page three: America's Mid-Life Crisis?
As we process two major events in recent weeks: the Cubs' victory and the 2016 Elections, a theme seems to be emerging, although we love one outcome and resist the other. Both of the outcomes are victories for people who have not won in a long, long time. And I do not mean Donald J. Trump. I refer to the people who silently, quietly, handed him his victory. People we have consciously and unconsciously turned our backs on because of our own well intended pre-occupations.
At this time, I would like to share some lessons learned through events in my own life that, although occurring at a personal level, came out of the same patterns as are now being revealed at the macrocosmic stage.
Some eight years ago, I was in the throes of a great personal depression. It was soon after I had started my studio in its old location in 2008. Along with the state of my emotions, several unfortunate events were unfolding at the same time in my life. I was confused and disappointed. I had invested most of my life into becoming conscious and conscientious. Self-improvement and making a difference to the community were the goals I had committed my life unto. Then why was this happening to me, I asked myself? I searched around, looking for answers. Depending upon who it was that I posed this question to, I received a different one. Some blamed it on past lives, my astrologer blamed it on a really unlucky combination of planets in my astral chart, my physician blamed it on biological changes I was going through, books I was reading attributed it to a mid-life crisis. Yet no one was giving me a way out of the internal and external mess that I was in.
Then one night I had a dream. In my dream, I sit, draped in a white sari, on the top of a stair case, with my back to the steps that lead down, lost in reading a book. Somewhere close to the bottom of the stairs, a little girl aged about 5 years, probably my daughter, playing by herself, falls down and hurts herself. Her pain filled cries alert me to her presence as I realize I have turned my back on her. Tossing aside the book, I rush down the stairs and gather her into an embrace. In that moment I am filled with unimaginable joy and fulfillment. My dream ended and I woke up to a heart still filled with joy and my face wet with tears - the tears of that little girl in me whom I had turned my back on.
The dream spoke volumes to me. I knew then and there that my depression was on account of my having turned away from my inner child - the more human, less evolved parts of myself. My adult self draped in a white sari and reading a book was symbolic of my conscious choices to lead a "pure" life that transcended lower instincts and focused on knowledge and "higher" goals.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the dream was a message from my soul, telling me what I needed to do to find the joy and fulfillment I was seeking: getting off my high stance and going down to embrace the aspects of myself that I was seeking to transcend. Through the love that I shared with my inner child, there was healing for both of us.
Following the dream, I began a daily ritual of journaling and communicating with my "lower self". Many old memories surfaced and I saw just how many times I had rejected and abandoned my more human self, disowning uncomfortable feelings in order to be the "good, unselfish" person I should be. I understood from my dream that my inner child with her raw, unrefined, emotions was also Divine and the part of me that I had believed to be my "Higher Self" needed to learn and embody the truth of Non-Duality by integrating my human self in everyday life.
Carefully re-negotiating the terms in many of my relationships, I became more assertive and learned how not to say Yes when I wanted to say No; I learned how to give and how to receive. Over time, my life changed, my relationships changed, and the biggest gift of all, the emotional climate within me changed to a more open, loving and healthy feeling of wholeness.
In retrospect, I wonder if all my advisors were right after all. Probably my past life karma yielded an astrological combination that put me through a challenging mid-life crisis. A mid-life crisis is a time to take pause and put together pieces you may have left off in the first half of your life so that you can move forward in the second half as a complete person.
Today the elections and the despair that many of us are feeling reminds me of the same message. Maybe it is time for us, as a country, to get off our lofty values of how we believe people should think and feel and go down to the more human parts of our fellow citizens, embrace them unconditionally and let love heal all.
Maybe we must revisit the "Virtue of Selfishness" and learn to meet our own needs as a nation before we volunteer away our resources to others in need.
Maybe the people who elected Trump represent parts of our self that we perceive as less evolved and have therefore disconnected from; what this election is revealing is a cry of pain from them...maybe when we embrace them instead of turning our backs on them, they have a gift somewhere for us; and maybe America is going through a "mid-life crisis" right now that is inviting the country to include all of its people before moving forward as one great nation.... Can we do this as a country? Can we move away from our fears of the "other" to faith in their humanness? Can we move from our judgment of those among us who are behaving "childishly" and see that they have the same seed of Divinity that we are seeking from our "higher" pursuits? Can we see this election as being beyond the people involved ? Can we see the present circumstances as a national initiation into true Non-Duality and work towards that consciously?
If we can do all of this, we could truly set an example that the rest of the world needs right now - by modeling conscious integration in the face of conflicting ideals, we can show the world how to come together as one despite deep differences. America today has the unique opportunity of being the change it wishes to see in the world.