The underlying crisis in the world today is an unspoken feeling of being afraid, alone & powerless in a messed-up, meaninglessness world. Individually & culturally, we're naturally averse to complicated unpleasant emotions; reject anything deeply meaningful as if it were taboo; are seriously addicted to distractions; and have very low attention spans. So most of us "keep busy" which somewhat distracts us from this corrosive feeling in our gut. "FOMO" (fear of missing out) is actually a legitimate fear, but most of us MISINTERPRET this as missing out on owning 10,000 square foot mansions, $150,000 cars, trips of a lifetime, etc, etc. These are just bigger, shinier distractions. Only the rich can directly experience the fact that these don't work any better than playing video games, getting drunk or being a workaholic.
HOWEVER, as in many other serious challenges, the only way to get past our aching dys-ease, is to go through it. And it requires courage, patience & perseverance - stepping up, waking up & growing up.
“If this world is to be healed through human efforts,
I am convinced it will be by ordinary people
whose love for life is even greater than their fear.” Joanna Macy
“... grief, if you are afraid of it and pave it over, clamp down, you shut down. And the kind of apathy and closed down denial or difficulty in looking at what we’re doing to our world stems not from callous indifference or ignorance so much as it stems from fear of pain. ….
That became perhaps the most pivotal point in the landscape of my life: that dance with despair. To see how we are called to not run from the discomfort, and not run from the grief or the feelings of outrage or even fear. If we can be fearless to be with our pain, it turns. It doesn’t stay. It only doesn’t change if we refuse to look at it.
When we look at it, when we take it in our hands, when we can just be with it, when we keep breathing, then it turns. It turns to reveal its other face. And the other face of our pain for the world is our love for the world. Our absolutely inseparable connectedness with all life.”
Joanna Macy, interview by Krista Tippett, On Being podcast:
|Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, 2020|