As per my last post, this is another conversation on the private Facebook page Wellness Wall, hosted for my patients. I thought this also worth sharing ...
There’s generally a fear of moving against the tide and speaking up, or of being too busy.
I could answer this many ways, but here’s my take on it ... and it speaks to who we are, down deep and to the frequency that we generate and emit to the world. The tipping point all starts with you.
We all need to do what we can. We all need to play our part. Most of us were not born to change the world on our own, but all of us were born to fulfill our potential: to be happy, to love, to contribute.
(Actually, I believe we are already filled to the brim with our ‘potential’. Our journey is to recover who we already are: our state of being. To truly ‘be’, does have the power to change the world).
In this particular context, I am going to say the greatest source of unhappiness is not being able to like oneself. Here, happiness implies that we have self-worth or value that we attribute to ourselves and not attributed to recognition by others. It would follow then, that ‘I am of benefit to the community’ or ‘I am of benefit to another’ may be the sole thing that allows us to appreciate our worth?
As mentioned, a consequential matter here is that contribution to others does not imply it is on display for others to see.
One of the reasons for my being in this lifetime is to recognise that the only tasks I have are my own and not to take on other people’s roles. Also, it is not for people to impose their roles upon me.
So, it is not for me to decide if my contributions are helpful. That is for others to decide and it’s not for me to interfere. In fact, there have been thousands of times in my career when I have not known if I’ve made a contribution! But, I centre myself with the knowledge that my contribution does not have to be evident. All we need is the is the internal sense that ‘I am of benefit to another’ or more specifically, a consciousness of contribution.
In short, happiness and peace are the consciousness of contribution.
People, in general, seek recognition. Today, more so than ever before. I believe it’s because people want to have regard for themselves. They want to feel valued or that they have value. Recognition becomes a yardstick for contribution. Conversely, if people don’t get recognised, they stop contributing in the end. This cannot be our fate. Because if we fail to act, for our self-improvement, climate change or the deeper issues behind global health, we will have zero choice but to swim with the current of other’s wishes, opinions or social norms.
If we want to change ourselves, our relationships or the world, there is no freedom in the desire that the change must be a grand gesture and be something that is seen, influences thousands or gains recognition. Freedom is only achieved through happiness (which is only defined by the self and not others) and contribution.
A true sense of contribution means that you will have no need of recognition from other sources but will come from the sensibility of knowing ‘I have been of worth to someone or something’. Ultimately, the feeling of contribution creates a sense of community, whether it’s a community of two, or a community of millions. I think this is part of our process of evolution, this community feel and our ability to contribute to it. If we are individually going to have a sense of belonging, which I think we a desperately seeking, then ‘community’ and ‘contribution’ are vital.
So, ok ... the bare bones. We don’t need big, grand gestures to feel we are contributing. Most of it will go unnoticed and the important thing is our ‘consciousness of contribution’ and to know that we ‘are of worth’. It may not mean that today you planted a grove of trees or you got arrested at a climate change rally or sharing your thought over a beer with the Deli Lama was really worth the trip. It may simply mean that you decided these thoughts were worth passing on in an email to others? Who knows? Maybe your email goes down the line 100 times? What a contribution you facilitated! And without recognition!
The point of this article is that for us to change the world, we start by changing who we are.
We learn self-acceptance: that is ok and valuable to be who we are and that we are immeasurable just as we are.
We learn to have confidence in others: unconditional belief that others with do the right thing, even when they don’t! Doubt will keep us right where we are.
We contribute to others: we develop self-worth and a sense of community in our interpersonal relationships (near and far). Keep to your own tasks and don’t take on those of others. It’s ok to sever ties with those who interfere with yours (this circles back to self-acceptance).
If we can achieve this (or even some of it), we become those who people want to be near or listen to. This is not the aim, but a consequence. See you at the tipping point!