I Can't Do Everything, But I Can Do Something

Once again, there's a lot going on in the world. It can feel chaotic and uncertain. In the U.S. - hurricanes in Florida, floods in Texas, fires across Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and California. Earthquakes in Mexico, nuclear threats from North Korea, genocide in Rohingya, elections, high rates of domestic violence and suicide in New Zealand and that's just today's news.

We need each other more than ever. We really do.

I read a proverb the other day that said, It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.

That seems the only way forward to me, probably to most of us. Also, it's also incredibly overwhelming. We all get caught up in our daily lives. We may feel overcome with sadness, pain or guilt about what is happening around us. We probably feel unsure what to do, thinking that it won't be enough. 

The only thing I know to do in this situation is to go within, and to remember that I do have some power over what happens in the world. I cannot save the world. That's way too much pressure, and it's a trap I've fallen into countless times, leaving me paralysed, shouldering a burden I can't carry. But I can help the world.

Gandhi said, as human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world - that is the myth of the atomic age – but that our greatness lies in being able to remake ourselves. 

This feels true to me, and also comforting and somewhat achievable (although I am careful with that word). I can remake myself. Little by little. Moment by moment. Day by day. Not by some grand plan, or an end goal, or by making it another achievement. But by continuing to do my best, by putting one foot in front of the other, and by making the best choices I can in each moment.

In a training I did recently, Marianne Williamson put it this way. In each interaction, each response, we choose whether we download the file from our highest self (Love) or from another part of ourselves. That choice determines our reaction (and the on-flow effect from that). I find this immensely helpful, because it helps me to remember that the choice is indeed mine. 

I will mess up those choices. I do mess up those choices. You probably do too. But when I do, I (usually) choose to forgive myself. I choose to accept each and every part of myself and love it equally. That is a download of my highest self too. Because if I don't love, if I don't forgive, I perpetuate the civil war that rages inside me. And there is no point in further dividing myself. When I do that, I further divide the world.

What I cannot give to myself, I cannot give to others. This is important for all of us to remember. It is only when we exercise the greatest care and compassion for ourselves, that we can extend that care and compassion most effectively into the world around us. That's when it really spreads far and wide. 

My brothers and sisters in humanity need me to be my best self.  They need you to be your best self. We really are all in this together. And I know that if we can remake ourselves, we can remake the world. We can be the shelter for the storms - for each other.  Good things do come out chaos, eventually.

We keep going. We keep growing. We keep putting one foot in front of the other, pulling ourselves up and as many people as we can along the way. 

I believe in you. 

Keep moving toward love and the healthy pursuit of happiness,


Photo Credit: Photo by Andrew Bertram on Unsplash