Significance – The silent thief of joy – heads up from a past teacher.
By Trevor Hendy
This has really popped into my mind to share lately. Right now on the planet, we are in almost complete global lockdown due to the COVID-19 crisis. A lot of people are at home far more than usual, either without work or working from home in a lot of cases. One aspect of this change of circumstances is that we are getting a chance to pause and reflect, our normal routines totally turned upside down. Some would say our whole lives have been turned upside down. Then of course there is a 1000 different viewpoints of why, who, what should have or shouldn’t have been happening. Another aspect of our lockdown and upside down status quo is that all of our fears, beliefs and issues are coming to the surface, some for very good reason because we may have just lost everything that was keeping us feeling secure and that had defined us for so long, other times our fears are just playing out because we are feeling not so preoccupied to notice just how crazy our mind can be, particularly our sub-conscious mind.
I think you will read here that I believe this change of status quo to be one of the greatest opportunities of your/our life time. Deep down inside, there is a silver lining behind this upheaval. Something wonderful is trying to happen, will happen out of this. There is a wave to be ridden here and I have always loved a wave. The only thing I have loved more than riding waves is teaching others to ride waves. The trick is though, to ride a wave, you have to see it coming, turn to head in the same direction with it and match it’s speed so you can join it without getting wiped out. The mind blowing joy comes after those few, sometimes scary, steps. The wave here is born out of the unusualness of the situation, it is upside down, back to front, inside out. Life is changing at levels we haven’t even recognised yet. Don’t wish for it go back to normal, even if it was working for you, maybe allow the possibility that it was not working for enough people, so we could suggest that it was barely working at all. So, what can we learn, what can we embrace whilst we are doing this, how can we come out of it clearer, better, what is it telling us about our mind and the role that it plays in our fulfilment, joy and feelings of completion, ok-ness, particularly when the current situation has lead a lot of people to feel helpless, hopeless, out of control, it’s not worth it, nothing will change this, I have no power etc.
The key thing here is that the change of situation didn’t necessarily create this fear and crazy mind, in a lot of cases it was already there but was dormant, perhaps subdued by the illusion that everything (or most things) in our lives was secure and in it’s right place. Perhaps this situation, from one angle, is giving us a chance to see just how helpful my mind is or could be and conversely just how convoluted and tangled it is and can be. This leads me to my point. This is a golden opportunity to see just how much rubbish we are carrying around in our minds and because the rubbish, and the good stuff, in our mind creates the chemicals that flow through our bodies and the feelings that follow which then becomes the next situation we are in. This therefore creates the next good or bad interpretation of that situation (created by our thoughts, chemicals and feelings derived from the last situation) and usually further locks in the beliefs (now patterned thoughts) that lead to thinking, acting, creating and experiencing the next situation the same or similar again.
Wow, that was a bit of a mouthful and unfortunately that is what it is all like in our heads, craziness going around and around. The point is, the situation is only ever an opportunity to see how you are reacting or responding today. Did you see what I did there, I snuck in reacting and responding, leaving room to feel the difference, because there is a noteworthy difference. Reacting implies that we are on automatic and repeating as prescribed above, trying to make a bad feeling go away (fight or flight), responding implies that we have observed what has occurred and we are now ‘consciously’ responding, attempting to make it better with a degree of awareness. Usually this leads to remaining aware whilst we tweak our approach to finally overcome or rise above the negative aspect of the situation.
So, here is the key, the hidden key, camouflaged down underneath it all. All of this stress is coming from thinking. Not just thinking but the value we place on thoughts or even more so the value we place on people, behaviours, objects and situations. You see, we value things as good or bad, right or wrong, hot or cold, rich or poor, fat or skinny, fast or slow, dumb or smart, helpful or hinderance, heaven or hell, loving or evil, success and failure, winning or losing, cool or uncool, acceptable or unacceptable. We give THINGS and SITUATIONS far too much SIGNIFICANCE. We assign a value to them because of the pleasure or pain we derive from them. If we have lost a great love along the way, we will be double devastated if it appears that we are about to lose one now because of all the pain and loss that still resides in our thoughts and feelings from the past. If we had financially poor periods of life and we were recently enjoying a flow of money or at least enough to get by, when we feel the threat of losing it all, we will immediately go into a state of fear and maybe even panic. Our thoughts have shifted to the possible pain of something before it has even happened.
When we place an unseen mental significance on anything, we have immediately given huge power to these things. This is a really tricky part of this blog because it would be so easy to assume I am saying that you don’t NEED anything. I am not saying exactly that, I am saying that your MENTAL need for it, puts you in a state of dependency and the thought of not having it puts you in a state of stress or even distress. You may find out when you wake up tomorrow that you are still ok. Unless of course, your mind can completely run away with you and convince you that you are in fact at the bottom of the barrel. By the way, there is no shame in arriving at that place or even getting close, that doesn’t mean you are weak or hopeless, that is just your mind again, it just means you have a very powerful mind and if you don’t become aware of it’s power it will use you rather than you using it. One of those equations could end in tragedy and heartbreak or at the very least a lot of suffering. The one, where you start to notice your mind and regain control over it, leads to you being an empowered creator that still has to deal with the ups and downs of the planet just like everyone else, but no matter what happens, when you are no longer driven by the significance your mind places on everything, you can no longer be brought to your knees, certainly not so easily. It’s worth pondering what you have given your power to, where have you placed almighty significance, you will get your power back as soon as you SEE it.
Ultimately, when you get your creative energy back because it is no longer trapped in this overinflated value or significance that you have assigned to the situations that trouble you, your creative power and your ‘in this moment’ joy becomes the most significant thing of all. When you lose your mind, you are left with your spirit, your true you. The power for the true you to not only live the life you want but also to ride this current wave all the way to that joyful creative place, should never be dismissed. You are the answers you need and this situation is your chance to see and let go of who and what you are not. You are not your mind, you are part of the most powerful force on this planet, in this existence, why would you ever give anything else such significance, unless of course you didn’t know. How exciting to be chin deep in a time that lifts the veil of all that isn’t that significant and shines the light on what is, YOU.
Remember bring it into now and never underestimate the power of who you are.