Every time I sit down to write after an absence of more than a couple of weeks (and this time around, it’s been much, MUCH longer), I feel the need to explain where I’ve been. Why is that? I’ve been living my life just like you and the last person you talked to.
- struggling with anxiety,
- planting gardens,
- talking and making memories with cherished family and friends,
- wondering what to make for dinner and why I bother cleaning anything ever,
- trying to save the planet one straw, one cup, one bag at a time,
- grieving the state of my country (and increasingly the entire world, save, perhaps, New Zealand and Scandinavia), and
- among a great many other things, trying to be a better human.
Basically, I’m just trying to make the most of this crazy, beautiful, mind-blowing life on our miraculous blue and green planet, in this incomprehensibly expansive universe. And more often than not, feeling like I’m not really doing a bang-up job at much of anything (except for my flower garden, which is gorgeous). Same (more-or-less) as you, right?
To Be Human
Lately, I find myself wondering if ever there was a time when it was easy to be human in this world. And the more I think about it, the more I’m inclined to think not.
I suppose that if you take the Bible very literally, you might believe that there was a brief time forever ago in the Garden of Eden before that notorious apple was plucked. There, Adam & Eve lived in paradise. But even then, one man and one woman had to co-exist with no one else around to entertain or distract them. They must have gotten on each other’s nerves. A lot. You know what I’m saying? It’s no wonder the serpent caught Eve’s attention.
And ever since then, history has been littered with awful things like war, genocide, natural disasters, and so on. Endlessly.
No. I don’t think it’s ever been easy.
But these times, friends, these times are absolutely breaking my heart, and the grief, anxiety, anger, and worry I carry each day are often crippling. I know so many of you feel the same way. And try as I may to set the aching aside, I can’t seem to get rid of it for more than a few precious hours at a time. I have a lot of days when I’m really just not OK. And, really, who even cares what’s for dinner if we only have ten years (give or take) to save the planet?
Well, I refuse to surrender to misery. I refuse to give up hope. I will not accept that the way things are is the way they must be or will be forever. Yes, greed and corruption have made a startling rise to power all around the world, but maybe it’s just a last-ditch effort for darker forces to hold on to power as human consciousness is on the rise? I won’t indulge the fear that maybe it’s just too late and our doom is inevitable. No. Not on my watch folks.
I’m doubling down on my on-again-off-again meditation practice. If I can’t find much peace out in the world, I’ll make my own peace here in the armchair in my living room. It will be far from perfect, and the mind monkeys will scurry about and make quite a ruckus. And I shall acknowledge them and quiet them and persist in my imperfect practice. And it will be good.
I’m affirming my belief in the goodness of Spirit and the Love that gives each of us Life. Yes, Love is often covered over by years of conditioned fear driven by the myths of separateness and scarcity. But no matter how crusty or camouflaged, that Love is still there. It must be. If I’m right about any of my core beliefs about God and the Universe and Life and Love…it’s there. And I’m pretty sure I’m right. Google #LookForTheHelpers, #BeTheChange or #RandomActsOfKindness if you doubt that the Light of Love still shines brightly. Go ahead; you’ll see. I’m SO right about this.
I’m DOING something. Is it enough? No. Not even close. I know people who do so much more. Is it affecting the change I hope for? It’s too soon to say. But as long as I’m trying, there’s a chance I might win.
I’m trying in so many ways and I’m sure you are, too. Like
- showing up for marches and volunteering for political campaigns that embody the values I hold dear (#PresidentBernieSanders!).
- planting native species in my garden to support my local ecosystem and help restore balance and vibrant health to my little tiny slice of Mother Earth.
- refusing to give in to the urge to hate and trying to love, no matter how hard that might be at times (and honestly, sometimes it is so, SO hard).
- actively and deliberately learning about the struggles of my sisters and brothers of color so that I might help undo the damage that profound ignorance, hate, and fear (read: white supremacy and racism) have done to them over the centuries and create a truly equitable and just world.
- do my best to inform and promote love on social media, and though I question the overall impact of doing so, I know it has made an impact, so I’ll keep it going.
- making connections when I meet neighbors in my community. Eye contact. A smile. A kind word or gesture. That’s all it takes to make a connection and sometimes a connection makes a difference.
I’m always looking for places where I can be as authentic as possible and add value through sharing my innate gifts and strengths. Then I try to actually physically show up (oh, my anxiety though).
I try. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. But I’m trying every day, and trying is (almost?) always better than indifference or passive hand wringing.
These times are exceptionally challenging, often downright excruciating and sometimes utterly terrifying. But each and every one of us is here for a reason and each and every day we’re presented with a new opportunity to decide how we’ll approach the crises before us, how we’ll celebrate the goodness we find, and how we’ll show up for the world and the ones we love.
I screw it all up a lot. But I probably succeed as often as I don’t (resolution: recognize and celebrate ALL the successes). That’s life. But the more of us who do this work together, the lighter it becomes. And the more of us who believe in and spread a message of Universal Love and Connection, the closer that reality becomes to manifesting.
It won’t be all rainbows and butterflies, but there will be rainbows and butterflies along the way. And I will admire and celebrate the exquisite, miraculous beauty of every single one.
Will you join me? I’d love to do this together.