Updated: Apr 20
I remember once when I got my two dollar allowance (remember two dollar bills?!) and I promptly gave it to a man begging on the street. My dad was at first incredulous, demanding why I would do that, and then softened when he saw my heart and gave me another $2. I remember also the feeling of bewilderment I had when I first watched An Inconvenient Truth and, though my knowledge and views on climate change evolved over time, I was beside myself that we as humans were willingly marching ourselves off a cliff. Again when I was introduced to Tim Ballard from Operation Underground Railroad and heard his stories of misery and horror, saw his movie in an intimate venue while he talked to us about his experience, my heart was near imploding. I had to steal myself away to my cabin I was staying in, walking bereft through the dark forested mountain range at Sundance Resort, the beauty of the weekend I was having in stark contrast to what I had been shown. I couldn’t come to terms with the level of inhumane behaviour, couldn’t think for a moment who could be so vile and evil that they would knowingly involve themselves in the bowels of the human trafficking industry. But it’s a booming business, the deep levels of the insanity in plain view yet cleverly disguised so we don’t have to sully our vision with it.
That catch in my throat, that pit in my stomach, a burning raging fire in my heart, the same as when I was young and handing my allowance over to someone in need. But slowly I hardened as is required in our culture, we all are, it’s part of the game. It’s part of our preservation, to steel ourselves to such sadness and incongruity in the world. To be sensitive in our world is like having wounds that rip open every day, it’s impossible to live like that. Some dive into humanitarian work and make it their mission to restore justice to those in need. Many numb themselves with alcohol or prescription pills, wondering why they can’t sleep at night, why even though they have every basic need met they’re so miserable. Some will take off and live on the very fringe of society, giving up any of the “privileges” of being a modern human in the 21st century. Most will drop into line, adopt the 9-5 life, put their blinders on, settle for weekends off and looking forward to their annual two weeks in the tropics, saving up for a retirement where they can finally be free to set their own schedules yet are often so institutionalized by that point they actually can never reconcile their need for stillness, solitude and freedom with their programmed way of living by the clock.
The world has no shortage of resources for the population we now have, we aren’t running out of food or money or water or shelter. We are running out of compassion, community and connection. We have an allocation crisis based in centralizing systems that can never support billions of people spanning the globe. We are in such disharmony with how we’re meant to be living that we think we’re honest when we say there’s just not enough and this is how the world looks. That I look out my window from where I write and a sea of green grass is before me instead of an edible garden is an example of our madness. That in such a tiny span of time we have gone from complete self-reliance to not even knowing how to start taking care of ourselves — if you’re hungry you can press a button on the device in your hand and lay waiting in your bed while some semblance of food is prepared for you and delivered right to your door, no contact needed. That our municipality spends thousands each year to create beautiful mini flower gardens in our downtown district instead of fruit trees that anyone could pick from, or community gardens everyone can share from. That our multi billion dollar pet industry is growing while we blindly accept factory farmed animals to feed ourselves. Everything is topsy turvy, it’s so multifaceted it feels nearly impossible to start pulling it apart.
So how do I guide my children through this world? How do I guide myself?
I talk about keeping magic alive, keeping the safeness of their small childhood world alive but it’s not actually just for their protection, it’s for my own self-perseveration. They are the reminder that humans are inherently good. We adopt the lie that anything other than that is true, we spread the disease, we become the problem, but it’s not where we begin from.
We are so thoroughly conditioned, programmed and distracted because when you pop your head out of the bubble it takes a nanosecond to feel the wrongness that is in the world, the disharmony, the misalignment. Immersing yourself in delusion is the only way to keep going but for what? What kind of life encompasses that level of lie? No wonder we’re a globe of hurting humans plying ourselves with drugs and alcohol and Netflix binges (or ‘Escape to the Chateau DIY on Gem’ in my case), set on division and blame and no accountability.
The deficit is within us but so is the answer. We look externally and cry out in outrage WHY and yet we don’t want to turn inward because the reckoning is so great. There is not much of our modern life that exists to support our real human nature. The scale feels insurmountable, daunting to the extreme.
The disconnect has come from inside and the healing will too. Choosing a softer lens in which to see ourselves and others. Colouring the world in the hues of love, compassion, harmony and understanding. Choosing an altogether different way forward. It’s not ignoring but it’s meeting the problem at the level it exists and then elevating your personal experience to a higher place. If we all expect a different perspective then no other exists.
For me it looks like writing all of this, even the very hard and yucky parts and then it’s looking out my window and seeing the vibrance of spring, effortlessly unfolding before me. The green of the earth, the blue of the sky, in perfect harmony. Being reminded to trust in the cyclical nature that is part of our perfect designs as humans, as part of this earth – the change of seasons reminds me that we are experiencing a phase of our human growth that is but a blip on our long evolution. Allowing myself to delve into the misery, the sadness, the disbelief that comes to the surface when I engage in the world and see its hurting. Taking the clues from this and wondering about my own unique purpose for coming to earth at this time, for my soul to take on human form. There is a role in the cycle that I am meant to be a part of, there is no accident that I am experiencing discord instead of congruity at this time. So what can I do with this? How can I take this powerful tide of emotion turning inside me and use it to access an even more powerful part that brings action? This inner power is meant to be harnessed and wielded in a beautiful and useful way. Feeling all these feelings, tapping into the deep well of strength that is human nature, then I can look out upon the world with a filter of love and creation, start to see the places of beauty and connection and recognize myself in humanity. And affirm that I trust in the intent and purpose of being within this time. I see a version of humanity and will keep holding that vision with unwavering faith and take steps towards actualizing it daily.
So when Gracie explodes into ragey shouts of dismay or collapses into tears of futility, though the parental part of me wants to tidy it up, soothe it and conform it into something more manageable to our life, the part of me that resonates knows to let her go through it. To unfurl, to untangle, to keel or keen or yowl. It’s sorrow and it’s outrage and it’s coming from a place that shouldn’t be lobbed off only to make her more acceptable within our broken system. The system needs to be dismantled in order for our survival. So keep asking, keep yelling, keep questioning louder. Be the signal to the tuning fork that’s within each of us adults that sounds it off and sets us all off, pinging the alarm to one another and bouncing it around the world until we wake up and remember our humanity.