AND Step Back to See Clearly

November 29th, 2015

In this season of giving thanks and celebration, we find ourselves bombarded by media reports of heinous acts of violence against people. If we accept the label given, these acts are acts of terrorism. As such, they have the potential to instill terror in those who experience them directly and survive, as well and in those exposed through forms of media that we allow to enter our daily lives.

Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, is reputed to have said of good management practices, something like, “You don’t do your best thinking when you’re standing on a rattlesnake.” His words are a great reminder that there is a time for decision-making and a time for action. While getting away from the rattlesnake requires immediate action, that is not the time for making other great decisions that require reflection and reconnection with the wisdom we hold in our hearts.

Our ability to see clearly requires distance in both time and space. When we step back to see what is separate from the lens of fear, we are invited to see more deeply that goodness is still present at times of great pain and suffering. We are wired to respond to threats in ways that support our survival. We know to flee the immediate dangers of a situation. We don’t always know to step back, when out of immediate danger, to more accurately assess the context before making longer-term decisions.

The immediate instinctive reactions cause us to run out of a burning building to seek safely. We run back in or run to get help from those better trained than we, when those we love are trapped and we want more to save them than be saved ourselves. Our instinct for self-survival is subjugated under a deeper love for those whose lives are threatened in that moment. This love is bigger than the fear of danger for ourselves.

A pause, once out of immediate danger, creates the space to overcome immediate fears and reconnect more consciously with the people we want to be, the values we choose to live by, and the love we choose to extend to those who touch our lives or who may be touched by us.

As we step into this season of thanksgiving and celebration, may we all step back to see more clearly the bigger picture and the wisdom of fearless hearts. In the context of individual choices and acts of violence, we are still united in love. AND as more of us respond from that light, we stop giving our light to fear and instead bring that light to help those who are trapped in darkness.

Comments are closed.