Right now life feels very, very unsafe to many people…at least, the people I know. The people I read about. The people I see on media. So as I’ve told folks about the Transform My Life idea, I’ve heard, “Nice idea, but seriously there are bigger things to worry about. How can my concerns matter one whit (more colorful language used…) in the face of what’s going on in the world & politics right now?”
How does trying to build a satisfying life matter when we’re talking about using nukes? Talking about climate change, about extinction, about migrant crises, about actual life and death?
Well, Reality #1 – the world is scary right now. It probably always has been, but doesn’t it feel worse to you? I know that I used to feel more settled, but lately, I’ve visited outright terror. We have more uncertainty than usual, to say the very least.
‘Things,’ like systems, governments, programs, even how people relate to one another across our cities, our nation and the world, they are all more unsettled than they have been. It’s volatile out there, folks. There is a pressure and fever to the media, to our reactions, even to the politicians themselves~restraint is a thing of the past.
When life is uncertain, normal people feel nervous. When life is chaotic, we get scared and do whatever feels safe, whatever has worked in the past.
Reality #2 – what feels safe is the same old same old. You know, the devil we know is better than the devil we don’t. But what does that get? Well, it delivers a temporary feeling of comfort, it gets you more of the same. And the devil. It gets you the devil…do you want the devil?
If your typical coping skills work for you and help you thrive, get outta here. You’re in the wrong place.
If your coping skills worsen your overall quality of life or health, or you feel stuck, or you simply want things not to turn out the way they always have before, or you’re feeling like you want to be able to hop off the silly-cycle you’ve been riding too long, well, something’s gotta give. (Can I work in any more overused metaphors?) We have to change.
Reality #3 – happy healthy people who feel secure, satisfied and fulfilled, they are the cement that ties together the foundation of our society and our whole world.
Great innovation might come from crisis, inspiration can come from angst, and necessity is the mother of invention (ha! I did it!), but steady sustained progress comes from people who find a new way and then don’t waver because it’s not temporary, now it’s their new way of living, a new way of being. They don’t even have to ‘take a stand,’ they just stick. Whether it’s ideas, ideals, actions or events, they stand firm.
So, all this foofy language, what the heck am I talking about? I’m talking about personal change, such as, I’m going to look out for my own health and happiness just as fiercely as I do for my kids, for my partner, my friends or my family. That’s an example.
Change such as, I’m going to do the things that help me feel satisfaction even if the world is going to hell in a handbasket.
Change such as, at some point, I have to matter, I cannot continue to come in 5th place or 32nd or, let’s be real here, not even on the list at all.
Change such as, let’s reconsider self-sacrifice, because there are definitely times it’s necessary but very probably there are times when I think it’s necessary and it actually isn’t.
Women especially get into a habit of self-denial that just impoverishes not only themselves, but our communities, our culture, and the world. We’re acculturated to it, and it’s not exactly working for us. We are half the world and we must take a step forward and be counted among those who matter…because we do.
It’s courageous to try a new paradigm. What if women, you—me—led the way through self-actualization? If your value for yourself is rock-solid and you stop coming in last, giving yourself whatever dregs of energy are left, have you ever wondered what would be different in your life?
Deep-rooted personal growth levels us up to a higher quality of living, of BE-ing, and the better we are, the more we bring to the world.
The solution may not be entirely with you and me but if we’re doing our best, or at least better than old coping skills and outgrown ways of living, we can start a shift, be part of a change, and pave the way forward to a higher level for everyone else. I have a feeling, no, I have a knowing it’s going to take a mob of us getting better individually, feeling better, leveling up and becoming more able to stand steady in order to make change in the world, in order to help one another, in order to make things better and not so damned scary. We continue to do charitable and activist work in whatever ways we have, maybe you start doing that if you have not before now. You give to charities, you stay plugged into the needs of the world, but now, at long last, you are on the list as well. Finally.
So is it bad or selfish or whatever boogeyman-word you want to put in there to care about your own wellness, wholeness, satisfaction and how you manifest those in your life?
Or is it vitally important to help us all get out of this sick cycle we seem to be in right now as a people?
What if each person on the planet needs to be as healthy and whole as is humanly possible and we treat that as serious business that is critical, crucial, the only way forward? How would you feel about it then?
I do believe that even in the midst of the crises and chaos we’re living through right now, attending to your own needs and growth is a responsible part of making the world a better place, not just for everyone else, but for you & me as well. We count. We matter. We all do. We all have to.