So I had this epiphany the other day when the whole Trump/Iran thing erupted and it looked like the US was headed into another major Middle Eastern meltdown. And the epiphany was: I have no control over what happens in the world.
People I don’t know and will never meet can come to nuclear blows over issues I barely understand and I and everything I hold dear can be vaporized in a heartbeat.
And I have no say in the matter.
My reaction to this realization was surprising. It was not, as might be expected, depression or anxiety. It was pure freaking relief. For the thought that swiftly followed the “I have no control” insight was I’m not responsible for what happens.
If I can’t do anything, how can I possibly be responsible?
And yet for years — decades — I’ve carried around an unconscious sense of personal responsibility for what happens in the world. I mean, I’m a “spiritual person.” I accept that my thoughts and actions impact the whole via the quantum field. It is not only incumbent upon me to keep my vibrations “up” and my spiritual nose clean, so to speak, I must also do something with the hard-won knowledge and insight I’ve been granted. And because I have assiduously trained in communication, the something I have chosen to do is attempt to uplift the whole through my writing and talks and social media conversations.
For 15 years my theme song has been: I have the privilege of knowledge, thus the responsibility to share. I have to pick up and carry the baton because I am capable of doing so. I have to make a difference because I can.
Uhhhh . . . no.
Actually, I am no more duty-bound to share my knowledge than a 5th-Grader is duty bound to start preaching about what s/he learned on summer vacation during recess. This whole responsibility thing is simply a story I picked up somewhere this lifetime, or some other lifetime, from some teacher or a book or maybe my genetics . . . whatever. Maybe, being a LEO with a ton of planets in the 10th House in VIRGO including Mercury, I am simply prewired to do what I do.
And there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s a certain nobility in wanting to help the world. Where the cart goes off the rails is in thinking I am special because of this and that It’s somehow all up to me. That if I don’t succeed in this Herculean task of uplifting the world, I am a wretched failure.
What a load of ego horse shit.
How vain can I possibly be to set myself up this way?
Sure, we all have Superhero fantasies, especially when we’re young. I remember when I was seven, my grandmother took a fall and called my house. (She had Parkinson’s Disease and lived about 1.5 miles away across a busy street and down through some wooded areas.) For some inexplicable reason, I was the only person home and took the call. And though I was only seven and strictly forbidden to go across this major thoroughfare, and even though I was probably 50 pounds soaking wet and Grandma weighed in at over 200 pounds—it was up to me to save her!
I remember panting and sweating, running as fast as I could to get to her. And my little heart was filled with excitement and self-importance. Cathy to the rescue!
Precious. My efforts and intent were precious and came from a good place in my heart. And even though I failed to lift her after I got there, I was able to keep her company until Grandpa got home to help.
Most human beings naturally feel an innate sense of responsibility for others. But it is astonishing how far the human ego can run with this.
Women naturally feel guilty about almost everything anyway— it’s a genetic burden. It’s the guilt of all women — that we could’ve loved our children more, that we are responsible for the state of the world, that we haven’t stood up for ourselves. The guilt of the sisterhood. It’s an ancient ancient guilt. And on top of that as women we are programmed through the Abrahamic religions to feel guilty about even being alive. And on top of that we’re supposed to be our brothers’ keeper etc etc blah blah blah.
What a load! What vanity! What egotism to take all this shit on ourselves and believe in it!
So thank you Donald J and General Soleimani (wherever your soul now resides) and everyone else involved in this international crapshoot for the wake-up call. It’s a big one.