It has been a while since I last wrote as there are so many changes taking place on all levels. As always this article is a combination of my own experiences and observations of the experiences of other people.
We are in the midst of a big collective change. It is fair to say that they current structure of affairs is crumbling, like an earthquake had just happened and everyone assesses what has collapsed and what is still there.
There are so many analysis published that to write another one would be simple an excess.
My intention here is to share some clarifying thoughts and some- hopefully- helpful messages as possibilities to navigate your way through the situation.
When I talk about structures I mean all those components that we use to build our lives upon. Some of these components that stood out for me I will discuss here. I am, mainly, looking at it in the context of the western world and I am sure there are traces of these in other parts of the world too as they are universal components.
The issue of Truth: Whilst before there seemed to be some 'political correctness', some rules on how we were doing and saying things, now it seems that we can not 'hold it' anymore, we can not hide our truth, we can not pretend otherwise, our truth is burning inside and we will feel unwell if we do not speak it or find a way to show it. Of course, that may cause friction as people may not like our truth, they might disagree or they might find it hurtful.
Does this mean that we have to hide back to our caves or 'swallow' things? No, our truth is important, it is associated with the fifth chakra, the throat chakra, and concerns our expression, our voice, our freedom of speech and creativity. Expressing one's truth is vital for one's physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health as it allows the flow of energy from the higher to the lower chakras and vice versa. People often say: 'I know this, I dont think I have to show it or say it'. Usually what they mean is that they know it intellectually and they are afraid of the consequences if they say it or express it. Otherwise, they would say that they normally say it and I choose in this situation not to for their own reasons.
It is true that speaking one's own mind (and heart) might feel quite exposing and difficult, especially when it entails admitting vulnerability such as helplessness and fear. It is like showing one's physical, emotional, mental and spiritual naked bodies. Speaking one's truth might also trigger another to feel that way. What we can do is to be mindful of our own and other people's feelings. Some people are more trained and skilled than other in doing this and we can all do it!
Check with yourselves what you need when you speak your truth: do you need respect? be listened to? not to feel judged? love? support? acknowledgement? Can you or someone else offer these things to you during or sooner after? It is like when we have fever and we feel weak, we need to be looked after by ourselves or someone else in a way that makes us feels better and more comfortable, even though the situation we are in might not feel easy.
Check, also, how the other might feel when you speak your truth. If for example, you are angry with them for not giving you what you want, they might feel incompetent as they might not know how to do it, so they might feel vulnerable and close down perceiving your truth as hurtful and threatening. If they do not have the courage to speak their truth, then you might get caught up in a defensive fight between the two of you that no one will really listen to the other. Remember there is no One truth. You have got your own and the other has got their own. An adult speaks their truth respecting another's point of view, even if it is the opposite or difficult to hear as it may not be the expected one. Try to negotiate your wants or be honest when there is no room for negotiation anymore! In the long term it might be better to live in truth rather than in lies.
Taking into consideration the other person's truth might show you something you did not know about them or might increase your empathy and love towards them. After all, no one is perfect and a 'superior' position might leave you feeling lonely.
The issue of Trust: In these changing times we are living, it is normal to experience intense fear and insecurity. When changes are happening, something is dying and something else is being born and we might not know how it will look like or how we will end up in this new structure. It is absolutely normal to feel that way. Our bodies every single moment communicate with the brain giving it information on where it is in space so it will not hit a wall etc. Your mind is doing the same, it needs security in order to imagine and create a safe and stable life and if it can not find it around, then it gets 'hyper', overworking to find a solution, or 'hypo', admitting helplessness and powerlessness to find one.
The truth (mine at least) is that none of these positions, 'hyper' or 'hypo', are absolute positions. For example, you might experience difficulties at your work, feeling helpless having to wait for more news on your job progression and, at the same time, you might feel all mighty in your relationship experiencing love, intimacy and joy with your partner.
Oh yes, human body, mind and soul can tolerate two opposites at the same time. They are actually made of all these opposites in a similar way that potentially harmful bacteria coexist on our skin, the magic dance of 'good' and 'bad' of existence. When I had just buried my beloved grandfather, I could also feel the love from the rest of my family who were right next to me.
Change brings loss and when we experience loss of anything, it is a small death. We need to say goodbye to what is leaving us (or what we are leaving) behind, we need to grieve, we need to feel and stay with the void that the loss lives in our lives. It is not easy, it is painful, scary, terrifying, lonely and, yet, is real. When we are in touch with what is real within us, then this becomes our anchor, we can relax into it and continue breathing regardless how painful it may be. For this anchor never suffocates us, the opposite, it allows us the space to be freely. What suffocates us is any demand that asks us to feel something different from what we feel or behave in a way that is simply not us.
