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How to Make Peace with the State of the World

By Julie Ann Cairns | Abundance

Oct 20
world in our hands

One of your fellow Abundance Coders wrote in requesting a blog post about “how to apply the principles of abundance when it comes to making a difference to global issues.”

I wrote a blog post in response quite a while ago, but I’ve updated it here because it seems highly relevant again. Particularly in the run up to mid-term elections in the US, new reports that have surfaced on the impacts of climate change on our planet, and other political and societal events that end up pushing many people into states of anxiety, fear and even anger.

The request came from a lady in New Zealand, named Sofia.

Sofia wrote:

“Here’s something you could shed light on for me.

One thing I’m torn about is how to apply the principles of abundance when it comes to making a difference to global issues. Here’s what I mean: I’m passionate about the environment and living a sustainable life, and have been applying it to my own life, which makes me proud and optimistic about the future of our planet.

Like you, I’ve filtered my environment to eliminate as much negativity as possible, so mainstream media were the first thing vetoed in my world. Because I know if there’s something I really need to know about, I will find out about it in my networks anyway.

Where it gets tricky for me is when I see governments and organisations make decisions that violate the preservation of our environment and planet in such massive proportions. We seem to keep offending it so grossly that it makes me angry …

… I’m confused. How can I be a contribution, without coming from scarcity and feeding the fear that surrounds the topic, but honouring its urgency?

Thanks, Julie. I love your work – thank you for your contribution to my abundant life.

Have a fantastic day!
Sofia”

 

That is such an excellent question!

How can we balance creating abundance in our lives and contributing to an abundant world, while at the same time we see so many crises happening on our planet that require our urgent attention and positive solutions… and yet we don’t want to get sucked into a spiral of negativity that could sabotage the very abundance we seek?

It’s tricky for sure… you pegged that right Sofia! And thanks for raising this question.

It’s something that’s top of mind for so many people around the world right now. There’s so much change and uncertainty going on.

Uncertainty feeds straight into the FEAR circuitry of our brains. And when the FEAR circuits get switched on, our abundance and solution-oriented circuits get switched off.

When we’re afraid and we don’t like (or know how to deal with) the things that are happening in the world… that can lead to anger, frustration and even depression. All of this can push us back into SCARCITY and out of ABUNDANCE, if we don’t know how to reset our mindset quickly.

When we slip back into a SCARCITY mindset, we just compound the problem – for ourselves and for the world – because then we’re living in a state of fear, and in that state it’s very hard to be the change we want to see in the world.

For me, the key is to stay focused on SOLUTIONS.

Okay, so we do need to know the nature of any problem before we can find a solution. And we also often need to recognise or acknowledge the URGENCY to find a solution. But if we allow ourselves to get swallowed up in feelings of anger, futility, or hopelessness about the problem itself… then we aren’t going to be able to keep our eyes, minds and hearts open to possible solutions.

The main practice that helps with this is to start by ACCEPTING WHAT IS.

It doesn’t mean we like it. It doesn’t mean that we will do nothing to change it (forgive the double negative here). It just means that we start with a reality check.

We look at how things are, in this moment, and we accept that this is what is. Basically, we look the problem straight in the eye instead of avoiding it, denying it or ignoring it.

And then, we move forward.

Here are some positive steps that can lead us from ‘problem’ to ‘solution’ when we practice acceptance of what is:We acknowledge the ‘problem’

  • We feel motivated to solve it.
  • We define the ‘problem’ in terms of who, what, where, when, and why. For example who is this a problem for? What is the problem? Where is it a problem? When is it a problem, and when does it need to be solved by? Why is it a problem (and why is the ‘problem’ is creating an outcome we do not want)?
  • We look at what we want instead. We define a new goal
  • We plan out how we might achieve our new goal… (this is the ‘solution’)
  • Once again we practice acceptance. We accept the parts we can’t affect or change. We focus on the things we can change.
  • We define some actionable steps that we can take (based on the things we can affect) to implement a ‘solution’… and finally…
  • We take action!

So… none of this requires us to get lost in feeling angry, depressed or hopeless. In fact, if you follow these steps, you may soon feel empowered and more hopeful once again.

Alternatively, here’s a loop that many people get stuck in… and it leads NOWHERE…

  • We see the ‘problem’
  • We feel angry about it
  • We complain about the problem to friends and on social media, we talk about it, we forward posts about it, we rattle and rail against the injustice of it all…

So far what we’re doing is not necessarily bad. Actually, it can be an important part of defining the problem to discuss it with others. However, if we complain for the sake of complaining instead of consciously using the discussion as a way of refining and informing our viewpoint, well, it’s not exactly helping.

And then, we often take it up a notch…

  • We decide who’s to ‘blame’ for the problem… and this person, group of people, organisation or government becomes ‘them’.
  • We complain about ‘them’, we forward negative commentary about ‘them’ to our friends, we troll ‘them’ online, and we might even treat ‘them’ poorly if we meet them offline
  • We look for sympathisers with our view and we think of those people as ‘us’… and we begin to unfriend or unfollow those who don’t agree with ‘us’
  • We feed the ‘us’ and ‘them’ narrative… we demean ‘them’ with our thoughts, words and deeds… which causes division in our hearts and minds, and creates conflict between ‘us’ and ‘them’
  • And other than that… we do NOTHING to contribute to a solution.

It’s our anger that pushes us into this unproductive loop that consumes our energy. Our energy gets directed into angry vilification of ‘them’ when we could be directing our energy towards finding and implementing a solution.

Usually, this blame game starts up because we feel POWERLESS. If we feel that we have no power to change things, then our anger has nowhere useful to go.

There might be things we can’t change. That’s true. It’s important to identify and accept those things. But there is ALWAYS something, however small it is, that we can do to help make a difference in the world. To contribute to a solution. And by focusing on that, we take our power back.

It’s unrealistic to say that we could just NOT get angry about the problem. Anger is a natural emotion, and emotions are neither right nor wrong. It’s important to feel them. It’s what we do NEXT that makes all the difference.

Anger can be healthy, if it’s directed in the a positive way. The most positive way to direct your anger is to use it as MOTIVATION to find a solution. To work with others to create meaningful change, through carefully thought-out and planned action.

This is the most productive way to use your frustration and anger. The least helpful way to use your anger is to direct it into an unproductive loop of blame, complain, and demean that doesn’t actually change anything.

As always, scroll down and let me know in the comments if this post helped you in anyway.

 

To YOUR Abundance

Julie Ann Cairns

Julie Ann Cairns

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