The path to the fault is in the blamer; Spirit sees nothing to criticize. –Rumi
I had been doing great during Covid until these past weeks when the peaceful demonstrations began. I was completely sympathetic, until the looting, burning, and violence started. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and I began to lose hope.
At that moment, I had forgotten a perennial truth: The only source of goodness lies not in the world, but in our own hearts: the love of God, or spirit, universe (or whatever word you use for a power greater than fear and wrongdoing).
I believe violence will end only when each person’s heart-center rejects its lure.
That’s a tall order for our planet, right? But we can start now!
I can bring that a force of healing into the world by choosing to align my thoughts, beliefs, and actions with love rather than with fear or hate. Choosing a forgiving, peaceful, stance toward the world’s apparent chaos expands loving healing into the people all around us.
When I’m facing confusion, conflict, or other problems, I begin by honestly admitting that my thinking is distorted by fear. Then, I claim the power to find a new perspective.
Finding A New Perspective
Rumi, the thirteenth-century Persian poet and Sufi mystic, wrote, “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing is a field. I will meet you there.”
Looking beyond the contours of the problem leads to a field of new possibilities. It’s a choice between living in the problem and living in the solution.
Living in the problem. Our worries focus our attention on the “rightdoing and wrongdoing” of our situation: We obsess about who was at fault, what we should have said or done, or how a situation should be different. These fears make us tense, often leading to rash actions and damaged relationships.
Living in the solution. When we look “out beyond” these negative thoughts, we find a perspective of peace, hope, and wisdom. This is where the solutions lie.
A Simple Exercise
This technique helps you live in the solution rather than in the problem. It’s a variation on “The Golden Key” published in Power Through Constructive Thinking (free PDF of the entire book) by Emmet Fox, a New Thought leader of the early 20th century.
Whenever a troubling thought comes to you, gently focus your mind on something that brings you hope or happiness. It may be your higher power, a phrase (“All is well”); a prayer; an image of a beloved child, or a rose. When you revert to worrying, think instead about your positive thought. Make the switch as often as necessary.
Your thoughts frequently return to the problem in the mistaken belief that this will fix it. Be vigilant and gentle as you teach your mind to instead think about the positive thoughts you’ve chosen.
Soon you will gain a peaceful outlook that leads to wise solutions. You’ll be guided to the right actions; although often you’ll find no action is necessary at all.
Gigi Langer has been sober 34 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in Michigan with her husband, Peter and her cat, Murphy.