Many of us feel that ‘things are changing’. Like, something is awakening in human consciousness. Or in our collective spirit. Or something…something…. But SOMETHING is happening. People are gaining insights into their vulnerability, right? Into our collective interdependence. Into the sheer, unavoidable fact that when the shit really hits the fan and people are scared and entire nations are forced into taking extreme, collective, society-wide measures to protect everybody, then miraculously, the way people think changes dramatically. All of a sudden, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps isn’t as simplistically appealing as it used to be, because it’s just so inescapably obvious how each one of us is dependent on EVERYBODY ELSE doing their part to Stop The Pandemic. (Or at least slow it down enough that our health care systems don’t get overwhelmed and mass, unnecessary death ensues.)
So suddenly, people feel a lot more like the Government SHOULD step in and ‘nanny’ people, helping us through this rough patch, because after all, what the hell can people do when they’ve lost their source of income, when family and friendship and community networks are broken, when even stepping outside and passing a neighbour on the street or, heaven forbid, having to enter those disease-infested cesspools once known as “public spaces”, and “stores”, flickers fear into an escalating flame in the person’s heart? What are people supposed to do when grocery stores are looking pretty damn empty, and uhhh, you know, like, how much longer is this going to go on for?
You can see it in the mirrors of people’s eyes when you do pass them on the street, belying the anxiety that never fully rests for people anymore.
I hope we get through this with as little suffering and death as possible. Obviously. I hope we truly do wake up to our collective responsibility to each other, and the fact that our Tribe is now The Earth, and all of us living within it. That seems pretty simple to me. But if we embraced this, not only would we be far, far better able to prevent pandemics like this, we would also be far, far better able to have resilient communities in the fact of all sorts of disasters. We’d also probably solve the problems of material poverty almost entirely. We’d find it difficult to keep spending a trillion$$++ per year on waging war on each other. We’d rise to the challenges of climate change, mass extinction, and ecological collapse. And the industrial-military system of might and hierarchy and policy-backed-by-military-might approach to “governance”, would simply have to fall. Or rather, transform into something that harnessed that brilliance and energy in a different way. (Kinda like the Star Trek backstory, eh? You know, where humanity finally realizes, because of mass-chaos across the planet, that we have to transform society into something profoundly better, transmuting military domination of each other into the exploration of the galaxy, and putting humanity’s genius to work at improving our lives. All of our lives. ‘
Do you wonder, what COULD rise for humanity in place of the dysfunctional society of the past?
Well, what’s rising for you, right now? As we go through these uncertain times?
Is it a sense of universal brotherhood, sisterhood, peoplehood, species-hood (if that’s a word….If not, then what the hell, it just became one)?
Is it an appreciation for the people you still can have physical proximity to in your life? For simple get togethers, shared meals? And of course, Dungeons and Dragons via Skype?
Is it a sense of humility or gratitude? A spiritual renewal? A reminder that life is damn precious, and The End truly can happen any moment, any day, anytime at all, so omfGGGG I better SAVOUR and EMBRACE and fully LIVE this unbelievably awesome gift of life that I have?
Is it an appreciation for toilet paper? Or maybe you’ve learned how to clean your butt and genitals without TP, and you have a perhaps heightened appreciation for the genius of whoever taught you this incredible magic?
Is it fear? Are you obsessed with the news? Do you talk to people about this all the time, scroll through Facebook and read stuff about it all the time, worry and wonder about it all the time? Do you believe the breakdown of society is nigh? Or at least, that Things Are Going To Suck For A Long Time?
Is it loneliness? Do you feel neglected, cut off from people, isolated? Do you simply have strong feelings and thoughts and nobody to share them with, except social media? Do you feel like, something’s missing in our society, and let’s hope to God that we are reminded of that, reminded of how great other people are, and inspired to TRULY rehabilitate the world and usher in an age of peace and human consciousness evolution?
Is it inspiration? Has your hope in humanity been renewed as you’ve seen people coming together to help each other, communities of support rising, and everyone from artists to the big banks, doing what they can to help us all through this?
For me, most of the above would apply. Although I’m not so obsessed with the news, to be honest. I’m more feeling like, hey man, maybe I’m going to die this year. Maybe one of my family members are. Maybe one of my friends. Maybe more than one of these people. Who knows. Certainly, many are going to suffer. We’re going to have to be there for each other when we need it. We’re going to have to evolve past this “me-first”, dog eat dog, the strong deserve to get the biggest slice of the pie, competitive, rule-based, power-based society, and become more kind. More compassionate. More peaceful. More giving. More grateful. More mindful. More responsible. More loving.
And my time IS fleeting, unpredictably short. How DO I want to live this life? How DO I want to spend my time? What DO I value and care for enough to dedicate a chunk of my life to helping or improving somehow? What DOES bring me a sense of meaning?
And what can I contribute to this evolution of humanity?
Well, I don’t know, really. But probably, the best thing I can contribute, is to go through that evolutionary process myself. To spiritually grow. To heal my childhood and other past wounds which invariably are the triggers that hold me, and all of us in our own unique ways, back from flourishing into all that I could be, and from having my life blossom into the thing of beauty that it could be. To reach out to people more. And to jump in, with both feet, into whatever is going on around me — the people in my family. My friends. My larger network of acquaintances. And of course, myself — to fully embrace my life, however many decades, years, days or hours remain, and live it from the depths.
Seriously, why skim the surface, stay in your safe box, maintain your personality-defenses and your societal persona and status symbols, worry about all that stuff, and occupy your mind with the trivia of everyday gossip-news, when you could truly, truly root yourself in This Moment, drink in the miraculous Life dripping into your pores and senses in every moment, and love, love with your whole heart, love so fiercely that it makes you cry. Often.
Because no doubt, you’ve got a river of tears in you that need to be cried. Pretty much all of us do, when you get deep-down-honest enough with yourself, and learn to actually let the feelings come up instead of choking them back or otherwise distancing yourself from them in a plethora of possible ways, our whole psychological tool-boxes so well stocked that for most of us, we can avoid truly FEELING for most of our lives.
I think this is the biggest lesson that is coming out of this pandemic. So far. It’s that here you are. Breathing right now. An animal, on this living world. So feel your feelings, because they are your truth, and only by feeling them, can they do their work and accomplish what they are meant to accomplish in you. Feel them. Let them come. Share them when you can. Ground yourself a lot so you don’t totally fall apart. But fall apart sometime, because it’s good for you, because parts of you are broken and their brokenness needs to be truly felt and embraced before they’ll start to mend and become healthy again. You can’t go around your feelings forever, and if you try to you will always remain in a prison and never be able to fully Live this precious life of yours. To be truly free, you can only go through them, or rather, let them move through you.
And I ask you, if not now, then when? What more important time is there to move past the blockages that prevent you from fully feeling joy? Or fully connecting with people? Or fully being able to say you are sorry, and make amends for mistakes you’ve made? Or fully being able to just feel happy and “let go”? Of fully being able to Love?
We need each other. We need each other’s love, and help, and taking the initiative to be there for each other. And we need that from ourselves as well.
So, go deep. Find your roots, listen to the voices of your ancestors in your heart, in your bones. Open your senses to the world. Feel your feelings and let them work their messy magic through your body. Cry. Love.
Things might not get better. Probably they will, but they might not.
Regardless, live from your depths. Because it’s better. We might actually ‘save the world’ that way. We’ll certainly live our best lives.