Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Letting Go of Expectations of the World
The World Owes You Nothing
The fact of the matter is that the world owes you nothing, at least not your ego. We all can create these elaborate constructions and projections about ourselves, but the world doesn't care. A tornado doesn't care about how long it took you to build your home. It's a tornado. In that way, we are often humbled by the world around us. And that's a hard thing for the ego to take. It can easily become a victim and get lost in its own self-pity. "Ah, poor me. This is just my luck." In so doing, it creates a new shell and a new way to describe the world to explain what's happened. It may now see the world as a cruel place, but secretly it hopes that it'll still be rewarded for having this cynical view of life. The ego is just playing another game to see if it can get what it wants and be safe.
But the world is not cruel. It is neither beneficent, nor cruel. And if you're substituting the word "world" for the more ethereal idea of the "universe," the same is true. The universe simply is, and while the universe is ultimately love, this is love that is of the higher truth. That is the greater good that embraces all including your house being blown to oblivion by a tornado. And this isn't about creating a new thought structure that says, "My house had to be blown to oblivion before I could have an even better house." You may not. That's not how life is, and in following the spiritual path as many of you have found out, it doesn't mean you'll be any more rewarded or any more immune to life's difficulties.
The Call to Action
But I will say that in general, like attracts like. Going out to help others and developing a new way of connecting in loving ways tends to attract other people of similar dispositions. However, there's still a lot of work to do, and that's part of the purpose of this post. You can't wait around for some magical alien invasion, second coming, or ginormous "Ah-ha!" moment. You have to do the work now. You have to make conscious decisions to take conscious action to create the world that you want to live in. If you don't like the relationships that you're in, then you have to take action to help them change and evolve. Consider it your duty to learn how to be more present and loving to model how to do so for others. Because most of the world doesn't know how to do this. On the deeper level they do, but most of their social training has been mean, small-minded, selfish, fearful, and otherwise ego driven. If you're waiting for the relationships around you to suddenly transform because you're meditating once a day and have a spiritual path, then you're gravely mistaken.
The Power of Manifestation and the Power of Trust
While you let go of your expectations that the world will do anything for you, I encourage you to own your power of creation and manifestation. Owning your power doesn't mean taking power over another. It simply means that you believe in yourself, and you can take action from that place. Initially, many of you probably won't feel like you do believe in yourself. You're out of practice. This is okay. That's why you need to practice. I've written enough blogs about practing with friends and others in spiritual communities, but for the purposes of this blog, I want you to be focusing on what you're building in the world. Whether it's a book, daycare center, social entrepreneurship, non-profit, new economic model, or whatever, you need to bring it out into the light for it to grow.
And then you have to trust the process. You have to trust failures and successes because most of us can't really measure those with our limited ego-perspectives (and we'll always have limited perspectives, that's just pat of being human). As some teachers say, failure in the world may be success on the inner world, and the inner world is what ultimately drives everything. We've already seen plenty of successes in the outer world that are horrible failures on the inner world. You can pick up a tabloid for proof or look at the news to see "successful" people who are horribly miserable and constantly in a state of disrepair from heartbreak, drug use, and more. I think the most horrifying thing to me right now is the slaughter of innocents going on in Syria. It is considered a great success to be the leader of a nation, and it is also a sacred trust. The horrible atrocities going on in that nation can only truly be dealt with by God's justice, whatever it is God chooses to do to teach that individual.
If At First You Don't, Succeed...
And of course, there's this thought in the spiritual community that if you just allow the process, everything will flow easily for you. Not true...usually. At least it's not true in the way people say it. As I try to emphasize in this blog, it's all about the "how." How you say things and do things. The way most people are saying to "go with the flow" is that they're not going to do anything, and the universe will give them everything. I firmly believe that the universe is about co-creation. Sometimes we have to put in 10%, and the universe puts in 90%. I love those moments. Who wouldn't? Other times, we have to put in 95%, and the universe puts in 5%, although if this keeps up for too long I've noticed that means that I'm probably not going in quite the right direction.
There is an ease in doing what is in your heart. Part of that is that you're no longer fighting yourself. Following your heart can be one of the first times when you're doing something with all of you, and parts of you aren't sitting it out on the sidelines. So you may not know exactly how to fully follow your heart. This may be brand new territory, and your first go at creating a social enterprise may fail badly. That doesn't mean the idea isn't bad. It doesn't mean that you're not doing what you're supposed to, but it probably will mean that you're going to have to try again if this is where your heart is taking you.
Even in Awakening, the Idea of Expectations Hangs On
However, this idea that the world owes us something or that it'll give us what we want eventually is pervasive. I've noticed it with some people in awakening. The idea can turn people into victims. They're like "Well, I guess this is what God wants. So I'll just lie on the floor until this thing is done, and I can go on with my life." Wow. Seriously. This is the opening of the doorway. Light is flooding the hallway, and you still want to stay in bed. Do you think God is going to come in and pull you out, put your clothes on, and hold your hand to walk you out the door? Heck, sometimes God does this, and we still abdicate our responsibility to ourselves.
As I've said, no one can re-make this world but us. We have to do it. We have to learn how to truly love ourselves and find all the tools to ease our own transitions. And then we have to bring this into our relationships, jobs, and so much more. We don't ever force these things on others, but for those who are interested, we become the trailblazers to show them the way. Because many people are looking for the way. They just have no idea where to look, and especially for those of you in awakening, you are now in a position more than ever to model what it looks like to be a conscious and awake person. This is a hugely important thing for a world that is so lost in fear and violence. For the most part, you won't even need to do anything that special other than to follow your heart and to trust the process to show people the way.
Being Brings Change Naturally
The amazing part in all of this is that when you really do put your energy into your heart and creating the world that you want, it gets easy. A lot of times, it's just about the quality of being in your doing or not doing, creating or not creating. Sometimes your being wants to do something, so it's a disservice and blocking the flow to not act. Sometimes your being wants to let go of action to rest and be still, and that is certainly important as well. There is a sacred balance and a sacred flow, and none of that holds expectations from the world. Somethings that you'll do will have enormous, immediate, and visible benefits to you and others around you. Other times, it will seem like things are falling apart everywhere. That's why staying in touch with your inner knowing and your heart are crucial. It's the only way to stay on the path amidst the many vagaries, tornadoes, and eccentricities of the world around us.
Today's picture is from my student, Jenn.