Through the magic of the Internet I stumbled upon an interview Oprah did with Stephen Colbert.
It was filmed long before the Sandy Hook shootings, or the end of the world frenzy, or the impending Christmas holiday or whatever personal tragedy we might each be experiencing. However, his words are so pertinent for what so many of us are going through right now:
Cynicism is not wisdom. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but cynicism is a self-imposed blindness. You put the blinders on yourself to protect yourself from a world that you think might hurt you or disappoint you. Be a fool. Believe things will be good. Better to be hurt.
When bad things happen it’s easy to slip into cynicism—to see only the hurt, to give up hope and just see a broken world. But when we do that, we cut ourselves off from the universe, from each other, from source. We let the bad guys win, because cynicism does not promote change or healing. It keeps us stuck in hurt and suffering by saying, “The world is this way and there’s nothing I can do about it—nothing any of us can do about it.”
As a recovering Anusara yogi, I just can’t give into that line of thinking. I have enough happy, shiny rainbows left in me that I’m siding with Colbert on this one. I’m going to be fool. I’m going to believe things will be good, as hard as that may be. Because I know that’s the only way through—the only way we change and heal our world. And frankly, the world needs as much change and healing as we can give it.
Vitarka badhane pratipaksha bhavanam.
When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite ones should be thought of. This is pratipaksha bhavana. (Yoga Sutra 2.33)
So, who’s with me? Who else is going to believe things will be good?
Sara McKeown is just like every other yogi, except she hates coconut water. When she’s not perfecting her Downward Facing Dog or teaching other people how to perfect theirs, she can be found eating avocados, doodling in her journal, talking with her hands, microwaving her non-dairy ice cream, daydreaming about having Ira Glass’s babies, debating which book to stick her nose in or helping people live their best lives through her work as a counselor and wellness coach. Send her love notes at [email protected] or come along with her on her journey by checking out her blog, My Great Leap.
Ed: Kate B.