Maybe This Is Our Chance To Reshape Ourselves & Build A Better World
Maybe This Is Our Chance To Reshape
Ourselves & Build A Better World
After spending some time self-distancing and in quarantine, many of us are now getting a deeper revelation that this is indeed a pivotal time in history. After weeks of news watching, feed scrolling, it’s easy to feel the weight of what’s really going on around the world.
Confusion. Overwhelm. Fear. Grief. Loneliness.
All of which is understandable given the global situation. I’ve never been involved in a war, but I imagine this is sort of what it may feel like.
I know along with many, I’ve had plenty of time to sit and contemplate my life and life in general, asking some pretty big questions.
My hope in writing through this time of uncertainly is to offer something useful to those who are seeking comfort, hope, and a better understanding of the bigger picture. Those who are caught up in fearful reactions. Those that have no clue what the hell to do from here on out. Those who are ready to wake up to a whole new level of growth – spiritual, emotional, mental, social, etc., perhaps being able to view life from a higher perspective that feels lighter, more hopeful.
I know for me, I’m taking this time to really go within in a deeper way, a humbler way, a “what is really going on” way.
The main thing I’d like to put out there is:
- How can times of crisis such as this change each of us individually and collectively – for the GOOD?
- What is REALLY going on? How about under the surface?
- How can we all change for the betterment of ourselves and the future of civilization?
All For One, One For All
In the coming days ahead, we have the opportunity to wake up more and become more conscious, compassionate, informed, loving, and GIVING. It doesn’t matter what religion you affiliate with, what race you are, where you live, your job, income, education level – we are truly all in this together, fighting an unseen enemy of which we shall overcome.
Maybe this is the emerging of a new kind of world.
An Interruption Of Life As Usual
With this pandemic, there has been an inconvenient and tragic interruption in our lives. It’s not comfortable and certainly not a staycation like some are making it out to be. Whereas most of are used to being out there (or working from home) producing, providing, we’re now sitting at home anxious. Uneasy.
But maybe, and this is the hope of so many of us, this interruption can turn some things around for good. Maybe we can put the anxiety and fear on the shelves momentarily and look for a silver lining.
Out of the dark, Light. Out of chaos, Love.
No doubt since the Industrial Revolution things like consumerism, the rat race, environmental degradation, etc. have become quite harmful to the planet and humans. So many turn a blind eye for one reason or another. Could very well be being stressed out and overly busy working to make ends meet could be one culprit.
And now, this virus plants our butts at home, allowing most of us to take some time to rest. To dive deep into asking some important questions, seeing how we are reacting to uncertainty. How we react to fear, the news, those who we’re couped up with!
Are we allowing shadows and ego to rule? Paralyzed in fear? Anger? Depression? Hopelessness?
Or are we taking time to get quiet, shut our eyes and go within in prayer, meditation? Getting to know ourselves better spiritually?
My background is in mental health, and in psychology, there’s a technique called “Shadow Work” that is used to help us explore any shadows lurking in the psyche and bring them to light. Shine the light of consciousness there, so things like fear, shame, rage, grief, etc. are not camping out in your mind, unnoticed, essentially controlling your life.
“Until you make the unconscious, conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate.” Carl Jung
What do I mean by “shadow”? I meant the parts of us that we reject, deny, or repress.
The shadow is also known as the false self, the unconscious, the Inner child, the disowned or split-off self.
It’s the dark side of our personality…the side we’d rather not see, because it can hold things like greed, selfishness, anger, fear, envy, etc.
It’s also the light side of our personality…that part of us that we repress, deny, or disown. The unconscious part of us that we’re not aware of. The part of us that we, and society, may disapprove of. (Think things like confidence, courage, artistic skills, our voice, etc. that we cut off from as children)
And there’s not just our individual shadows. There’s a collective shadow that pervades the planet…that’s been ruling plenty for centuries.
As I go about life meeting and interacting with others, I find that many people have no idea what shadow work means. They’ve never been to therapy, never taken time to go on an inner journey. They admit to believing in God. They might even go to church and pray at times.
However, they also admit that they’re miserable, lonely, afraid, addicted to something, anxious, depressed, etc. They may have read a book or two, but haven’t really come to understand that there are some dark shadow monsters controlling their life…unconsciously, of course.
The pain they’ve been carrying for many years, old traumas, paralyzing fear, etc. those things they’ve rejected, repressed, and denied buried far under the surface.
Many are afraid to look at it. And, trust me, I still have shadows that lurk on occasion. (Just ask those closest to me)
Now, think of this on a collective, global level.
Perhaps this is a large reason why so many people feel anxious…all the time. Anxiety is at an all-time high – even more so now with this virus.
And I get it. These are uncertain times. Thoughts do pop in our heads wondering, “What if?” “What’s going to happen?”
Indeed, my heart feels heavy for all those suffering because of this, on all levels – from those currently fighting it, to the loved ones of those who have passed away, to those struggling with money/work issues, to those plum exhausted and traumatized working on the front lines, to the overwhelming fear that has invaded many hearts.
How can we not feel it?
But what if… just what if this pandemic could be a prompt that could help all of us just slow down and/or stop for some time to go inside? To breathe. To take our eyes off our differences and come together as one. As a global family.
No division. No judgments. No selfishness.
What if we could take this time to contemplate and go inside to see what we may be rejecting, repressing, and denying? Individually and collectively?
You feel that fear? Global fear?
Maybe this pandemic is the lightning bolt of energy illuminating and bringing to the surface what humanity has been stuffing way down deep for eons. I’m not talking judgment against humanity. It’s not punishment for so-called sin.
A spiritual war that’s unseen? Perhaps.
Where The Rubber Meets The Road
No doubt much of the world is at a fork in the road. I found out really quick how much I truly value life and security and how the fear of death (and ego death) and insecurity has been over-ruling my everyday life.
I wonder when the social distancing ends (and it will), how will we return to life as normal? What will be considered “normal”?
Life as the daily grind in fight and flight mode? Reverting back to the same ole’, same ole’?
Our society has produced a lot of people living in survival mode. How many people do you talk to that say they can’t shut their minds off? Can’t sleep? Anxiety torturing them?
Sure, as humans, survival defenses are inherent so we can survive. But we’re not fighting lions anymore. We’re not being attacked in the middle of the night by meat-eating beasts.
We aren’t meant to have to live in constant fight, flight, or freeze mode.
But so many are.
However, on the other side of that fear…that survival mode… is trust.
In the midst of these uncertain times, we have the opportunity for huge change for the good. It’s a time of fear vs. love, kindness over selfishness.
But to step more into a healthy, agape, unconditional, conscious kind of love, each of us must not be afraid to get quiet and go within, no matter how many times you’ve “been there, done that.” No matter how enlightened you think you are.
Because the kind of love the world needs now (and in the future), the kind that can radically transform our civilization into something so wonderful, can only be birthed from the inside. From the silence, the emptiness, the no-thing sphere.
From a place of surrender, humility, and trust in something or someone greater than us.
What Do You Fear?
No doubt fear of death is the number one fear that’s arising at the moment. But other fears are surfacing too, such as fear of scarcity. Fear of the unknown. Fear of suffering. Fear of extinction.
Are we allowing these fears to overtake our minds and influence our actions? Or are we consciously sitting with them, working with and through them?
I’ve witnessed those that are paralyzed in fear and I’ve witnessed those who are relatively calm, trusting in whatever they call their higher power.
They’ve been doing their inner healing work all along, cultivating faith, sowing seeds that are now producing fruits of Great Spirit. These Light Workers, now on the grounds assisting those who are in need.
Are they all peace and bliss? Nah. For many this is a roller coaster ride, working with the fearful thoughts when they come. Making a commitment to PRACTICE things like prayer, meditation, silence, contemplation, rituals, etc.
But I Don’t Want To Die?
There’s a great book by Ernest Becker called The Denial of Death. Far too often the fear of death has invaded my psyche, as I’m guessing it does for most. Becker spends a great deal of time discussing how people do all sorts of things in order to feel immortal, petrified to actually die. He says,
“The irony of man’s condition is that the deepest need is to be free of the anxiety of death and annihilation; but it is life itself which awakens it, and so we must shrink from being fully alive.”
Essentially, this fear of death that creates such anxiety is exactly the thing that steals our life force.
If you study indigenous cultures, you’ll find that many of them embrace death. They celebrate life, but they also honor what we call death. They talk about it, prepare for it, and celebrate it with rituals.
Us? We find it challenging to talk about, so much of the time we ignore it.
I feel more conversations ought to be had about these times and how times are changing whether we like it or not. This is a time in history none of us have had to face before, and things will change – my hope for the better.
But we don’t have to go on being controlled by our shadows and the fear of death.
And, we don’t have to face fear and collective trauma alone.
A Call To Be Light Workers
There are various definitions for “light workers”. I prefer to think of a light worker as someone who is committed to being “light” in the world. Someone who understand pretty well who they truly are (a spirit created by Divine Intelligence, pure light, pure love) and spends time helping other humans wake up to who they truly are. I don’t attach any label to light workers…they come from all backgrounds, all ages, all races, all religions, all places, etc.
United in Love for the greater good of all.
This is a call for light workers, and everyone else, to move forward for global peace, each one contending to their own shadow work, and to working toward dissolving collective shadows and trauma that have been accumulating for many, many years of war, rage, enslavement, pain, etc.
Giving Birth Can Be Painful
Collectively, we’re giving birth to a new humanity. A new story. A new civilization.
We’re ready for a collective awakening, where things like greed, consumerism, and corruption fall. Where things like compassion, love, and empathy prevail.
All for one and one for all.
I love how Barbara Marx-Hubbard (one my heroes) puts it:
“A newborn baby awakens at a specific time in its life cycle, just after it has made its journey from the comfort of the womb into the harsh and strange world. The child finally rests at peace. At one delightful moment, which cannot be predicted yet is expected, the infant awakens, relaxes, opens eyes that have never seen — eyes that were created in the darkness of the womb. For the first time the womb-veil thins, light floods in, and the infant focuses and sees its mother. A radiant glow of recognition and joy crosses its face and animates its body. It has come home to the new world, never to go back again.”
Barbara goes on to teach that we are the first generation of people that are conscious that we have the power to create or destroy ourselves. Our actions matter, individually and collectively.
Today, we are all linked up via the internet, millions connecting and waking, emerging, expanding, evolving together. On April 4th, there’s a worldwide meditation scheduled where we’re believing for over a million people will meditate for global healing and awakening together.
That’s powerful and will create a huge shift.
I don’t have secrets, 5 steps to this, or the key to that. But there are some things each of us can be doing during this quarantine, and after.
First, be sure you have your essentials at home. Food, water, etc. Don’t go out unless it’s an emergency. Sit with your family or talk about the upcoming days, weeks, months. Create some sort of plan moving forward best as you can, and how to navigate everyone being at home all the time together.
Next, stay connected with others online and/or via video. Having a support network can help now and in the future months. Self-isolating is not the same as unhealthy isolation, which can drive you mad.
Try not to binge technology or the news. It’s easy to try to fill the extra time with these things…check yourself daily. Are you running, numbing, just plain wasting your time on things that don’t bring you (or the world) anything good?
Also, make a fresh commitment to getting to know yourself better during this time. By that, I mean go within. Close your eyes, focus on your breath, and see what rises. It might feel uncomfortable. It might feel scary if and when shadows start rising up.
Sit with them, breathe through them. Ask for help in processing and integrating them.
Also, take some time to gauge what kinds of thoughts are prevailing in your daily life. Can you pick out the negative ones?
- I’m petrified of death.
- I won’t have enough.
- Life is meaningless.
- I’m so bored.
- I’m so alone.
- I’m going to die.
- Everyone’s going to die.
If we were to track many of the negative thoughts, the underlying thought may be “I am not worthy” or “I am not good enough”. Now is a great time to learn stress-reduction tools like mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing, etc.
It’s also a great time to reach out for help if you need.
You notice people stock-piling toilet paper? Food? Things? Sure, be wise, but check what’s driving that type of behavior. Is it scarcity? Fear of not enough? (Not enough money, time, things, affection, etc.) This type of mentality has caused our society to create a rat race where more than half of the population is disillusioned, exhausted, frustrated, swimming in debt, and miserable doing jobs they essentially hate.
But what do we really want? What do you want?
Things like freedom, certainty, security, peace, love without conditions, respect, joy.
But will going back to the “old ways” ramp up those things?
I’m betting no, and so are many others.
Right now, we’ve got a global reset happening in various areas, economics for one. Granted, many businesses and millions of people will be affected by this quarantine, and I really feel for all of us. At the same time, A LOT of the business that goes on in the world offers us “crap” that we don’t even need. Industrializing was supposed to help humanity work less, but now Americans work longer hours than most countries, for very little pay I might add.
But what if a job lay-off helps prompt us to really sit down and think about if we even like what we’re doing. What if it could prompt us to look at any negative patterns we’ve been running?
What are we being asked to do in this moment?
Could we reinvent ourselves at this time to do something else? Something we enjoy? Something that feeds our soul, as well as others?
What are our gifts/talents? Or maybe we learn that we can make it without hitting the grind so hard. Simplifying. Growing our own food. Homesteading!
Getting off the rat wheel that can be so maddening.
Maybe a whole new kind of humanity will arise – new teachers, new leaders, new parents, new politicians – those with a different kind of vision for humanity.
Now is the time, for many things. For change. For dreams. For reaching out, connecting via internet, video chats, etc. For ingenuity.
Musicians are performing from their living rooms. Artists are sharing their works online. All sorts of jobs are now done from their living rooms. Kids are learning online. Families are re-connecting. People are living without those things they thought they needed, but really didn’t.
A New Story of Humanity
We must look at humanity from a macro level, with long-range goals in mind. The bigger picture. This is a call for all of us to fulfill our creative potential and our duty to be light and love-bearing citizens of Earth.
Yes, there’s grief right now. There’s tragedy. There’s a whole lot of fear and pain. I feel it and it’s heavy. We all feel it. But in the midst of it, let’s not lose sight of what the future could be. How we can help birth a new kind of life for ourselves and all humanity, each of us playing an important part.
I mean, think of what kind of planet we could have – in economics, education, healthcare, etc. Dare to dream up a happy, healthy, and peaceful planet!
There has always been a remnant of light workers, awakened people rallying and promoting positive change. But now there’s more and more arising.
A Great Awakening!
In the dark times, reality has a way of humbling people, and this is exactly what the world needs. Humility leads to authenticity and that leads to intimacy and that leads to real change.
But let’s remember that we’re all at varying levels on the spiritual journey. Various stages of consciousness. Various lines of development. This is not the time for trying to get others to agree with your beliefs or hop on board your religion.
Maybe it’s time to drop all the labels.
It’s a time for all to put the differences aside and remember that we are all one. We are humans along this life path at this time in history. And, we can all work toward innovative solutions to problems, unity among the whole, healing for the suffering, and helping birth a new and better world.
I’m a huge fan of the work of Barbara Marx-Hubbard, and am honored to continue her work. She says it perfectly:
“On that path, we look beyond the current confusion and crises to see the new capacities that are arising. We hold our unprecedented power as the means for restoring the earth, freeing ourselves from illness, hunger and war, and fulfilling the deepest aspirations of the human heart. We envision humanity arising to co-create a future equal to our vast potential.”
Perfectly said. We have the power, individually and collectively, to help restore the earth, indeed free ourselves from so much suffering, and co-create a kind of humanity that can live in abundance of the things that matter – peace, love, security, health, hope, and joy.
Much love to all of you.
Dominica Applegate is an author, writer, and transpersonal spiritual teacher. Her teachings have helped millions of people experience emotional healing, relationship repair, and spiritual awakening. Earning her BA in Psychology and MA in Counseling, she worked 12 years in the mental health field before diving full-time into writing.
She runs Rediscovering Sacredness, an online portal that offers inspiration, essays, resources, and tools to help heal inner pain and experience more peace and joy.
Her books include Recycle Your Pain: It Has a Purpose, Into The Wild Shadow Work Journal, and a collection of poetry entitled, The Pain, It Shapes Her World.