Bombs in stadiums, houses reduced to rubble, children with limbs blown off, whole nations displaced, toxic chemicals in our water stream, politicians who plot to skim off all the cream, brutal bashing of our closest partners, drug addiction through the roof, sex trafficking and child abuse. One look at the world today and it is clear things aren’t going so well.
Whilst we might live in peaceful suburbia with our widescreen TVs, pretty gardens and nice neighbours, if we are honest there’s a knowing underneath that somewhere else there’s great pain and distress for other people who are our brothers. Yet this chaos has gone on for so long… all of history it seems. What possibility is there to end it?
No charity, movement or leader has ever been able to change this warring world and those that tried have typically been hung, drawn and quartered.
So we proceed to ‘make the best of it,’ to keep a stiff upper lip and look after our own patch of dirt, as long as we have our entertainment, sport and technology. All the time – chaos reigns.
So where on earth to from here?
Yesterday I met my son. I’ve seen him on video screen two times before but back then he was pretty much a big-headed blur.
But yesterday, as my wife lay down and the scan was done of her body, my son’s 21 week old physique appeared up on the monitor. I heard his heart beat rapidly and saw his perfectly formed arms and hands move about. He wriggled as if to say, “Look, can you keep this photo shoot quick?” and “I’m not a fan of paparazzi.” But as the nurse moved the scanner around, I felt myself welling up, so deeply touched inside.
Like a picture of the universe miniaturised into a human form, this young but ancient being looked back at me from the TV screen and said, “Hey Dad!” As I marvelled at his gorgeousness, I began to cry. I worried for a moment about what the nurses might think of my seeming weakness, but I couldn’t contain the tears inside. It was beautiful and such a relief to let them out. And then it dawned on me.
Since finding out I was going to be a dad four months ago, I’ve found myself getting easily upset, feeling distant, hard and overwhelmed. During what seemed like it should be a time of joy, I was struggling on. As my wife was sick, I dedicated space to focussing on her, on organising everything she needed and keeping the house in order. And yet I seemed to be in a permanently bad mood.
I talked to friends occasionally and got some support of sorts – and was encouraged to consider my secret fears about this great new responsibility. Yet this distance in me remained. What was going on?
Things started to occur: our internet connection went down, the central heating failed, and my car was crashed into – as if something or someone was trying to get a message to me. But I didn’t have a clue.
I met with a friend, Michael Benhayon, and he suggested there was something I hadn’t let myself feel. But what terrible thing could this be I wondered?
As I sat crying in the scan room it came to me. I had been holding back from feeling the absolute beauty of my son, being pregnant and us all being one. As this sank in, I cried with my wife in the waiting room – just standing there with my heart.
As I did, it became clear to me that there’s no strategy or political program that is needed to fix this world, no ban on armaments or world summit to solve drug abuse. All of it, every last bit is not coming from horrible human beings but from us fighting and denying our beauty.
It’s not a physical or intellectual thing or what clothes you wear, but a quality you can feel – a grandness that connects us to the universe. It’s the ‘wow’ you get when looking at the sweetest flower, a vast landscape or array of stars – something you feel in your heart. It’s like a magnetic pull for me.
I’m starting to see we feel it all the time, but do not let it be at all. We wait till those close to us are nearly dead to reveal how much they have meant to us; we dismiss the subtlety of our sensitivity and think we need to toughen up. We hold back the pure poetry of our sweet dear heart in case its preciousness is not welcome in this world. But in doing this we perpetuate the very hurts and hardness that we hate.
Even as I write this here, I can feel myself battening my feeling down in case it gets out of hand – how ingrained we are!
For too long we have subscribed to a view of ourselves as wicked, flawed and vicious beings. There is something in us that wallows in this. But it’s all just a game to let evil reign. This is the biggest case of mistaken identity known to man, like a delicate bird that is trying to be a bull. It’s quite absurd.
Is it possible that terror need not exist if we just cease and desist from holding back our heart?
Yes, this world is full of examples of horrors that we create and it’s revolting to feel how far from that beauty we live. But the way forward is to reconnect to our true nature, not to bludgeon it.
As I lay with my wife in bed last night and I placed my hand on her belly, it felt like I could hear my son speak. He let me know that the beauty that I felt with him is there in everything, in me too, and all I need to do is live knowing this is true.
Yes, we have frail imperfect bodies but our beings are so much more than that. I figured he should know as he has come back to do it all again in another lifetime. I went to sleep holding him, holding me, appreciating what he is teaching me.
I know that the way I’ve written here is normal and equally felt by people all around the world. Imagine if all 7 billion of us started to share the beauty that is within us all. There surely would be no room for petty arguments and squabbles. Just because we have ignored our divinity for aeons past doesn’t make the mundanity true – who we are. Our hearts are full of so much love. Holding it back is poisonous.
We are this beauty – can we handle that?
Published with permission of my wife.
By Joseph Barker, Beautiful man, Designer, Drawer and soon to be parent, Melbourne, Australia