One Small Shift that Makes All The Difference
There seems to be a lot of rage in the world today. Society is very polarized, and we feel our individual security is threatened. Some of those threats are real, and some of them are imagined. At every turn, we think that we need to protect ourselves - from other people, from politicians, from our environment, and from whatever else is distressing us.
I know I’ve certainly been caught up in it. It’s hard not to be.
We spend so much time fighting against things that we can be left feeling overloaded and exhausted. But when we feel threatened to our very cores, what alternative do we have?
How about trying standing for.
It’s a subtle, but powerful shift. For example:
Do you fight against hate… Or stand for love?
Do you fight against discrimination…. Or stand for equity?
Do you fight against immigration bans... Or stand for human dignity?
There’s an organization that I’m involved with in Northern California called HeartMath. They’ve found that the electromagnetic field of the heart is 60 times greater than that of the head. The heart sends the head signals that influence our perception and emotions. The positive feelings of “standing for” are more beneficial for us - in terms of our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health - than the negative feelings generated by “fighting against.”
Understanding and focusing on the difference between “fighting against” and “standing for” takes a healthy dose of self-awareness and self-regulation. It’s not easy.
To figure out where you stand, ask yourself:
- Do you find things wrong and criticize, or do you find things right and support?
- Are you more full of negative feelings, like hate and anger, or more full of empathy and compassion? (On the spectrum of emotions, even “sadness” is softer than hate, so if you can’t make it to empathy, take one step at time.)
- Do you spend more time telling people how things “should” be, or listening to people about how things are, for them?
These are very personal questions. Answering them requires us to be vulnerable and honest with ourselves about our beliefs and values. And that might shake the core of who we are.
But times like these are all about change - change for individuals and for the world. If you want to leave the world a better place by working in more compassionate ways, then letting go of old ways is the only way to do it. We’ve spent our human history fighting against. Maybe it’s time we start standing for.
Connect with me on Facebook to get tips on how to "stand for".
@2018 daiOne, LLC