What, you might ask, will our future look like? How many of you, like me, are feeling significantly changed by the current upheavals to our living and working lives. We know most assuredly that more changes are on the horizon. Could it be that these unwelcome changes are opportunities encouraging us to let go of our present way of being and acting - to clear our mind, body, and heart in order to welcome in a new way of BEING?
We cannot afford to let the hard lessons we are experiencing, or have previously experienced, harden our hearts to the future changes that might be exceptionally valuable. In fact, our gravest mistakes, and the harshest times we’ve experienced can often be our most important life lessons. When life starts to crumble around us and we feel like throwing our hands in the air and quitting, we mustn’t. Because believe it or not, just around the corner there just might be some of the best experiences of our life.
Admittedly, we are currently going through a cycle of unprecedented change. For many these changes have created confusion, anger, extreme fear, and anxiety when contemplating what the future might have in store for us. We are constantly being bombarded from all angles by the news channels and social media sites disclosing too many horrific images of some form or other of inhumanity. Or we’re being affected directly or indirectly by the very real wide-ranging abuse of power.
During the many months of forced lockdown, I’ve had the opportunity to catch up on some much-needed reading. For example, some books by Dale Carnegie, Davis Schwartz, and Norman Vincent Peale for the second time. At times like this we might need a reminder of how to take better care of our emotional and mental health. The current climate of suppressed opinion and debate has forced many to withdraw from regular interaction with family and friends.
One book I particularly enjoyed reading was ‘The Politics of Fear’ by Frank Furedi. Furedi makes some very valid observations about how he believes we as a humanity have changed. For example, he asks, ‘Why is it we’re losing our ability to be honest? How is it that we have lost our ability and courage to say what we really think, feel and believe?’
Many of us clearly remember our parents telling us that ‘sticks and stones will break your bones, but names will never hurt you’. Not so long ago, kids were encouraged to sort out their minor squabbles and disagreements in the school yard. Unfortunately, children no longer appear to be learning tolerance of others or being urged to settle their disputes without adult intervention. Now, after a school yard altercation, they are more likely to be marched up to the principal’s office and parents then informed immediately.
Regrettably, even one word spoken and misunderstood by another can currently be considered offensive or a form of bullying. Bullying in its many forms is certainly a serious issue and not to be minimised. Unfortunately, if we are to believe the statistics, bullying in its many forms does seem to be on the increase.
Looking back it is not so long ago that our neighbour or friend wasn’t afraid to say what she thought about life – her neighbours – the state of the world – or what she thought of the political system and the people in power. She was considered a bit radical perhaps, a bit eccentric even, but no one felt offended enough to march or protest in the streets destroying property. Now that same neighbour may be isolated, shut down, no longer feeling free to speak out, afraid to speak her truth for fear of offending someone.
Why is it that the world has become so offended by debate? After all, don’t we learn more by discussion, debating societal issues, seeking answers, and hearing another’s point of view? Unfortunately, we are being discouraged and prevented from learning through sharing ideas, thoughts, and opinions. Fear is keeping us from being open and authentic in our interaction with others.
Yes, so much of our lives has changed and will no doubt continue to change for some time. Life as we once knew it has been changed forever. We are seeing and feeling that our freedoms are gradually being eroded. Many of our choices about what and how we choose to live our lives and rear our families are being overridden by forces beyond our control. Fear of what the future holds has created mental health issues for many people.
Fortunately, history teaches us that people have always shown resilience and courage to forge new futures after tragic circumstances beyond their control. Now more than ever we need to take heart that as a collective we can support and care for others who are feeling lost or afraid. We can get through this too if we offer and share our love and light with all those around us. I believe there is a purpose to everything. So, take heart. It might just be that your sole purpose at this time is simply to share your Love and Light with others.