I won't lie to you - this post might be a challenging one.
I've been grappling with some ideas that I feel compelled to share and will tell you right now that they may push us against the edges of your comfort zones. But, it's for a higher purpose... Unity Consciousness.
Because isn't this where we want to go? Isn't the new world we envision based on LOVE for our fellow humans and the natural world?
Does that dream even seem possible these days? Ever the optimist, I say a resounding YES!
But, we're not going to get there without some personal adjustments first. So, hang in there with me and, as always, feel free to drop any idea that does not serve you.
Chaos and Fear
I'll just set the stage for a moment...
It's been a scary 12 months.
Let's talk about what happens to the brain when a fearful moment occurs:
The fight-or-flight response from the amygdala takes control of the brain and body. The prefrontal cortex, which normally handles our responses to daily life, is temporarily shut down and cortisol levels surge to pump adrenaline into the system to deal with the issue at hand. Usually, after the event is over, cortisol levels drop back down and the body returns to stasis.
But what happens when there is long-term sustained fear, aka stress? To quote a Touro University article:
"It can disrupt synapse regulation, resulting in the loss of sociability and the avoidance of interactions with others. Stress can kill brain cells and even reduce the size of the brain. Chronic stress has a shrinking effect on the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain responsible for memory and learning, ... (and) can increase the size of the amygdala, which can make the brain more receptive to stress. "Cortisol is believed to create a domino effect that hard-wires pathways between the hippocampus and amygdala in a way that might create a vicious cycle by creating a brain that becomes predisposed to be in a constant state of fight-or-flight,” Christopher Bergland writes in Psychology Today."
So, let's say that we're all in this chaotic soup together, sustaining one frightening news report after another, reduced to living in our houses with little, if any, contact with anyone, and no end in sight.
Does it make sense that our normally reasoning minds could be somewhat impaired (and hopefully not shrunken!)?
Captive to the dominion of the amygdala and fed story upon story about how horrifying the world is, doesn't it stand to reason that we could be caught in the "vicious cycle" mentioned above?
Now that the chaotic stage is set, let's move on...
Chaos, Fear ... and Power
Accepting the possibility that we've all been somewhat frozen in a continual state of fear, it would follow that we would lean hard into those who run our systems and government for guidance through a very challenging time. Naturally, we would continuously turn to media outlets for information about how to operate in the new landscape.
We listened as story after terrifying story arose ... and we accepted them, often without question. As each new episode in the drama ensued, through subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) messaging, we were also told how to think and feel about them.
Now, I know this is a touchy subject, but given the state of our stressed-out brains, could we actually have been perceiving clearly enough to know if the broadcasters, doctors, businessmen and politicians who have been in charge have been telling the truth?
Might it be that we've been too ensconced in our collective amygdala to have noticed any inconsistencies and/or power shifts that may have taken place?
Caroline Myss talks about chaos both as a change agent and as a redistribution of power. On a personal level, there's hardly a soul I know who hasn't been through a major upheaval over the last year, myself included. In the process, much of what had been hiding under the carpet has come to light: relationships that were leaky vessels, fully sank; careers that were unsatisfying, ended; and locations that no longer held attraction were abruptly changed. I think everyone has been forced to determine what is true for them.
On the world stage, we certainly saw a power struggle as demonstrations of all kinds took place, and of course we remember what occurred here in the USA. Unrest was, and is, in the air.
Then, we endured a redistribution of power at the highest level in a presidential race that literally tore families and friendships apart (and is still doing so). If there was ever any doubt about the power of the media, just look at how party lines were clearly drawn depending on which news outlet one watched. I suggest that we were (purposefully?) whipped into an amygdala-driven choosing of sides that pitted citizen against citizen due to competing ideas about what was true and what wasn't.
This entrenchment caused righteous judgment of those on the opposite side, turning normally balanced, loving people into raging haters should a political conversation arise.
Which brings us to the crux of the matter.