Let Everything Be Okay?

by Christopher Lovejoy on November 1, 2020

Let everything be okay.

I first heard this sexy expression at the turn of the millennium, when I was testing some brain sync technology on myself ~ the kind of tech that promises to tap and tune your beta, alpha, theta, delta, and gamma brainwaves to “unleash your power to think, feel, heal, and create.”

For someone who leads naturally with introverted feeling and extroverted intuition, I felt like a kid in a candy store. Being naturally (and highly) sensitive to feeling, I was more than a little curious about the potential of BST to help me reach my own brand of benevolent apotheosis.

Since then, I’ve gotten away from using this technology, even as I’ve begun feeling the call to go back for more, if only to restore and refresh my relationship with its power, but this is not the subject of my post; I wish instead to focus on the implications of “letting everything be okay.”

Let everything be okay.

I invite you to take a moment to allow these words to move through you, to infuse you with their allure, to remind you that, for the moment at least, everything is okay, just as it is. As Lester Levinson was fond of affirming, “everything is perfectly fine just the way it is right now.”

I invite you to feel into this affirmation, to give yourself permission to embody its wisdom, to explore its potential, to express its promise, to see yourself, and your life, in a new light. I encourage you to play with this sentence stem: “letting everything be okay, I can now see that . . .”

* I have so much to appreciate about myself and my life
* I have so very much to realize about myself and my life
* I am worthy and deserving of living my life to the fullest
* I am worthy and deserving of fulfilling my very best life
* I can do whatever it takes to live a deeply satisfying life
* I can be whoever I need to be to let everything be okay!
* . . . your turn!

But wait, a niggler of doubt is telling me it might not be okay to let everything be okay. It’s whispering fervently into my mind’s ear that “you’re setting yourself up for a mighty fall if you think you can get away with transcending and including any and all catalysts for personal growth.”

Point well taken. I understand. Been there, done that. This fervent yet well meaning whispering reminds me of that ages-old distinction between (a) enlightenment as a long drawn-out process from initiation to mastery and (b) enlightenment as an epiphany from a mysterious source.

Truly and deeply, the use of BST is a test of (a) in light of (b).

In the kindtime, what am I to do with catalysts of learning and growth that provoke reactions of anger and, consequently, evoke feelings of fear, doubt, and worry? Shall I process or release? Release or control? Secure or release? (hint: the verb release has many, many definitions!)

Anger. Injustice. Rage. Betrayal. Hate. Spite. Contempt. Disdain. Malice. Envy. Ridicule.

As long as we continue to interact with each other, we can count on coming into contact with these primal realities, so let’s start with generic anger, of which two types can be properly and profitably discerned with a modicum of wisdom: righteous anger and presumptuous anger.

Aristotle warned us about presumptuous anger, saying, in effect, that “being mean-spirited is incurable; it cannot be cured by old age, or by anything else.” Presumptuous anger is stereotypical and categorical anger (for example, you can’t trust anyone over thirty; all men are pigs) ~ accusations of guilt by association: if you’re over thirty, you can’t be trusted; if you’re a man, you’re a pig.

Unfortunately, presumptuous stereotypical anger extends far beyond classifications of age or sex, including such categories as race, religion, gender, sexual preference, sexual practice, sexual orientation, ideology, ethnicity, class, status, manner, appearance, affiliation, et cetera.

The list goes on and on and on.

Humanity is awash in presumptuous anger, much of it simmering or seething below the surface of everyday discourse ~ a potential source of righteous anger yet to be processed and released, but more unfortunately, a waste product of righteous anger yet to be forgiven and forgotten.

It’s a deadly dynamic, the one feeding into the other, hidden behind walls of shame.

Righteous anger, on the other hand, would have me react to a breach in personal boundaries ~ provided, of course, the righteousness is not contaminated by the poison of presumptuousness, and provided, of course, that I’m out there interacting with others on a regular basis.

Righteous anger reacts to injustice, oppression, or mistreatment, pointing the way when situations or circumstances become misaligned with dignity, respect, or civility, prompting “I am worth more than this;” “I deserve better than this;” or “I love myself too much to allow this.”

Righteous anger objects to situations or circumstances that no longer reflect the truth and wholeness of who I am, of who we are. Righteously cultivated, anger offers both power and fuel, along with the dark potential to be used and abused in service to a bloated, beleaguered ego.

Righteous anger, however, need not hurt or harm; treated with respect, it can teach us how to love.

What is my anger telling me? Is it presumptuous or righteous? Beneath the heat and heart of this anger, what am I being called to say or do? To not say or do? What am I being given to heal? Which boundaries am I being taught to build and secure? What am I being asked to teach?

Moreover, where am I giving away my presence, my promise, my power, my purpose?

And so, what will I no longer tolerate? Where does my true worth now live and love and learn? What will I now teach, produce, or create? What more need I explore or express? I work with anger, without apology and without hesitation, to the degree to which I love, trust, and care.

Patience required.

