“Heal the space”, the speaker said. I wonder what he meant by that? I am not a healer. I do not channel healing energy through me. I am one person, and what difference can that make when there are billions of souls? Don’t billions of souls have to heal the space at the same time? What’s the point? Am I beating my head against a wall here?
Disillusioned and disenchanted, I disconnected and detached from the world, became apathetic due to a lack of purpose and a feeling of futility. I started out as a revolutionary, signing onto every cause, saving the world with every step. I started out angry, and sometimes sad, but the anger had passion behind it. How could people be so mean? How could they kill each other? How could they…? But, as time went on, I became more frustrated. Instead of using my anger as a constructive force, it turned inward on me. I became angry at myself for not doing enough, or not being able to make a difference. I bitched and moaned at the world, complained, grumbled, nagged, and became irritable.
Eventually, the anger and frustration slipped outward at the people around me. I blamed my disdain on them. Just in little ways, but they added up. My husband, my children, my students, nobody was safe. Something was always wrong with them. I wasn’t getting what I needed and I didn’t know how to ask. And what were these things that I needed, anyway?
I needed love, comfort, harmony, and maybe even bliss. I wanted things to run smoothly, to be comfortable, to please me in some way, and the world was not pleasing me. It was nasty, untrustworthy, ruthless, annoying, and not particularly intelligent.
I still feel that way sometime, especially in the wake of current times. Protests, racism, misogyny, global warming, a global pandemic, and yes, watching my democracy crumble before my eyes as an administration of greedy, con men who think climate change is a hoax and have Evangelical Christians bowing to them. That’s when I remembered this essay that I wrote about a decade ago, when my own world seemed to be crumbling. It was time to remind myself about a few things.
Yes, the world is difficult, stressful, complicated, and in need of healing. As I studied and observed the swirls of life’s chaos, I began to awaken. Words of wisdom started rising like yeast bubbles in my brain. “To thine own self be true”, “take care of yourself”,” you are the co-creator of the world”, and so on. “Be the change you want to see in the world.” (Mahatma Gandhi)
From a lecture I’d heard, the words “heal the space” and “it’s really all about ME…” became clear to me at last. It really is all about me. I want, I need…the world to be healed. I need the people around me to be harmonious. I want the world to be a comfortable place. It is all about me. And I can only have these things by knowing who I am, by knowing where I stand, by knowing what I need. I can only have what I desire by being what I desire, by giving what I want, by doing what I think should be done. I can heal the space around me so that I can get what I need.
I can make a difference in my own world, and that’s really the only world I care about. So, whether I choose to work big or work small, whether I choose to sit still and let my light shine forth, creating an energy that is neutral so as not to create anything but more of the same, (no more karma), whether I choose to request that people treat me with kindness, whether I choose to save the rain forests and raise money for worthy causes…either way, I am choosing respect for myself by choosing to emanate love and harmony. I am choosing to call forth the world around me to emulate the way I want the world to be. That is as much as I can do, and I will know that I have given it my best shot. I cannot ask the world and the people that surround me to be anything other than what I am, for that would not be in integrity. I cannot expect them to do what I say and not what I do, for that would be a lie. I can only expect to get what I give – my words, deeds, and thoughts. If I give love, then I will surely receive love for it will bounce off the universe and into my heart. I will heal the space around me and it will grow as big as the earth.
“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.” (Mahatma Gandhi)
“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” (Mahatma Gandhi)“Pain is necessary to experience so that LOVE can be understood, for it is the transcendence of pain (suffering of any kind) that gets one to the other side. Love is the best means of making the heart capable of reflecting the soul power; and love, in the sense of pain rather than pleasure. Every blow opens a door whence the soul power comes forth. Through motion and change, life becomes intelligible; we live a life of change, but it is constancy we seek; it is this innate desire of the soul that leads man to God.” (Hazrat Inayat Khan)