The Good News and Bad News – An Excerpt from Debra’s Book “The Missing Element”
In this excerpt from her book, THE MISSING ELEMENT: Inspiring Compassion For The Human Condition, author Debra Silverman explains what the Missing Element is and what the read can expect to learn about themselves and how they can make a difference in the world.
I’ve got good news and bad news, so let’s get the bad news out of the way. We do not have enough oil, clean air, water and gas to support the number of people on our planet. We do not know how to distribute wealth or food to those in need. We do not know how to banish genocide, child slavery, drug cartels, sex trade, war, or evil. Those are big, big problems and they’re overwhelming to think about. People ask me all the time, “what can I do to make a difference?”
I am writing about you. You; wonderfully flawed, perfectly nutty, beautiful, broken- hearted, powerful you. Would you like to impact the planet and be a part of a positive change? Would you like to feel more at peace with yourself and be a happier human being?
Here’s the good news; global change begins at home.
Yes, recycling and saving water is very important, but your big job is to open your eyes to who you truly are – warts and all – and to make peace with that clunky, wonderful person inside of you. If you can do this, then all the negativity, fear and shame that block your authentic expression will begin to lift and you can become a more powerful, effective human being on this planet.
That’s how we begin to change the world. We heal one person at a time, and we start with ourselves.
Your story’s power
I’ve looked at the younger generation – I feel for them, this particular generation is suffering in a way I cannot relate. College graduates are expected to go out into the world and be successful, loyal, reliable, kind, knowledgeable, respectful, on time, fit, beautiful, and rich. We expect you to get married, pay taxes, buy a house, go to church, never have a sexual thought about anyone but your partner, and raise perfect children. Good luck with that.
What they ought to say to us is: Be prepared. You will fail, you will break down at some point and become overweight, addicted, and aged. Your children are going to do drugs and hurt you; some tragedy might befall them. Your parents may never understand you or even want to understand you, and you will doubt yourself every step of the way.
These are the insights I have gathered from watching human nature for more than three decades, right up close and personal. I have studied you, and I am going to speak to the obvious.
We all started off determined to love our mother, father and siblings. We accepted our childhood upbringing as “normal.” It didn’t matter what the story line was – how crazy or straight it was – we all had to eat, sleep, go to school, look for love, and hope that someone cared. We were forced, by circumstance, to accept our parents’ reality – until we were able to leave their homes and begin our journeys as individuals. No matter where we went, we carried the imprint of our childhood.
One of the purposes of my work is to help you understand those early stories, and to ask yourself, “What is the nature of my unique personality? What am I supposed to be learning as a result of my life story? Do I have patterns that repeat themselves over and over? Do I tend to be brokenhearted? Am I always short on cash? Do I often feel unappreciated?” No matter how many spiritual books you read, crystals you hold, or green protein powder you drink, you cannot be freed of your story without identifying your broken record, and becoming conscious of how it limits or supports you. You are who you are – it’s not about changing your own nature – it is about rewriting the story, embracing your shadow with compassion, so that you can bless this life and live in gratitude, as a kind, loving being.
I can confidently tell you this: wherever your greatest pain lives – whatever story that follows you around like a boring friend that you just can’t get rid of – therein lies the rocket fuel to get you to your purpose and wisdom. Your pain and your purpose are one and the same.
Wisdom of the Elders
A body of wisdom exists that is based on many ancient cultures. American Indians prayed to the Four Directions. Kabalistic Jews spoke of the Four Worlds. The Hawaiian Hula culture immersed itself in the Four Elements. Buddhists wrote the Four Noble Truths. And the Egyptians passed onto us their version of the Four Elements, which is steeped in astrology – the oldest science on earth. These people honored the land they lived on – not because it was a good idea, but because they were dependent on it for their survival and they had to pay attention. They operated with rocks in their pockets and wisdom in their hearts.
These cultures cultivated a long view of seeing the world, and used a distant “Observer” position to avoid becoming mired in the myopic vantage point we call ego. The elders of the American Indian and Chinese cultures looked seven generations ahead as they made their decisions. We have neglected such wisdom, living more from what will make us happy today, rather than what will bring peace to our great-great-grandchildren and their grandchildren.
Your Elemental Mission
I want to enroll you as an agent of change – and you’ll need two things. One is to become acquainted with the Four Elements as they exist inside you. The other is to cultivate the Observer’s position so that you can stand back and make change by altering the way you see and live your own story.