During this difficult time for our nation and the world I have a message for myself and for anyone else who needs to hear this right now:
🧠 STAY OPEN-MINDED.
❤️ STAY OPEN-HEARTED.
⭐️ STAY OPEN TO RECEIVE A GOOD OUTCOME.
This is a polarising time. More and more I see people ‘taking sides’ around issues to do with our individual and collective response to the v1rus.
This polarisation isn’t helping, and it threatens to tear us apart. The comments from both ‘sides’ are starting to get more divisive, more threatening, more passive-aggressive and even more directly aggressive.
It makes me sad that protestors let themselves be overcome by emotion, fear and hate and lash out at police during the recent rallies. Police who were only doing their jobs and there to keep everyone safe. There are even those on social media who promote that we learn how to use firearms and be ready to use them. This doesn’t take the conversation forwards and only undermines the message of unity and freedom protestors were there to promote.
It makes me just as sad to see others judging and blaming those who protested or those who refuse to get jhabbed or wear a thin piece of cloth over their face. Calling them selfish, uneducated or worse, wishing harm upon them and their families. There are even passive aggressive ads on mainstream TV along these lines. Is that really the outcome we want? To keep everyone safe by condemning and wishing harm upon a large portion of the population. That’s ironic.
How does each ‘side’ end up getting drawn in to taking such simplistic, childish, hateful, and hypocritical positions???
Fear makes us do strange things. As soon as we feel afraid or anxious, we feel the need to do something about it. Suppress it, numb it with tv/food/alcohol/sex/etc, or lash out and direct it elsewhere as self-righteous anger.
No matter how we choose to act out or act in due to fear, even if we just quietly and peacefully sit on it, we are ‘triggered’. Our sympathetic nervous system is engaged and at some level we’re primed for fight, flight or freeze. This is never a calm, rational place. We are compromised. And this is where poor decisions are made, decisions we then justify easily to ourselves and others using flawed reasoning and fallacies of logic. In other words, convenient BULLSH*T, just so I’m right!
Right now it feels like the majority of the nation and even the world is acting from this place. And I don’t place myself above this. I need to hear this message as much as anyone. I am still tempted by the traps and errors in thinking and feeling above and below. So I encourage you to really reflect on this and own it for yourself. Not just agree that others need to understand this. Ask yourself, what can I own here that I do sometimes?
So how do we move forwards?
First we need to realise there are not two ‘sides’ here, this is a FALSE POLARITY.
Let’s dismantle the two mistakes that lead to this false polarity:
1. We are tempted to think there’s ‘Us’ vs ‘Them’. This keeps things simple. It’s easy then to lump everyone who doesn’t agree with us into one big category. Then we can just lock em all up and throw away the key. Comments like calling them “sheep” or “spineless” or calling them “consp1racy theorists” or “anti-v@xxers”. It’s overly simplistic. In a group of 1 million protestors there are exactly 1 million different perspectives. In a group of 1 million rule-followers there are a million subtle shades of belief and understanding. Let’s take the best and leave the rest.
2. We are tempted to join up with ‘Us’ against ‘Them’. We actually want to join a tribe. There’s safety in numbers after all. And when there are others who agree with us we can feel self-righteous to throw shade or even objects at ‘Them’. The temptation is to define ourselves by what we are not and what we stand against. Rather than defining ourselves by what we stand FOR and then truly holding ourselves accountable to that.
For example, I hear many people from different perspectives claim to be standing FOR SCIENCE and say things like “do your own research”, in which case let’s be sure that’s not a throwaway statement. Science is great, but it isn’t as black and white as we like to think. It is a slow and often messy process. Let’s be sure there is evidence to support our claim, that we are referencing good science, and that there isn’t reputable research that contradicts our claim. Not easy I know. But if we can hold ourselves accountable to what we stand FOR in this way, it helps us avoid the trap of separation consciousness.
In this way people from both ‘sides’ can be seen to actually be standing for the same things: For good science. For peace. For safety. For freedom. We all want the same things.
This is how we shift the conversation forwards. By making sure the conversation isn’t about blame. It’s not about which ‘side’ threw the first punch, or which is behaving worse. It’s about throwing away the concept of ‘sides’ altogether!
LET’S AGREE: THIS ENDS NOW. NOW IS WHEN WE COME TOGETHER.
This is about integrating all our perspectives, taking the best and leaving the rest.
🧠 We must each continually put aside our ego, so we can stay truly OPEN-MINDED. After all, we are all equal in our humanity. We can learn something (even something small) from ANYONE if we stay HUMBLE and ask the right questions. Start by getting CURIOUS rather than judgemental. Don’t assume “it’s just another one of Them”, ask questions, first hear and understand them. Then calmly present your perspective. Where can we agree? Where can we take the best? Where can we move forwards together? It’s not easy but it’s the only way forwards. After all we are all in this together and we will only solve these types of wicked problems TOGETHER.
❤️ We must each continually put aside fear, so we can stay truly OPEN-HEARTED. When we live from fear of the v1rus or fear of being controlled we make poor decisions. Period. We spiral into an ‘Us’ vs ‘Them’ mindset and demonise anyone who doesn’t agree with us. We close our minds and our hearts to protect ourselves from being hurt again. We can get through anything together if we focus on allowing ourselves to LOVE, even those who don’t agree with us. Even those who seem to wish harm for us! We are all acting from a place of what we feel is right with the tools, knowledge and time we have at hand to act.
⭐️ We must each continually let go of the past and put aside our attachment to what we believe is ‘right’ so we can stay OPEN TO RECEIVE A GOOD OUTCOME. If we hold onto the past, who wronged who, how we got into this mess, we end up spiralling into debate, resentment, grudges and retribution. We cannot claim a good outcome from that place! We must constantly empty out our preconceptions and allow new and better ideas to come. There will be a way for us to all get what we need in terms of safety AND freedom if we stay open to it.