What do you deeply care about? That was the question that I reflected on during a Power of Presence (hosted by Coaches Rising) study group that I’m currently involved in. The instruction was to speak from the space of presence-centred awareness as others listen from a sense of spacious awareness. I was surprised at what emerged and how it all is interlinked, hence why I’m sharing this.

I deeply care about the suffering in the world

The current war between Ukraine and Russia touches me on a visceral level. I sense the suffering in my heart space – it feels like someone has stabbed a dagger in my chest. However, as I stayed more with that sensation, I noticed that the pain is not just for the people fighting in that war but for all human beings across the world that is fighting for their survival. Whether it is the mother in Ukraine, Syria, Africa or the one living on the street close to my apartment that is wondering whether she will be able to feed her children. Their biggest question is whether they will be able to eat or find shelter to live through another day? The magnitude of the trauma and suffering in the world makes me feel helpless and leaves me stranded with the question.

  • What is mine to do about it apart from just opening my heart-space and feeling the shared pain of the world?

I deeply care about living my purpose whilst on earth

That question then brings me back to my purpose on this earth. As I feel into that I sense that there too is sadness which is also located in the chest area but more to the back of the right shoulder blade side. I notice thoughts of “not doing enough”, “not living out my full potential” and “not caring enough for others”. I realise the attachment to these thoughts creates my own suffering and raises fear in me. It is also a type of survival fear but one that rises from the Ego because anything that creates a threat to it feels like a death to the ego. It also unnerves conditioned guilt that stems from underlying question.

  • How can I feel sad about not living my purpose if there are people struggling to survive?

I deeply care about nature

In that moment of feeling the sadness, pain and “war” in my chest caused by these two opposing “survival questions” – I look outside my window. I see a sugarbird dressed in the most magnificent colours flying to a protea. As he is sipping nectar from the beautiful protea. The wisdom unfolds from my heart space – there is no controlling life. Nature does care and you are part of nature. There is enough. This too is life. The protea and sugarbird are expressing their purpose through their being in that moment. In doing that they are serving life and caring for one another in their unique way. They are also giving me hope, lifting my spirit and providing me with a bigger perspective. The first lines from Rumi’s poem, The ache of confusion, came to mind:

“ Near the end you saw rose and thorn together,
evening and morning light commingling.”

I settle even more into presence-centred awareness. Just by my being, I’m in my purpose – it is not about finding the purpose – look deeply at nature. By being born, part of my purpose is to do the self-development work. As that supports me to shed the conditioned armour created by the Ego and allow my life-serving authenticity to shine through. Yes, it does not take away from the pain or suffering of others, but it helps to alleviate the collective trauma as we are all connected through our nature.

Doing your own inner-work supports wholeness and brings more integration to life. It helps to heal the disintegrated parts caused by traumas of the past. This then increases one’s emotional intelligence which creates more awareness around not projecting your own pain onto others and thereby lessoning the collective suffering. Most of the wars that are going on around the world are caused by leaders who didn’t take up the important responsibility to do their own introspection and who is unconsciously projecting all his unintegrated trauma on the world. Therefore, making time for personal development is not selfish or something you should feel guilty about. It shows a commitment to make a change with what is within your control. In doing that you are not only caring for yourself but also for the suffering in the world.

I would like to invite you to reflect on the question: What do you deeply care about?