It Is Okay: COVID:19

In the tide of the pandemic that global society is facing, it is easy to let oneself wander into a mind-space of despair and self judgement.

Are we finding ourselves giving in to the fear that is bombarding our consciousness from all corners? Are we slipping into a depressive slump as we find ourselves surrounded by expectations coming from all the corners in our life – including our own expectations of ourselves?

Perhaps you want to feel hopeful and less fearful. Perhaps you want to grasp this opportunity to fall into your passions and hobbies but cannot shift out of the headspace of turmoil. Perhaps you desire to be less tense about everything. Perhaps everything is too loud.

Many are losing family members. Many are losing jobs. Many are losing hope. Many are losing themselves.

I’m writing because I want to share what helps me in times of turmoil, and hopefully it could you, too. If I find myself in a turmoiled headspace, with dark clouds of depression, anxiety and unease surrounding me, wanting to be happy and hopeful ends up amplifying the feelings of dread.

All social and news media platforms right now are pumping out waves and waves of reports, misinformation and statistics. If you aren’t witnessing news media content, perhaps you are reading first hand horror reports from survivors or victims of this virus.

Or perhaps you are witnessing another side, a ‘positive’ perspective side. Positivity is an amazing energy we create. (In a beautiful way, by creating the label positivity, we unintentionally create the label negativity.)

I have scrolled through countless posts on social media saying that this change is good. That this change is what we need. That this change is giving us the opportunity to go within and spend time on ourselves and in our passions. These perspectives are correct, but you may be finding them to cause you more pain than salvation.

I’m here to tell you that however you are feeling, it is okay.

Resisting a negative feeling or experience creates a negative experience. Accepting a negative feeling or experience creates a positive experience.

What’s going on in the world right now is out of our control. What’s going on inside of us right now, we can accept. If how you feel right now is horrible, then let it be horrible. The acceptance of our inner state is the first step to liberating ourselves from it. Realize that the way you feel now is the only feeling you could be experiencing, because it is the feeling you are experiencing.

Are you feeling demotivated? It is okay. Are you feeling scared of what may happen? It is okay, feel scared, it is scary times. Are you feeling depressed or anxious? It is okay, feel it deeply. Denying how we feel buries the emotion until it explodes later on. By facing our feelings now, we will begin the process of liberation. Being human is tough, and we are flowing down life’s unknown river. We have oars and a boat, but we cannot beat the current of life.

Do not let social media or the news control how you feel. The truth is nobody knows what the wake of this will bring. It could bring suffering or it could bring salvation. The outcome will always bring the positive and negative. Speculating can be fun, or it could bring feelings of distress. Accept that this is out of your control. Accept that no human being knows what will happen next. Accept how you are feeling because you are allowed to feel that way. If you see people on Instagram handing this pandemic in a way that seems impossibly well, do not compare your backstage preparation to their frontstage performance. Everybody is in this together.

I hope you find comfort in these words. I wish you happiness and liberation from suffering during these times, and I wish you safety.

May we accept our Selves.

Death


The Angel

In the place of our birth, two figures are (almost) always present; our mothers, and the angel of DEATH. We hope that it is our mother who will walk behind us every day till we breathe our last. However, it is liberating to some, humbling to all and also terrifying that it is DEATH who walks behind us every day.

The angel stands contempt and patient, waiting for the day where you and thee shall journey together once more. The angel is our companion and does not waver to our thought of it, nor care when it is our time. The angel waits and is a guest in our lives until we leave the world.

The angel brings us the wisdom of the East; to Be, Live, and Love in the here and now. The angel reminds us that we do not know when we shall see the fleeting light of this world. This could be our last time in this place. This could be the last time we are gifted to bear bliss of water from the Earth or food from the lands. This could be the last time you ever see your lovers face. We have no idea when it is our time, but DEATH knows. DEATH knows when you will be united into the journey beyond, and DEATH is waiting.

Let DEATH humble you, dear reader, for DEATH is a blessing and a reminder. DEATH reminds us that life is precious, the present moment is a gift, and we choose every moment of every day how we will express ourselves on this planet. Let it remind you to be grateful for what you have lived through, for the past has brought to you many lessons and opportunities to grow. Let it remind you to be grateful for what you have right now; life. Let it remind you to be grateful for the love in your life, your health, your memories, your home, your clothes, your health and your food. Let it remind you to be grateful for the opportunity to hope for another day on Earth where you will greet the sun once more, and sleep as partners with the moon. Let DEATH be your master when talking to your Self, your loved ones and to others. May you be aware of the gift of life next time you exchange voices and words with your loved ones. May DEATH be your teacher to love as much as you can right now, to live fully right now and to be do your best RIGHT NOW.

DEATH holds out its hand to your right now. Not to take you from life, but to offer peace and acceptance; to become allies and walk with love in your heart. Death will be your life long guest, and will be your humbling master, or your terrifying keeper. DEATH does not care how you see it, but DEATH does love you.

May your words be from love, may they be forgiving and may you be at peace when DEATH knocks on your door, beloved reader.

The Environment

10 Years and Counting

“No one is more hated than he who speaks the truth” – Plato

I was driving home when I saw a pedestrian throw their plastic energy drink bottle into a bush. My mind began to fog up with disbelief. I was perplexed. Shocked, My heart was aching. Should I have stopped and asked that guy to pick up his trash? Should I have done it myself? Should I have at least called him out for trashing the environment? I asked myself – confused about my moral standing – whether it would be right of me to preach to this fellow citizen that he was contributing to the destruction of the environment, the destruction of nature, the pollution of the planet and in turn, harm to himself and all other human beings.

Once I became present and came out of my thoughts, he was long gone. However, the thought remained. What does one do in that situation? Does one take a stand for the planet, for nature and for humanity? Does one confront the evil-polluters and take the higher moral standing ground?

To be honest, I don’t know the answer.
I feel that when someone does choose to speak up, they are faced with an unconscious battle within themselves. Either they speak up for good, risk falling into an angry stereotype and being ignored, or they remain silent. By enforcing their point of view and morals on someone else – who clearly does not hold the same morals – self-reinforces that they are right and the other is wrong. When a person has decided that they’re right, they become attached to their rightness and their egos flair up, and if they identify with being right and proving wrong, they risk becoming righteous. Preaching follows righteousness. It no longer becomes about making the unconscious conscious. Instead it becomes about preaching and being right. More often than not, emotions are used to preach to the unconscious which creates an even thicker and taller mental wall to block out criticism and judgement.
However, Edmund Burke once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Take a moment to picture yourself walking on the sidewalk. Right in front of you, a stranger goes out of his way to kick a helpless pup. Emotions would be coursing through my body if I saw that. Anger, rage, confusion, disbelief and a feeling of illness are my predicted emotions. I felt that way when I witnessed the stranger above littering on purpose. In both scenarios, we can assume that neither of the strangers felt in their heart that what they did was wrong. Maybe they were told it was wrong, but if they lack empathy, what is stopping them from carrying out acts of ill intent? I see the problem lying in that they did not Know that they were wrong, not that they were – to my standards – morally wrong. A bible quote comes to me as I write this, “Forgive them Father for they do not know.”

Back on the environment. If we stand up to the dog-kicking Samaritan – who’s negative and horrible actions harmed the experience of an animal for a short time – then we should hold ourselves up to our own standards and stand up for the environment – because the environment affects us all and includes all animals, including pups.

Scientists have predicted that we are at a environmental breaking point. 50% of all human-added CO2 was contributed in the last 30 years. There is 8 000 000 000 tonnes of plastic in the world, of which 91% is not recycled. 8 000 000 tonnes is already in our oceans. Ocean dead zones have quadrupled in the last 50 years and scientists have predicted a fishless ocean by 2050. Scary, I know.

I’d like to quickly lay out some of my green flaws: I do drive a CO2 vehicle, I do not use eco bulbs, I do buy commercial products and I do use plastic – albeit – as little as I can. The point of this is to bring to light one of my favorite live-by rules: Always Do Your Best. If you’re doing your best, what else can you do?
We don’t need all humans to go as green as grass. We don’t need a few people doing green as perfectly as possible either. What we do need is a few billion doing their best to reduce their impact. By speaking up for what’s right, by bringing the unconscious into consciousness, we are able to educate and change our world. We should all be doing our best to have the smallest carbon footprint, and to inform others how to do the same. We should not turn a blind eye to our own actions, nor to the wrong actions of others. Sure, everyone has different moral standards, but as a collective species sharing a home with millions of other species, we must stand for what’s right. We must communicate and educate with an empathetic tongue, for we cannot assume we know how much others know about the environment. The only enemy to the environment is the lack of education and denial. However, one rock is all it takes to move the ripple to the edge of the pond.

For change to happen, we must change ourselves by doing our best and by educating those who do not know. ‘I don’t care about the environment,’ some say. If we stand by and let their actions and morals prevail, then we are also to blame. If we stand by in comfort and watch others blindly destroy our earth, we are also to blame. If we stand by and watch a dog, child or nature being destroyed, we are also to blame for the destruction. Let us make a promise to ourselves from this day forth to speak our truth, to speak for our mother earth and to speak up for our future on Earth.