by Roxanne Rogers
This is about HOPE. A lesson I learned in my garden.
My heart is filled with concern and compassion as I note the growing fear and depression in the world around me. Sometimes I get so depressed that I feel heavy and listless. There is no song in my heart. I become anti-social and don't want to nurture my family or friends. Physically my breath becomes shallow, my vision blurred, and I sit in silence trying to find hope. Lately it has become harder and harder to enjoy life.
It occurred to me that I was waiting. Waiting for someone or something to change. Waiting for the government to "get it." Waiting for the people in the world to love one another. Waiting to find out that this has just been a bad dream. The media is always available to confirm my worst fears about the world, and humanity. Tragedy and sex sell. It seems there is no corner left unmolested in this life. How can anyone have faith anymore?
Some may ask "Why despair?" I have all my parts, health, and I live in America. Maybe it's because I live in what the media claims is the most powerful place in the world that I fear the most. Because it isn't working! We thought we had it all figured out. The scariest thing to me is that it all looks O.K. the surface. The "have-nots" are easy to ignore and the "haves" are easy to emulate. Nature can be put on reservations and the future is "achievable."
HOWEVER: The children, the future guardians of this planet we call home, are watching life being taken as if it were a game. They are becoming numb to violence, and after watching the twin towers in New York be attacked I wonder if they are able to make connections in their fragile minds that real people were in those buildings.
I suspect they do, and I fear that they, like the innocent children we all have inside, are trying to make sense of it. They may be wondering (like I am), why am I here? If life is so short and so easy to end, what hope do I have of making a difference? When grownups fly airplanes into towns to kill each other, and kill themselves in the process, ON PURPOSE, what are they saying about the value of MY life? If my life isn't precious... then AM I SAFE?
I guess that is usually as far as I get, before I find myself sitting in depressed hopelessness. I want so badly for people to respect life, for leaders to insist on peace, for governments to show respect for our planet and all the different forms of life on it! But the outlook is bleak! And though I have known a few people who have shown admirable optimism and unbelievable courage in the face of tragedy and difficult personal challenges, I have yet to be able to glean from them anything that really answers my fear of imminent doom. How can they be happy when the world is going to hell?
I know there are other people out there who are suffering silently, and I want to let them know that it is natural to feel depressed and hopeless in life right now. Even strong, wakeful women like me are struggling to maintain hope in the face of all this darkness. Just as our society defines a beautiful woman as one who is young, thin and large-breasted, society also defines STRENGTH in convoluted ways, including not showing emotions, especially weakness.
However, instead of bucking up and trudging along like a good little soldier (which is what I feel most of society hopes we all do) I went inside and honored the experience of weakness and helplessness. Emotions, as we all know, are important tools! I took myself to the wild, to nature, and LISTENED.
It's funny how the earth reacts to humans in distress. One time a while back I went for a walk on Mt. Tamalpais here in Marin, and found myself sobbing uncontrollably under a tree. Something bad had happened in my life that I felt I had no control over and I felt very weak! Well, after a while I stopped crying and looked around. Although nothing had changed, I felt the forest sigh, and I got a very clear message from the trees around me that the animal I am, the natural being I am, who communed with the earth right then, was whole and safe and strong and unique. I FELT LOVED.
This experience affected me profoundly, and I return often to NATURE... to listen. Recently I was in my little garden watching my slow growing basil, when, as if someone whispered in my ear, I knewI just KNEWthis that I am about to share with you:
All the information in the world; all the facts from every source; every image of darkness and greed and doom; every specific piece of knowledge that we see, hear, or touch; all this that we believe is real around us; all the things we've been told about ourselves; every locked door and impossible dream... are distractions from our animal... from the creative life force within us. We have created this world, the very blocks that we dread, every war, every family struggle. We manifest into the material world what we believe about ourselves. We live in a fear-based world because we have gotten so far from home, and are afraid! So when we go back home, to the source, to the Goddess within, the animal, the living spirit of the tree, and reacquaint ourselves with our true spirit, it RENEWS OUR STRENGTH! Our real strength.
"Not power over, power within."
The world we see is not the only world; we can change it by not perpetuating it. Changing the way we see ourselves! When we see ourselves as light, when we admit the truth about ourselves; that we ARE light, we will create a WORLD of light. Little by little, with self love as our comfort and with sharing love our main employment, the material world will transform. It already has, just in the time you read this.
Isn't it wonderful? Rub your hands togetherstretch your body make a facejump in the water! Life is so simple when we celebrate the deepest truthWE ARE LOVE. THAT'S ALL WE'RE HERE TO DO!