There are many words of wisdom encouraging us to be better people: love one another, treat others, as we would like to be treated, imagine walking a mile in another’s shoes. Surely our being mindful of these ideas can lead us away from more destructive behavior. Yet I’ve often asked myself how we can fully grasp such concepts when we don’t innately know who we are and what we stand for. In his book, The Search for Authenticity, J.F.T. Bugental states, “the world of daily happenings is set in a larger world of human experience.”
We continue to adjust to a culture that has lost many of its more humane qualities due to technological expansion. In the May 2007 issue of Vanity Fair, E.O. Wilson offers, “Somehow, by a process still not well understood, we mastered fire, invented weaponry, and learned to talk to one another in arbitrarily devised symbolic languages. But in rising to power, beginning with the invention of agriculture a scant 10 millennia ago, we carried along with us the heavy baggage of ancient primate instincts. Today, as a result, we live in Star Wars civilizations ruled by Stone Age emotions, medieval institutions, and god-like technology.” And again from Bugental, “Adjustment has come to mean acceptance of the values of competitive striving, accumulation of material goods, secrecy and separateness.”
We can get so wrapped up in the whirlwind of this fast-moving life that we dread the silence offered by solitude. Instead we may shut down even as we throw ourselves into the fray. Yet if we can make the time, quiet spaces offer us the opportunity to reflect, to sift through life’s many distractions and get down to what is real for us, what is crucial to our sanity – what, in effect, it takes to keep us in touch with our own humanity. Taking this reflective time need not overwhelm us with remorse for words spoken out of turn or regrettable actions. As power is ever in the present, we can discern between the roles we have adopted and what feels true for us in our hearts. We can reflect upon our own perceived needs and those of others. What is essential to nurture and grow our relationships as human beings? How can we maintain our integrity when surrounded with stereotypically conditioned behaviors, whether acted out by others upon us, or by us upon ourselves? We can sit with our own thoughts and guidance in these quiet contemplative times, or we can create more distractions to place ourselves at the center of the chaos that has become our familiar.
I’m not saying chaos in itself is a bad thing. Rather it is how we relate to it that determines its usefulness or destructive capacity in our lives. In the very act of creating something, for example, we must surrender to the chaotic in order to birth new possibilities. Many of us know the experience of frantically searching for the answer to a question and having that answer pop into our heads the minute we stop thinking so hard about it. This is part of the surrender to the chaos of creation, where we may find ourselves in the eye of the storm, so to speak. We let chaos whirl about, as it will, while maintaining our center, holding a space for an answer to emerge. Yet how many of us consciously honor this process? Many of us have been conditioned to the idea that, if we only work hard enough, what we wish for will be fashioned by the sweat of our brow Allowing space to reflect might be thought of as laziness and complacency.
Bela Johnson has spent almost 20 years of her life as a Medical Intuitive. Two years ago, she and her
husband Chris moved from Maine to the Big Island of Hawaii, where their plans include vacation rentals
as well as future retreats. http://www.belajohnson.com and http://www.mauiviewskohala.com.