When stories collapse, will you collapse too?
The emptiness hiding underneath
We have many stories that help us make sense of the world around us. Whether these evolve around religious beliefs, culture, human evolution, or stories we hear about the world, and the universe, they all have one thing in common:
The stories we have, give us the sense that we, humanity, are of major importance.
Many stories place us at the center of the universe. Our planet has been walked upon by great prophets, philosophers, artists, and scientists. We have seen tremendous progress in research, inventions, systems, and comfort.
So we could face adversity because, in the end, we are making progress in the long run.
For a long time, we needed (and cherished) these stories. Regardless of which of them are indeed true or not. Life would be a lot harder if we didn't believe we were making continuous progress to evolve into something better. Life would be unbearable to some if we were not in some way protected by something much greater than us.
The big shakedown
As currently, some of our beliefs, stories, and systems are breaking down; we need to look inward to see what we can harvest from within:
What are my values and priorities? How do I place myself in this world regardless of what is true or not, right or wrong, outside of me? What do I want to make of my life?
But many of us look inside and find only fear, anxiety, emptiness, and apathy. So we grasp onto something (anything?) that gives a false sense of courage and blind determination. This way, we don't need to face what's inside us. Instead, we protest, we scream; the world needs to change!
A two-way stream
A lot of things aren't right in the world, I absolutely agree with that. Protesting is also needed, and I appreciate those who fight for our rights. Yet it is a two-way stream. You need to fully face what's inside you because that is the only way to discern whether you are right or righteous.
Collective self-deceit is a much greater threat to our lives than any deceit, control, or malevolence around us.
For those who keep focusing on the external stream of things only, the inevitable crash of systems will not solve the deeper-rooted internal problems.
Like a leaf in the wind
If you blame your disappointment with life on external chaos, you become like a leaf in the wind. You may be shouting and screaming, demanding confirmation of your righteousness, while you are taken further away from what is true.
You are taken further away from your ability to do what needs to be done: inside yourself. The harder you scream about what is not right, the more wind you blow into the chaos that does not care about you.
It is precisely what those responsible for what you are protesting against want. Because the more you focus outside yourself, the less discernment you have and the more impressionable you become.
The surfer who screams at the wave
You are then the surfer who screams at the wave that overtook you, which leads you to get caught up in the chaos of the crash.
If you, however, move through the chaos, acknowledge it, while also actively moving through it - with your own body, your own muscles, your own capabilities... to see the next wave coming, you'd thrive instead of drown...
It is you who needs to learn how to surf
Picture the surfer who gets attacked by the chaos of the wave and resurfaces, only to shout at his fellow surfers that this wave was out to get you!
"Did you see what that wave did?."
All you'd show is how you focus on the wrong thing. It is YOU who needs to learn how to surf.
But instead, you think you should all get together to tame the waves. There seems to be a trend, a phase in which those who focus mostly on taming the waves claim they are right for wanting others to do the same. Even get angry at those who don't play along with them. But all you say by claiming that is:
"I am powerless, and therefore the world needs to change. I have the right to change it because I am more important than the wave."
The other surfers, who learned how to surf won't listen.
The angry surfer
The thing is the ocean is not there to serve your rules. Instead, it moves along with bigger, universal rules, rules that are in some sense indifferent to what you need.
The angry surfer who looks upon the waves and the other surfers in anger will not see the big wave coming...
The angry surfer who is fighting for his right has not spent the time he'd need to learn how to ride the waves. And when the big wave comes, your anger, your righteousness, and your call for equality will not turn your surfboard into a magical flying surfboard covered in golden glitter to show how important you and your rights are.
The rock on the bottom of the ocean you chained yourself to
Instead, your righteousness makes you 'stand your ground.' Your righteousness is a rock on the bottom of the ocean you chained yourself to. "I won't move until the ocean moves!"
You can't see that the big wave coming will draw that stone deeper into the ocean. By then, it will be too late for you to break the chain and take responsibility for yourself instead of demanding the ocean to be quiet.
It will be too late even to experience the apathy because there is no time for apathy anymore. All that is left is anxiety as you start to drown.
Even then you have two choices left
But even when you find yourself chained, and time has run out, you still have two final choices left:
A. You keep fighting and being angry until you die
B. You scream like you never did before
You scream not because of the anger but because you realize what you did.
You scream because you feel the pain, the pain of the truth.
You scream because of the revelation that can finally get through to you.
You scream because you see the lie you have caught yourself into.
You scream because you see what you did to the other surfers.
You scream because you realize your weakness and vulnerability.
You scream because it hurts to have denied this all this time.
You scream because all of it is now too late.
You scream because now you see you didn't love yourself enough to take responsibility.
You scream because now you see how much you could have loved yourself.
You scream because now you see; if only you would have focused your gaze inwards, you would have thrived.
And maybe through this terrific animalistic scream -that can be heard in the far ends of the universe- you find love. You find the love that you have been missing all that time. The one thing that would have made all the difference.
But that doesn't matter anymore because at least NOW you accept it all. So you become silent and are grateful for at least now that you feel it, you can die in peace.
If you want life to be good, release the scream now, turn inward, and learn how to surf.