Honeybees offer a sweet metaphor for the healing process. These industrious creatures work tenaciously and in community to produce results. They go inside the mystery of the dark hive to transform what they carry into nourishment and liquid gold. They are poetic teachers and I love them. Also, Melissa means honeybee, so I feel a kinship with them.
Heal Ourselves, Heal the Planet March 9, 2012
Having done years of outdoor education with youth, I was impacted by the fact that many of these children had never been given the care, respect and attention that we were asking them to forward to the environment.
It slowly became clear that the natural world I care so deeply about is getting over-looked because the humans that co-habit on the planet are feeling over-looked themselves. Our accelerated, money-driven culture, particularly in America (though that consciousness is spreading with globalization), does little to nurture and honor individual emotional needs. Intellectual pursuits and personal financial successes unto themselves aren’t evil. The imbalanced emphasis upon them is what I perceive as the issue.
I idealize a commitment to rebalancing the more neglected aspects of our humanity, having the courage to heal our atrophied aspects, question the status quo and redefine success in this culture. Creating space in our lives to honor the emotions and human needs for connection and cooperation over competition are a start.
I use the word “idealize” quite consciously, because for many years I felt naive wishing for these things; idealistic. This is treated as an insult by some, as though being a realist means settling for things as they are and slogging along as best as we can. As a parent and change agent, I embrace the vision of better living and a healed society. I imagine it will take diligence, commitment and time to reverse the trends we are stewing in now. So why waste time intellectualizing and splitting hairs about whose right and wrong, when we need to unify as a species and get some work done around here?
Part of the diligence required is that we ask our selves how we’ve been conditioned and infected with greed, victimhood, anger, war-like thinking and disregard for the planet we live on. The larger human dramas that are reflected on our planet presently are a projection of our micro-cosmic attitudes and thoughts.
Actively involving ourselves in social change is important and needed. The way in which involve ourselves is something to consider. For example, are we broadcasting anger, righteousness and judgement in the name of ending war or corporate greed? This counterintuitive behavior exemplifies my point. It feels ironic to protest the very things we are opposed to with emotions and behaviors that are actually quite like the very thing we are protesting, clothed in different words and signs.
Another way of putting it is this; militancy is generally a behavior that puts an opposing group on the defensive. There is little room for constructive dialogue and true peaceable solutions in this climate. Notice how you react when someone is condemning your belief and shutting down anything you have to say because they are sure they are right. Why perpetuate this tail-chasing cycle we seem caught up in?
All this is to say that if we change our fundamental insecurities, learn about and transform the nature of our fears and make peace with our personal shadows, it will go a long way in tolerating these aspects in others. We can look at the “enemy” and recognize more easily, their suffering hidden beneath false bravado because we have accepted this in ourselves. We can identify the fear-driven greedy grasping, because we have touched into that place within ourselves where we felt unfed and dissatisfied and nurtured it back to health.
This planet is in need of mature, effective ways to shift our present trajectory and the insanity of doing the same things we’ve been doing and expecting different results feels wasteful. Owning our personal healing journey so we can resonate a solid example of inner peace out into our communities is essential right now. This can create a needed outer peace on this planet. Striving for this is an integral part of our human journey. I am not the first to say this, nor will I be the last. However, it is important that it continues to be said so the message stays alive and spreads. I still beleive that we have the power to heal ourselves and the planet.