The Collective Shadow: There's not only one way to show up right now
This collective moment is a lot to feel and hold. We are witness to so much devastation, genocide, and immense pain.
Even if you haven’t been watching the news or keeping up with the latest updates, if you’re sensitive, you are probably feeling something right now.
You might feel a nebulous confusion or brain fog. You might feel anger, grief or despair. You might feel a generalized disconnection from your body and from your own sense of self. You might feel empowered and enlivened into action.
Regardless of where you stand, you may sense that something is different with the collective energy of the planet. Something major is coming to the surface.
We are being asked to reckon with the shadow.
At this dark hour of the seasonal wheel, our collective shadows are being excavated:
*The way we allow some people to be fully human and others not (how we’re justifying killing children and innocent civilians.)
*How we defend ourselves and our points of view and beliefs in rage and righteousness.
*How we wish suffering upon groups of people who think differently than us.
*How we feel our way is the best way, the “right” way, and anyone not following in line is wrong and should be shamed (or damned or killed).
*How unhealed generational trauma and pain perpetuates us acting in unspeakable ways
This is not only all playing out in Gaza and Israel, but also in our collective response to what we are seeing.
I’ve witnessed so much hatred, violence and vitriol on social media and in the media. So much so that I’ve been devastated by how humanity is showing up in this intense and devastating moment.
The need to control, police, and “other” people. The aggressive (and passive aggressive) language used to talk about other people’s beliefs, actions or non-actions is incredibly disturbing. On all sides.
We can’t control other people. We can’t bully or shame them into doing what we want them to do. Well, we can try, but this energy will never lead anywhere good.
Rather than spending our precious attention and energy focused on people doing it "wrong," how about we focus on what our own calling is in this moment of planetary upheaval?
We need all ways and types of people, doing what they're doing:
We need you sacred griever and feeler, witnesser of atrocity.
We need you death doula and prayer keeper.
We need you organizer of the people.
We need you, one who speaks out and calls attention to what needs to be seen.
We need you visionaries, dreaming up possibility and focusing on a new earth.
We need you light-worker, perched on your higher perspective, doing grid work and vibing up the planet.
We need you birth doulas, building and birthing a new way of being.
We need you healers, tending to nervous systems and pain.
We need you joker, one who brings levity and joy to heaviness.
We need you parent, tending to the minds and lives of the future generation.
We need you individual, doing your own personal healing work.
We need you bridge-builder, one who is attempting to mend schisms.
We need you and your personal medicine.
No matter how right or wrong it looks in this particular situation.
Can you see?
We need diversity here. Not a one-minded approach to healing our collective.
When we're focused on blaming others for doing or not doing, we are playing out the exact same energy of war and hatred on a smaller scale.
What is unhealed within is always reflected in the external.
When we are in an activated nervous system state, the world narrows. Our perception literally shrinks, and we are much more likely to see the world and others as a threat.
In this state, our brains our wired to perceive danger, rather than possibility. We are much more likely to assume a defended energy, and perceive a neutral gesture as an attack.
This is how the human brain and nervous system work, and how trauma becomes perpetuated through families and cultures.
This phenomena has been quite expansively studied now, and you can see first hand how this is playing out in our world today.
This is why it is imperative to tend to our nervous system state, so we can begin to see complexity and widen the periphery of our vision.
“Our ability to recognize, accept, and move with complexity is integral to how we dismantle our current state and build new ways of being with each other. The ability to engage complexity is directly tied to our ability to imagine.” - Sage Crump from Holding Change
We are actively creating this collective world.
And we can choose to imagine a different outcome. A new ending to the story.