I was once told, "Everything has a mouth. Everything must be fed a type of energy whether it is food or it is our precious focus." Worry has a mouth. It requires giant helpings of fear and unworthiness. It is a full time job to keep it functioning. Worry consumes all faith to stay alive. We feed worry daily by blaming a godhead or an evil and malicious external force for what we are perceiving as scary or malevolent. It feasts upon our belief that we know everything. Worry is a car alarm that blares long past our need to hear its alert.
It is no one's fault but our own that we are deep into political and environmental trouble. We are stingy in our feeble understanding of how faith and hope work in the world while all around us is an abundance of support. Painting what is holy as not meeting our needs is placing ourselves above any benevolence. Parading around in a pretense of scarcity to maintain our worries and cultivate a fearful mindset is a choice we make every time we decide to feed a fear; every time we place blame on others. Unjust laws, environmental stress, and unsustainable practices are problems we created over a long period of time and, with strategic effort, we are able to fix them.
Mostly, we prefer to worry.
It is our responsibility to not feed fear. As we move deeper and deeper into understanding what needs to be repaired in the world, we need to STFU with the punitive mindset of we are all gonna die!!!! for making mistakes. We ARE all gonna die but we are HERE to make mistakes! It is our JOB to make mistakes. It is also our job to learn from them and celebrate that knowledge and experience by changing accordingly.
Unlike worry, activism is not a fear-feeding activity. Activism is an inclusive activity and is most effective when it doesn't fall into placing blame on others. It is a way to step into responsibility and share ways to solve problems and mediate conflicts. It is a very different energy than worry, though without proper focus they can be confused. It seems they often are. Managing our worry and shame is where we begin. We need to recognize when we are feeding worry and take charge of it. We change the inner narrative by remembering that we are actually here to be part of the solution. We are making a choice between our value or our worthlessness every time we choose between activism and worrying. The goal is to be a living representation of what is good in the world in any small way possible and not make what is spiritual in the world appear miserly by cultivating errors to prove everything is fucked and using that as a weapon.
Thank you for listening.
Music: Ég anda is Icelandic for I'm breathing.
I knew I wanted a instrumental piece for this post and then I saw the fish struggling to breathe in this Sigor Ros video. This fish is us but unlike this hapless fellow, we have another part of ourselves that can, if we choose, reach down and help this part of ourselves. We have constructed great monuments to our civilization and we can improve where we have fallen short in understanding our impact. Because of this like/not like aspect of our judgment and guilt, it is our place to consider cultivating empathy and be stewards of this world for our animal natures and creations. We must not worry and forget that we can do better as we strive towards a more inclusive life . This is our work.
Art by Daniel Arnold Mist and animation by George RedHawk
The original post in this series of poems by Hafiz can be found here.
The Gift: Poems by Hafiz and translated by Daniel Ladinsky can be purchased here.