A few days ago, I read a paragraph about animals being horribly mistreated, and I started crying. I know this stuff goes on, but at the time, I asked myself, “Why? Why does this happen? How is this possible? How can someone be that unfeeling toward other life forms?” That led to crying about industrial practices that are bad for the environment and our health. From there, my thoughts quickly spread to other ideas like war. How can we keep killing each other like that? How can all this happen? It seems totally crazy.
All of a sudden, in the middle of my feeling of hopelessness and sorrow, I got a word. Disconnect. Everything I was questioning stemmed from disconnection. We go to war because we believe other people are different, separate from us. We don’t see that killing them is killing us. We are all one energy. We create pollution and do things that aren’t good for our planet or our bodies because we are disconnected from the energy of the planet, the fact that its nourishment allows our plants to grow to give us food, its ground gives us stability for our houses. We think throwing a plastic bottle on the ground doesn’t matter because we are disconnected from the fact that it goes into the ocean, breaks up into tiny pieces that absorb other pollutants, is eaten by fish, and then we eat the fish. But the root disconnect, the one that leads to all the other disconnects, is the disconnect from ourselves.
This isn’t limited to “big” problems, like war or toxic waste in the oceans. All of those things are signs of what’s going on in our day to day lives. I created war a few hours ago in my mind when I got angry at someone else and felt that what I was doing was better than what they were doing. That “me vs. them” mindset is war. It’s a total illusion. But I wouldn’t feel the disconnect on the outside if there wasn’t one already on the inside.
So what causes this internal disconnection? I think it stems from not allowing ourselves to feel. How often do we give ourselves permission to feel? How often do we stuff our feelings with food, work, things, or activities instead of confronting them, healing them, and moving on? It’s like we can’t just do nothing for an hour, two hours, a day, a week. . . we have to always be doing, going, moving. And the consequences? Health problems, depression, anger, loneliness, disillusionment, pollution, war, hatred. When we don’t listen to the needs of our body or spirit, we’re disconnected, and that is no bueno.
How do we connect? I think it starts with each one of us giving ourselves permission to feel. Just to be quiet and feel. Not thinking, not wondering what we feel – just letting our mind get out of the way and our emotions bubble up to show themselves. Sometimes it’s not pleasant at first. We may not feel feelings that we would label as pleasant at times. But usually once they’re out, or even while you’re feeling them, it’s kind of invigorating. It’s kind of fun! