Waking Up

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Waking up can be challenging. Depending on how deeply we have been asleep and how attached we are to our slumber, awakening can create a sense of disorientation, confusion, grumpiness and even anger.

Of course, it does depend on HOW we are awakened. Is it a gentle nudge and the words, “time to wake up,” softly spoken in our ear, or is it a harsh, blaring alarm jolting us into consciousness?

For many years, the soft and gentle nudges have gone unacknowledged. Many simply turned over and went back to sleep or never stirred to begin with. So the heat has been turned up … over the years … higher and higher.

Now, we are experiencing the shrill and jarring alarm.

What we are being currently awakened to can be viewed, by many, as harsh and sudden. Much of what we have trusted to be our places of certainty and security are no longer felt to be safe and stable. Many are finally seeing they, actually, never truly were.

Seemingly, everywhere we turn, things are falling apart and coming undone. There is fighting and deep, unfathomable truths coming to light. There is unrest, anger and fear.

How we are reacting to this awakening, each of us, will impact how we, collectively, are able to move through and beyond our current circumstances and environment.

We are in this together. I love considering the quote by Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“We must learn to live together as brothers (and sisters) or perish together as fools.”

In this time of uncertainty, revolution and change, we want to be aware of jumping to judgment. Time will tell what our collective intentions are. For now, some may still be choosing their course of action. We, each, move in our own time, and we can only, individually, decide where we are in all of this for ourselves. It takes great awareness, patience and courage not to want of others what we want for ourselves. We may want others to act as we act; otherwise, we tell ourselves the story that they are not acting at all.

Sometimes support looks different. Sometimes it is building, and we don’t even know it. Some are comfortable reacting quickly, while others are choosing to act from places that may not be evident or the way everyone else is doing it.

We get to be careful to not form the very judgment we seek to dismantle. We want to be intentional not to judge and continue to repeat the approach and actions of the past that have created the place we now find ourselves—a place we are attempting to heal and overcome.

And yet, this story we see unfolding before us—is this the core truth of what is happening? Beneath the surface and the obvious, could there be something truly wonderful and exciting going on?

What if this the second Great “D?” The first being The Great Depression, and now the Great Detox. What if this time of healing is giving us a glorious opportunity to do all of it differently? To listen and act with compassion, intention and grace instead of reacting with violence, separatism and hate.

Is what we are experiencing setting us up to finally release and heal the massive amount of toxic burden we have been carrying for centuries? It is certain that this is what is needed for ultimate growth and advancement to occur. For all of us, not just some of us.

They say you cannot heal without the truth. So, the truth gets to be told and shared.

We get to see, hear and understand one another, and we get to heal both individually and unitedly. We get to listen, and we get to speak. We get to acknowledge, through each of our stories of experience, what we haven’t thus far. We get to do this from a place of openness, caring and patience. There is a lot to sort through and understand.

Action and acknowledgment can be defined and seen very differently by people, and my hope is that we are not judging others by the way we do things. We may witness some who acknowledge truths from the get-go, and we may experience others who do not, but it’s important to remember that just because some people appear not to “see,” it may not mean what we think it does. I believe, in today’s environment, we can at least recognize that things are not always what they seem.

Brené Brown’s research has shown us that shame is a powerful thing. Shame can shut people down and have them acting in very inhuman ways. It can cause them to be aggressive and controlling. It can also keep people frozen and unsure of how to act.

Many are waking up, and it may take a bit of time before they legitimately can act due to shock, confusion and shame.

What I do feel is this: what we are now experiencing is not going away. It is building, and it needs to create a force that will make room for change. Real change. Sustainable change. No more band-aiding. No more hiding and pretending it’s not happening. No more going back to sleep.

We only have one direction to go if we are to bring this true change forward. There is A LOT that gets to come up and out so that we can heal.

We must feel it to heal it, but we must also deal to heal. How we do this is up to us, but how we do it also impacts everyone.

In this moment and at every point in the future, we can keep doing our own part, based on who we are and where we are in our own development.

My deepest hope is that we will take what we see in the world, and we will look into ourselves to find and access the compassion and grace that lives within each of us to bring as much of it forward as humanly possible.