This is what I believe.
We have a crisis among us.
A crisis of humanity. A crisis of connection and disconnection. A pharmaceutical crisis. A social media crisis. A gun crisis. A depression crisis. A loneliness crisis. A leadership crisis.
We are in pain.
We are bombarded by constant stimulation – a 24-hour news cycle which doesn’t mean to proselytize and yet, because it never turns off, they have to say something anything, even though that something anything is often nothing and not worthy.
I don’t blame them.
I don’t you.
I don’t me.
I don’t blame Trump.
I don’t blame opioids.
I don’t Zuckerberg or @Jack.
I don’t blame the cops.
I don’t blame those who voted to blow the whole thing up.
I don’t blame because blaming gets me nowhere. Blaming keeps me trapped in a hell of how dare you, how could you, fuck you.
We are in grief, shock and reviled by the inhumanity we experience daily.
Too much has become too hard to look at, too hard to read, too hard to listen too. The belly of beast is dark and cold and we are holding our breath hoping, praying and (please tell me your are) voting to get out alive.
In this particular moment of humanity some of us are on the front lines, some of us are feeding the front lines, some of us are waiting to be called to duty, some of us are in hiding, some of us are unable to look, some of us are tending the injured, some of us are causalities and some are fatalities.
We keep searching for what we can do right here, right now.
We can pay attention, attention to what makes us spiritually well and what corrodes us.
Attention to what makes us feel connected – to ourselves, to other people, to the world at large. What brings us love and peace. What makes us feel open and energized. Who inspires us, what we aspire to create and how much perspiration we are willing to give.
Attention to what makes us feel disconnected. What makes our heart race and our throats close. What makes us anxious, panicked, overwhelmed. What cause us to boil over.
We stop the madness by deeply seeing other. By asking a friend, a neighbor, a family member how can I help? What do you need? How are you? Not as a salutation, but in how are you my brother, my sister? Do you need anything? Are you lacking? I just want you to know how much I care.
On Saturday I called the people who I know suffer from depression to tell them they matter, to remind them not to give up, to literally ask them call anybody before they go towards suicide.
It’s constant work to find hope and light with this disgrace of a President, with the heartlessness of elected officials, with cops killing innocent people, with children being ripped from their parents, with the disregard for our Mother Earth.
I realized being pissed, and I am beyond outraged, motivated me for a minute, but that minute was made of pure adrenaline. Being pissed all the time depletes me. I can’t do good when I’m depleted. Nobody can.
I can’t keep participating in the swirl of each new atrocity. The swirl is bringing me down. I need a better strategy.
I believe we are right here because we have an opportunity to heal what ails us and reimagine how we live, love and connect.
Systemic change isn’t in the swirl of madness.
Systemic change is in deepening our connections to each other and ourselves.
Systemic change is in knowing what we value, what’s important to us, how generously we love and how we spend our time and money.
Systemic change is forgiveness, forgiving ourselves and forgiving those around us. In releasing the burden of holding on to what’s no longer now.
Systemic change is in the narrative; the narrative that spotlights the strength and empowerment of the people working collectively and consciously, in love, to innovate the way we build and experience our society.
Systemic change is amplifying the stories of those fighting for the rights of people and our planet, like the youth-lead gun control movement, instead of shining the spotlight on those who steal lives.
We each have extraordinary gifts to bring forward. We each have pain and sadness. We all know what it is like to feel like we’re not enough.
The opportunity lies in loving ourselves deeper, believing in ourselves more, recognizing when we feel good and understanding what makes us feel that way. To look out for each other, we must take care of ourselves, not in isolation, but in community.
We are being asked to see each other, in all our complexity, in our pain and sadness. Each of us carries a burden. It is strength to recognize our sorrow and to approach it with love in our hearts. In the beginning we were made from love.
Please tell me how you are and what you need. I am here. I hurt too. And I believe my work is in shining a light in the darkness so we can see each other’s pain, embrace it and walk in the light together.
I love you.
If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please call 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741.