The past few days have been challenging. Events going on in the world regularly make me ponder. I can’t take all the suffering of the world on my shoulders nor do I want to let these terrible events be about me and my feelings. But I also can’t deny that it affects me. Because it does. It is part of the human experience, my consciousness.
What exactly is consciousness?
A question that has occupied philosophers, psychologists, religious leaders and science for centuries and to which there is no unequivocal answer. The easiest answer is “consciousness is all you experience.” Consciousness is a response to impressions from the external world, such as from other individuals, objects, sound, light, touch or other stimuli. Or from your internal world, such as thoughts, feelings and emotions. Developing consciousness is realizing what is going on inside you. With a highly developed consciousness you know how to respond to and communicate in the right way about what is taking place.
Therefore, it is very human to be affected by the events that are taking place all over the world. But there is a much greater heaviness and fear and real loss, depending on where you are in the world. And it’s important to remember that (and be thankful). Our feelings and experiences are valid, but also remember that perspective is important.
Self-compassion is essential and also very social. After all, it means treating yourself with kindness, so that from there you can mean a lot more to another person. If you recharge yourself physically and mentally, you have more energy. I often use the example of the safety instructions in the plane: first put on your own oxygen mask, before you can help other people. You are of no use to anyone if you do not have the energy to help.
By having compassion for yourself, you ultimately make room for others.
Step 1. Recognize your busy mind
Step 2. Find your peace
Step 3. Calmness creates clarity > you understand your thoughts better
Step 4. Clarity gives a sense of contentment > and creates space for others
There is a movement from calmness to clarity to contentment to compassion.
No two people are alike. We are all part of one world, a shared human experience. Together we make the world what it is and if we focus too much on our differences we create division and conflict. But when we focus on what binds us; when we start to understand our own thoughts and, as a result, start to understand the thoughts of others, there is respect, unity, empathy, compassion, etc. Then we begin to understand this shared human experience, this consciousness, together. And we will be able to really help each other.