Plato once said there are only three things worth pursuing:
Imagine living in a world where each living being pursued one, two or all three of these virtues. What would life be like? How might the world be different?
When I look at the state of the world today I see a state of imbalance. Our people and our planet are suffering.
The very institutions created to protect and serve have been compromised.
The "Leader of the Free World" is a manifestation of our collective disease.
While this is not breaking news, the underlying question still remains, what do we do about it?
How do we recover balance, restore harmony, and live in peace?
One solution we’ve been working towards is EQUALITY. We are operating under this impression that when we are all EQUAL that everything will be right with the world.
I think EQUALITY is certainly a healthy baseline but what about EQUANIMITY?
The root of the two words are the same, derived from the Latin adjective “aequus”, which means “level” or “equal” but Equanimity includes “animus” which means “soul” or “mind”.
Equanimity is defined as mental calmness, composure, evenness of temper, especially in difficult situations. It can also be seen as grace under pressure or a general sense of balance and harmony.
I recently learned that most diseases come from the mind. In today's society, the mind is highly valued but we must remember that the mind is really just a tool.
It can be a beautiful tool that paints stories, colors visions, and brings meaning to memories. It can be a useful tool that helps you process information, build things, and get you from point A to point B, but the crux of the mind is it lies.
In Portugese, the word "mente" meaning "mind" also means "lie" and there is a Portugese saying, "mente mentes", the mind lies. Unconsciously and consciously, often and much.
The mind is also heavily influenced by society and society understands that selling lies is far more profitable than serving truth. As an example, try to buy something healthy at the grocery store. For some urban cities or sustainable farms this is relatively easy but in most places you really have to go out of your way to find something organic, unprocessed without pesticides or chemicals and you have to pay top dollar for it.
With the ODDS stacked against us, how does one pursue truth?
My sense is society is in need of a deep cleanse. But how do we cleanse society? Like most things in life, we must start with ourselves.
TOUGH LOVE TRUTH CLEANSE
Pause. This will require a willingness to peel back your layers and reveal your truth.
Take a moment to be really honest with yourself and ask:
- What is my truth?
- Am I living it?
- What secrets am I hiding?
- What lies (big and small) have I told myself or others?
- What false stories have I been collecting?
- How have these less than truths added up and manifested in my life?
- What is the one truth I’m deathly afraid to admit?
- And finally, what would it feel like if I didn't have to carry this burden or hide my truth anymore?
Boom! Yep, those were some big ones. I said "Tough Love", didn't I?
Another approach to these questions comes from The Ever Forward Club’s “Taking off the Mask” workshop.
In the workshop, each person is given a blank piece of paper (you can also do this at home). On one side you draw a mask.
On the front of your mask, you write down three qualities that you gladly show the world.
For my mask, I wrote: Loving, Enthusiastic, and Open.
On the back of your mask, you write down three things that you don’t show the world on a scale of, "I don’t talk about it because no one asks me about it” to “I don’t talk about it because I don’t talk about it.”
I wrote: Lying, Cheating, and Not knowing what the fuck I’m doing.
In the workshop, we went through an anonymous revealing and a conscious and compassionate discussion.
When we did the revealing, even though it was anonymous, I was deathly afraid of hearing the back of my mask read out loud. But after hearing it and others', it was like ripping off a bandaid. It stung a bit but I also felt relieved that it was out.
Afterwards, I took some personal time to sit with these once-hidden, now-exposed truths. Though I was glad to have it out there, I still had a hell of a lot of judgment towards myself.
I took the next step towards inner peace and resolution by practicing self-forgiveness. My Coach has taught me to practice this through writing and prayer. I wrote:
I forgive myself for lying
I forgive myself for cheating
I forgive myself for being lost, uncertain, and insecure
I forgive myself for not being perfect
I forgive myself for not taking care of my body and myself
I forgive myself for hurting others
I forgive myself for being a work in progress
I often do this exercise over and over until I feel its all out. In my journal it's usually 2+ pages.
Then I match the forgiveness with blessings.
I bless myself with the courage to be honest and true
I bless myself to make right my relationships
I bless myself with guidance, protection and clarity
I bless myself to love and accept who I am, where I am, today
I bless myself to listen to my body and heal my spirit
I bless myself to be kind, compassionate, and unconditionally authentic
I bless myself with the courage to grow with (and sometimes without) grace
Though our world is ill and out of balance, most of our challenges are human-created, which means they can be human-solved. We are naturally designed for healing and thus, I believe we are completely capable of transforming our collective energy from conflict to resolution, war to peace.
By starting with the self and disrupting your own lies, you make way for truth.
Something to be aware of, truth and balance are directions not destinations. At any given moment, you will know which way you are headed, by asking yourself:
- Is this action going towards or away from my truth?
- Is this bringing me towards or away from balance?
- Or simply, is this energizing me or not?
I'm not suggesting perfection. We're human. Beautifully flawed. But once we accept that truth and do our work, an inner shift with a powerful ripple occurs.
Do your part. Get clean.
With tough love,
Kelsey Lotus Wong
***Special shout-out to Javier Munoz, a colleague, mentor, and friend who inspired this post after a recent conversation on the Pursuit of Truth. Learn more about Javier's Paradigm Shift Challenge and follow his truth-speaking wisdom on Twitter.