“Not everything that is faced, can be changed. Nothing can be changed until it is faced.” ~James Baldwin
We’ve faced 2020. It is in the history books, in the past. That cannot be changed.
How will we face 2021 and the things it brings us, whether welcomed or not, in order to change them?
I am reminded of a friend’s response to a pretty large helping of that “messy” I referred to in my last post, the one where I celebrate the existence of joy. She has tapped into an ability to recognize signs, red flags if you will, about people in her life.
This C-change didn’t happen overnight and it needed her clarity in order to happen. She faced the thing that was most messy in her life and made a switch.
So there’s facing the thing. What do you do then?
We can turn to the Yoga Sutras, an ancient text, for guidance to manage our modern lives.
Yoga Sutra 2.33 and 2.34 are commonly grouped together – and include this phrase: Vitarka Badhane Pratipaksha Bhavana – which loosely translates to “if disturbed by negative thoughts, shift to the opposite of them… these thoughts are based on ignorance and will bring pain… reflect on that to relieve the pain”.
Patanjali attributed the source of pain as ignorance. Sound familiar? Anti-maskers are ignorant of the proven ability to maintain health and safety. So when I experience their negative actions and words, it is not enough to push them away. The work lies in changing my perspective to the opposing force rather than just suppressing those negative thoughts. Ignorance becomes knowledge. Hate becomes love. Dark becomes light. If you just push things away, they’re bound to spring up again, perhaps with more force than before.
Today the world pauses to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King. How many of them will honor the way in which he encouraged shifting perspective? He is famous for saying, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
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