BY MARY-ELIZABETH HARMON
Founding Mother, Chard & Stripes
Last Friday morning, I got a group email saying how “devastating our world is right now,” and how the invasion of Ukraine has shaken us all.
I furrowed my brow: Though I didn’t condone the invasion, I wasn’t feeling shaken about it.
Neither was I feeling heartbroken nor helpless, or in need of support dealing with those feelings, which the email was offering. Out of curiosity more than anything, I kept reading.
And when Peter was come down out of the ship,
he walked on the water, …
While being curious didn’t kill me, reading the damned message was to my detriment because I was questioning myself by the end:
Am I a heartless heifer or what for not feeling bad about what’s happening? I thought.
Fast forward to that afternoon. Another group email arrived. It opened with, “The world is heart breaking and soul crushing right now.” Not only because of the war, but threats to trans- and voting rights in the U.S., the pandemic etc. etc.
Unlike my response to the earlier message, however, I didn’t read the later one and question myself for not feeling down in the dumps. Instead, I told myself the truth:
No one can ever feel so down as to lighten another person’s load.
When we feel down, we’re in tune with problems, not solutions.
That’s not a condemnation of anyone dealing with difficult feelings, like all of us have.
It’s a recommendation to ease off the tales of doom and gloom.
Factual or not, doom and gloom stories stoke fear—mother of emotions that feel bad—which bars us from walking on water and seeing a path forward.
Matthew 14:29-32 reads:
And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.
Metaphysically, walking on water means rising above the choppy sea of collective consciousness.
I opened Friday’s first group email feeling fine. But hearing that my fellow readers were feeling heartbroken about Ukraine made me think that maybe I was detached and unfeeling. That is, …
Until I wasn’t willing to indulge that story anymore.
I wasn’t a heartless heifer, I was enjoying the fruits of my labor by walking on water:
For years, I’ve been building the mental muscles to maintain a sense of peace even when things seem to be going really wrong, and to return to peace quickly when I go astray.
Peace on earth begins with peaceful people—the kind of people who can see possibilities.
So, yeah, Jesus, wherefore didst I doubt?
Walking on water means breaking with prevailing thinking and not letting outer factors, from emails to invasions, hijack your inner world.
By your inner world, I mean the way you think and how you feel. And contrary to prevailing thinking, people and events don’t make us feel down, but the way we look at them does.
When [Jesus and Peter] were come into the ship, the wind ceased…
I interpret coming into the ship as meaning entering a safe place / a place of peace.
Notice that occurred before the wind—difficult external conditions—stopped.
While it’s fine to call on Jesus to save you, you can always save yourself from perilous waters—your own faulty thinking or the masses’—like I did:
Prioritizing your peace and changing your inner talk until you find it.
Dr. Mary-Elizabeth Harmon is a scientist turned storyteller and Founding Mother of Chard & Stripes, a “school” of prosperity making and word-of-mouth marketing platform for kind people, products and businesses in food, fashion & more. Subscribe to her newsletter here.