Especially at the moment, it’s obvious that a fair proportion of the world is up in arms about something. I only have to browse social media to find phrases like:
“My freedom has been taken away.”
“This is shocking …”
“I’m appalled …”
“I’m concerned that …”
“XYZ happened to me, so you shouldn’t do ABC.”
“You shouldn’t have said that because …”
“You are doing so well in these difficult times.”
“You need to understand XYZ, then you’d do ABC.”
“Understanding the way life works will make you feel better.”
Some of them are obvious. Others less so. But actually all the same.
Have you heard similar, or even found yourself saying a version of one of them?
If you thought anything, you probably thought you were doing the right thing. You certainly had good intentions, but we know which way they go.
Why do I have such an issue with these expressions?
But I do want to point something out.
Here it is: When you use one of these phrases, you unwittingly become part of the problem.
If you are knowingly getting embroiled, fine, there’s maybe sometimes a call for that.
This article is for those who want to make the world a better place, and genuinely believe they are contributing to that through these protest statements and supporting actions.
I’m not asking you to stop, I’m just going to raise some consequences of those patterns.
This is the consequence of protesting against: You reinforce the thing you are protesting against.
“My freedom has been taken away.” = We could be separate from freedom, even momentarily.
“This is shocking …” = Something is so problematic that spending time expressing outrage is valuable.
“I’m appalled …” = Circumstances can disturb me.
“I’m concerned that …” = I want to suggest something stronger, but I don’t want to have to defend what I say.
“XYZ happened to me, so you shouldn’t do ABC.” = My grief is intensified by your actions.
“You shouldn’t have said that because …” = People are so fragile they can’t listen to things they disagree with.
“You are doing so well in these difficult times.” = Just living is a huge challenge, the best you can do is fail slowly.
“You need to understand XYZ, then you’d do ABC.” = You’re doing it wrong, and I need to recruit you to reassure myself.
“Understanding the way life works will make you feel better.” = I need to feel in control to be okay.
When we protest against, we perpetuate the misunderstanding that is at the root of all problems. We perpetuate the belief that you and are a separate, finite beings, tied to and limited by a specific body and mind. We perpetuate the belief that our personality, our conditioning and our feelings are the truth of who we are. We reinforce the one thing that we all (deep down) want to end.
Perhaps, just perhaps, it’s time to take a step back from protecting, promoting and justifying a self that doesn’t even exist. A self that is assumed, based on a misreading of experience. A self that could never reflect who we are.
Then, with a clarity of knowing our true Self, and an openness to the full expression of that singular Self in the world as each unique human… Then we protest our Love. That doesn’t mean trying to connect. It doesn’t mean huge protestations of exactly how loving a person we are. It doesn’t mean passively agreeing with everything.
As Disraeli said: “Never complain; never explain.” Now you are free to criticise, from a shared ownership of the issue. Now it’s not about the self you believed you were. Now freedom, love and abundance take centre stage.
Protest our Love.