As the current year, 2021, comes to a close, one thought keeps reverberating in my mind: life comes with its own flavors of energy, and through our conscious experience, we have a say about which energy is being expressed through us.
Ultimately, there is only one form of energy (or life), but it comes in flavors. From a physicist’s perspective, they might be called electric charge or potential, gravitational potential, linear or angular momentum, and chemically stored potential energy. Between humans, energy comes in different flavors—love, respect, admiration, but also guilt, shame, or anger and aggression.
Looking back at 2021, I can see moments in which I could have made a different choice. And none of the choices I made is, in itself, good or bad. I simply reflect that I chose to act in a certain way in those situations, and through my actions manifested a certain flavor of energy.
And looking forward into 2022, I want to be mindful that I have choice. When I experience a situation in which I feel pushed into a corner, it might be more natural for me to “push back” and add to the hostility of what is going on—and sometimes that is, I believe, what is necessary to get myself out of that corner. But maybe I am also too quick in assuming that I am, indeed, in a corner?
If I can shift perspective, taking a bird’s eye view if you will, maybe I can see that the corner is mostly in my mind and not so much intended by the other people involved? And then I become open for choice.
Much of what I see, hear, and read about the “dysfunction” of our society in the present moment seems to be related to more and more energy being devoted to energy flavors that come out of fear. And of course… sometimes fear is justified and reasonable. Fear, however, is also an integral part of attempting to control other people.
How often have I used words this past year because I wanted other people to act with a different intention compared to how I interpreted their actions? And how often were those words—based on my fears—filled with anger, or guilt and shame inducing statements? Often enough, I am sure.
For better or worse, I believe the time of being able to control people out of fear is coming to an end. Humanity is awakening to how this “trick” works, and once people are sufficiently aware, we will need other means of passing on energy.
We want and need to exert influence on one another. No man is an island after all. For 2022, I intend and commit to using less anger, guilt, and shame. Instead, I want to broaden my awareness, become receptive to both my fears—so that I know where the potential for anger, guilt, and shame comes from—and whatever it is that drives the people I engage with.
And then I want to find a way to communicate my desire through a different flavor of energy. Not one that creates a “my way or the highway” dynamic, but one that makes it clear that we all live in and share the same environment. I don’t think all conflicts that elicit anger can be avoided. It is, after all, an essential flavor of life as well. But I want to have a choice.