I’ve been thinking a lot about crisis lately, both personal and societal. Obviously it seems like a bad thing, because it’s so traumatic. But maybe what’s really happening is that it shatters the myth that everything’s okay right deep within and that the foundation our world is built on is healthy and solid.
A world that was built on beliefs about Right and Wrong, about what we have to do to be accepted, and about our non-deservability. It wasn’t built on ultimate truth about our real value or the real values that sustain healthy human interaction.
The thing is, the beliefs were our parents’ and society’s beliefs, they weren’t ours, we weren’t born with them. We just soaked them up unknowingly. That’s what children do. We learned to compromise ourselves, over-adapt, suppress emotions and needs, be unselfish, be practical, be in control, be spiritual, be nobody. All for the greater good of humanity which never transpires, or to get to heaven which never happens. As adults we acted on those beliefs, and created our world around us.
It stands to reason that any world constructed on that basis is going to be limiting. You think? It doesn’t let you to breathe, let alone listen to your heart and soul’s desires and follow your dreams. It doesn’t even let you interact honestly with other people. It forces you to deny your inner truth, on a day to day basis, moment to moment.
So here I am with my sacred part shut in a dark room somewhere in the recesses of a world I’ve constructed that complies with other people’s rules. I’m stuck in a tiny little box. I make the box very pretty and comfortable, and convince myself that staying in my box makes me a good person and that the comfort is happiness.
But all the while I’m forcing myself to do things I really don’t want to do. I rationalize that I must do them because it makes me responsible, keeps me safe, protects my family, ensures my future… Then bam! CRASH! Crisis from out of left field. The world I’ve constructed falls apart.
When my seemingly safe world gets shattered, scary as it may be, I believe the potential for something much, much better is in the wings. Something that gives me more freedom, more love, more mobility, more pleasure, more joy, more creative expression, makes life more meaningful, makes me thrilled to be alive.
So the crash, the crisis, is about breaking new ground, sorting through the rubble, working out what beliefs I want to keep and which ones I want to toss out, what really makes sense to me and brings real value and what doesn’t. Building a new foundation based on rules that work for me, and on which I can construct a world that lets me live a bigger life, where I’m the boss of me, and where my interactions with other people are real. Where I value myself as an individual as well as you, and I value our roles in community.
There’s bound to come a time when I’ll need more. The world I’m constructing now will make way for something better. But for now, I’m in a better place than I was, and with that I can be happy. I think this holds good for big crises and tiny little ones, personal and societal. Something has to die to make way for something to be born.
I don’t think anything happens for nothing. I don’t believe in chaos, or that we make irrevocable mistakes and are doomed to eternal damnation. I think we’re all on a continuous learning curve, whether we realize it or not. We’re learning about how to experience real value in life. The value that’s everybody’s birthright.