Trusting oneself means exactly trusting what we feel, what we think, what we do as valid. When we acknowledge all these, then they become information, they tell us what is happening for us, similar to the location of the body example above and when our bodies ache informing us that that part needs our attention. Most of the times, if not all, physical pains are manifestations of neglected 'pains' or parts of us in our emotional, mental and spiritual bodies. In psychotherapy we can often have whole conversations with aching parts of one's body in order to identify the source of that pain and consequently attempt its relief.
Knowing and trusting oneself, also, means knowing (or getting to know as a lifelong journey) and trusting one's own strengths and limitations. Despite of how super-human we want to act, we are actual just humans in all our physicality and limitations. Think of your limitations as your boundaries which say 'I am this and I am not this'. When we acknowledge our boundaries, then we can separate what is within and without our sphere of control. For example, we were not responsible for the breakout of the coronavirus and yet we are responsible of protecting ourselves and also, critisize the measures that the governments took for it. There are things constantly within and without our control and by knowing and trusting ourselves, we can build our confidence to exercise our power where we want.
Completely surrendering our trust to any source of power, including religions, governments, institutions etc is also a sign of mistrust on ourselves as we also surrender our power to them to make decisions on our behalf, which in the end can be harmful to us or not in alignment with what we see as our best interest.
The issue of Love: I feel I have written a lot about love and yet is one of these things that it is infinite to explore. In this context I am referring to love as anything that we you care about. I have a strong feeling that this will be a theme for humanity for a while from now on. The brutal murder of George Floyd in the US has brought up to the surface again all the emotions (pain, suffering, anger, grief and others) and memories that a colourful part of humanity is still suffering today. For some people love means all people to be alive, free, equal, respected and well. For some other people love means mainly love towards their family, their race, their sexuality, their colour considering other people of different characteristics as somewhat 'less'.
Certainly, I can not find any reason to justify (make it just) the action and yet I think is important to understand it. The 'enemy' that the policeman saw in George Floyd had most likely nothing to do with George himself; it was probably the accumulated beliefs and emotions that the policeman have been forming and carrying for what someone like George Floyd meant to him. Perceived threats could be any men, women, homosexual, transexual, immigrants and so on who do not fit the norm, who are not the same as the prevalent outlook.
My understanding is that the people who use violence towards another human being, they do it because they love something else more than that being, be that their 'normality', 'superiority', 'rights', 'safety' etc. at the expense of the person that they are harming. We can punish individually and collectively in any way we want those people and, yet, we might not succeed in somehow teach them that love can include all opposites, all differences, anything that is not like us.
In nature animals kill each other mainly out of their necessity to eat. Maybe it is time to realize that we have evolved from just being in that state of mind. It does not mean that we have stopped being animals with raw instincts (the evolutionary brain parts are still in our heads for our survival!), it just means that we can consciously choose not to be in that state of mind and build a world based on truth, trust and love!
For centuries now we have been living our lives collectively considering the prevalent behaviours, beliefs and characteristics as 'normal' and anything that does not resemble them as 'abnormal' with lots of suffering for the latter. We have been critisizing men as weak and soft, women as sensitive and provocative, gays as natural mistakes, people of colour and immigrants as dangerous. This is the normality speaking that may never dared to be different and unique and yet it was 'strong' enough to hurt the 'non normal' in so many subtle ways.
In Greece (similar to other parts of the world) this is still quite strong as less 'normal'people are not being seen for who they are but through their differences to the prevalent life style.
I would suggest to anyone who reads this, ask yourselves: what do you love about your life? What is important to you right now? Write your answers down. Spend some time with them, contemplate your answers. This is your life we are talking about after all!
If you want to go deeper, stay a bit in silence and ask yourselves: What are you devoted to? What is it that you serve with your life? Love, money, hate, health, status, power, friendship, growth, beauty, wholeness, god, unity, creativity, love and so on? Be honest with yourselves, these are your answers and only you can read this, unless you choose to share them. Giving sincere answers will allow you to ground yourselves, to feel anchored, to honour what is important to you and consciously follow that in your life.
You might feel surprised, it may be hard to pin them down and recognise them, you might have no idea and that is ok.. Allow them to surface, be gentle and kind with yourselves. Your soul is trying to speak to you.
Imagine to solely live and speak from that place, what a joy and it is possible!
Now that we have to somehow reinvent our normality lets be more sincere with ourselves, more generous, more loving, more open minded, more inclusive and whole.
The world the same as our lives, is a reflection of our state of mind.