I was looking at some reports at work the other day and it astounded me that some of the numbers were incredibly close to pre Covid levels. They were almost normal. I started thinking about what our goals are at this stage. So many people have been fighting and crying and trying to get back to “normal.” I recall a mere 10 weeks ago talking about how we had such an amazing opportunity with this disease to shift things. For a while it seemed like we were doing just that. And now it seems like the cries of everyone who complained outweigh the need for change.
But the world works in funny ways and with the horrible events over memorial day, the world again is screaming for change. What else could it possibly take for us to act on this message? It is plain that we need to shift. It is even more plain that collective action works. So let’s do something FOR the collective.
When I saw those numbers at work, I started thinking that even in adversity we will fight for the status quo because the norm is the known—and that is safe. No matter how atrocious or painful, the known is better than the unknown. Even in adversity, the system moves on. I have watched as a company meant to care for people has shifted practice to support the bottom line—and it has worked. The system moves on for the benefit of the bottom line. In spite of the chaos, the miscommunication, the pulling in different directions, we are still crying to make it how it was.
Rather than get angry or disappointed, I began to think that perhaps it simply is the natural order of things to evolve and devolve and then change again. We change. We like to think (with our perceived power) that we will never have to give up who we think we are. But real power comes from adaptability and that too is the natural order of things.
We have this image of how life will go, how we believe it is supposed to function. I’ve always stopped imagining my life at a certain point—like I couldn’t see beyond a certain stage. I wanted to avoid things that are inevitable and still scare me. I fear the loss of my parents and my siblings and dying. But it will happen. And I know that this is what is happening with the collective now: we are afraid of the death of what we know.
Learning to be present and stay in the moment is key. We remember things from our past so vividly (at least I do) and it stays with us in so many ways. In truth, in spite of all the challenges I had, I’ve had a very fortunate life. I allowed myself to get swept up in what life was built for me rather than the creation of my own life. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone so I went with what was given to me with no concept of making something on my own. But now is the awakening. I feel a sense of coming to my senses, a coming into my own.
This is the moment where we can all ask what we really want. For me, I want to call the shots in my life. That is the only way to make the life I want happen. I’m not talking about grandeur and riches, I’m talking about not being weighed down by a system that doesn’t serve the collective any longer.
For me, now is the time to make something and provide for my family. This phase of my life is about creation. In spite of what appears to be falling apart, this is the opportunity to build. Sometimes devastation is opportunity disguised as loss. It’s a clearing. Even the phoenix has to burn in order to rise from the ashes.
“You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens” — Rumi