I attended a meditation recently, followed by a conversation about “not making things worse.” We can choose to make things better and we can choose to make things worse. What’s in the middle, and what’s always accessible, especially when we find ourselves faced with seemingly hopeless situations, is not making it worse. While I prefer to use language that is positive, even some of my practices translate as “non-something,” such as Ahimsa – non-harming and Aparigraha – non grasping.
As I contemplate and wonder why these might be translated in a way that suggests not doing something, my mind lands on this: it’s because we do those things. It’s because sometimes we make things worse. Sometimes we hurt each other, hurt ourselves. And often, we are attached.
While I imagine no one would intentionally make things worse, there are things we do every day, choices we make, that impact those around us that sometimes do make things worse. I was given a list from a visiting monk who shared that she is focused on not making things worse in regard to the current political climate in the US. This is one way we can take a situation that may appear bleak, unfixable, beyond challenging to comprehend, and bring ourselves and others a sense of peace. The acceptance that things are as they are and they may or may not change is especially difficult when this acceptance challenges our beliefs, values, and identity.
So what do we do?
How do we make peace with what is and how do we accept something that seems to conflict with our very way of being?
I’m honoured to share the 8 suggestions I received:
Have few desires
Know how much is enough
Make diligent effort
Do not neglect mindfulness
Do not engage in hollow discussions
I know that when I take some action to spread love in the world, it always makes me feel better. Know that every positive intention makes an impact. I recently read that our DNA is a fantastic at receiving and transmitting electromagnetic frequency. Doesn’t that just make sense? Whatever we put out is received by others. Energy. A ripple effect.
Therefore, by not making things worse and spreading love, we have the potential to make things better.
We always have that opportunity and I’m choosing it.
How about you?