First off, let’s clarify. These ARE times of survival. Many of us are faced with whether we will ‘make it through.’ Many of whom we love so dearly are fighting for their lives at this very moment. Many or us are feeling the strain of our own economic stability, not knowing how we will continue to pay our rent or put food on the table. There is no denying the gravity of the situation at hand in the world, the reality of what is happening inside and outside of our homes, and the collective fear that is being felt.
Now let’s look underneath that, as I so much love to do for any of you who have connected to our work here before. Because as long as we are focused on the surface behaviours or symptoms of the problem, we will struggle in creating a sustainable, long-term solution. As a society focused on productivity and progression – or however we wish to label the push for external success- it can be difficult to feel into the greatest need that humans actually have, whether it be in time of survival, or not.
To operate functionally within our homes and out in the world, we all need one thing –A SENSE OF SAFETY. A sense of safety that allows us to know that we are ok to be wherever we find ourselves in that moment. A sense of safety that has us feel that it is ok for us to be vulnerable, and to be held. A sense of safety that reassures us that we are still connected to our humanness through it all. At the core of safety is feeling that we are SEEN, for who we are, however, and wherever we find ourselves.
Letting someone know that you see them requires an authentic connection. It requires us tucking away our stories and projections for a little while, and being available to hold another. It requires having enough self-awareness to tune into what the other person may most be desiring in this moment. And it also requires us being courageous enough to open up to emotional conversation if that is what is needed in the moment. This, friends, is not something that many of us are experiencing right now. Hence the chaos that prevails within. Whether it be the elderly neighbour who hasn’t had a single knock on the door in the last month to have someone ask how they are doing. Whether it be the child whose parent is deeply stressed as they try and navigate through their work AND childcare endeavours simultaneously. Or whether it be that person who is trying to convince others to just ‘think positively’ because they haven’t yet felt safe in expressing their own emotions.
Social media is telling us how to BE all sorts of ways at the moment. To sink into the latest news stats, to just ‘get over’ it and be strong, to have compassion for each and every person out there but themselves as they ‘just sit on the couch’ (yes, quite a BOLD assumption, isn’t it?). What is happening through all of this is that there is little room for ANYONE to be seen, really. We are still attempting to, in our usual human ways, have everyone else behave like us. We do this so that we ourselves can feel a manufactured sense of safety within ourselves, as we assume that our beliefs aren’t being challenged. We have become so overly identified with our beliefs as humans, that we relate another’s approval of our beliefs to our own safety. We are convinced that without another believing what we do, that our life is in danger, quite literally. This stems from our attachment to another’s love and approval, that we all had as children. We were 100% dependant on our parents staying connected to us, in order to survive, with that dependency now being transferred to other relationships.
This is also why we tend to surround ourselves with those who are just like us – because it takes less effort to have someone automatically stroke the ego’s ideologies than to learn to accept one another for our differences. Yet, our differences are the GLUE that hold us together. Differences balance our collective ecosystem. They help us from getting locked into the burdens of polarization that we have carried for so long as a society. Without our differences, we lose our ability to contribute to society in different, meaningful ways as the need arises. Yes, we need the creative brain. AND sometimes the logical. Yes, we need graceful feminine energies. AND sometimes the masculine. Yes, we need health care workers AND those running our grocery markets. And we also have an innate desire as humans for novelty, and personal growth- which is most often born out of resistance we feel through our differences.
It is when we regard that we are all different on some level – whether it be our personal values, our race, our age, our beliefs – that we have the ability to SEE one another. It is with the safety of being seen as we are that we no longer question whether we are safe to be connected to ourselves, to the earth beneathour feet, and to one another. After all, we are all wired for connection as humans. This was and still is our first need since we emerged from the womb. As a sense of safety moves through our bones, by being witnessed as we are, we begin to relax. We can open up and express our pent-up emotions, in order to release them. Our nervous systems begin to deactivate. Our body can release the physical contraction that it may have maintained since it’s childhood days – the contraction that is at the root of disease in the body. Because the body now knows that the threat of disconnection from self and the outside world has been minimized.
When we are seen and held for who we are, we begin to rewrite the stories we may have been carrying for generations – those stories that tell us that we are unlovable, unsupported, unsafe and unseen. Changing our storyline to honour own BEingness is exactly what leads us to being able to show up in the world one day, on purpose, in our gifts. This is ultimately what we are here for, isn’t it? And this is the one thing our children are asking of us more than anything else – to be in safe connection with their caregivers and to know that they are seen and valued for who they are.
Let’s contribute to one another in a meaningful way. Take a walk down the road and leave your elderly neighbour a note with your phone number on it, in case they wish to have an ear. Let your children know that they are ok no matter what may be coming up for them. Take space for yourself to feel what you may be feeling, knowing that your emotions are helping you process what you are experiencing. As we navigate through this crisis together, I encourage you to keep this information in your back pocket. As you see those who are crying out for help, feeling that the world may come to an end, or simply playing the ‘tough guy’ card – remember that their greatest need is to be seen for who they are in this moment in history. With that, we WILL RISE as a humanity.