When we separate ourselves from our creation, we lose all capacity to affect its unfolding. We created this – and to pretend otherwise only leaves us at the mercy of this unclaimed/orphaned manifestation. In that, we lose ourselves into the victims we believe ourselves to be and are swallowed up by our own powerlessness.
I offered that thought many years ago, in an exploration of what makes ‘leadership’ different, for women. Because we are still the ones who give birth, we understand – in body and mind – what happens when we abandon our children/creations and sever our ties to their unfolding. No good ever comes of doing so.
I can think of no time more pressing that cries out for us to notice… and to take action, as an awakened collective rather than as the sleeping giants we have yet to discover ourselves to be. As such, and at this critical time in the unfolding of our world, perhaps the pivotal question to ask is not “Is it too late?”, enquired as the victims we hold ourselves to be… but “What have we learned?” asked instead from the willingness to take ownership of and learn from that which we birthed and so arrogantly and uncaringly abandoned. Potential will only be found in that exploration.
Radical times cry out for radical thinking.
I don’t think we can have a conversation about climate/climate change that precludes an exploration of us and who we are as a species; our enormous capacity to build and to destroy. Of our capacity for both rapid and easy interconnectivity, and that for deep and endless isolation. Of climate as a reflection of collective consciousness and in that domain, a recognition that the individual still holds all the cards. The only point of leverage we have is for each of us to own it all!
I don’t think we can just talk about climate change – I think we have to talk about our relationship with climate ; with the biosphere and with each other; with our interconnectivity. To begin to take inventory of all the things that we won’t consider, won’t look at and won’t claim as our own creations. We continue to insist on looking at climate like it’s out there and just doing its thing; and that we are without accountability with regard to what it’s doing. Many would prefer it that way – that we be without regard or accountability. That we continue the pretence of our helplessness; that we hold strong, to the bitter end, to our innocence in bearing no ties to what we now increasingly are coming to know of the inevitable – not in terms of making us bad or evil but in terms of reclaiming how powerful we are and how to use that power, moving forward, in a relevant and meaningful way.
In the choice of our insistent ignorance, we are colluding in the collapse of that which supports our very existence. In the face of that extreme truth, there are no half-way measures that will make a difference.
Rapid, profound and global climate change: you intuitively know you can’t look at it without having your life profoundly affected. And yet, you can’t look away!
Climate change has become our impossible romance: you know that if you allow yourself to be drawn to it, and pursue it, not only will you be forever changed, you will be undone. And yet at the same time, there is something about the attraction to it that offers up whispers of your own evolution. The moment of avoiding the inevitable choice seems eternal….
We are confronted with recognizing and owning the simple truth that we are destroying ourselves because we can’t play nice with other living beings. Interconnectivity! The absence of interconnectivity started us along this path of our own destruction and continues to insist we stay the course. It appears we have never quite accepted that any and all other living beings are not lifeless ‘things’/resources for us to consume in the furthering of our own interests.
This whole climate/impossible romance has an incredibly powerful, emotional undertone. As much as scientists seek to present information about it through logic, reason and analysis, we know that the impact of that information is potentially emotionally devastating. I don’t know that we are designed for conscious and mindful selection of our own emotional devastation and yet, it’s already in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land upon which we walk. Try as we might, we cannot reconcile the tsunami of data with the deep undulations of our own terror. Better to pretend that what our cells are telling us, simply is not so… and go on with business as usual. Perhaps we will find comfort in another drink, a third car or a bigger house. And yet, even as we put down our credit cards, we know it will not save us.
In the past, I would choose to facilitate women’s retreats as my way of taking the pulse of a collective; to get a sense of what the unspoken – or unspeakable – conversation might be. I don’t think this is any different. I think the unspoken/unspeakable conversation is climate because of the magnitude of the symptoms; the magnitude of the system itself; and the magnitude of the implications and its enormous potential to transform our reality – devastatingly, completely and in a breath. What we continue to miss is that climate change is a symptom of who we are choosing to be and not ‘the thing’ itself. We ignore this message, at our peril. The magnitude of the metaphor that climate represents for the process of how we choose to live; of how we lie to ourselves and each other; of how we keep secrets from one another and pretend, is a message long overdue for reclamation.
We ‘deal’ with climate change the same way we have been taught to deal with all difficult, unspeakable things: we keep the secret. The parallels with regard to family systems – the secrets we keep; the lies we tell ourselves and each other; the things we think no one else notices and yet, everyone knows and no one talks about it – live in our pretending we don’t know. Everyone knows and no one talks about it. Because of that, these continue to have their detrimental, life-crushing, toxic effects on all of our lives. Our strategies for the elephant head on the table of climate change are the same as they are for the elephant head on the table for the family alcoholic, the childhood abuse, the uncle who’s a pedophile. The only difference is scale of impact. It’s not just one person’s problem anymore – it’s all us who now have to face into it.
Perhaps the opportunity here has less to do with the content of the secret we keep and more to do with noticing the process of secret-keeping from which we live. The detriment to us all of secret keeping. No matter what outcome we fear of not keeping the secret, its not likely to be as bad as the consequences of living a life driven and shaped by the process of secret-keeping.