I recall the first time I heard the words spoken by the Dali Lama at the 2009 Peace Conference. He declared himself a feminist and proclaimed that ‘The world will be saved by the Western woman’. His words stopped me in my tracks. I felt them resonate in my body and savoured the delicious tingle of something awakening deep inside.
It felt like a call to action.
And yet this stirring of my soul couldn’t have come at a less opportune time for me. I was a new mum, four stone overweight and propping myself up on caffeine and chocolate. I was in the depths of relationship despair, concerned about my finances and at a huge crossroads in my career.
I’ll add ‘saving the world’ to my to-do list then, I thought wryly to myself.
Nearly a decade on I’m clear about how I contribute to saving the world by unravelling my own bundle of complexity along the way. Getting to know myself to ever-increasing depths is part of my life’s work. This enables me to support others. There are many people walking around who don’t have a clue who they are, what they are here to heal in themselves and who they are here to serve.
The path to self-awareness is not well-trodden. It is not an easy option when we don’t have the tools and insights. It’s easy to turn back when we don’t understand the nature of the barriers in the way. I’m here to help people see what they are facing into when they don’t know what they are looking at.
In the absence of a direction of travel or a reliable guide, turning back may feel like the only safe option. But every time we get scared, lose sight of our ‘why’ or forget how hard the alternative is, we are tempted to sell out on ourselves. When we feel fear and give in because we think we are out of options, we are not digging deep enough. Every time we turn around and refuse to follow our life path, a little part of us dies. We go back to square one to be delivered another painful blow that invites us to try again.
We can’t save the world if we can’t save ourselves!
I didn’t know that raising my consciousness by getting to know myself better is what I would have to do to create the change I longed for. My ego told me that there were other ways to find personal satisfaction. When what once worked for me refused to deliver the freedom and contentment I longed for, it was time for a radical rethink of my approach. Lack consciousness, victim mentality, fear and blaming myself and others for where I found myself also failed to deliver what I was looking for. As one thing after another fell away, I was left with no other option than to look within.
Seeking to understand myself turns up anomalies that are difficult to fathom. The desire to help others and to be part of something bigger feels good in my soul. Finding out how I am of service and who I am here to help gets me out of bed every morning with passion, purpose and direction. There is an engine of productivity that fires in me and longs to run full steam ahead and then I see that the tracks are not yet laid. There is a desire to serve that keeps me seeking and stretching myself into new territory and then I procrastinate and stall at the simplest decision. There are times when I feel like I am destined for the world stage and days where I feel like I can barely get off the sofa!
After many years, I am at peace with this. Despite all the noise inside my head, I am making progress.
I am not alone in the frustration and confusion I have experienced. The people I am here to help experience the same frustrations. Not having it all worked out yet doesn’t stop me, and it needn’t stop you. We are all here to serve in others what we have come here to heal in ourselves. Our success is intrinsically linked with the success of those we are here to assist. I know for certain is that we are not going to save the world while we are hamstrung by our own drama.
Our contribution to ‘saving the world’ is inextricably linked to saving ourselves.
You’ve got this.