When I look around at society and the world in general, I feel like there is a lot of madness. We live in a world of contradiction.
Everywhere around us, the news is telling us about climate change, habitat loss and species destruction. Covid-19 itself was a direct result of humanity’s hazardous approach to “development” – when we destroy entire habitats, viruses have nowhere to go but the human population.
Yet people still continue to eat at McDonalds, shop at big box stores, and order products from Amazon. Even though one plane flight is equivalent to nearly an entire year of driving a car, people continue to make whatever excuse they can to go on international vacations. Everyone is dreaming about things “going back to normal after this”. What the hell is normal? More destruction? More greed? More death and loss to the environment?
It’s blind insanity.
We have a collective case of cognitive dissonance. This is where the truth of reality conflicts with our mental state, so that we end up suffering and causing suffering to others. It continues until we choose to grapple with reality.
Obviously, it’s a systemic issue. We need to get food and goods where they are provided in our communities, which means driving to and from large parking lots of massive plazas that sell innumerable wasteful products which are damaging to the land and creatures where they are produced. So, it’s not one individual who can alter the chain of events that humanity as a whole has created over the past several centuries.
I actually think we’re having trouble living with ourselves. We constantly feel this state of cognitive dissonance – that we’re swept up in a tide of consumerism, greed and commercialization that we are powerless to stop, even though we know deep down it is utterly unsatisfying and detrimental to our families and to Nature. Our mental health epidemic proves that we’re anguished and conflicted. We’re anxious, depressed, manic and delusional. We have to take pills just to get through our daily lives.
The only way to stay sane is to get in touch. Really get in touch with yourself and with Nature. When you truly inhabit your body and your senses, first you’ll feel a lot of pain and grief, then exhilaration and relief, then motivation. And you’ll cycle through these states repeatedly.
You will find yourself seeing and deciding things from a place of inner awareness.
How to do this?
Start by questioning the narrative. Ask questions of yourself about what you hold dear, what you “need”, what you look forward to, and how you relax. Notice your nervous system with its ups and downs.
Question the status quo. Do not believe everything you’re given by the media, but instead go within and feel your answer.
We’ve gotten far away from the inner nuances of feeling. When we are connected with what is truthful, we’re not susceptible to marketing ploys, advertising, and media representations of the “good life”. We’re not as malleable when we’re perceptive to our own deeper truth.
Your deeper truth is connected with your nervous system state. If you really want to stay sane, and if you want to participate in improving things rather than perpetuating harm, give yourself some time for quiet reflection regularly, daily.
Shut everything off and just be with yourself.
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