• aspen

Merry Go Round

I was talking to a friend the other day. She was distraught, seriously depressed to the point of being suicidal. Her life in the past few years has been no picnic as she deals with chronic discomfort brought on by Lyme disease, a loveless primary relationship and a flat career that once featured a television show and celebrity hobnobbing. But her big complaint was the state of the world; the rise of Trump, the apparently soiled democratic process, the shootings, the abuse of power and the abuse of the feminine.

I could only shake my head with compassion. I’ve been there. Hell, I get there.

But it was my turn to tell her that a lot happens in this world that we can’t control. In fact, we are not meant to control some of the worst of it. Or any of it.

As I see it, and what I told her, is that our responsibility is two-fold. First, we observe what the “out there” does to the “in here”. We ask ourselves what arises emotionally and why, and we accept what is. That’s the first responsibility. As this involves deep introspection and all that entails, this can be super interesting and can be the beginning of all healing, the gateway to our individual soul’s destiny. This introspection will eventually reveal that there is no “out there” at all; we are a part of a great whole. Feeling this deeply is an alternatively terrifying and welcoming revelation. But the second one is more fun.

To illustrate the second responsibility, imagine you are at a park and there’s a merry-go-round. You’re a child, but you’re one of the older ones there. You are on it for a while and get off, a little dizzy. You sit on the grass on a beautiful day and you watch the younger kids enjoy themselves. You might even smile and ask yourself why that is considered fun.

Then, out of nowhere, a group of teenagers arrive. They look rough to you. They shove one another and say words you’re not allowed to say. They look threatening and, it turns out, they are.

They commandeer the merry-go-round and, with nobody’s permission but their own, begin to spin it. A young girl, maybe four years old, spins off and comes up crying with a scraped hand. They continue; not oblivious but uncaring, which is worse. Then a young boy falls with similar results. Some of the children enjoy it… for a while. But then they see there is no way off other than to stop the ride or to suffer the pain of jumping off. Pleas to the teens to this end are met with laughter. One child is so dizzy he doesn’t even make it to the outside of the spinning structure. He falls gracelessly in the middle and tumbles off. Now he’s crying.

What can you do? You can’t stop the ride. Those in power aren’t listening and are oblivious to the pain their actions cause.

So you do what you can do. You walk over the one of the kids (look out, here comes another one!) and you begin to heal. Not just scraped knees, but broken trust. Not just skinned elbows, but acute fear. You feel betrayed, too, and you’re not without fear. But you put it behind you (or under you toward the earth, or upward toward the sky, or to a spirit helper of some kind… the point is you know where to put it from personal experience.) Now you do your work. One by one the kids go off to get their parents, feeling somewhat relieved. The few remaining, you take in a small group to hunt theirs down in the vast park.

As you walk away, you look back at the merry-go-round. The big kids are no longer interested. After all it’s no fun to only cause pain to one another; at least not yet. They sit sullenly on the metal disc. One of them lights a cigarette.

This is the nature of the responsibility of the emerging consciousness; to let go and then help others. Having ridden the merry-go-round allows us to have compassion. We’ve also felt dizzy. We’ve also fallen off. The hard part is done. Now our job is to love, to wipe the tears of the individual, and to help them find a new way. In the end, they become the big kids, and the world is healed.

My prayer for myself and for you is that we can find our healing modalities, the little tricks we can use to help assuage the pain of those we travel with in this place and plane. It may be a smile, a touch on the arm, a hug, or time listening to them. It's not hard to find these modalities, for they are the same thing that works for us individually, when our own knees are skinned and our own trust has been broken. Whatever it is, the world needs us. It needs you. The real you. The deep you.

It's late June and the middle of the work week, about 745am. I’m about to leave my place of peace and engage the merry-go-round. You probably are too. May we walk without allowing fear to dissuade us from love.

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