Who we are is the product of our life experiences. Our upbringing, lifestyle, choices and experiences. A lot of how we re-act to situations later on in life is determined by how we were shaped by our parents in our early childhood years. And, those transformative “big” experiences that hit us so hard – or for so long – that our thinking is changed. You know, getting married, getting divorced, loss, birth of a child, loving relationships, abusive relationships, global pandemic. All these things shape us, and shape how we then go on react to the people and the world around us.
I’m sure there will be lots of studies done about the effect of global pandemics. The long term effects, the short term effects – hell, we all know they are being done already. We are living in the middle of one long experiment… And I don’t just mean the global pandemic.
I mean this one, marvellous life which we have come in to experience, learn from and grow from.
And I want to come back to that first sentence – Who we are is the product of our life experience.
Right now is one hell of a life experience. And it is literally changing the way we see the world around us, our interactions, our perspectives, and our expectations. And how we react to situations, people or challenges thrown our way.
From the mother of three, earning the sole income for a family home, struggling to look after the children, husband, dogs and donkeys – and still finding the time to sort out the homeschooling, and laundry. To the couple living on their own in splendid isolation. To the aid workers reaching out to try and support whilst adhering to social distancing rules. To the teachers holding the child crying over a sore knee, or the strangeness of not being allowed to play with Gran… We are all doing this together, and at the same time, each one of us is alone within our own selves. Our own thoughts, our own brains, our own self-judgements and reflection process.
But in 20 years, we will look back at this time as a pivotal time of change in our world. In 10 years even. The children we are raising now might not remember much from “before lockdown” – but their world will have changed. The rules, how we interact, communicate, find common ground, establish relationships – all this is in such a pivotal time and place of change. And how we do this change now will determine what that future looks like. The choices we make now, are literally creating that future.
The judgements, the acceptance. The kindness of strangers and the isolation of all of us.
There are many people who I have known over the years who talk about “Birthing a New Earth” or the “New world” and they have made it sound like this effortless place we can just cruise on into with the minimum of effort…. That never quite sat right with me. I always wondered how. How we could get there, how we would create it…. Right now, we are in the birthing pains of that process of creating That New Reality. Creating new ways of being. The new ways of being arise out of our actions and responses NOW. All that longing for kinder communication skills, greater connectivity, permaculture practises, positive climate change actions – All the high ideals of a “better” way of living and loving and being? They were ideals. And now we are in the birthing process where so much of this can actually be grounded, planted and integrated into the everyday global community. And we have the opportunity to create something more.
Something so marvellous…
Already, pollution levels are down! How amazing is that? Just… for a moment, take that in with a great big breath. Something inside of me smiles at that simple acknowledgement. Pollution levels are down. Yes, it has been hard. Yes, the economy is affected. But pollution levels are down! Just for a moment I want to marvel at that…. And We can take steps to restore so much more. Here in Britain there has been a huge surge in garden interest in the last year, with people planting more and paying more attention to the birds in their own gardens. I have no idea if it is the same worldwide – perhaps it is?
Never has there been a more poignant time than now to Be kind, to play it forward. To move beyond fear and judgement. And to vision what lies ahead. The choices and decisions we make now are shaping the world our children will inherit. We are literally creating the world and the reality that lies ahead with our everyday choices. And we can see this played out in our day to day so quickly at the moment. From calls to violence – and the devastation it creates, to calls for solidarity and a sense of community that creates. There are still polarities – there always will be. It is hard not to go into judgement when someone is different or does something different to the way we do it ourselves. And yet. We have the choice. Our actions affect the world we are creating. And we can create it with more kindness if we choose that. So what if people are different? Surely we can find ways for all of us to work together, drawing from our differences as well as our similarities. We have common ground. The air we breathe, the future we can create…
And from within all of this, all these words… I want to ask you – what are your priorities? In the midst of this global pandemic and a year which is changing the reality around us…. What are your fears? What are your core values that underpin and underlie every step you take, and how you look at, or respond to the people around you and can you live with the future repercussions of what you are creating in each moment now?
I have found myself broken open again and again even more in this last year. Simply so grateful for the generosity of the community around me, and in awe of how people can come together to support each other where there is a need… And from this, only inspired to share more, create more, give more. To find ways to give back into that pool of humanity and the world – that we all may benefit.
But you see, this is one of my childhood memories – of how it takes a community, and that if one aspect of the community is struggling, the whole is struggling…
I know I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one…
What are we creating for the Future?
And how can we work together, supporting each other, to create more.
More Beauty. More goodness. More for all…