Thank you to those of you who read my last newsletter, and thank you to those of you who responded with so much enthusiasm. You all encouraged me.
Today I would like to share a recent Facebook post of mine with you. It meant a lot to a handful of people. For most people though I think it was, frankly, overwhelming. But I share it again with you not because I’m insensitive, but because it’s my truth, because I want to have a real conversation with you, and because even though it’s difficult I believe it’s ultimately helpful… which is the point of this newsletter. Having said all that, here it is:
According to the science we have to pull off an incredible, David-and-Goliath sized feat. We have to stop burning fossil fuels, the foundation of our entire lifestyle, within about 10-15 years in order to prevent catastrophe. What do I mean by catastrophe? The dangers vary depending on how much carbon dioxide we pump into the atmosphere, but we’ve already made our planet much more inhospitable and we’ve only raised the temperature of the planet by 1° Celsius! At worst, if we continue with business as usual we will actually, believe it or not, bring about the end of civilization. And we will bring down a huge portion, if not all, of the rest of the web-of-life with us.
As we work through a whole range of difficult emotions about this – such as overwhelm, fear, helplessness, hopelessness, guilt, shame, despair, and anger – the fact that we still can stop this will become increasingly clear and we will eventually ask, What can I do to help? May we each ask this question with our whole hearts.
For my part, I’d like to raise consciousness about the science and offer two basic resources for dealing with something so scary. One, we can share our difficult feelings with trusted friends. One of my favorite quotes is “A burden shared is halved and a joy shared is doubled.” In other words, sharing alone is profoundly healing. I have found this to be true again and again and again. We can literally get it out. And when we do we end up feeling clear, healthy, and powerful.
Two, here is an insight that many religions and philosophies throughout history have taught us. D.H. Lawrence put it this way: “Vitally, the human race is dying. It is like a great uprooted tree with its roots in the air. We must plant ourselves again in the universe.” In other words, we have run away with the assumption that we are separate from the universe – from the Earth and from each other. And this has made us crazy. This has made us afraid, small, defensive, selfish, and neurotic. When we plant ourselves again in the universe, or reconnect to our true selves, we regain ease, balance, confidence, peace, and strength. And from this secure place our compassionate intelligence flows.
There are lots of techniques to help us reconnect to ourselves. A couple of my favorites are meditation and spending time in nature.
So please, let’s surround ourselves with good people. Let’s be brave and face the science. And let’s become like white blood cells, doing whatever we can to save ourselves and the whole web-of-life.