Humans are an intriguing bunch, with mindsets that often range from delighted to deranged, and variations, thereof. Depending on our mood, the day, or the news, the majority of us express behaviour that reflects how we feel on a moment-to-moment basis. Now we’re fine–smile, relax, and breathe easy; now we’re not–frown, swear, and kick a garbage can. The stock market is up! The stock market is down! We got the job, the house, and the spouse, or–$#!%–we lost the job, the house, and the spouse! To surrender to such an existence is to fate ourselves to misery. To state that such behaviour is unstable is a gross understatement.
We’ve become so accustomed to these swings that we accept them as being perfectly normal. We reason that such is just the way life is. One day up; the next day down. The world is currently in the throes of a virus that is accentuating our tendency to swing between pleasure and pain; and until we evolve into greater awareness, our habitual behavioural swings will become even more dramatic. Is this truly desirable?
If permitted, our mind would deprive us of every last drop of genuine joy. How it loves to convince us that we are dependent on persons, things, or circumstances and watch us trot–like wayward donkeys chasing carrots–between desire and fear. The mind often employs the following trickery disguised as logic: “I’ll be happy when…” We need not be geniuses to realize the “whens” that might apply to the situation regarding the virus: “I’ll be happy when the virus is under control. I’ll be happy when I get back to work, or find another job. I’ll be happy when life gets back to normal. I’ll be happy when the grocery shelves are fully stocked again. I’ll be happy when masks, gloves, and social distancing are of the past.” The list could go on and on.
Such thinking, although understandable, only chains us to a vulnerable position. Why? Because it encourages us to hibernate in our fear and put our dreams on hold until life becomes perfect and perfectly safe–which, of course, is impossible. It also encourages us to become wait-and-see specialists who place our faith in masks, gloves, one-way arrows, and the efforts of those who would presume the ability to save us. Will eleven or twelve feet be enough social distance during the next virulent times? That’s not to be negative or to criticize our present precautionary efforts; rather, to state a truth. When the Corona story has played itself out will not yet another circumstance vie for our attention? When a virus is no longer newsworthy, will we not merely shift our focus to a different life-robbing headline?
So what’s the positive amidst the current situation? That we can consciously choose to take back our power–now! Free of the minds dominion, we can rise in awareness and dare to proclaim: “I am happy in this moment, right here and now!” We can stop searching for guarantees that don’t exist! We can shift our awareness away from the flesh-and-bones costume with which we have mistakenly identified, and step into the glory of our True Nature. We can deliberately practice gratitude, and in doing so train our mind to seek that which is noble, worthwhile, and good. We need not surf the mind’s tumultuous wave between good or bad, triumph or defeat. We can detach and yet still do our part to make our collective life experiences as good and as safe as they can be. When this current situation is finished, we will remain–as always–the silent witness that is above the mind and, most importantly, beyond the reach of fear.
Dare to dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell