Try to stay with me. Stick a pole into the ground. Wiggle it around. If it’s not stuck deep enough it will wobble and fall on the first move. If it’s stuck deep enough, you won’t be able to move it. And if you do in fact manage to move it, it’s more likely to break before it wobbles.
You are the stick and the ground is your web of belief systems. The deeper your assumptions are anchored, the more likely you are to prevail a storm. Conversely, the less anchored the stick is, the more likely it will be blown away by the storm. And you guessed right, the crisis is the storm.
Right now you are wondering, “Great Mr. Stick man. But how’s that gonna help me.” It won’t necessarily. But there’s a sliver of a chance that it might so stick with me.
- Your anchors define your resilience
If your life is anchored in material possessions for instance and you lose some or all of these possessions as a result of the storm, it will be like cutting off a part of your soul. If your life is anchored in a deeper spiritual connection with God for instance, chances are that no matter what you lose materially you will remain unphased.
Most of our belief systems are anchored in an exacerbated manifestation of materialism. It’s not just materialism. It’s materialism squared. More is more, no matter what more is. More control, more things, more predictability, more, more, more. But the storm comes, takes us by 30 feet waves and more all of a sudden is under threat. Even graver, current status is under threat. And because all of our belief systems are anchored in some form of materialism we don’t have a lot to hold onto.
- Spiritual Humility is the biggest anchor
So many of us have secretly given up on the idea of a God that transcends religions, a God that signifies the deepest form of humility in face of our complete lack of control over the fate of our universe, let alone our lives. Instead, we place our faith in the medical, financial, educational and all other societal systems that support our current lifestyle. Modernity has made spiritual humility a disposable good.
And there’s nothing wrong with that, except when those systems fail us. Then there is nothing for stick to hold onto and it’s blown into the storm whirlwind before you know it.
I don’t know many people who really believe in reincarnation these days. Who truly believe it’s ok, perhaps even better, to make do with less and downgrade our lifestyle. It’s part of what we have to buy into in order to become guests of this modern society parade. And while this works beautifully when the systems are like clockwork, there is no plan B when the system begins to desintegrate.
- A broader belief system gives you infinite flexibility
Plan B is not a plan in and of itself. It’s a broader belief system. Call it more spiritual or however, you want to define it. It’s about understanding what’s been written in most ancient scriptures. It’s about seeing embracing the pain. it’s about leaning into the change. It’s about being grateful for having less to eat and it’s about ultimately accepting that sooner than later we will die.
Not that I am an advocate for any of those things by any means. I want to live a long life blessed with abundance. But what’s abundance if it’s a necessity rather than an excess? And what’s a long life if it’s an expectation as opposed to a blessing?
What I am advocating for is a broader, deeper perspective that is not blown away or intimidated by suffering. Suffering as much as we have tried to carve it out of the picture, is in many ways, the epicenter of our existence. I’m not the one saying this. Again, take a look at scriptures from all corners of the earth.
- Old reliable recipes won’t work anymore
I am arguing that it’s not enough right now to be mindful, to breathe, to write lists, or do any kind of regular things that normally help us get through bad patches. It’s time to take a deeper look inside and understand what is it that we are living for, what is it that keeps us moving and held together.
- Pain is good
Once you are no longer trying to fight the pain, the winds in the storm quickly subdue. The storm is still there. The deafening, terrorizing howl quiets down. It’s no longer keeping you up at night because you don’t know how will keep your house, pay your bills, find a job, or keep your company. You don’t know these things and it’s ok.
And now that you are no longer fighting it, but experiencing it, it no longer has the upper hand on your neural mesh. Now the storm can become a tremendous opportunity. Maybe it’s time to move to a cheaper city, state, or even country. Maybe it’s time to pursue those shelved dreams or time to experience the blessing that 90% of the things you thought were essential were actually just luxury items.
- Freedom lies in a meeting with our deepest unconscious self
What can be deeply unsettling has the potential of being the ultimate liberator. It’s a matter of how we face it. But in order to do so, we have to toss away most of what we have learned throughout our lives. The commitment to getting what we want, to goal setting and achievement, to giving our kids more than what we had, to holding a respectable title and whatever else get us through the morning. That all either goes, or you become a prisoner of all those things, a victim of the societal breakdown we are experiencing.
Loss is good. Less is even better. Change, the best. Only a crazy person would say these outrageous things. But that’s what it takes to really make it through. You have to be a little bit crazy. Put yourself way out there of your comfort zone and understand this as a moment that can pivotally reshape your existence if you are willing to push the boundaries of your belief systems.