A conversation with my guides…
Me: I’m angry and I feel helpless by what’s going on in the world. What should I do about it?
Guides: First, there is no “should.” You came here with the intention to experience a physical world of contrasts. Second, doing what is in alignment with who you are and what your intention is for this lifetime will result in a higher vibration than doing what is not in alignment with who you are and what your intention is.
Me: That is singularly unhelpful. Why can’t you just tell me to contact my congressperson or join a protest or write letters to the editor or tweet my anger into the void?
Guides: Is that who you are? Is that in alignment with your intentions and what you wish to experience?
Me: Well, I want to experience world peace. I want everyone to respect each other, and celebrate diversity, and honor our wounds and experiences and what we each bring to our interactions.
Guides: Then do that. Respect others, celebrate diveristy, honor others’ wounds and experienes and what they bring to their interactions with you.
Me: Um… That doesn’t change the fact that angry white men who believe in white supremacy are shooting up so-called “soft targets” and killing innocent people out of hate. That doesn’t change the racist tweets that the president sends out nearly every day. That doesn’t change the lack of safety I feel as a female-presenting, queer, Jewish mystic with a history of trauma.
Guides: What others choose to do is their decision. You can choose to draw their energy closer to you or you can repel it and focus on what you do want.
Me: Okay, but isn’t that kind of like burying my head in the sand? Singing la-la-la-I-can’t-hear-you to all the negative things in the world? Don’t I have a responsibility as a citizen of the world or the country to do something about it?
Guides: You have accepted that responsibility because you believe that by virtue of receiving the benefits of living in an organized society, you owe that society something in return. Not everyone believes that. As for burying your head in the sand, are you ignoring what’s going on? Or are you acknowledging it, considering all the ways in which you might respond and what effect those responses might have, and then choosing the responses that are most in alignment with who you are?
Me: Oh. Yeah, I’m acknowledging it. And I’m talking to people in person about it. I’m listening to news reports––the most objective ones I can find––and thinking about ways that I might have an actual effect. Posting on Facebook or Twitter seems rather pointless to me. I’m not in any way interested in inviting trolls to comment if I make a post public, and posting to my friends doesn’t seem like it’s actually going to accomplish any change. And I’ve said several times that tweeting feels like yelling out my car’s open window…while driving down the freeway…at night…in the rain. I don’t think I have enough followers yet to make any difference.
Guides: Rarely has an adult been convinced to change their beliefs and behavior by being shamed or yelled at. Especially when their behavior is rooted in fear and ignorance.
Me: But some people believe that if we’re not loud and vocal about injustice and terror and racism and homophobia and so on, that we’re part of the problem. I wonder if they believe that we’re supposed to sacrifice ourselves to end these things.
Guides: They may. And that is the reality that they have created for themselves, until or unless they decide to change it. You are not obligated to buy into their perspectives.
Me: It feels like a war. And there are people who expect everyone who opposes violence and racism and homophobia and sexism and all the other antis to be on the front lines, fighting this. But to use your language, that’s not in alignment with who I am. I’m more of the healer behind the front lines who wants to help heal those who’ve been hurt in this fight. Because I know what it feels like to be betrayed and shunned and beaten down, and I’m uniquely qualified to help others.
Guides: Think of it this way: A lot of people are feeling afraid, angry, vengeful. This is how they’ve chosen to respond in this moment. You’re wanting to remind people that they are worthy of love and joy and peace and safety, and that, even in the microcosm of their minds or bodies, in this moment, they can experience this. How is that burying your head in the sand? How is that not responding? And how is that in any way helpless? It seems to us that this is actually quite powerful.
Me: So how do I do this? How do I fight fear and anger and hatred with love and joy and peace and safety? Especially when I’m exhausted and burned out and dealing with all the day-to-day obligations of regular life, and, oh yeah, I’m especially prone to being triggered because of my trauma history.
Guides: You don’t do it. You are it. Allow yourself to shine. All yourself to feel all of what you feel and use that energy to do what is in alignment with who you are. Allow those who want to fight on the front lines to do so, that may be in alignment with who they are. At the same time, do not allow them to dictate to you your reality. Be the star that shines its light into a dark universe.
Me: That’s sounds suspiciously like Gandhi’s, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
Guides: Even so.
Me: Any other suggestions?
Guides: Practice self-care. You cannot give to others when you are empty. Remember that what you focus on, you get more of. Set your focus intentionally. Stay in this moment, without revisiting the past or anticipating the future. The present is where everything happens. Others may not understand what you are doing or why. They may not approve or agree. They may think less of you or ridicule you or try to make you wrong. This says a lot about them––their focus and perspectives––and nothing about you. Acknowledge that even if there are safety concerns out in the world because of who you are or how you look or what you believe, your soul, your essence is always safe. And you are in complete control over whether or not you are safe from yourself. Continue your healing, because as you heal and show the world what is possible, you also give others a model. Everyone who heals also brings hope to the world.