If you look at life like a poet, seeing beauty in the simplest things, you do not need to go anywhere to find beauty. You can see that within manure, a flower is waiting to be born. It is not in the future as an abstract concept; it is there now, in its fullest potential. Within an acorn lying on the forest floor is a magnificent flowering tree. If you listen closely, you can feel the tree whisper to you from inside the acorn, with its majestic tranquility. Within a storm inflicting damage on a community is also the breathtaking beauty of sun squirming its way through the clouds to a new dawn, bringing new energy and a re-creation of what we thought was perfect, but has new perfection to expand upon us.
This potential also works with emotions and relationships. Within a storm of a relationship where there is deep division and conflict, there is also a great empathy waiting to unfold. This is because there can be no compassion without understanding, and to find understanding we must experience. You cannot have empathy for someone’s violence without having experienced the urge to lash out yourself. And it is through empathy, or love, that we transform the world. Peace does not come from imposing rules of peace; it comes from living peace. This applies within relationships and activism equally.
The interconnected nature of the universe applies to me in particular in my own journey. This being is within me:
Feeling the weight of someone’s body on top of me, I shut off. How could this happen? How can I let this happen? I shall never trust the world again. I shall keep kicking until I no longer feel a weight on top of me. I shall never trust myself again. I shall never trust the world again. I hate being a child, for helplessness is the worst of all evils.
This being is also within me:
The child breathes contentedly in utter trust, feeling the warmth and support surrounding me. I am helpless, but within that helplessness comes the ability to invite help. Everything I need is here now. In utter vulnerability, I let the world touch me and the fullness of it brings utter joy. My helplessness is a gateway to feeling the love around me. I trust completely.
The two beings are of course one; they are me. Within the vulnerability of a childlike state is also the ability to be traumatized, and within the ability to be traumatized is the ability to heal, learn empathy, transform the world, and live a life of Love. Nothing needs to be done to ‘transform’ one into the other; they are both inseparable. They are me.
In thinking about healing, we usually focus on the loudest voice. The hurt child screams loudest and we rarely hear anything else, so we think that’s all there is. We lose awareness of the joyful child that is present in the moment and has never left us. And it is awareness that transforms â???? not counseling, medication, or even diving into the pain â???? but simple awareness. It is through awareness that all aspects of ourselves are reconnected and integrated. It is how compassion is learned; seeing how interdependent we are.
Whether within one’s Self, in relationship, or in society, there is a great interdependency. The pain cannot be without the joy and compassion. A pauper cannot exist without the ultra rich. There would be no destruction of the rainforest without all the world participating in its consumer patterns. This is not simply the link of cause and effect; it is a deeper connection on the level of being. You are the environment of the world, you are the disparity of wealth, and you are both the joys and pains that exist in you and without you.? Invite this in; it is the gateway to living a live filled with peace.