There seems to be a lot of unrest and division going on right now and I want to take the opportunity to offer up some ideas that might help. If you are currently feeling a lot of “darkness” emotionally, this is my advice. Seeing something you perceive as injustice, and sending anger, frustration and hate toward it (or toward them if it’s a person or group of people) only adds to the negative polarity of the whole situation. You are adding to the thing you don’t like – and making it bigger in effect. Can you send more dark into an already dark room and have it get brighter? Not that I’m aware of. Can you send light into a dark room and have it get lighter. Yes. Yes you can.
“Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.”
Am I telling you to sit around and sing “Kumbaya” all day to solve all of the world’s problems? No. Sending love to your “enemies” is only the first step. If you send love to the heart of someone you see as the worst kind of person, you are dissolving their “darkness”. You can’t boost their ability to act on their negative impulses by sending love. Just like you can’t use light to make a room darker. So really, you have nothing to lose there. There was even this guy once, a long time ago, who said “love thine enemy”. Actually he probably said it in Aramaic, but you get the idea. A whole, whole lot of the Earth’s population still celebrate that guy today.
“Love thine enemy”
Wherever you perceive injustice, think about the way you would rather have it be. Now you can move toward adding to what you want rather than adding to what you don’t want. Let’s take this idea out of the world stage for a minute and look at a simple, human experience as an example.
Imagine a little boy is afraid of spiders. He is outside with his father and starts screaming (because spider)! The father sees it is only a granddaddy long legs – completely harmless to humans. He laughs at the boy, picks up the spider and throws it at him with the admonishment “don’t be such a baby”! It seems to be a harmless thing to do for the father. In reality, instead of helping to lessen the boy’s fear of the spider, he has increased it and added something to it. Now the boy has a new distrust for his father – one of the people who he depends on for …well staying alive in the world.
What might have worked better would be to sweep the spider out of the way of the boy. Explain to him that in the father’s experience he’s never known anyone hurt or even bitten by that kind of spider. Maybe he could even Google info about the spider to make the boy less afraid. And then wait. He will probably grow out of the fear eventually. Heck, he might even become an entomologist!
I’m no expert – I’ve got no degree in psychology. I’m just demonstrating dark + dark = worse dark. Dark + light = less dark and eventually maybe no dark. Is the father evil in the first scenario? Probably not. He’s probably repeating patterns passed down to him from when he was a boy. And a famous lady (whose first name rhymes with Gaia) said “when you know better, do better”.
“When you know better, do better.”
~ Maya Angelou
So now you know to add to the light instead of the dark. And you also know to add to what you want to see in the world rather than what you don’t want to see. Now you can take an action based on that. What does that look like?
Make a list of the opposites of the things you don’t like. We use these in hypnosis as positive affirmations to change behaviors people don’t want to have. Some examples might be:
Stop poverty → Help people have enough resources
End child abuse → Help create safe, loving homes for children
Now that you have your “goal”, you can start brainstorming positive ways to achieve it. What steps can you take toward your goal?
For ending poverty, you might create a little free food pantry in your neighborhood or community. Or you could go bigger and volunteer to work with local, national or international groups who already work toward ending poverty. And you’ll get to add your two cents. You may be the person that comes up with the best-ever idea to end poverty. You may eventually become the head of that group and really create some meaningful change. But no one will take you seriously if you are holding a sign with profanity or insults while screaming your opinion at them. Or at least it’s very unlikely you will achieve anything positive.
“The true renunciate does not renounce, but simply chooses differently. This is an act of moving towards something, not away from something.”
(Conversations With God, Neale Donald Walsh)
In spite of all of the division I can see happening, I know there are many people working together to create change for the better. And no one has to sit on their hands and just wait for someone to save them and save the world. You can begin to do that yourself. And when you are part of a group focused on a positive goal, you don’t worry so much about things like political affiliation. You can more easily see what you have in common with others. Also, how much better does it feel to see something you want come into being? Would anyone rather stew in their own anger than to create something that feels better? Probably not on purpose, but it happens.
So… your choice:
Frustration → Anger → Hate → Add to problem/“darkness”
Frustration → Positive action → Cooperation toward a goal → Add to solution/“light”
One last thought and then I’ll leave you to your decision: If you add enough light to a dark room, there isn’t any darkness anymore.
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
~ Mother Teresa