Keep the Flame Alive

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebellion

I wrote this for the 350th issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a weekly written document you can receive via email by subscribing to the Openhearted Rebellion blog for $11.11 a month.

Each weekly guide features an exclusive article as well as a round-up of recent articles posted to Openhearted Rebellion. The button to subscribe is at the bottom of this post.

We live in a world that seems designed to drain us. Society dictates we work a job that kills our spark, for a paycheck that gets drained by bills and basic expenses. So many people are so rushed and anxious that stability and happiness feel like things of the past.

Something in our society is either broken or was always intended to be dysfunctional. For some reason, it’s normal for families to be separated; the mother and father are supposed to go to work while the kids attend school. We spend most of our time away from our loved ones so we can earn the privileges of food and shelter.

From the moment we become adults, we’re plugged into a world that judges our worth by the time and energy we spend working. We’re penalized if we fail to keep up.

Can’t find a job? Then that power bill you can’t pay will be higher next month. If you still can’t pay it, then you must not deserve electricity. I don’t think money is the root of all evil, but there is clearly something wrong with the system we’ve built around it.

The philosophy behind an openhearted rebellion is that we acknowledge all that is wrong with the world – including the way society is set up to drain the poor and working class – and refuse to let it turn us cold or cynical. We keep the flame alive despite everything that tries to douse it.

An openhearted rebel can work a 9-5 job knowing they are contributing to a system designed to keep them there forever. They don’t let it stop them from exploring their creative interests, nor from being open to love, compassion, or their innate spiritual awareness.

To some extent, the world is going to drain us. There’s not much we can do about it. If we want to keep it from getting the best of us, we must be strong and willing to deal with whatever obstacles are thrown onto our path.

The trick is to figure out how to survive in this place without letting it turn you into another bitter person crushed into accepting a life of mediocrity and conformity. We’ve all been through hard times when we thought we could no longer keep fighting. Yet here we are. Something always brings us back.

On a personal level, this “fight” is a struggle to stay centered and keep your faith in a society that expects a lot from you.

Plenty of people have given up the thought of a happy life – much less a life spent in service to ideals they once had a passion for. Our challenge is to never give up hope that love, empathy, and understanding can change our lives and the world for the better.

We should try to be an example of these qualities in our everyday life, too. If you do, then you might find at first that you’re not as good at walking your talk as you expected. The point is to keep trying even if you fail a thousand times.

The most important thing is to never give up. You’ll know you’ve lost if you let the hate and bitterness flood your mind and change who you are. When the mind is polluted, it becomes difficult if not impossible to live from the heart. 

This is why so many spiritual teachers encourage healing the toxic parts of ourselves that keep us perpetually unfulfilled. This inner work, which often includes meditation, is a powerful ally in the effort to heal whatever is broken in you.

Meditation will make it clear that living from the heart is more than just a catchy new age phrase. If enough people participate, we could facilitate a global openhearted rebellion through the collective experience of deep states of consciousness.

The meditative state is essential and costs nothing beyond the time and energy we’d put toward exploring it. It would be powerful enough for an individual to meditate and see the truth, but for this to succeed, it would have to happen globally. It helps that so many spiritual concepts are becoming popular everywhere.

Society may be set up to drain you, but you have the key to liberation. You may not be able to quit that unfulfilling job, but you can explore deep states of consciousness that will spill over to your daily life, adding a little color and giving you a lot more to be grateful for.

This path requires conviction, but the payoff is a feeling of liberation that would light up even the most mundane life. Stay strong and remember to go within when you can. Your spiritual practice is your lifeline to a state of mind that will replenish everything the world has taken.  

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Featured image by Jonny Lindner from Pixabay

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