“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.” — Clarissa Pinkola Estes
So what part of the world is within your reach?
What do you see that needs mending?
The contentious election going on in this country and the violence erupting around the protectors of the water at Standing Rock – these are examples of the hierarchy that has long been a part of our world. There are damaging words and actions taking place now. Stories of harm done in the past are coming to light. Woundedness and weariness are fueling doubts about the future.
This is what happens when we, as humans, are consumed by a way of thinking and relating that is rooted in judgments and fears. The hierarchies we’ve created play out in the daily lives of many people in diverse places on the planet, not just in the headline news. As commonplace as the hierarchy is – the battling for power and control, the inequity and disharmony, the disrespect for self, others and the earth – this is not the only option we have.
Inside the hierarchy, there is always a better-than and a less-than. There are deeply-embedded beliefs about scarcity and not-enough. We adopt notions about who is deserving of happiness, wealth, and freedom; who deserves respect and who does not. Our evaluations of who and what are worthy of love can ping-pong around minute by minute, situation by situation, day after day. Judgments about ourselves and each other do so much harm.
The beautiful thing is, we hold the power to create change. During everyday moments of everyday life, we can choose to share love and catalyze healing. We can make room for curiosity and the quest for understanding. We can weave respect into all our relationships. We can purposefully cultivate peace.
So what do you see that needs mending?
Let’s start on the inside. That’s the essential place to begin. Anything we want to change in the world out there must first be tended to on the inside.
Notice the ways you feel and talk to yourself – about yourself, about others, about particular aspects of life. Are there judgments? Battles? Beliefs about being better-than or less-than or not enough?
Anytime we pass judgment, we are participating in the hierarchy, making more harm, feeding the warring, the entitlement and disregard. It doesn’t have to be this way.
When we catch these misunderstandings and the lies we tell ourselves, we open the doorway to new ways of thinking, feeling, relating, and speaking. We can shed the old skins that have held the judgments in place. We can search to discover what is accurate and genuine. Freedom from judgment opens space for discovering acceptance, clarity, freedom and love.
And from that grounded inner space, wherever it is you stretch out into the world, you can reweave the tattered threads in the web of life with loving care, respectful regard, and healing intent. The effects of the changes you make on the inside will shape the actions you take in the world, and will keep spiraling out from that particular time and space, touching life far beyond what you can see.
Be the love. Be the healing. Be the change.