Let go of fear and the brakes on our lives are released, says Polly Higgins
I have a theory that within all of us is a deep yearning to be free, to follow our dreams and find the greater purpose of our lives. Yet somehow we’ve become incredibly domesticated – like animals that were once wild, and are now tamed.
Why is it that the wild speaks to us at such a deep level? I think it’s because it touches something deep in our cellular memory; a recognition of the greatness of that freedom. We’ve closed down our capacity to go off and re-wild for fear of what it may unleash. Yet, look to the wild – it flourishes. Domesticate a wild animal or bird and something closes down. Have we become so tamed that we are unable to access the wild spirit in us that wants so much more? If anything, our capacity to think big and be great has been trained out of us, boxed-in, by the walls of our lives. A wild animal does not choose to be caged, so why on Earth do we accept it in our own lives?
Ecocide comes in three forms: ecological, cultural and personal. The draft law of ecocide is for ecological ecocide and cultural ecocide – prohibiting significant harm at a collective level. Identifying our inner ecocides gives us the choice as to how we individually choose to self-govern.
“Greatness is inherent in each and every one of us from the very moment we take our first breath as humans newly entered into this strange and wonderful land called Earth.”
How we govern ourselves is just as valuable to society as a whole as the laws we put in place to govern the decision-making of those in a position of ‘superior responsibility’ – CEOs, directors, ministers of state, financiers, lobbyists – and hold to account ourselves within society as a whole. Criminal law in effect changes the story of our times. No longer do we buy into the justification of ecocide as a valid harm. Instead we choose a greater story – one free from harm.
This is our legacy. What we choose to do next opens up a space for something greater to emerge.
So, where do we buy greatness? Thing is, greatness is not something that can be bought; it’s a state of being. I can’t put in an order on the internet for next-day delivery, to be returned if it doesn’t fit. I can’t steal it, nor can it be robbed from me. I can’t get the size of it, nor can it be weighed. It’s intangible – it’s a soul quality. Greatness is inherent in each and every one of us from the very moment we take our first breath as humans newly entered into this strange and wonderful land called Earth. Greatness is a predilection for life itself plus a willingness to give the self in service to something greater than all of life itself. Greatness is not so easy to define, but when we are in the presence of someone great we know it. Somehow, greatness has an energetic pull all of its own – and we can sense it to some degree.
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That’s why some people are publicly feted. But for every great person in the public light, there are thousands who are equally great without the public knowing it. Those who are not seen have chosen to go about their work quietly. You see, it is all about choice. Neither is better or worse, indeed there is no better or worse – they are just different avenues that can be taken. The choice is yours. It is the ‘why’ that determines the greatness. Why do you choose to be a public figure? Is it because you are in service to something greater than yourself or is it because you want to enjoy fame? One is true greatness, the other is an aspiration built on a fear of not being valued.
By letting go of our fear we can move forward without compromising our own way of being. Each day we are challenged to some degree by our own fears; can we truly stand tall and claim ‘I have no fear’? When we have no fear of being undervalued, being taken for granted, being marginalised or ignored, or – worse – being abandoned, then the brakes on our lives are released. Fear is one of the most crippling negative energies in the world; it can and has triggered wars, death and destruction. Remove fear from your own life and you are able to function from a very different place, from a place that is driven by positive energy, joy, happiness, peace and ultimately love.
This is an extract from the book I Dare You to Be Great by Polly Higgins, published by Clink Street Publishing (£6.99).