A clean, clear righteous anger is rooted in love, trust, and care, serving to heal, inform, correct, purify, and release all that is not love. It is, by its very nature, direct and disruptive without apology, seeking, not to take, but to give of itself in service to the whole and to wholeness itself.

Heeding the gift of righteous anger is a vital initiation that brings up a time and a place where one can discover what was always, already within, and then ask that you protect it and defend it as the lifelong friend and teacher that it is, so that it can transform your heart (if you let it).

Righteous anger has the power to expose the anger of entitlement born of privilege and presumption ~ you know, the one based on controlling others? The one that believes “your existence is subservient to mine”? The one that believes that “your existence is a threat to my own”?

The anger of entitlement is telling: I feel unworthy; I do not know how to love myself; I do not yet know how to love that part of myself that you so ungraciously reflect back to me; I feel ashamed; I cannot see you because I cannot even see myself; I am so disconnected from others, and from humanity at large, that I can no longer see the truth and beauty of who you are; I need you to define me.

At its absolute worse, the anger of entitlement makes one thing very clear: if you do not conspire and cooperate with how I need you to be, so that I can stand in my false sense of self, I will have no choice but to rip you to shreds, to bring you down, to destroy you completely and utterly.

All oppressive paradigms of control are codependent, boasting a worthiness that depends on the unworthiness of the dreaded other, except that these paradigms know little or nothing of true worthiness, as they are simply too violent and desperate to be addressed and resolved amicably.

All such paradigms render the oppressors incapable of finding what they seek within, forcing them to disconnect from within, and then seeking outwardly simply because they must. The ensuing anger of entitlement seeks to control and punish that which they’ve never had to reckon.

Worst of all, ever growing black holes of unworthiness find release in making the other more unworthy than they, thinking that “this is where my true worth can be found; this is where I find my strength and my wisdom,” while conveniently forgetting just how pitifully codependent it is.

So how does it feel to be silenced? How does it feel to be menaced? How does feel to be policed or patronized with a tone? How does it feel to be judged for the color of your skin? How does it feel to be controlled? To be treated like a child? Or a dog? To be judged by your sex or gender (or lack of gender)? To be judged by the quality and vitality of your love and lust? For your body or appearance?

The anger of entitlement is entirely baseless, wholly without grounds. The anger of entitlement is fed by lies and quiet shame, shame that is both personal and collective. Luckily, such anger is a double-edged sword ~ striking you even as you strike with it. The anger of entitlement invariably exposes wounds and woundedness, calling upon the witness from which to inform the need to feel and heal.

We would all do well to ask ourselves, on least on occasion:

Do I spread gossip, rumors, and secrets?
Do I bad-mouth others behind their backs because I can’t handle my own feelings or emotions?
Do I come off as inconsiderate, insensitive, or self-centered?
Do I lack empathy, using the good nature of others to get what I need or want?
Do I fail to make up my mind, coming off as flaky and indecisive, breaking commitments easily?
Do I come across as stubborn and forceful or crafty and charming, who can’t take “no” for an answer?
Do I act one way with someone and then another way with those around me?
Do I fall back on fooling myself with the excuse that almost everyone is like this at least some of the time?

Presumptuous anger, which is inherently weak and insecure, does not mix well with the cause of righteous anger. A failure to keep the anger of entitlement in check will cause hurt and harm to self and other, perhaps more than we know, and perhaps more than we will ever know.

Do not cling to presumptuous anger as if it were a sword or a shield; it is most assuredly neither. If presumptuous anger is a poison, righteous anger is the antidote. Where presumptuous anger takes, takes, and takes, a clean, clear righteous anger has the power to keep on giving.

Remember, too, that righteous anger need not be cold and bold, loud and proud.

A clean, clear righteous anger unsullied by presumptuous anger says, in effect, “your behavior and conduct offends against dignity and civility, and your offense or offensiveness deserves to be called out and corrected by anyone with the agency and authority to do so, including me.”

Granted, anyone can be angry about anything under the Sun ~ that’s easy, especially when it’s blindly if not blithely presumptuous ~ but (to echo the words of Aristotle) to be angry with the right person to the right extent at the right time for the right reason in the right way? Not so easy.

Not so easy, given the widespread poison of presumptuousness.

The heart of soul enters new territory when its anger crosses over into hatred. Where anger concerns itself with individual offenses, hatred is directed against groups of souls ~ like those who molest children. Where anger can be tempered with time relatively easily, hatred cannot.

Where angry souls aim to inflict pain, souls of hate aim to do harm. Where angry souls fervently wish that their victims feel offended, if not humiliated, haters could care less whether their victims feel anything at all. In light of these distinctions, try letting everything be okay.

In view of this all-too-simple overview of anger, “let everything be okay” sounds like a cruel proposition, and yet, as we’ve already seen, it does have its redeeming qualities, including the ability to press pause on the movie of life when things start getting too creepy, scary, crazy.

Where dignity and civility are concerned, the paradox of being is all too clear.

In defense of dignity and civility, exercise a clean, clear righteous anger.

In delight of dignity and civility, let everything be okay, just for now.

/

is it time for me to change my tune?
is it time for me to change my tone?

~ yours

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