Amid well-intended government efforts to inhibit the spread of a worldwide pandemic, many individuals now experience the chokehold and restrictive pressure of autocratic rule. This top-down authoritarian domination of many by a few, imposes subservience to only one official view.
Many individuals realize that the prevailing authoritarian viewpoint is limited, because it represents and tolerates only one view. As new information emerges, we are learning that other viewpoints may have been overlooked or that the magnitude of oppression cannot be justified by the scope of the problem. Many people in the West have never lived under a dictatorship, and so they do not have a frame of reference of how to respond.
How on earth could this situation be helpful to our inner journey of personal growth and peace?
First, we need to understand that nobody is exempt from the winds of change sweeping the planet. Everyone is experiencing some level of turmoil in their lives because they are energetically part of the collective of homo sapiens. There is no possible dismissal around the chaotic shift that is happening, because all humans are experiencing ripples of the same wave.
Next, we need to learn that true freedom comes from within and is not determined by external forms. It is this inner sense of freedom that gave Nelson Mandela the courage to bide his time and keep his faith alive for 27 years of incarceration by a totalitarian regime until the tide changed.
Despite constraints placed on us by external circumstance, most of us have our basic needs met during this time. And with our basic survival needs of food and shelter met, we are called to the next level of existence: to operate from a level of kindness and compassion toward others who may not have as much as we do during this time.
People move toward resistance and protests not because they want to fight, but because they want to do something – anything – to shift the pressure. This reactionary impulse comes from our lower animal survival instinct in the amygdala. It pulls us deeper into primal responses and triggers a similar reactionary response from others.
More than a hundred years ago, Einstein reminded us that we cannot solve a problem from the same level of consciousness where it was created. We need to shift to a higher place before we engage with the challenges we face, or we will get sucked down into that maelstrom of hatred and resistance.
The higher response of lovingkindness calls us to action in a more effective way. Instead of feeding the primal instinct in ourselves and others, we can practice compassion toward other sentient life forms, contribute to someone in need, and exercise lovingkindness to ourselves, fellow humans and the earth.
The change we wish to see in the world around us, must come from within us. When we choose to walk the path of kindness, we allow our Higher self to transcend our lower human nature. We learn to be present; to make conscious choices in each moment and to practice lovingkindness instead of allowing the weeds of fear, hatred and anger to grow inside us and further pollute the collective.
Each one of us has the right to choose our responses to life. This freedom includes the choice to fuel anger, to marginalize others, to judge, fight and oppress; yet while all choices are available to us, not all choices are optimal for our evolving consciousness.
To make choices that ultimately empower us to live our best life, it is helpful to ask ourselves first: Does this choice fuel my soul evolution, or does it feed my lower nature? Does it elevate my consciousness, or does it feed my ego?
When we lean into our true soul nature of lovingkindness in the present moment, it will infuse all our actions to become positive catalysts for change around us.
Instead of reacting to the spectrum of lower human emotions playing out, we can step back from the precipice of reactivity and return to lovingkindness in the present moment. By recognizing the extreme emotions that have led to the reactions we observe in society – fear, lack, frustration, hatred, control desire – we can consciously choose a higher response.
To choose a higher response, we also need remove the pious mask of our conditioned responses to see just how we have been hurting ourselves and others.
First, we need to revisit our use of rights. No hurtful action can be justified by defending it as our right. Whenever we attach to our “rights” we are also taking a dualistic position of right vs. wrong, me vs. other on the issue. We use the concept of rights to lock our actions into a defensive position of duality, and that defeats the purpose of rising to a higher level of consciousness from where the problem can be solved. In truth, all lives matter, and when we can unite our desire for change at higher levels of consciousness, we will be able to transform our world in ways that ripple across all boundaries.
In addition, we need to see the arrogance in our desire to “educate” or correct others. So much of what we’ve labeled kindness, is simply our willful desire for justification and change on our own egoic terms. Our need to educate others on what we perceive as a more enlightened viewpoint about a topic such as mask wearing, further perpetuates the subconscious belief that we are right, we know better, and the other needs to be corrected. It is an ego trap that perpetuates the division between self and other in duality-consciousness.
Then, we need to come back to center. The further apart we are on issues, the more highly charged our emotions and reactions become – a bit like being on opposite ends of a children’s teeter totter. For true growth and evolution, we need to move closer to the center where the stillpoint allows us to observe all the emotions on the spectrum without engaging in extremes.
The only way to diffuse the minefield of survival emotions triggered by sweeping change, is to step out of our lower nature’s craving to exercise our right to protest, judge, label and hate; we need to step into a higher level of consciousness from where we can embody lovingkindness: the true kindness that allows everyone to evolve in their own way and time.
Lovingkindness lets go of inherent divisiveness and judgment. It allows us to look for nuggets of goodness and truth in everyone and everything we encounter. It opens our consciousness to embrace the truth wherever we encounter it. In so doing, the very kindness and truth we thus acknowledge, can expand in the world to bring all us together with new insight and harmony.
The era of judging a book by its cover is over. To find solutions for the challenges we are facing on the planet at this time, we need to stand together – all of us. Solutions require us to look for and focus on the nuggets of truth presented by others, not the splinters of division.
The time of amassing and protecting our individual loot, is done. Whatever is useful for our own lives and future, we need to give others the right to enjoy as well. We need to relinquish our greed for what is bigger, stronger, or better for us as individuals, and instead choose what enhances the bigger collective.
It is essential to recognize that everything in this Universe is connected at some level. Physicist Rupert Sheldrake found in his research that every form of life in the cosmos exchanges information with everything else in any three-week period.
How can we tap into this transformative wisdom? We can start by recognizing what resonates with our Higher nature in every situation. From there, we can focus on the strand of Presence that fuels our soul with kindness, and the density of division will drop away.
Lovingkindness is about aligning with a Higher perspective from a place of integrity – taking responsibility for our individual actions instead of waiting for others to change first. It allows us to do what we can with what we have, right now, despite conflicting appearances on the surface of our lives. It frees us to focus on what is possible now instead of what has happened already; to acknowledge the potential in every situation instead of fixating on what we are afraid of.
Practicing lovingkindness is not spiritual bypassing. It is not about putting on blinders to the problems around us. Instead, it empowers us to transcend the lower aspects of divisiveness to find the higher qualities of life that unite us, while extending kindness to everyone around us. This is how each of us can effectively address the challenges of this time and transform life into a more beneficial experience for everyone.
Awakening to truth allows us to see ourselves as we truly are, not as we have been conditioned to believe. We support the awakening of souls not by judging them, but by seeing the spark of Divine potential within each one. True acceptance holds up a mirror of kindness in which each soul can recognize themselves and awaken to a higher level of consciousness.
To survive and thrive beyond this time, we can – and must – step off the teeter totter of positionality and dualism. When we identify with the observer within, we can choose transformative responses at a conscious level.
Change has long been needed on the planet. It is upon us now. The current winds of change are bringing us chaos as well as opportunity. Let’s lean into the opportunity with true kindness that uplifts, instead of tearing apart others – and ultimately, ourselves – with judgment and hatred.
This time of upheaval offers us an unprecedented opportunity for growth in consciousness, lovingkindness and transformation. It challenges us to embody the change we wish to see in the world, and then to hold that vision until its transformative power permeates every aspect of society.