When confronted with unexpected outcomes that appear threatening, our culturally conditioned response is to rush to “fix it.” The big change — the revolution — comes when we just sit with what is, sit with our reactions, and decide where we and our relations could truly benefit from an investment of our time and energy.
Our entire culture is in trouble with its constant tendency to manufacture crisis after crisis. When we slow down enough to shift our focus of attention onto self-management of our emotional state, we will release many self-imposed limiting beliefs about ourselves. Then long-lasting resolution of these crises will appear.
There are several things more important than our daily upset concerning injustice, the aged and now obsolete system of domination and violence. Our awareness of its pandemic nature is an extremely beneficial and painful first step. If we wish to move beyond that status quo, these are the things that need attention:
• unconscious reliance on a paternalistic form of government as the source of security,
• cultural belief in the efficacy of domination and violence as a means of social control and conflict resolution,
• general ignorance of the principles of non-violence,
• addiction to multiple escapes from our toxic shame about our lack of love,
• and learned helplessness.
We may feel a sense of urgency, that we have no time to wait, for traditional, conventional forms of help are not coming. The daily news of disaster distracts us from the urgent necessity to rebuild our culture at the grassroots level, the very deep rootedness of our internal processes, biases and mindset. Many people have referred to this paradigm shift as the Great Turning.
“Despite the apparent power of its symbol-mediated actions, the global elite is strikingly helpless to enact any course of action that deviates substantially from the current one….Again and again, we see left-leaning politicians, when they attain office, adopt the same neoliberal policies as their right-wing predecessors. Their power is mostly the power of a functionary….anyone who tries to change the system itself is soon removed from power.
Radical change of the kind necessary to transform our world cannot come from the confines of the story that has created the world we know today. It cannot come from its functionaries. It will only come from a different story, the “new story” … (though in many respects, it is not new at all but very ancient.)”
— Charles Eisenstein
When we reframe domination and violence as coming essentially from an inner panic — feeling abandoned, alone, and unsupported in a situation that appears to be out of control, then the process of letting go of self-centered grasping for control will no longer appear as the naive and unrealistic path to healing violence and creating bonds between people.
Those bonds lead to win-win situations that are a creative evolutionary advance and, from a whole-systems perspective, efficient.
This is the definition of non-violence and compassionate love. Learning to communicate in ways that build community resolves the panic.