This is the Chinese character for change: dangerous opportunity. It’s the perfect symbol for the coming year! This is a longer post today, as befits the start of a new year. I hope you find it inspiring.
Life can throw a lot at us, sometimes more than we think we’re capable of dealing with, and often there isn’t much we can physically do about it. Those are the times when we feel impotent and the feeling is so disempowering that we may be tempted to give up.
I raise the point because my intuition tells me that 2008 is going to be a year of change. As with the genesis of all change, the first stages occur beneath the surface. A friend of mine planted potato seeds in her garden last summer and was getting impatient and concerned when the spuds didn’t seem to be growing. This is typical of most of us, especially when we’re hoping for and even expecting change and growth. When we can’t see it, we begin to wonder if anything is really happening or if we’re doing something wrong. And who among us hasn’t had those passing thoughts in the past year?
Well, I think global change has been germinating for quite a while and it will begin to break surface (to use a submarine term) in more obvious ways in the coming year. Some of you have voiced to me that you’re wondering if we should expect changes to our physical world, or if it will be political and/or economic.
I think the changes are going to be in the realm of information. I have felt for a while now that ‘the truth will out’; it will be revealed to us. I’ve mentioned before that truth and lies have completely different energy; that of lies, twisted back on itself to form a sort of inverted spiral. On an energy level, I can feel a lie, and so can most psychics. I would go as far as to say that most people can but not all of us can identify what we’re feeling when we feel it.
The truth about Enron, or at least some of it, has come out. As with all lies, one lie requires another to cover the first, and before you know it, you have a whole fabrication of lies. When one is discovered, it doesn’t take too much digging before the others begin to come to light. An environment is created where the public begins to doubt the formerly accepted status quo, and expand the doubt into many other seemingly related areas. The fear is that if they could be duped once, then about how many other things could they still be in the dark? They start to look askance at everything they once trusted.
A profound level of mistrust arises, creating a crisis of faith encompassing more then just the original lies. By association, we mistrust all the people in the affected organizations, all the same or similar positions and professions in other organizations, the laws themselves, and not just the individuals and organizations who broke the trust in the specific, publicized incidents.
It is said that trust is a given until it is broken and then it takes a very long time to earn it back. The effect of any sort of lie is to erode the very fabric of community, where trust forms a crucial element of the bedrock upon which we build our relationships, for the purposes of commerce, government, education and family.
When I say that we’re going to see a year of change, I mean that it will come about on every level mentioned above. I don’t suppose it will be limited to just the corporate, political, global or family levels. I think we’ll also find it amongst the world’s religious leaders; local and on high. We’ll find it in our education systems, the scientific community, the medical community. In fact, I don’t think there is an area that will be immune. The fact that it will appear to be everywhere is what will cause the crisis in our hearts and minds.
I mentioned earlier that in feeling disempowered and mistrustful, we may be tempted to give up or become cynical. I encourage you to guard against these for a few reasons which I will outline below.
Firstly, not everyone has been lying, or creatively bending the truth, or even lying by omission. There are many individuals who witnessed some of what has been sanctioned and in some cases even demanded by the organizations in which they were members, and they may have felt gagged. Standing up and challenging the lies may have been tacitly or blatantly discouraged and they may have feared for their jobs or even their safety. These individuals, and I believe there are far more of them than we know, may be mightily relieved when the truth comes out. You may be one of them.
Secondly, I believe we have the tools and the creativity to deal with the fallout from these revelations, even if the results look like a mess. We could be tempted to throw the baby out with the bath water but we should think this through before we do anything precipitate. Our constitutions are principled documents, encouraging us to be idealistic while at the same time recognizing that we’re human. The common problem lies in the interpretation of our guiding principles, not in the principles themselves. Our boat may have sprung a leak but that doesn’t mean that we don’t know how to sail, any more than it means that there is something wrong with the principle of sailing. And, to continue the metaphor, even if sailing isn’t the best way to get where we need to go, I believe we have the global resources and the creativity to find another way.
Thirdly, we may have to look at the events that have led to our feelings of hopelessness, and ‘reframe’ them. By that I mean that the events about which the truth will come to light will quite often be about what happened in the past. When that is the case, there is nothing we can do to change what has already happened. What’s done is done. What remains within our power however, is to change how we look at it. Learning from a past mistake or betrayal, and seeing it for what it really is, is the first step in making sure that we don’t repeat it.
Vowing to never trust anyone again will not be useful. Rather, we should be more judicious in what evidence we require before we trust and in how involved we are in the follow-up. Perhaps we have been lulled into trusting so much, or scared into focusing our attention elsewhere, whether it was by our elected officials, educators, clergy, corporate leaders, etc., that we absolved ourselves of responsibility for due diligence. For that we must take responsibility and endeavour to make changes in our future behaviour.
Fourthly, in this era of apparently vast quantities of information, so much specialization and so many so-called experts, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and unable to determine what is actually the truth. Who do you trust and how can you be sure? I believe there is only so much homework we can do and then we have to rely on our instincts.
No, I’m not advocating that you retire your brain. I do suggest that we have been overly reliant on our brains, to the exclusion of our ‘gut’ sense of what is right. There are many times I’ve heard people say, ‘that doesn’t seem right’, or, something smells funny about this’. If it doesn’t seem right, it might warrant further digging on your part, or at least your postponing your decision until you get more information (the job of the brain). Don’t let yourself be pressured into having to make a decision right now when it doesn’t feel right (the job of the gut).
And lastly, in the
coming year, you may know right away that you are a leader and just what you should be doing to help correct a given situation. You may have been biding your time, waiting for the sense that the time is right for you to do what you feel best suited to do. I say, go for it!
On the other hand, you may be a supporter and you just haven’t felt there was anyone to support yet. To you I say, when you find the right person, support them! Neither leading nor supporting is more important or more valuable. Both are necessary. You’ll know when to move by ‘feeling’ for the truth. The truth feels different than lies. Viscerally, you will know which feels right.
So, in these times of change, when so many about us will be afraid, disenchanted or angry, and when the ones who have been illegally and immorally co-opting our power, are trying to use fear to convince us to continue supporting what they are doing, hold on to your centre and open your heart. Know who you are and use your heart to FEEL for the difference between truth and lies. Don’t panic, get cynical or give up your right and your responsibility to make informed choices. Think positively. We have the systems and the solutions already, if we will just look for them and support them.
So, bring on the change! It’s time. We have been manipulated by fear for a long time and we’re ready to take up our power, integrate our brains with our hearts and make some different choices.We can live in a better world and there are those among us who have the blueprint and the passion. We just need to recognise and support them while we find our own paths.
I wish an inspiring, passionate and positive 2008 to you all. May you remember who you are and have the courage to stand for what you believe in. Let us remind ourselves of our true potential and live it, one day at a time.