Life is not what we’ll have when the pandemic ends. Life is what’s happening now, and our way of facing it generates whatever will come next. We are developing our individual future and our personal contribution to the collective one. If we were aware of the scope of our creative power, we would be so willing to stop wasting it.
Whatever we can envision today will determine the reality that experience will show us tomorrow, and we have options—more than we think. Life is vast; we are pretty narrow sometimes. We believe that external events imprison us, and more often than not, we refuse to take responsibility for what is happening to us, even if life is speaking to us in a clear, straightforward manner.
Life and I are the same. I can lament what is happening to me and feel like a victim of the world. I can spend my days reading hardly-ever inspiring messages with apocalyptic warnings and multiple explanations of reality. Perhaps some of those hypotheses are true; maybe all of them have a grain of truth; probably there’s distorted information in all of them. If you ask me, I prefer to respect the mystery. Do I want to squander the wonderful energy that has been given to me so that I can create something new and different? We all have our place in the social net and a different margin of maneuver. Each of us has the potential to make an impact on our environment and from there to infinity and beyond.
My thing is to dedicate myself to what I can change: my emotionality, my inner world, the fears that lead me to places where I don’t want to go, the false beliefs that make me a victim of others—family, neighbors, government policies, health systems or a Trojan horse disguised as a pangolin. Life is gifting me with a crisis, and a crisis is an opportunity to grow and create; to delve into what I’ve been creating so far; to understand how and why I’ve been doing it; to clarify what my true motivations and my deepest longings are; to find the obstacles that might be hindering the realization of those wishes, and to dare to conceive bigger and better. We can’t generate anything that we are not capable of envisioning before. And these times are a great challenge because there are several social currents, and some promote fear and drama.
This collective experience provides us with a powerful individual experience, which is very different for each of us. Some people are living through times of pain and intense grief. Many are experiencing difficult times and overwhelming financial challenges. Others are drowning in worry and fear even though their objective situation is actually pretty good. Some are using isolation time in practical and productive ways. Others are genuinely enjoying the experience. For some, life hasn’t changed that much, after all. A few are seizing the opportunity to explore new ways and make changes that will have a lasting effect on their lives.
Much compassion and respect are necessary for the pain and suffering that are taking place in all the corners of the world. Grief can be healed, and this demands love, patience, and time. This subject deserves further depth, and it will have its own space.
Nevertheless, whatever our situation may be, the experience will dramatically change if we take it as it is. It might sound simple, but we rarely honor this practice. We have an—often unconscious—emotional tendency to make things bigger or smaller than they are. It’s a good idea to face and feel the pain and the fear—and there’s no other way out of them—without ignoring or belittling them. At the same time, if we gather all our maturity, we can get off the drama, accept the—collective and personal—situation as it is, and become masters of it. Thoughts like “the world is never going to be what it was” from a feeling of loss and catastrophe will crumble us emotionally, hurting our vital impulse and sabotaging our immense capacity for growth and change. Our efforts to analyze things that we cannot change are a waste of energy. It feels as if we had Harry Potter’s wand in our hands, and we were using it to help create a hopeless planet or draw donkey ears on everyone else. Let’s learn how to use it to make ourselves responsible and free, to transform our reality from the depths of our being. Of course, it’s possible. True wishes have a purpose. Paraphrasing the dream expert Jeremy Taylor, they are not there to tell us: “Nyah nyah, you have this wish, and you can’t make it true!”. Quite the contrary: a legitimate desire is, by itself, an invitation to realize it and an indication of its potential fulfillment.
Human beings are fascinating, and we have many peculiarities that we still don’t understand well. If we are afraid of something, we unconsciously direct all our energy towards what we fear. Simultaneously, ignoring our fears or trying to evade them is like putting sand on a land mine: it looks lovely from the outside, but we haven’t deactivated the explosive, and now we can’t see it, which increases its danger and therefore its power. Consequently, it’s essential to feel the fear, to give it its place, to recognize it, and to become aware of it. The more deeply we can feel it, without judging it or feeding it with words or thoughts, the more its power over us will decrease because we will get to know it and heal it and transform it. When we are not aware of it, it’s our fear what controls, dominates, and paralyzes us, pushing us in an undesired direction. I have found, both in my life and in my work, that there is no practice as liberating, useful, and powerful as learning to master our fears and thus becoming independent from their dominance.
Can you imagine what would happen if we could remove the component of fear from any life experience? From childbirth to death, we would profoundly transform the experience into something totally assumable and maturely affordable. We are in an evolutionary moment in which we still have to assume some pain, loss, disappointment, separation, confusion, illness, conflict, crisis. Sure, we can do everything in our power to avoid it. Still, when it’s inevitable, we can learn to transform fear and maturely assume the situation as an experience that life is putting before us and, therefore, belongs to us and our path. Every vital conflict has a beautiful gift behind it. Beyond the fear, the childish stubbornness that things should be the way we think, beyond the loss, false beliefs, and deceitful ideas, there’s a sacred treasure of fulfillment, trust, and freedom. Such a path demands commitment and courage. It doesn’t look like the most comfortable route, but it’s full of magic for those who decide to take it.