We Are the Reason: It’s Up to Us

Maimah Karmo CEO of the Tigerlily Foundation

Previously published on the Huffington Post Blog

We feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” – Mother Teresa

I was dealing with something that left me seeking answers. My daughter saw that I was having a moment and asked what was wrong. I told her I wasn’t sure how to handle a situation and I explained it to her. I wanted to find a reason why. Her response to me was, “Mommy, we are the reason”. Unsure what she meant, I asked her to explain. She said, “Well, Mommy, sometimes things happen and we look at what happened; but, we should really be looking at ourselves. Maybe God wants us to change, so that we can help others do better, then less bad things would happen. God choose us because we are strong and we can teach other people. “ Powerful! What I interpreted that to mean was this- our focus should be less on what happens outside us, and more on how our choices or lack thereof affect our collective human experience. Her response shifted me to what the implications would be, when we are being what we want to see externally.

Here are a few thoughts:

  • The world is a reflection of you. It’s true, but who wants to think that what people do to you is partly your responsibility? You may not be directly responsible for someone’s actions, but it takes millions of people to participate in millions of thoughts, words and deeds for things to happen or not. Nothing happens in isolation. Things happen because we do or don’t act. So, as we observe acts of violence in the world, find ourselves feeling anger and judgment, stop and think of how what you’re feeling is creating. By holding on to these emotions, we allow ourselves to become the very thing we don’t want to be. Instead, choose a different perspective: show more love to strangers; reach out to those we don’t understand; don’t be rash; forgive. Be and create what you want to see, and choose that in every moment.
  • Leggo Your Ego. Let your response be soul, not ego based. A lot of what shapes our personalities is the learned need to protect ourselves – and the need to be right, better, smarter. All of these are ego based. If we want to recognize more good in others, we must go back to the beginning. Sit quietly. Go into your core. Listen. Listen to your higher self and choose that highest thought. Ego separates us from other people and situations, making it “them versus us”. By making them less than in any way – less smart, less important, less human – justifies the need to wound. When we see others as “less than”, we overlook their greatness and opportunities to ignite their light.
  • Hold Your Intention. At times, we look to others to lead and we give up our power based on their response. Human emotions are natural, but, it takes focused thought and effort to hold one’s highest intention and keep it in a place that creates the highest good. If your intention is to be someone who wants to elevate, then when you find yourself facing tough situations, consciously choose to hold your intention- and live that intention.
  • Do the Work. Living with intention takes work. It takes mental strength to put away “stuck” beliefs of your past, present and future. Also, know that a purpose-driven seeker’s work is never done. You’ll always have opportunities to evolve. Imagine what would have happened had Oprah, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Joel Osteen not done the work it took to become who they are today? If we keep waiting for others to do the work, we’re giving away the opportunity to change the history of the world. You are someone’s epiphany.
  • Raise Expectations. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you don’t agree with the majority opinion – one that doesn’t serve others from a spiritual perspective. You hear that voice inside whispering a kinder, gentler approach, but not wanting to go against the grain, you keep silent. It can be scary to speak your truth, but if you don’t, who will raise expectations? It takes one voice to inspire a more enlightened approach. Let that voice be yours.
  • Own Your Power. There is a power inside us that was breathed into us by the Creator at birth. Sometimes that power feels so big that we would rather ignore it. We think, “I’m not that person.” We let others make decisions, and then complain when we don’t agree with them. Use your power to lift the vibration of world – do it in every interaction.

The price we pay to live unconsciously or to leave “the change” to others is too high. We are the reason that the world “is” and each of us is responsible for what it becomes.

Follow Maimah Karmo on Twitter: www.twitter.com/maimah

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