We all exist within an environment. Our lives are not independent. We are surrounded by people, problems, and the general movement of reality within and around us. And sometimes, often enough, we look around and feel that we must transcend it all.
As human beings we tend to take a position.
How do we interact with our environment?
Generally, we fall into three categories.
In the first two instances, me and my environment remain fundamentally divorced. There is me and the universe. We fail to interact with the various forces in fear that they might overwhelm us or even worse, undermine our abilty to be good people.
In a sense, we give power to what is around us. And as soon as we are not fighting the forces, or removing ourselves from them, we become extremely vulnerable to them.
In the last case, we become influencers over our environment. To influence, one must first connect. The universe becomes our ally, the environment our friend. Once we recognize this, we are empowered to transform. There is no me and them. We are embedded in reality, and reality embedded within us; and with this in mind we have the power over our surroundings. Not in a confrontational way, but in a collaborative one.
This is the ultimate position one can take.
Don’t try and lead an elevated life in an unelevated world. Even if you do manage to succeed, your life becomes more painful and your achievement unsustainable. We aren’t designed to be misaligned with our environment.
The notion that I can perfect myself and remain in an imperfect world is misleading at best. The Lubavitcher Rebbe comes to tell us that if you fail to perfect the world around you, your ‘perfection’ is incomplete.
The most wholesome endeavor is to collaborate with imperfection.
And when you sometimes fail to influence the negativity, fear not because that mishap becomes yet another opportunity to transform. To work with it, utilize it. When you work with the forces, they become your asset, even when they challenge you.
Don’t be fooled that we can achieve perfection, that’s not what this is all about.
Only that we can work on perfecting.