Current world events – the fires in South America and the Arctic, the ecological and political situation in many parts of the world – evoke in us feelings of hopelessness, wounding, and despair. They make us feel like victims – or like children overwhelmed in a world of adults acting destructively and out of control.
In feeling this way today, I remembered a quotation we use in the Order’s training (I can’t find the exact quote because we have so much training material, but if it’s familiar to you, do please remind me.) It says something like: “When you feel lost, take a child by the hand, and you will no longer feel so lost.”
This is the way I assuage those difficult feelings – not by denying them, but by allowing them into my awareness and then reaching out to others from a place rooted in what I believe is good and true – rooted, essentially, in my sense of soul and of the values it is guided by. You know when someone is ill or in a crisis and you succeed in ‘rising to the occasion’? You are no longer thinking about yourself, but about others, acting like those in the caring professions who do this every working day of their lives.
So this is the strategy I’m adopting: I’m accepting my feelings of despair and vulnerability and powerlessness, but then I’m trying to be a good, caring person who tries to make decisions and live in a world that is constantly challenging.
Well this is all very well – and rather trite you might say – but how do I act the adult, how do I act mature, anchored, responsible, amidst all this turbulence? I think there are many things we can do, but for today let’s focus on just a few ideas, about how we can ‘resource ourselves’ to use that awful phrase! I’ve put them into a triad:
Three sources of comfort: knowledge of the Divine Origin of all Creation, inspiration in the teachings of mystics and sages, support in the fellowship of like-minded souls.
This is what helps me keep going – what helps me offer my hand as we all walk through the difficulties of this world: my belief in and experience of the Divine helps to anchor me; the teachings of mystics help to inspire me and give me hope; being with like-minded souls, fellow seekers on the Path nourishes me with a sense of community. And from there I can act in whatever way I can to help make the world a better place. If I can shift my centre of gravity from a sense of childlike helplessness to a sense of adult responsibility I think I can be of more use.
Below is a photograph from our recent One Tree Gathering – an annual event where members of the Druid and Hindu community come together. At the end of each weekend a participant offers to accept the statue of Ganesha to keep safe until the next meeting.