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What if?


People and relationships are severed by misinformation and mistrust. We can learn about and talk about addiction, recovery, treatment, poverty, trauma and incarceration. These may seem like many different topics. They may seem like somebody else's plight. But what if they are closely related AND they affect you too?

Here's how:

Life is an interdependent web. Mammals are interdependent creatures. We are mammals. Yep you, and me, and that lady at the grocery store. All biped mammals wearing costumes that distract us from a critical TRUTH:

We need each other.

When life experience forges beliefs of being left out or less than, the perceived disconnection that results manifests in various forms of DIS-EASE. A lack of ease. Unrest. Discomfort. I don't care what you call it. Tomato. TomAHto. It's a type of pain.

Through our socialization, we believe that what we need in order to feel better is outside of us. So we look. Sometimes we find solutions that alter our feeling poorly. Shopping. Drinking. Gambling. Raging. Arguing. Smoking. Risking. Power. Oppression. Victimhood. Self pity. These things often serve as solutions. Until we learn them and we need more of them to feel relief. We begin to act poorly to get enough of what we need to feel OK.

One day, they no longer solve the problem AND they begin to create a series of problems of their own. These behaviors originate as symptoms.

All of these are symptoms of a similar problem. In one way or another, we experience disconnection in a world where connection is critical for balance and right perspective.

We move toward pleasure (control/power) and/or away from pain (lack of control/powerlessness). That's it. All of our lists and our stories and degrees and fancy cars or ratty gym shoes and high-end mascara. We are all the same - moving toward what we think will create pleasure or away from what we find painful.

We thrive on distinguishing ourselves from others. We get off on comparing ourselves to others. We create social and personal silos to feel better than we feel, at the expense of others. We point fingers to take the attention off of us and concoct frequently fiction accounts of others. We buy into said fiction accounts and form teams. We behave like children because it takes effort to grow up, to be vulnerable, to build relationships with those we differ from. Relationships that will assist our growth. We fear before we love. Who will I be if I am not better than you? We disregard our higher spirit and it's desire to serve, love and connect.

Guess what fosters the very pleasure we seek in stuff?

Connection. Community.

Guess what can reduce stress?

Guess what fosters putting addiction into remission?

Guess what fosters healing in PTSD?

Connection. Community.

The causes of perceived disconnection are endless.

The things we choose to soothe the disconnection are endless.

The silence about all of it does what it always has. Provides the fear of each other and the shame of ourselves that prevents authentic relationship with others.

My students and I talk about why people tend to come together in tragedy. "It's simple," they decided. "When tragedy strikes, our ego doesn't have the luxury of leaning on hierarchy to feel better about itself. Suddenly we are all helpers and hope dealers. Suddenly material shit don't matter and the spirit we all have in common takes over. Unfortunately, the powerful must experience powerlessness before they're willing to truly commune through spirit."

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