Have you ever in your life looked at something and thought, “Where do I start?” It could have been whilst cleaning, de-cluttering a space, moving house, starting a project, writing an assignment… the list goes on. Many times I have gone into overwhelm (and sometimes still do), asking myself this question and making the task bigger in my mind than it truly is… which if I do that, of course I will not know where to start!
I had a very similar feeling recently, only this was not to do with writing an assignment or de-cluttering, it was to do with what is going on in the world. In a short space of time I had read, seen and signed petitions on various news’ stories of devastating things that are happening to people and animals around the world. Not long after reading and seeing this, in fact during reading and seeing these different news clips, came the familiar feeling of overwhelm – of “Gosh, where do we start?” and I noticed an old pattern of feeling helpless arise. The question then came back to me: when such abuse and devastation is happening within the world, “Where do we (as humanity) start?” and “How on earth do we stop or change the abuse that is happening in the world?”
What I noticed was, when I gave myself space to feel into this a bit more (pulled myself out of being in the overwhelm and observed instead) I did not feel helpless, I did not go into sympathy. Instead I knew the answer. It starts with us. It starts with how we live, how much do we care and love ourselves within our own life, what do we value and tolerate within our life… do we or do we not accept abuse in our own life even on the smallest scale, which could be something as simple as overeating?
This then becomes manageable, tangible and feasible. For if we (every single person in the world) love ourselves so deeply, saying no to abuse, not tolerating abuse, valuing and respecting not only ourselves but every other person, then we would have zero abuse – no wars, no corruption, no lies, no greed, no harm to another or others.
This is possible – we just need to make the start.
So, where do we start?
We start with us.
By Vicky Cooke, London