It’s no secret many of us are addicted to bad news under the spell of “staying informed”: a learned cultural duty, and often mistaken for education. Dramatized stories and images of those who are suffering or deemed underprivileged maintain the illusion of separateness and hopelessness. However, when the data is calculated, it is argued that collectively humans are actually subject to less poverty and violence per capita than historically recorded. There are also millions of people doing whatever it takes to move humanity forward and upward for the greater good of the entire planet. But these people and stories are not mainstream newsworthy. We must make a sincere effort to take conscious control of our attention, and search elsewhere for empowering information to create a new perspective.
Regardless, a reason we experience intense urgency, outrage, or despair when exposed to tragedy is that we are growing less tolerant of such suffering— and should be as humanity evolves. Yet in response, if we do not update where we focus our attention, ongoing emotional reactions like these trigger physiological processes in the body that eventually fatigue it. Our cells are bathed in chemical signals that hinder rational and creative thought, heart rhythms, digestion, repair and renewal of tissues. We become increasingly susceptible to illness, and less able to effectively participate in our daily activities— let alone do something to help humanity. Then we feel more hopeless, and the spiral continues. This stress response was originally meant to be triggered on rare occasion to escape mortal threat, then quickly cease. Now, many of us are living from trigger to trigger, barely recovering before the next. This means we are not returning to homeostasis, where our body and attention can fully return to processes of health and opportunity.
A recurring theme in my relationship circles is the holistic paralysis caused by what I will call “privilege guilt”. This can happen if you perceive yourself as privileged, or feel bad when you imagine being healthier, wealthier or successful in the future. Behavioral characteristics can include: turning down wonderful opportunities, a habit of judgement of others and self (kept to oneself or shared), preoccupation with menial or familiar tasks with increased scrutiny, discomfort when others express praise or gratitude (verbal or physical gift), lack of rest and recharging, always prioritizing others’ wellbeing over one’s own, and not asking for help. Some experience bouts of depression or anger.
According to holistically-minded doctors and scientists, physical symptoms can include: digestive, blood pressure and heart issues, chronic pain, tension or fatigue. And almost any medical professional will agree that chronic stress, no matter how it is triggered, is a significant contributor of every disease. Treating these symptoms often become another preoccupation, seeking physical intervention for a physiological process triggered by emotional habit. Just remember there is a difference between symptom and cause, and our culture is experiencing an epidemic of ignoring cause.
Some privilege guilt attitudes:
- Who am I to have opportunity/prosperity/community when others do not?
- How can I or anyone enjoy abundance when others are suffering?
- Until there is “equality” for all, I cannot celebrate or enjoy what I have, have experienced, or can access.
- I am not “above” doing certain tasks myself. To prove I am not “better” than others, I will do these tasks even if I don’t really enjoy them.
- I will not take or create a new opportunity to apply and hone my expertise or talent, because that would take away an opportunity for someone else who needs it more than me.
- How does it serve others to limit participation, reject self-nurturing, or suffer guilt after enjoyment: denying humanity or the planet the creative expression of our unique abilities, wisdom and love?
- How can others learn to shine and participate at their highest potential, if those who can do not? Sometimes it takes just one example to plant an inspirational seed. Can I be the source of inspiration?
- How can humanity possibly evolve for the better of all, if those who supposedly have a higher consciousness won’t allow themselves to live the life they have now to their fullest potential?
- If there is any positive potential for the future, including creative solutions to what we perceive as problems, how can this potential manifest if those who have the resources, ability, knowledge and heart do not participate at their full capacity?
- Life is a co-creative experience. When we insist on doing everything ourselves, we miss creating opportunity for others who would love the chance to contribute and learn. Then we become overwhelmed and bitter that we don’t have the time or energy to fully express our personal greatness. Like the individual cells in our bodies, we are healthy when serving each other and the whole for a greater purpose, while expressing individual potential.
Am I clear about the difference between:
- Narcissism vs. constructive confidence and gratitude?
- Consuming vs. receiving, self-care, and creating opportunity for joy and prosperity for others through inspired participation and celebration?
- Overcare vs. compassion?
- Controlling vs. participating?
- Sacrifice vs. inspired service
- Failure vs. necessary creative process?
- Taking blame vs. responsibility?
Another contributor to privilege guilt is the kind of environmentalism which advocates playing and existing as small as possible to leave the smallest “footprint”. Yet the natural process of life itself is destruction and creation, and like it or not, we humans are part of that process no matter how much we try to tread lightly. This has created a stigma for those who want to or are participating wholeheartedly in life, which includes experimentation that inherently includes failures.
If a failure is considered a waste— charged with a negative energy, we punish ourselves or others when it happens, and subsequently limit our authentic participation in co-creating the future. Trust as your actions are inspired from a place of Heart and Spirit (hence, in-Spired), you will become more efficient with your energy and resources while attracting more to create more, enabling you to contribute your unique gift to ensure a thriving future. This document used natural resources to be created and for you to read. The finished document is not the first draft, and took a different path and more time than initially intended. And it’s all good.
Learn what good is being done in the world right now, weaning yourself off the stream of media negativity that actually represents only a small fraction of reality. You must change your perspective if you want to change anything you are experiencing.
My personal experience after choosing a new perspective and changing my diet of information: there is so much good manifesting in the world right now, such amazing creativity, and solutions ready to be implemented addressing every problem we can imagine. More people each day are doing good deeds without expectation of reward or recognition, seeing differences as strengths, collaborating instead of competing, and finding likeminded co-creators determined to create a positive future. If you have access to the internet, you have the power to find and learn about these realities. You can also set out in your community with the intention to spot Goodness in Action, from the smallest gesture to big projects. Seek (with an open heart and mind), and you shall find. As far as I am concerned, it’s imperative to not only discover what is already blooming, but also allow this to fill your heart and inspire your personal path.
Your existence is not an accident. The question is, why am I here, right now, at this time in history, in the circumstances I am experiencing? If I have any: money, time, education, connections, talent, arms and legs, hugs and smiles… can this be utilized for the greatest good possible and to experience my own wellbeing? The truth is: if you aren’t allowing your wellbeing, you will eventually have nothing to give. When you are resonating with your wellbeing, you have abundant energy, ability, and inspiration to participate in life however you choose.
Assume you can discern the difference between greed or gluttony, and enjoying life in the authentic spirit of raising humanity’s heart resonance and overall positive potential. This means contributing your unique gifts not because you “should”, but because you can.
Science is confirming the power and effects of heart resonance. It is clear that our invisible intentions and emotions profoundly effect other people along with our personal health, not just our words and actions. An action resulting from unconditional Love, charged by joy and awe for Life, is exponentially more powerful than the same action initiated from guilt or sense of duty.
Recognizing this tendency in myself, I am choosing to experience an inspired life because I can, serving both my soul and the good of all.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi