Getting to the core of isolation
There’s no doubt the current situation globally has affected us all – in ways common to all – and unique ways for individuals and family units.
Some people seem to be handling this period of isolation better than others. While the whole current pandemic situation is far too complex and vast to cover in one article, I thought I would address some deeper emotional issue at play for so many.
A major number of humans deep down have very massive fears – fears they may not even be able to articulate, let alone deal with unassisted. Some people may even rather die, or kill, than come face-to-face with core emotional fears.
Three common fears all humans experience are:
FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN (currently happening),
FEAR OF LACK OF WORTHINESS (currently exacerbated), and
FEAR OF LACK OF LOVE (currently exacerbated).
Practices of self-inquiry can help us to look more deeply at these core human fears and learn to become more comfortable with them. By becoming more familiar with these fears, we can learn to become responsive (not reactive), more discerning and able to direct ourselves with calm wisdom.
Fear of the Unknown, for most of us at a core level, is the same as a child being terrified of the dark. We all fear the unknown. In ancient texts they call this unknown “the Void”. It is why people would rather argue and maintain a position – about anything – because they do not want to deal with the Unknown. So many people would rather be “right” than happy, even so called “spiritual people”.
Sitting in the Unknown often brings up feelings of complete terror. Yet, when fully met, over and over again, a person can find the gateway to liberation and peace.
Lack of Worthiness. When we are born, we are loved for simply existing. A newborn is experiencing life as one overriding series of sensations, without any prescribed meaning or distinction. (This is one of the reasons why sex is such a powerful drug and evokes feelings of love. For a brief moment we are not doing, we are just existing in pure sensation).
Yet as we grow up, we begin to be taught “love” is conditional. We are approved, accepted, or conversely rejected and unloved, based on how we perform to expectations around us. Men especially often feel a deep lack of self-worth or unloveable, because they are intrinsically built for purpose. Purpose has healthy aspects, but unfortunately our modern society tends to not teach the balancing benefits of stillness and non-doing – instead focusing on the reward of doing, with unhealthy bias towards money instead of values.
Feelings of worthiness arise from the meanings we ascribe to actions and things, often taken from families and society at large, without ever questioning them. Whilst worthiness is linked to the personal Hero’s journey, Worthiness for simply existing is evidence of reaching a state of I AM.
Getting in touch with our unique essence as expressed through our body, rather than from a place of effort and doing, is why so many spiritual teachings include daily rituals, as these keep us in a state of focused mindfulness as to who we truly are.
Lack of Love is probably the largest symptom of society. Scarcity is a belief of disconnection from Source. I’m not talking about god – though there are many expressions of same (god, universe, cosmos, creator, energy, matrix, reality etc).
Even for those who have done some inner work and have the intelligence to understand we are a small part of a much vaster universe, it is not the same as viscerally experiencing yourself as One with Everything. To FEEL energetically your connection to others, to life, to animals, plants, nature, the stars. To commune with them and be fed by multiple sources of knowledge and love.
When people are starved (or not even aware of) this vast level of connection, people make the mistake of seeking humans, particularly one human, as the source of Love. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting people to love in your life. There are beautiful gifts and incredible things we learn through the intense, focused practice of being with one significant other, with children, friends and family.
However, another human is not the Source of Love – we truly need to discover it within ourselves. To cultivate deeply the many sources of Life’s Love for us and to drink from this boundless, expansive well, is to be nourished in ways that unify us with everything and everyone.
For the majority of people on the planet now isolated from other human sources of love, from their work or activities to which they have attached their worth, and facing a HUGE unknown, this is a very uncomfortable, if not terrifying time. They are in a state of being alone with their deepest fears, without many of the normal strategies of avoidance and distraction which ordinarily keep them from looking more deeply within.
There is an ancient spiritual practice which is simply the practice of having someone quietly ask you, over and over again, “Who Are You?”. It is incredibly powerful in its simplicity.
Globally, we are in this practice right now.
If we embrace it, this is a time of solve et coagula. A dissolving of the old, breaking everything down into its basic parts, to recreate something new. The more we can do this on a personal level, letting go old ways of being that no longer serve us, the more freshness of alive, better ways of being come forth!
This current situation is just a fractal of the nature of life when looked at from a universal context. Nature has a way of rebalancing us, even through our own hands. Please do not for a minute think I am not compassionate to the sick, dying, fear and suffering of many through this time. However, appreciating we are at one with all of life, we can allow ourselves to organically respond to the situation from a place of deep trust and very little fear. Stillness is necessary to keep things in balance.
We have become a world of Doings rather than Beings. For instance, most of us comprehend that for music to exist, you need the spaces between the notes to create melody. Without the spaces – the stillness – then it would just be one sudden loud clash of sound. Comprehending something is not the same as understanding. True understanding begets a level of beingness, in harmony with intellectual understanding.
Humans have to learn again to appreciate Stillness, to deliberately create and plan for the pauses in-between doing. We need to find the balance in our fullest expression as a species, and also allow space for the earth and other species to breathe.
Learning to embrace duality means facing our deepest fears, particularly those of Unknown, Unworthiness and Lack of Love. No matter what level of fear we are feeling, we have been given a gift of being in this courageously together!
If we choose to embrace this beautiful Emptiness, we will actually find ourselves in a place of Divine Stillness.