I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m getting the sense of the whole world being in a state of great transformation at the moment. I mean over and above the day-to-day givens that go on regardless – birth, death, marriage, taxes, stuff like that. I mean events affecting the collective, human beings, things that shake and undermine your very foundations, your whole view of life. Things that change you, possibly, forever. If I had to say when that feeling started, I would most likely pin point when the world shut down to battle Covid 19 in 2020. I think we can agree that healing from that emotionally, economically and ecologically is still some way away in the future. I’ve been thinking about how we can get to that point.
We’re still coming to terms with the fact that it happened, that we’re coming through it; we’re assessing our sum losses and the gains; we’re contemplating “the new normal” – whatever that means. The more personal daily changes of work, home life, family, the weather, stuff like that, continues unabated, of course. It’s as if before there was an acceptable level of dealing with challenges that could be balanced out with the number of celebrations we could also have. We held our own with our personal circumstances – just or very well, depending on care and fortune.
In the case of my parents, for example, instead of having the peaceful twilight years we might have expected for them in their 80s and 90s, they’re facing a pretty hefty re-modelling of the house they moved into late last year. They believed they were physically and mentally up to the adventure back then, but now the stresses are all too evident. If we could turn the clock back, knowing what we know now, we’d make some very different decisions… Fortunately, with a large support network that they do have, they will manage. But I’m sad, personally that they do have to manage at all, this on top of transformation for the collective.
So my view of the collective is that right now the scales are very unbalanced and we’re not managing very well. Add to that the mystery that we don’t know where the end will be, what “balanced out” might look like, and we don’t know how to plan for the future. Maybe the foundations have stopped shifting, but are they stable enough to rebuild on? In my experience, transformation is always like this. My parents’ house will be lovely and hopefully they’ll have many more years to really enjoy it. The fixes economically and ecologically will come… even if they are very hard fought; but we’ll manage, even, some of us, thrive as human beings if we can improve our approach emotionally. So, one lesson to be learned is that, despite all this uncertainty, fear itself won’t destroy us and it’s for us to adjust, even embrace all this uncertainty. Transformation is hard!
In addition to learning lessons, another reason for healing being so often just this challenging is that it’s just about the physics of change. I don’t think it’s about punishment, even if it’s tempting to believe this. We talk about “growing pains” because one goes with the other. Life doesn’t have to equate exactly to “no pain, no gain”, but discomfort is expected at least for a while in this process. What we can be sure of is that at some point the wheel turns, the scales tip, and what was once uncomfortable may one day seem not so bad… and then… gradually… better! And this may come suddenly and without outwards signs of this coming, or bit by bit over tme, life being just that little bit better every day.
What I’ve learned is that while we live and breathe, change and transformation keeps coming. So some of the questions we can ask are “how best to navigate this? With what kind of grace?” and “who can I help and who can I allow to help me along the way?” Sometimes the message of transformation is just to answer these questions. When we have started to understand that we can best help ourselves by being a beacon or ladder or boat to another, then we’ll have received the most graceful of the messages of transformation. All that this means is that we extend the same kindness that we give to ourselves to others; treat ourselves with the tenderness of a tiny baby and imagine others could be struggling too, we don’t need to add something else to our to-do list! We know how to be decent!
And if we somehow miss the opportunity to do that in the current moment – which it’s our free will to avoid and ignore if we want – then I personally believe our souls will give us another chance to find those answers in the future. I believe our souls want to take us there. It takes courage, and an attitude of gratitude helps, especially if we’re fortunate enough to not have to face all of this on one’s own, but we can do this for each other.