I choose to believe that we live in a friendly universe.
-Business Coach Molly Gordon
Lo, I am with you always.
-Jesus of Nazareth
How would your life be different if you chose to believe that we live in a friendly universe, or that God is with us, or that we are all connected in a great web of life?
I will admit that our world often seems decidedly unfriendly. Wars rage, natural disasters strike, racism continues, political divisions widen. So you may be wondering why in the world I’d be asking you to consider choosing to believe that we live in a friendly universe. You might accuse me of having blinders on, or wearing rose colored glasses.
But choosing to believe that we live in a friendly universe – that “help is always available at Hogwarts to those who ask,” – that the Divine is present and active in the midst of everything – despite all evidence to the contrary, helps me daily. It keeps me sane and it keeps me centered. It opens my eyes to the support (both spiritual and material) that is available to me. It opens my heart to support others, even those I disagree with. It keeps me from becoming frozen with fear.
So I will ask you again:
- How would your life be different if you chose to believe that we live in a friendly universe, or that God is with us, or that we are all connected in a great web of life?
- What would you do differently, right now?
- What would that belief, that choice, give you the courage, energy, or gumption to do or say?
- What’s holding you back?
I invite you to experiment with these questions this week. Next time you are facing a recurring challenge, a perplexing issue, or a difficult choice, ask yourself: what would be my course of action if I chose to believe we live in a friendly universe?
This is some of what choosing to believe we live in a friendly universe does for me:
- Allows me to attend meetings or start conversations where contentious issues needed to be addressed (aka most meetings in our lives…) and to remain centered and hold an intention for collaboration rather than conflict. When I am able to do this, I consistently notice that the entire meeting or conversation goes more smoothly than anticipated, and this is true whether I am chairing the meeting or just participating in it.
- Helps me to stay out of overwhelm. The moment I remember to choose to believe that we live in a friendly universe, I get more clear on the what the true priorities of this moment are and on additional possibilities for getting help, streamlining, letting go, and getting things done.
- Helps me to more boldly follow nudges that take me outside my comfort zone.
- Reduces my perceived stress level considerably, and helps me stay grounded and centered more often, and to return to a place of equanimity when I’ve gone off-kilter.
To be clear; I am not suggesting that you simply ignore danger or stay in unhealthy situations. While the “Universe” may be a friendly place, not all situations on this earth are friendly. If you are in imminent danger, take action.
But if you are afraid of what other people might think or unsure exactly how to proceed or numbed by the constant stream of bad news, why not experiment with this idea?
When I remember that we live in a friendly universe – when I remember that God is with us – when I remember that the Divine infuses and surrounds everything – my fears become more manageable and I am more able to respond moment by moment with clarity, directness, and love.
I pray everyday for the grace to remember, and I pray that for you, too.