In the last couple years there has been much to discuss and a lot to think about and take care of. Our world accelerates and changes more and more rapidly and becomes more and more divided. There are countless issues to argue over and endless causes to support, there are so many 'wrongs' to right and 'stands' to take. At times it might be tempting to 'check out', turn a blind eye or dive headlong into positivity at all cost. We are all feeling this in one way or another and we respond and/or react uniquely. We either fight or hide with what we know is our truth. We sometimes use our opinions as weapons against one another and often times we hang on to our ideas as if for dear life. This leaves out the possibility of changing our minds and it leads to rejecting the nature of growth. Somehow, along the way we got threatened and experienced profound fear that what we know may not be all there is. Fear is a barrier to listening and without listening we do not learn. Even when we disagree, as long as we listen, we learn something. The term 'Agree to disagree' may very well be just another block in that we are not listening - we are simply disagreeing. How can we expand when the walls of what we think we know box us in so tight. Adam Grant, who is an organizational psychologist and bestselling author who explores the science of motivation, generosity, original thinking, and rethinking, says; "The hallmark of an open mind is not letting your ideas become your identity. If you define yourself by your opinions, questioning them is a threat to your integrity. If you see yourself as a curious person or a lifelong learner, changing your mind is a moment of growth."
Similar and in the light of the Yama i.e.; Yoga teaching of Truth/ Satya we are asked to revisit, ponder and update our beliefs and values and what we consider our point of view according to where we are and how we may have changed - we are asked to check in with ourselves in the present. This is because much of what we think we know comes from our surroundings and our past. To be truthful with ourselves requires looking inward and being honest and not being afraid to see what we see. Even if it is unpleasant we are asked to look and stay present - even in the fear that we may see something differently than previously. But when we stay present in the moment as it is presented to us and we listen - then we gain more depth and are more likely to be creative, reasonable and responsible rather than dismissive and righteous in our opinions.
It is said that when we are open to the possibility that we actually may not know...that is when the truth will come to us. What if we also considered the wise words of Carl Jung "thoroughly unprepared, we take the step into the afternoon of life; worse still, we take this step with the false presupposition that our truths and ideals will serve us as hitherto. But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life's morning - for what was great in the morning will be little at evening, and what in the morning was true will at evening have become a lie". It is difficult to accept but the reality is that we are all susceptible to what we have been exposed to and what we have been brought up to believe. It takes work to look at truths it and it is easy to get stuck.
When we check in with our self and allow our whole self to show up - then we are present in the moment in the way that is truthful and there is nothing to hide. "There is a profound courage to this kind of willingness to be raw with reality as it is, rather than run from it, or construct a false premise to soften it."..."when 'All of us' shows up to the moment, ready to meet it in truth and integrity, ready to make full contact. Meeting the moment 'full on' is like playing a contact sport. We aren't afraid to play the game with everything we have or get knocked around a little in the process; it's all part of the fun" - D. Adele. Perhaps the key message here is that we may just be getting stuck as we take ourselves just a little bit too seriously. Several artists and great thinkers have said "I take the work very seriously but I do not take myself too seriously". We need to give ourselves space to explore, ponder and to consider that everything we see as 'what we know' will hinder our expansion. This is not to say that we do not need to stand for what is right and fight for justice and or equality - absolutely, we do. But maybe if we check in with how intensely we cling to our personal opinions we may notice that we are blocking our own view.
Truth is fluid and we need to keep checking in with the lens with which we are observing the world. How and what we see is directly affected by what we believe and that often comes from the groups we are in and the experiences we've had - all of which determine our choices. "To be a bold person of truth is to constantly look for what we are not seeing and to expose ourselves to different views other than the ones we hold sacred." D - Adele. In Gandhi's autobiography he states that his life was an experiment with truth. One might imagine it would have been an experiment with non-violence but his statement was about truth. As Deborah Adele writes about this historic fact she says" This statement captures the power that living with truth has. A poor, colonized country united in nonviolence gaining it's freedom; a dominant country brought to it's knees. This was arguably the greatest nonviolent revolution in history, and all because of one man's experiment with truth." Perhaps as we accept that truth lives in fluidity not rigidity then we might move through the barriers we create and get a little less stuck.