This holiday season and New Year will be remembered, along with all of 2020, as the most traumatic and tragic time in the history of our country. Not only are we suffering through the pandemic, but we are experiencing ever-increasing civil strife and pervasive social media messages encouraging us to mistrust, and even hate or harm, each other.
It can be a challenge to resist generating fear and resentment when the outpouring of negativity is so intense. It can be hard to find a thought that is potent enough to keep us grounded in sanity and loving kindness.
We are going to need such potent healing thoughts if we are to successfully repair and rebuild from the damage to our physical and mental health and to our democratic governing principles.
And as we now know, we human beings have a “negativity bias” we must actively challenge with positive thoughts and aspirations in order to enjoy a healthy mind and heart governed by loving kindness.
I want to share an aspiration I have been using for a long time. As the political and social chaos intensified this year and as the pandemic spread, I began offering this aspiration to my clients and students. They have found it to be a powerful support for staying anchored in hope and goodwill.
I invite you to practice with this aspiration to find out if helps keep you centered in your good heart and traveling in a kind, healing direction:
“May my every thought, word and deed contribute to the Highest Benefit of myself and all beings.”
For those who choose to commit to and develop the power of this aspiration, I suggest speaking it as your daily intention as soon as you wake up in the morning, and again at night just before you go to bed. Speak it inwardly and/or outwardly throughout the day to interrupt habitual negative patterns of thought and to reset and refresh your attention in a kind and loving direction.
You can contemplate the significance of these words and keep them alive in your heart and mind whenever you think them or speak them, as if each time is the first time, with heartfelt intention.
Cultivating this intention does not mean you should struggle with or fight with any thoughts or feelings. Rather, it is crucial to understand that no thought or feeling can stop you! Even if you think “I don’t believe this,” “I don’t get this,” “Asking for myself is selfish” or “Thinking this way bothers me.”
If you encounter any such blocking thoughts or feelings, you might say to yourself: “Even though I (doubt, fear, or am irritated) nevertheless, may my every thought, word and deed contribute to the highest benefit of myself and all beings.” It is also very important not to leave out “the benefit of myself,” because many of us have been taught that it’s not all right to want good things for ourselves and this phrase counteracts that message.
With so many people being seduced “to the dark side” these days, those of us committed to keeping our humanity and creating a healthy, sane world must develop strength. Withe courage and clarity, we must seek to actively engage all challenges, as best we can, with loving skillfulness of speech and action.
Good luck and stay safe!