There’s a lot going on in the world right now.
From political and civil turmoil to the threat of war, the feeling that the very floor we’re standing on is no longer guaranteed to us has made many of us lose faith in our dreams and goals. But, more than that, we’ve begun to question life itself because of these global events.
It will always be easier to speak and reflect on such events than it will ever be to live them. But I can say with absolute certainty that there is a light which exists within these seeds of conflict, however faint it may seem now.
You just have to find it.
How to Make Sense of It All (And Why You’re Above the Noise)
It’s exhilarating to be alive in a time of awakening consciousness; it can also be confusing, disorienting, and painful.
– Adrienne Rich
I know how easy it is to question your life when the world seems to be falling down around you. In some ways, such events are healthy and compel from us the deepest sense of humanity possible, something unattainable without a sense of strife or conflict. There’s real magic in this and you’ll never see we as humans come together in a more significant way than during such tumultuous times.
However, for many of us who feel disconnected in a way from these major events, yet altogether paralyzed from the vision of what the future might look like for us, this sense of humanity has yet to be compelled from us.
And so, here we are, left in limbo. Great dreams and goals, perhaps some of which will significantly help or transform humanity in the future, but little to no motivation to pursue them for fear of what the future might bring. We’re stuck in a place where we’re trying to make sense of it all, but really, nothing makes any sense at all.
However, there’s a very simple principle that can help you gain the clarity necessary to continue living your best life despite it all– it’s consciousness.
The secret of conditioning and consciousness
Ultimately, the key mechanism for helping better understand the arising of conflict, the decisions we make as people, and learning to use this in a positive way in your own life comes down to consciousness. By that, I mean your ability to see and think deeply about the things you experience as opposed to living like a drone through your conditioning.
You see, most of us act out of our conditioning and nothing else. We like to think that we’re free to make our own choices, but in reality, we’re ruled by our past experiences. A difficult childhood, strict parents, trauma or abuse, a specific type of pain, encouragement, discouragement, deception, misunderstanding; these are all things which color our perception of reality and strongly influence our actions on a day-to-day basis.
And it’s in this conditioning, the fabric of our experiences, that the faults of our brothers and sisters (and even our own) are sewn together to create the world we live in now. But if we can rise above this noise to a place of greater consciousness, of intention, we can live in a way that we’re no longer ruled by these past experiences and can become free to be ourselves wholly without this distortion. And it’s in understanding this sequence of events that we can better understand why the world is the way it is, find peace with it, and how we can make it better.
This is how we make sense of it all.
Action step: Live more intentionally
I’ve got good news and bad news. Which one do you want first? Bad news it is…
The bad news is, only a select few will ever rise above “the noise” (the unconscious state, living out our conditioning) to a place where we live consciously and intentionally, consider what it means to be human and to act one way or another by choice rather than reflex, and try to do and be better. That might sound a bit harsh, but it’s just the truth. A hard truth you begin to understand once you’ve started making sense of it all.
Now to the good news. If you’re reading this, you’re already above the noise. You see this, however faintly, even if you haven’t thought much (if at all) about it. You’re reading this because you understand the value of personal growth and you’re not comfortable staying as you are forever. That’s the sign of someone who has begun to wake up. Now, all you need to do is get out there and really act on it.
Ways you can do this are simple and practical and offer valuable rewards:
- Listen more and consider how someone else feels or would feel before you act.
- Think before you speak and make every word intentional.
- Plan out your goals not only considering what you want but how this would affect those closest to you and the world at large: Is this a sustainable action or am I tearing down others to bring myself up?
- Be open to facing your own fears and imperfections: Practice mindfulness to start discovering the inner dialogue and see for yourself how deeply this conditioning can embed itself.
- Take a moment to see how we’re all interconnected: Go to a grocery store and take a few quick snapshots of some product labels in various categories. See how each product was made and came from a different part of the country (or the world) and see how closely we depend on each other to live as we do.
There are countless ways you can begin to live a more conscious, intentional life. However you choose to do so, just make sure you’re striving to live based on conscious choice rather than automatic conditioning. The more you can do that, the more successfully you will have crafted a meaningful life you’ll be proud of despite outside circumstances.