I often think that the main problem in our world is how many of us focus vast quantities of negative energy on some issue that’s “out there”, rather than working on the source of all that negative energy, which is ultimately within us.
Lately, it seems as if everywhere I go, everyone has a negative opinion about this pandemic, especially when it comes to the vaccinated versus unvaccinated. At the gym the other day, I overheard a guy angrily talking about one of his wife’s family members who wasn’t following the same path he was when it came to how the virus was being handled. He spent at least 30 minutes bashing this other person who wasn’t even present to defend themselves. Last year this negative energy was focused on the Biden versus Trump and Democrats versus Republicans ordeal. Just prior to that when the pandemic began, it was the masked versus maskless. And before that was how people viewed the “MeToo” movement and so on. All of this has left me wondering why we keep on focusing on what’s wrong with the world, rather than looking within at the source of all this negativity.
I love what Bill Wilson once wrote about this very thing in the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous so long ago now. He said, “Our actor is self-centered, ego-centric, as people like it to call it nowadays. He is like the retired businessman who lolls in the Florida sunshine in the winter complaining of the sad state of the nation; the minister who sighs over the sins of the twentieth century; politician and reformers who are sure all would be Utopia if the rest of the world would only behave; the outlaw safe cracker who thinks society has wronged him; and the alcoholic who has lost all and is locked up. Whatever our protestations, are not most of us concerned with ourselves, our resentments, or our self-pity? Selfishness, self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles.”
Look, I’m not innocent in any of this and am just as guilty. I can easily get caught up in the latest drama in the world and how I think it should be handled better. But, in all reality, does any of my negative opinion surrounding some issue make any bit of a difference. The reality is no.
Buddhism talks much about this, that the world will always look imbalanced to us for so long as the world within us remains imbalanced. 12 Step recovery says it slightly different in that every resentment and every bit of negativity we feel towards someone or something is really about ourselves and some selfish, self-seeking, dishonest or fear-based thing within. In light of that, at the core, here’s the harsh reality I’ve come to learn as the truth in my own life.
Even if this pandemic went completely away right now, in the blink of an eye, something else is going to take its place that will annoy me, where I’ll want to channel my negativity energy towards, talking about it to anyone who’ll listen, expelling it outward, even going so far as to share it in one negative posting after another on social media, thinking it will somehow make a difference in how I feel. It never does, as doing so only expands the negative energy we feel. I’ve experienced this quite well when my health gets the best of me and I start sending that negative energy outward towards some issue I see in the world I don’t like, when it’s really my pain that I don’t like.
Nevertheless, at some point, this pandemic will end and when it does, are you just going to shift your negative energy about it onto the next thing in life? Maybe it’s time for all of us to really take a hard look within and see why we are being negative in the first place about one issue after another in this world. I know from personal experience that doing so does a far better job of dispelling that negative energy, just as much as I know that continuing to share it outwardly is going to do nothing but make it grow even stronger within us…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson