What a month March has been! First we had a burglary and my son was assaulted in the house in the middle of the day. My life changed in an instant. Nothing can be as intense for a mother as having your child’s life threatened. How are people so brazen to commit crimes in broad daylight? Why did my big and uber defensive German shepherd not protect him? Was she drugged? How I dislike having to think like a criminal.
Suddenly nobody feels safe anymore…. My bubble popped. The new real is harsh – we are not safe, even at home.
My son was stitched up and is in recovery. Changed. I am grateful he survived.
All technology gone – all important documents, email addresses, accounts for all the non-profits I look after. Free falling. Reborn. Clean slate. Starting from scratch. “Don’t feel as if the rug’s been pulled from under you, learn to dance on a shifting carpet,” someone said. Story of my life. I like to think I’m flexible and resilient by now. Strong, can roll with the punches. But it took weeks for my head to stop spinning, for a new normal to arrive with security fence, alarms, directed pepper spray … sleeping even lighter than before.
After the anger comes acceptance. This is South Africa and there is the price we pay for the sunshine. Not that that should be the case, but it just is, now. And don’t I always advise my coachees to delete the word ‘should’ from their minds. It simply creates frustration. What is, is. Should could indicate a denial of reality – creating a conflict inside with what is. Could even link to entitlement – one of the key issues in this country I think. Let it go. Be in the now.
Right now I trust that we are all rethinking our lives and attitudes. A moment of stillness has descended upon the neighbourhoods … gone the frenetic highway rush of polluting machines. I embrace the silence like an old friend I have longed for forever. The dawn of the Coronal Age landed with a thud and most were unprepared. Already in freefall, expecting some meltdown as environmentalist for so long… perhaps it makes it a little easier?
A moment when Life is finally treasured above all else. Maybe now the reverence-for-life, the Green Times motto, will come to support and care for us all during this difficult time. A time for remembering again that we are not in control of nature, but part of nature. That after all we are not as clever as we thought … a dawning humility for mankind even?
And a deepening, a necessary reliance on the bedrock of our existence, the spirit that holds it all together. And with that the unfolding humanity, where it is no longer each for himself – achieving, amassing, destroying and polluting. A major STOP that brings us to our senses.
The saddest suffering across the planet breaks my heart. As empath I choose not to cut myself off. But the serenity prayer always brings balance – do what I can and accept what I can’t and the wisdom to know the difference. Help-where-we-can takes on a new meaning now. In fact, that’s all I really want to do. Deep inside all of us we will find new resources to be creative, adaptive, and focused on sharing that which we really are – humans who care. Creative humanity inspires me.
Despite the distress there is one great consolation: the planet/nature is benefiting. Our biosphere is clearing from the necessary reduction in our destructive human footprints. Whilst right now we are all under threat… some of us more than others…. The bigger picture is indeed beneficial. If we think of our home as a whole and the future of our children – once we have adapted to that which weighs so heavily on us now – then we are returned to gratitude despite it all.
Thank you for clearing skies, oceans, canals and rivers. Thank you for arresting greenhouse gasses …. Stopping the systems which were mindlessly charging us towards human extinction. Thank you for waking humanity. Thank you for mercy and the grace to get through this towards a new world of kinder and more careful living.
And the knowledge that we need each other more. We always did, but now we feel it viscerally. The future is unsure. Nobody knows really how this all happened and how we will find a way through, but what we do know is that humanity is now in a steep learning curve. And that we were made for these times.
By Elma Pollard