In the past three weeks my children have broken up with their significant others. Their friends are doing this too, and the grapevine is strangling with stories of people leaving each other. Separating from your partner is going viral. After making the decision to leave her fiancé and telling me of others in her circle who are doing the same, my daughter described it this way, “Nobody is angry at one another. We are all just sad.” In all of these relationships, I still see the joy, laughter, love and kindness these couples experience when they are together, but they have lost sight of that in the quest for something better, yet they can’t define what that “better” is that they seek. This is what I experienced three years ago when the love of my life parted simply saying, “It’s complicated.”
“Better” cannot be found in the next available partner, shopping online for anything, acquiring the latest apps, job, getting lost in busyness, or telling the world about it on Facebook. It can be found in quality human connection. We rely on a few clicks of our coveted phones to have a stranger deliver our food or groceries. A summoned Uber driver will instantly deliver us to the airport when a call to a friend or relative can send off or intercept us with a warm embrace instead. What has happened to gathering around a table for a relaxed shared meal to talk about the good in our day, the laughter? Everyone’s in a rush, and car horns that used to be beeped as a friendly “Goodbye” signal when pulling out of a driveway are now reserved to blare in traffic jams. Where is the time to enjoy?
Today we communicate on a quick, superficial, unemotional level through screens, text messages and limited word tweets or shared videos and pics. Through Likes, Comments or Reviews, we express our judgments, opinions and thoughts. Feelings have become secondary, almost inconsequential. Contemplating through uninterrupted reflection and connecting via physical face-to-face communication is avoided, yet it is the best way to truly get to know, understand and appreciate ourselves and each other; to look into each other’s eyes while we are speaking and listening in person, make real friends and fall in lasting love. There is strength and power in expressing kind and honest words because taking time to speak your heart directly to another human being triggers inner peace, cleanses your soul, releases and validates your truth. This also vanquishes anger, eliminates fear and builds trust; brings out all that we were meant to be to each other; while allowing us to return to our intuitive joyful selves. And when you can trust a caring someone (even if it is only your own definition of a higher power or yourself) you will find your way back to happiness, self and relationship. To surrender to ecstatic relief.
Sustainability is the latest trendy word to describe the things we need to do to save the Earth, usually associated with the environment. Yet it is important to think about the sustainability of human joy, happiness, love, friendship, loyalty, commitment. Like many species in nature, these attributes are quickly headed for extinction and without them all else will fail. Promoting ocean cleanup, reducing carbon footprints, eliminating plastic bags and straws and rescuing animals are indeed all worthy causes. But if preservation of human relationships does not prevail, what will the planet be like after physical perfection? Before we can rid the world of its plastic, pollution and global warming, we must fix ourselves from the inside. Learn to feel again; to be kind to others without judgment, love and respect one another. Always. Then, and only then will we be able to recognize the good that exists around and in all of us and from there gather for the causes, see the beauty of Mother Earth and work together to help her from there. There is no need to seek the better when we already have the best right before our eyes.
The dogs and whales can wait, and plastic is not going anywhere.
We all must learn to love and help one another.
From the Sanctuary:
Fall is taking over the Sanctuary in the form of thousands of stinging hatchlings (today’s photo), brilliant gold shrubs, flocking robins and the hungry birds that devour birdseed in the feeder that I replenish every day. They (and I) were surprised by a majestic visit from a peregrine falcon the other day. Magnificent! It is a joy to watch the birds at my sunset gratitude celebrations, along with the squirrels that are hiding their nuts for the upcoming winter months.
Sharing this recently read:
John Lennon’s Mom taught him that he should strive to grow up happy. In school when he was very young his teacher gave the class homework to write about what they wanted to be when they grew up. He turned in the paper with the word “Happy” on it. The teacher returned it saying that John had misunderstood the assignment. John responded, “You misunderstand life.”
Be Happy, Everyone! With each other too.