Be the Change You Wish to See in the World (Caution: Expletives)
It’s been a while since the latest school shooting, and the sun is out. The chickens are laying, life is going on, and the world is still, well, the world.
And so I’m sitting here working on a blog post for the week, wondering what the fuck is happening with all of us and second guessing everything. What on earth can I write about that will matter? How do we change anything? If, as a life coach, my business is all about change, what do I have to offer that will make a difference to anyone? I'm guessing I’m not alone in thinking these things.
In the past week, I’ve seen so much much turmoil on social media about change — what needs to be done, what’s enough, who’s right and who’s wrong. The whole “thoughts and prayers” thing has struck me the most. I get it. It’s not enough. But in this world, NOTHING is ever enough, and the real question is how to deal with that.
Because I’m in all sorts of spiritual and coach groups and because human suffering is universal, I regularly see posts of people relating the traumas and difficulties of their lives, most of which are genuinely awful. The traditional response is “sending love and prayers,” or “holding you.” Because I overthink things, I catch myself questioning whether I should respond similarly. Do I just type that, to offer sympathy and connection? Or do I do it only if I’m genuinely sending some sort of official petition to the universe or if I’m actually going to do something concrete to help follow it up, like sending rent money or a PayPal donation to help pay funeral costs? What good are love and prayers by themselves? And if I’m not dong anything specific, should I just not say anything? Does it matter if I’m an atheist, or a pagan, or a buddhist, or some bizarre combination of the above? What’s the right currency?
What I’ve decided is this: we need each other, every little last ounce of work and connection offered. Sometimes people just feel like they need to be seen, sometimes people just feel like they need to give. It doesn’t matter what’s enough, and I’m pretty sure none of us really get to decide. There are massive changes we need to make in our society, but there are also small ones. Love is one of the currencies of change, and per the Bible quote, it’s patient and kind -- among other things.
Don’t mock people for praying or sending their thoughts. This may seem ineffectual, but one of the small things we can do is align ourselves to the energy of kindness and love, which perhaps isn’t small at all. Think of it this way — it may feel more powerful to you to be in the stirred up place of anger and fear, and maybe it is. We need warriors. We also need the love. Maybe we're enough, together.
That person who “just” sends love? Maybe they go out to the grocery store, and because they’re in that mindset they take the time to meet eyes with the store clerk who’s depressed and bipolar and thinking of going off their meds, and it makes all the difference? What if, in our society, if we begin to offer of ourselves, simply, with love and trust we'll also change things?
Here’s my offering for the week, from Colette Baron Reid’s “The Good Tarot.” The Page of Air, the Ace of Earth, and Transformation (AKA death — because the Universe has a fucked up sense of humor). How cool is this, that these cards picked themselves? Pages are messengers and the characteristic of youth and lightness of energy, and Air the suit of thoughts and communication. Aces are the seeds of beginnings, the wink in the eye of conception, and Earth the suit of practical matters, of making visible things happen in the world. And Transformation? Well, it’s rarely about death except when it is. It’s about change, becoming something new.
So — send, lightly, your thoughts of love, and get shit done. And be the change you wish to see in the world.