"We are here to connect. Life is about people. Now, how do we do that? Love. Time. Death. Now these three abstractions connect every single human being on Earth. Everything that we covet, everything that we fear not having, everything that we ultimately end up buying is because at the end of the day we long for love, we wish we had more time, and we fear death."
quote from the movie "Collateral Beauty"
It seems that the Universe has a lot to say. Certain mornings I am awakened around 5 am to write. I always get that feeling something is about to come through, so I get up and see what it is. This morning, I was getting two words, “collateral beauty”. I said to myself, hmmm, “Isn’t that the name of a Will Smith movie?” So I googled it and watched the trailer. Now, I have seen this movie, but I wasn't as spiritually evolved as I am today, so back then when I asked the question, “What is collateral beauty?”, that I forgot everything has its opposite. This time, when I asked myself, “What is the opposite of collateral beauty?”, My answer was that the opposite of “collateral beauty” is “collateral damage”. Upon realizing this, I got the chills all over my body and the meaning became ever so clear to me. I started to think that we usually use the term collateral damage to describe the aftermath of an event, but why can’t we start to look for the beauty in the aftermath instead. Why do we need to hold on to the loss and claim victim status? How does this serve us, really? What would happen if we became aware enough to look for the beauty in the aftermath of an event instead? Nowadays, I love to ask myself all kinds of questions, because my higher self always has some great answers;).
We have been conditioned to look at the dark side of events, so we naturally go there. When something is a conditioned response, we are on autopilot and, without thinking, do things because we are told to, or obligated to, or because they became a habit or negative pattern, but not because we are making constant choices in the present moment. Awareness of that can allow us to start looking at things differently and consciously. Then we will be able to constantly make conscious choices every moment.
For an example, let's take the coronavirus. I am going to present two perspectives. Remember, without exception, the opposite always exists and it is necessary for it to exist to allow us to recognize the other, such as dark and light. If we didn’t know the darkness, we would not be able to recognize the light when it is present, and the opposite also applies. So, there is no right and wrong, only perspective. I suggest choosing the perspective that brings up the most positive emotion inside of you and helps you move into a space of joy.
I ask that you take a pen and paper and write down your emotions as they come up. Take a moment to allow yourself to simply recognize the feelings that come up on this subject. Whatever they are, it is fine. Then, try to step into the perspectives that I am going to present for a moment and then allow yourself to feel what comes up with those perspectives. Write down your initial feelings when you think of the coronavirus and what has happened as a result of it. Were they emotions that made you feel depressed or emotions that brought you joy? Then, after you read my “collateral damage” and “collateral beauty” perspectives, write down how each made you feel if you were to look at it from that perspective. I am going to tell two newspaper-like stories each containing true facts to make my points.
So, here we go. Let's start with the “collateral damage” perspective.
The collateral damage left behind in the aftermath of the Coronavirus, is going to take a long time to recover from and some may have to seek long term psychotherapy treatment for it. Many families lost loved ones too soon. The constant reporting of the death toll made people fall into a deeper depression and the visual imagery daily of the virus cell created dis-ease, which led to even more disease through the fear that was being created. There’s a vaccine available. It hasn’t fully been tested, but is being distributed by an emergency order and the long term effects are unknown. It won’t prevent you from getting the virus. It will only minimize your chance of hospitalization. People are looking outside of themselves for answers and are on anti anxiety medication and using not so legal remedies to deal with stress of daily life. Due to the lockdown, people couldn’t work or pay their bills and their homes went into foreclosure. Because of constantly being home together, some couples realized they didn’t like each other in the first place and decided to divorce. Obesity is on the rise due to stress eating and lack of movement. Alcoholism is on the rise too. Liquor stores were allowed to remain open as an essential business. Families are at odds with each other over political issues and forget that they love one another more than politics. We lost our humanity due to not being able to hug and see facial expressions and people are afraid to pass each other on the street or in stores in fear that the others are contagious. Neighbors are calling authorities because people they used to call friends are having a “few” people over their house to socialize. Where has our humanity gone and can we ever get it back?
Yikes! Sorry, I had to call in my shadow to write that one. That’s not something I choose to do very often. Write down on a piece of paper, how you feel after reading that.
Now here is the “collateral beauty” perspective.
There's evidence all over the planet of the collateral beauty left behind in the aftermath of the coronavirus. Hopefully, the evolution our planet has made during this time of pause never disappears and grows exponentially larger. In Venice, the canals cleared up due to less pollution and dolphins and swans began to return to the canals. The oceans saw the lowest amount of plastic pollution in decades. Because people didn't go into the office everyday, they started to step out into nature and breathed in the life giving energy from the trees and plants. People began doing many more outdoor activities like walking, jogging, playing in green spaces with their children and pets. Yoga and dance teachers started holding classes in local parks. People increased their vitamin D intake with exposure to sunshine. Younger neighbors became conscious of the limitations of their older neighbors and began going food shopping for them. Oddly, in a time bound by such Draconian restrictions, some people began to feel free of the restraints that bound them and found new ways to move forward in this occasion where time seemingly stood still to others. New innovative ideas blossomed in the minds of those who meditated and asked the questions. With the new consciousness that developed in this time of crisis, we can see the ray of hope becoming larger and the light at the end of the tunnel become within reach.
Take a moment to sit with how you feel after reading that story and write your feelings down.
Now, ask yourself:
Did the “collateral beauty” perspective allow me to step into a space of more joy than the “collateral damage” perspective?
How does it serve me to allow myself to hold on to the lower emotions that come with negative views of a situation?
How does it serve others for me to hold on to these lower emotions?
How does it serve me to elevate my emotions and hold the hope for the evolution of humanity in a positive direction?
How does it serve others for me to elevate my emotions?
What changes can I make to become a conscious creator of joy in my life and in the lives of others?
So, collateral beauty/damage is really the same just viewed from different perspectives, both of which are true. One just makes us feel better inside to hold onto than the other. Another way to look at these is as a crisis opportunity. When something seemingly bad happens we have an opportunity to come out of it on the other side, having grown spiritually as a result of the event or we can fall into a depression and let it consume us.
I remember last year when an actress posted a thank you to all the beautiful things that came out of the coronavirus outbreak and she was immediately shamed on social media because she thanked the collateral beauty that arose from it. Truthfully and unfortunately people are not even aware of it because they are so conditioned, and yes, even addicted to the emotions that come from the negativity that they are afraid to breach their comfort zone and try a new elevated emotion. What have we become as a society if we can only allow ourselves to praise the dark side of an event? I can promise you that if you change your perspective of the outcome, you will change your reality for the better and yes, step into a space of joy you may not have known you could.
So, will you allow this to consume you or become a conscious creator of joy in your life and the lives of others? You are the director of the movie of your life. If you don’t like the current scene, cut it and create a new one.
I Love you,