“I’m worried about everything.”
~ Michael Ian Black @michaelianblack on Twitter
It is easy to become overwhelmed these days. The increasing complexities of everyday life are being compounded by a litany of social ills, chaotic and corrupt politics, and the breakdown of trust in our institutions. Terrorism, mass shootings, racism, sexism, and more plague our society. We are blasted from all sides by fear, anger, and calls for attention to the many issues of the day. The media and social media are filled with examples of natural disasters, crimes, corruption, and tragedy – and now theses things spread farther, faster than ever before. There is no break from “breaking news.”
I see friends driven to crowdfunding sites to pay for healthcare or basic expenses, and others for whom “retirement” has become a distant dream.
One result of these issues is that New Thought is beginning to turn outward so as to engage more fully in the issues of the world. While this is an essential, and perhaps inevitable, consequence of our cultural evolution, it nevertheless puts additional stress on us, as change always does. We are called to bring forth a higher version of ourselves and our teaching into the world. This process of emergence adds to our stress levels even as we see its rightness and necessity. Our well-being requires that we develop and maintain spiritual poise – a calm arising from a deep knowing of our Divine Nature.
"We grow from challenge. We grow from taking something on."
~James Hollis, Jungian analyst
While our Power is internal, we are activated by our environment. We must respond to what we find in our lived experience. Emergence of new qualities and possibilities comes as an adaptive mechanism to changing life conditions. It seems that we in the western societies, particularly in the United States, find ourselves in conditions which demand an external response which is spiritually based. We must sit in meditation and prayer-treatment AND we must act. When we do act, it must be from a place of spiritual poise.
"We should read, study, think and meditate upon those statements which tend to calm, to give poise and confidence, and erase all thought of fear and tension. The subjective law can only operate upon that which is given it, so we must be very careful of our patterns of thought...We should think of ourselves as being surrounded by perfect life and poised in an eternal calm. We are in a sea of untroubled waters of life, from which we may freely drink. We must do the drinking. No one else can do this for us. We should hold out the cup of acceptance until it is filled and overflowing with the manifestations of our desires.”
~ Ernest Holmes
From this place of poise, we bring the best of ourselves to the challenges we face. The chaos of our current times can be seen as a reaction to rapid increases in the complexity of our living conditions. Many people are not adapting easily to these increases in complexity for a variety of reasons. They are frustrated, and that frustration is increasingly showing up as fear and anger. They want to bring what they see as runaway social changes to a halt and return to some version of a better yesterday when life seemed more manageable.
What we see termed “nationalistic” or identity politics is a version of that desire to reign in change. When we fail to adapt to greater complexity, we will come to believe that complexity is wrong in some way. Nationalistic politicians tap into the frustration and resentment to gain power – the power to turn back the clock in some way, usually by gaining control over the society’s institutions. We are in such a cycle now, and it appears that there is a great deal of chaos in our future as the larger societal structures adjust to these dynamics. It is easy to be in overwhelm and to seek to join in this apparent battle for the values of our culture. However, it is better to rise above that approach and to engage via the compassionate heart. The compassionate heart can be expressed only when we are in a place of spiritual poise.
"That we go numb along the way is to be expected. Even the bravest among us, who give their lives to care for others, go numb with fatigue, when the heart can take in no more, when we need time to digest all we meet. Overloaded and overwhelmed, we start to pull back from the world, so we can internalize what the world keeps giving us. Perhaps the noblest private act is the unheralded effort to return: to open our hearts once they’ve closed, to open our souls once they’ve shied away, to soften our minds once they’ve been hardened by the storms of our day.”
~ Mark Nepo
When we are overwhelmed, we need to take time to heal, to rest. There is nothing wrong with needing some time away from the chaos. But in that process, we must work to keep, or to regain, our poise and a positive frame of mind. We must do our praying, our meditating, our affirming every day. Our spiritual practices are essential to the development of true spiritual poise – for a consciousness of empowerment and for the compassionate heart to emerge.
“No greater good can come to you than to know that the Power already within you is the power to live, the power to create. Not only to create for yourself, but to create for others -- the power to do good, the power to heal, the power to prosper.”
~ Ernest Holmes, YOUR INVISIBLE POWER
Our New Thought teachings tell us that no outside condition is stronger than our internal potential. We are called to rise to the occasion, to embrace and thrive in changing times, to reveal the Truth of our being in each moment. We are the ones we have been waiting for – it is our turn to step into the world around us and bring a powerful, realized consciousness of healing and love. Our turn to bring a sense of spiritual poise forward to facilitate healing in our world.
“The stability we cannot find in the world, we must create within our own persons.”
~ Nathanial Branden
Note: This is an edited version of a post which appeared on my site, NewThoughtEvolutionary.wordpress.com in 2018.