute it. For what wound can stay raw when it is heaped with acceptance? Through acceptance, we find healing within our very own nature.

When I look at the world, I see myself. I see a ripple from the pebble thrown into the waters of consciousness reaching from my own heart center and emanating across the ocean of all others.

When I feel utterly hopeless about the world, I sit down, open my heart with the key of compassion, and listen. This is something that I can do every single time I am overwhelmed. I can begin with myself—and when I do, I see clearly that this practice is a powerful tool owned by each and every one of us.

Imagine if all we did was love ourselves to the point of being incapable of harming anything or anyone.

I would like to call everyone on the planet into one big classroom and hand out only one assignment—to have everyone sit down together, and from a place of stillness, transform our inner landscape.

We are trying to fix everything externally, and it’s just never going to work. We’re fighting this and that—arguing over policy, government, terrorism—and facing war, after war, after war.

The war has always been within.

Of course, many of us will eat less meat and buy organic and local. We will feed the hungry, and we will rescue the devastated. We will drink from re-usable cups. But those things, while necessary, are all focusing on what’s wrong out there. 

What if we focused on what is right within ourselves? We are beautiful beyond measure, but we have forgotten.

I have chosen this Buddhist “Prajna Paramita” Heart Sutra as a way to reconnect with my inner stillness and find beauty within myself.

Here there is no drama, no need to change anything, and no reason to worry. Re-charged, I can open my eyes and see new possibilities for hope among chaos.

Te Ya Ta Om Gate Para Gate Para Sam Gate Bo Dhi Soha…

Listen with your heart. Sing along with your heart.

Imagine if we all connected to our hearts this powerfully—that is the vision I will put forth as I absorb this:



Author: Monika Carless

Image: Flickr/Eva Blue

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

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