Save the World by Saving Yourself

Over a decade ago I was taking a hot yoga class, and in a certain position in which most people were trying to stretch deeply- the teacher said something along the lines of “you’re all pushing deep, but what if this position is actually about lengthening?” And so a seed was planted that would ferment in the soil of my mind over time: what if the thing we think we’re learning isn’t at all the lesson at hand?

So often we presume we know what’s best; this is especially true once we’ve overcome a challenge in our own life. When you “know better” (based on a younger version of yourself) so quickly you want to share it with the world, so that they too can learn. But how do you know the “other” is even in the same classroom as you? Theoretically, you may be learning math, and they’re learning Spanish! In application, you may be learning how to let go, while someone else is learning how to set boundaries.

We’re all at different stages of our own awakening, and are all healing from a very specific set of traumas. Projecting your own personal life lessons onto another (no matter how much you love them, and how much it may be coming from a place of love), rarely has the intended effect. In fact, people more often than not will reject any wisdom pushed onto them by another, because of it suggests their current path is a faulty one. Our ego gets defensive, and not only do we resist change- but we also begin to resent the person who wants us to change.

So how to we impact the world positively? The answer, for me, is twofold. First, we go inwards and work on every minute aspect of our own neurosis, trauma, and shadow. Simultaneously, we love the other: unconditionally. In doing those two things, we hold space for the growth of others; at their own pace, in their own divine timing.

 Hiking Stawamus Chief, in Squamish, British Columbia, November 2018.

Hiking Stawamus Chief, in Squamish, British Columbia, November 2018.