I feel tired today. I feel like I want to cry. The tears welling up inside me cannot be pushed down or told to go away, for they are made of deep, lonely, heartbreaking things, filled with fear, confusion, and grief. The emotions that fill me are not mine alone, but the coagulated smeg of a culture staring at its own poor decisions.
I don’t feel this way often, as for the most part, I am an optimist. I believe I knew what I was getting into when I signed on for this ‘tour of duty’ or ‘life’ as it is more often put, but there are days when even my sunshiny viewpoint is obscured with ‘what if’s’ & ‘what the fucks’; times when I wonder what the point of it all is and whether we can change anything or are just here to watch the ship go down.
I know this is not the usual inspiring words you are expecting to hear from me, the ones that put you at ease and make you feel like things will turn out ok in the end. But it is important to see all sides of the story, and in a sense feel all sides of it. We can’t deny our fear for denying it is a fool’s game, it keeps us from seeing what we are truly up against.
We are living in changing times, we have reached a point where you have to be a complete idiot to not believe in Climate Change/Disruption. I mean today 5′ of snow, hail & ice fell in Mexico…in July! We see signs of it every day on the television, the internet and in our own worlds, and on a shared emotional wavelength we are all scared.
So what do we do?
In moments of my life when I feel afraid I hear my fathers voice speaking to me in my head. He is usually saying one of two things…“Bravery is going forward in the face of fear”, or “You don’t want to go down like a punk”. The first has a response saying “Having no fear makes you a fool”. The second statement was my dad’s way of saying ‘we don’t give up!’ I think about these things often, and know that I chose my father well even if some of the lessons were less then pleasant. He taught me what it meant to be a warrior, to be a person of strength, and how to stand tall even when the odds were against me. After all, if you’re going to go down, go down knowing you did everything in your power to stay up.
We are not living without hope, for the thing about impending doom is that it creates genius!
Along with all the horrific things flashed through our news feeds each day there are other less noticeable things happening, things that are not getting as much attention as they should. The news channels don’t want to cover inspiring stories, because the advertisers won’t get as much compulsive spending out of viewers watching pieces on how oyster farming is growing in popularity; due to the amount of carbon they pull from the water, or how they are extracting carbon from the air in Iceland and transforming it into Basalt (rock). The truth is, fearful things unsettle us to the point that we seek comfort in whatever way we can, often through unhealthy choices such as drug use, excessive shopping, gambling, etc. Fear is big business…
When we focus our lens on what we can do…reuse, reduce, recycle, conserve, grow, share, educate, pray, meditate, etc. we stop feeling quite as hopeless. On the days like today where I feel like I don’t want to look at the positive, I sit with it, acknowledge my feelings and then ask myself what I plan on doing with those fears. I then remember my father’s stories of standing up with half his face blown off, fighting his way to a helicopter and safety. I remember stories told by my grandmother of living through the depression; lying under piles of blankets with her children when there was hardly any food and not much for heat. I remember moments in my own life when I thought I would lose my house during the housing market collapse, and I remember that in all of those moments there was nothing to do for any of us, then keep on doing our best to survive, have hope and thrive.
My husband is a stoic kind of guy, and his view is also comforting in its own way. He often says ‘God doesn’t care about our comfort, he/she is more concerned with our character’. This quote is another I repeat when I feel the weight by hard times. I focus on the character of a person I want to be. Who do I want to be remembered as? If I were a fictional character in a book, how would I want to act, do, be in any given situation? It helps me get out of feeling sorry for myself and makes me realize I am living in exciting times, times that will be hard no-doubt, but times when wonders can be made and our actions matter. Seeing myself as a hero/heroine in my own story empowers me.
Do not give up hope, do not turn to vices that make your life harder. Yes, it’s hard, but there are things we can do to help us regulate our emotions and thoughts far more efficiently than habits that create more problems. This is the time to pick up all our old tricks; go back to our yoga mat, sit in meditation, walk in the woods, sing, dance, create sacred art, tell stories, create daily rituals that keep us aware in this time of change. We must focus our minds, create networks of like-minded people, get to know our farmers, healers, builders, thinkers, and spiritual leaders. We need to become the co-creators we were intended to be, for that is where our salvation truly lies. We are powerful beyond our belief. If we were to focus collectively on healing ourselves and our planet, we would see miracles. We need to become unified, not torn apart by our ‘differences’, for the truth of the matter is we all share one thing in common, we are Earthlings. WE NEED TO WAKE UP!
Becoming a co-creator in one’s own life starts with focusing our mind. We need to really think about what matters to us, what world we want to see, and then put ourselves into it whole-heartedly. Quantum physics has proven that thought matters, that what we focus on we draw to us. I like to put it this way…when we spend our time thinking about what we do not want to happen, it’s like we are standing at the lunch-counter of life ordering it.
Right now, most of us spend many hours a day with a low-level feeling of fear and anxiety, often fueled by the media. Looking at it this way, it’s easy to see how we feel hopeless, defeated and doomed. We are telling ourselves this every day, enforcing it with the help of media every time we turn on the television or look at our newsfeed. We should not blind ourselves to the truth of our world, but we need to make sure the ‘truth’ we are viewing gives us the whole picture, not just the profitable one fueled by fear. We also have to stop using convenience as an excuse not to do our part. If you’re not recycling, reducing, reusing because it’s too much work, you might want to think about how much work we will have if we don’t start doing our part. This is the kind of procrastination we cannot afford.
I do not want to leave you with a feeling of doom or despair, I want you to think about where your emotions and feelings really lie. I want you to ask yourself what you are doing to make it better; no matter how small of an act, it all adds up. I want you to join me in helping others wake up. I want you to cocreate hope with me. I want you to remember that like me, you chose to come in at this time and be a co-creator in a time when the world really needs us. After all…who wants to go down like a punk?