There is a simple choice we can all make, at any time, in any place, that will change our lives forever.
No matter what misery we’re suffering from, no matter what insane sh*tshow is unfolding in the world around us, we always have this choice:
We can choose to believe that everything is okay.
The world is a f*cking mess right now. We’re stuck in self-propagating cycles of demonizing the other that are ripping nations apart. We’re irrevocably damaging the planet because we can’t change our antiquated social structures that prize profit above all else.
At times, I’m tempted to give into a futile despondency. It feels hopeless—the starving polar bears loosing the sea ice they need to hunt; coral reefs bleaching and dying at unprecedented rates; Australia in flames; and Syrian refugee camps full of abused, starving children. We’re heedlessly careening toward the cliff, full throttle, hopped up on the latest boutique coffee and swimming in junk we don’t need from Amazon.
I could succumb to despair, but instead I choose to believe this is all a lesson that we, as a species, need to learn before we can move on to the next stage of human evolution. I choose to believe that everything is okay; it’s part of a process we have to endure—humanity’s raging, self-destructive, young-adult years.
This doesn’t mean we should stop laboring to fix what’s broken, or passively accept the horrific status quo. But when we choose to believe everything is okay, we can act from a place of love instead of anger or fear.
There’s a quote I love from “The Last Jedi.” After the rebels flee to the mineral planet and the New Order is about to storm the base, Finn tries to save his friends with a kamikaze attack on the Death Star Battering-Ram Cannon, or whatever it was called. But Rose rams her skimmer into his, knocking him off his suicidal collision course. After the crash, Finn asks Rose why she stopped him. She replies, “I saved you, dummy. That’s how we’re gonna win—not by fighting what we hate. Saving what we love.”
Every time I watch that scene, it gives me shivers. Such a powerful idea. That’s how we win—by focusing on love, not hate.
If you don’t regard “Star Wars” a valid reference, then how about Martin Luther King Jr.?
“Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
When we choose to believe that everything is okay, that everything is working out the only way it possibly can, we can find love again.
A year and a half ago, I was stuck in a miserable existence. Spending most of my waking life in a pointless, unfulfilling job, stuck inside a cubicle. As a project manager, my main duty consisted of writing down what people said they would do in meetings, then later asking them why they hadn’t done it yet. A hollow charade we acted out over and over again.
Despite the suffocating boredom, I kept choosing to believe that everything was okay, because this was just a lesson I needed to learn, a stage of my life necessary for my development. Clinging to that belief allowed me to start changing my life for the better. I could make decisions out of love, not desperation. And things just started lining up to take my life in a different direction.
Now here I am, sitting in the jungle at Envision—Costa Rica’s answer to Burning Man—feeling inspired and full of love after an amazing ecstatic dance. My mind and body cleansed from wildly flinging my body around to the thumping beats, and these words are flowing onto the page.
Everything is okay.
It’s not always this easy; sometimes things don’t work out as planned. Sometimes I still find myself in unpleasant situations, but I continue to choose to believe that it’s all part of the process.
Once you walk through life in the serenity created by this belief, you’ll find other people on a similar wavelength.
A few weeks ago, I moved into a house in Costa Rica, and one of my housemates has a tattoo just below her collarbone that reads, “Everything is okay.” When you’re in the company of others acting from love, life gets easier, more joyful, more harmonious. The more of us who choose to believe, the more love will fill the world.
If you’re tired of feeling miserable about your life, if you’re fed up with feeling depressed about the world, consider taking a pause, and see if you can wrap your mind around choosing to believe everything is okay. The choice is yours. You can continue in your belief that you’re trapped in a hopeless situation with no way out. Or you can choose to believe this is a lesson you need to learn to become the better version of yourself you know is locked up inside you. It’s up to you.
You can choose to believe everything is okay, then you can act out of love to change your life, and together we can create a world that we all want to live in.
Make the choice; it’s hella fun.
And if you need a reminder, give this song a listen.