04 May Back to business as usual?
Back to business as usual?
We are all hearing this. I can’t wait to get back to business as usual. I’m going stir-crazy. When can we get back to business as usual?
For some, there is no going back to business as usual. For those who lost their lives to the coronavirus and for their families, there is no such thing. It’s heart-breaking to hear or read about those who have died alone in the hospital, gasping for breath or whose hearts have just stopped as they bravely fought to survive. The coronavirus ravages through communities leaving devastation in its wake. The individuals who are exposed, develop symptoms and survive may experience long-term physical deficits along with the serious emotional toll that goes along with such a significant traumatic event.
For those of us who are not personally affected by the virus and have the luxury of sheltering at home, perhaps the message is…it’s time to look at the way we operate in the world and figure out another way. Perhaps business as usual is not the answer. Is it time to take a look at how we are doing business and begin the conversation of how we can do better? How can we come together to create a better version of humanity, one that’s not built on a foundation of survival and fear but one that’s built on bettering humanity for the good of all?
It got me thinking. What is humanity anyway? Humanity has two meanings. It is often referred to as the quality or state of being humane, meaning compassionate, sympathetic, or generous behavior or disposition. It may also refer to the entire human race or human beings collectively. Where have we veered off course?
I believe that the number one reason we have lost our way as a human race is because of fear. Not the fear that you are consciously aware of. The underlying subconscious fear that’s always running in the background because we as humans are programmed for survival. It causes us to fear anyone who is different from us. It causes us to fear that there’s not enough. It causes us to fear that we’re not enough. It causes us to fear the unknown. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Unfortunately, because we are so enmeshed in this fear, we can’t see the bigger picture. This results in greed and hatred. It results in the “haves” and the “have nots.” It results in a human race where people don’t care about other people and will do whatever it takes to survive. Hoard toilet paper. Risk someone’s health for money. Amass wealth at a cost to human lives.
The first time I was exposed to “The Ten Commandments” as a little girl, I was perplexed, to say the least. Why did I need someone to tell me “Thou shalt not kill” or “Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife?” Killing someone or coveting thy neighbor’s wife was not something that was on my radar.
Why does the human race need these kinds of rules? The answer is quite simple. We humans are programmed for fear. In the ongoing debate right now of fear of coronavirus causing the stay-at-home orders and the search for a vaccine vs. the fear of the conspiracy at play to take away our rights, the fears on both sides of the debate cloud our ability to see the bigger picture. How can we as a human race work together to provide everyone with the opportunity to live in a world where fear is not constantly running in the background of every decision we make?
It’s not just the issue of the coronavirus. What about homelessness, and human trafficking, and opiod addiction? I admit I don’t have all the answers. In fact, I don’t know if I have any answers. But I do know one thing for sure. We will never find the answers if we don’t address this fear.
I’ve taken the opportunity during this “pause” to really look at the fears that I am carrying that I may not be consciously aware of. I’m at the beginning of this journey but determined to see it through…because it’s no longer acceptable for me to continue to operate in “business as usual.” While I may not solve the issues we are facing, I want to do my part to stop contributing to them.
A recent triggering event provided me with the perfect opportunity to go into a deep dive of a significant fear that’s running in the background of everything I do. I was doing everything I could to avoid feeling the pain of someone else’s suffering. Someone that I love. I did not want to feel the overwhelming heartbreak of seeing him suffer. Even getting close to the feeling caused me to go into panic mode. What can I do? What can someone else do? Why is no one willing to help this person? Why is he not willing to help himself?
I was forced to confront that pain recently. I wanted to run and hide. I wanted to fix it and make it better. I wanted to blame someone else for not fixing it. I started to do all of that, which is what I have always done.
The person who was suffering told me to stop, that I was making things worse for him. The person who I was blaming because there was something she could have done to make things easier for the person suffering AND for me told me to stop, that she couldn’t take it anymore.
I stopped. I allowed myself to sit in the pain, the grief, and the heartbreak. I couldn’t sleep and spent the night in the depths of the uncomfortable feelings while looking for answers. In the morning, there was some clarity. I realized that my actions and behavior were motivated by my fear of feeling the overwhelming heartbreak I didn’t want to feel. I have always seen myself as someone who gives from a loving place and, at the same time, felt resentment because my goodness wasn’t recognized. And now, a higher truth was staring me in the face. I had to do something different. It was no longer going to be business as usual.
I looked at what the person who was suffering wanted from me if he didn’t want me to try to help him with ideas and solutions. What I saw is that he wanted to be heard. Isn’t this what we all want? So I stopped trying to help him create a schedule and make better choices, and just listened and validated that he was heard.
I spoke to a dear friend about my process and she suggested that I limit my interaction with this person so I could limit what I was feeling. What I had discovered in my deep dive is that limiting what I was feeling is the opposite of what I needed. I needed to learn to allow myself to feel the pain of the heartbreak and suffering and not run from it. I needed to address my fear of feeling because this was the only way I could stop the perpetual cycle of fear I had been experiencing for a very long time.
As I continued down this path, I have been able to see so many of the circumstances in which I have acted in self-sabotaging ways to avoid feeling. I never realized the fear of feeling was so strong and the impact it had on everything I do. The fear of feeling ran the gamut of feeling heartbreak, helpless, not good enough, unimportant and more. I was able to see how I self-sabotaged so much in my life in my attempt to avoid these feelings.
It wasn’t enough for me to have some clarity about what I was doing. This is not just an intellectual exercise in awareness. This is where the real work can be done. I realize that I may lose some people at this point and that’s ok. One thing I know for sure is that the aha moment only goes so far. The next step is crucial. That’s the step that bridges science and spirit, the physical reality and energetic influences, the conscious and the subconscious mind. There are many processes we can use to cause the fear-based beliefs in our subconscious mind to shift. You may have explored some, you may not have. I have my favorites and I’m happy to share. In the spirit of keeping on topic and not diluting the importance of my message today, I’ll save that for another day.
My message is that if we go back to business as usual, we are missing out on an opportunity to create a better version of our own human experience and a better version of humanity for all. Unless we address those underlying fears that are at the root of all that we do, that are running in the background without us realizing it, that are clouding our perspective and our ability to see a higher truth, that keep us from problem-solving in healthier ways, then we will just go back to business as usual. If that’s the case, maybe the next catastrophic event will stop us in our tracks and force us to do the real work that’s necessary to create a world in which we are all thriving.