We're in it right now. A category 5 shitstorm. Most of us have been weathering the countless phases of this unrelenting gale since the onset of the pandemic, and many more have been struggling against constant upheaval for even longer. Catastrophic damaged has occurred, and as a nation we have reached a point of maximal chaos saturation.
Before the dust from the Jan 6th whateveritwas had even settled, republican lawmakers began calling for the nation to come together and heal. They suggest holding the Inciter in Chief accountable for his role in that day's event will do nothing except further divide the nation. The very humans who have caused and contributed to all the harm and division are ready to forget all that and move on, for the sake of national unity.
Well, I don’t want to unite with them. And I’m clearly not alone in this sentiment. The only way we can unite with these folks is by accepting their twisted (and extremely problematic) version of reality. The truth is much more important than whether republicans in power feel a certain oneness with the rest of us. Maybe a little time alone in the corner would do them some good. Provide an opportunity for self-reflection and growth.
We cannot have national reconciliation and healing until we all acknowledge where we are as a nation. We cannot heal by pretending the trauma is no longer happening, or while the traumatizers assert they are just as hurt by the tragic events they, themselves, helped to bring about. They have to actually deal with the hurt they caused (and continue to cause).
We all have to actually deal with the hurt we have caused (and continue to cause) our fellow citizens through unjust systems and practices. We have to feel the anguish, the guilt, the repentance, the sorrow. Otherwise we will never get to a place as a nation where recovery is actually possible. It’s not an easy process, but it is necessary. And it is worth it.
This whole last year has been full of the unexpected. The shocking. Full of opportunities for deeper self-consideration arriving in unfamiliar packaging. This week I received a sudden and surprising announcement about significant changes coming to my Taiji system. My first thought was, “well, add it to the pile of happenings I wasn’t expecting and I’ll figure out what it means later.”
So I sat with it, in my standing practice. Allowing space for each of my emotions as they rose up from the cacophony. Feeling down to the root of those emotions and their manifestation in my body. Searching for what my emotions were inviting me to consider, and resting-in to those considerations.
Ultimately, I had follow-up questions. The same follow-up questions - it turned out - as my friend and fellow Taiji practitioner. So when I opened the group chat to make my inquiries, there were my answers. My daily practice doesn’t need to change, my teacher’s availability to me won’t change, the curriculum continues to exist, my fellow practitioners want to practice and remain connected. Everything is the same while nothing is the same. Nothing has changed while everything has changed. Just like what’s happening constantly in the world.
I’ve reached a particular point of saturation with the madness of the outside world so that it’s nearly impossible to hold on to anything other than the present moment. It’s a very strange feeling. I’m simultaneously at maximum overwhelm and maximum calm. I feel like the eye of the storm. Sometimes I tilt or wobble out of balance like I’m a spinning top and I dip a bit into the chaos. But my Taiji practice is like my gyroscope. When I wobble I can find my alignment again and regain my balance, back in the eye of the storm.
This moment in history turns out to be exactly the perfect training opportunity to deepen my Taiji practice. It’s amazing. It’s frustrating. It’s also very sad and isolating at times because I want to spread the healing magic of self-discovery and self-liberation that’s currently holding me up farther out into the world. I can see how much the world needs it. And I can see so many people who are not yet ready to see themselves more fully and instead continue to contribute to their own undoing. I can see the lawmakers who insist on an alternate version of reality, contributing to our collective undoing.
I don’t know if my personal effort, in concert with the efforts of the many other humans working toward liberation, will make enough difference for humanity to really turn the corner and set a course away from self-destruction. It is possible this dedication to process will fade after we're gone and become nothing more than an obscure paragraph in the history book of humanity.
This moment is an opportunity. I hope it will not be a missed opportunity. Please dig deep. Leave no part of your self unexplored or unexamined. Leave no depth of your feelings and your experience unplumbed. Only by seeing and acknowledging the fullness of your own humanity can you see the fullness of humanity in others. We can't get to healing without acknowledging where we are and how we got here. The only way out is through.
Information and Inspiration
Jaydra is a human in-process, working to make the world a better place. Sharing thoughts, feelings, and observations about the human experience.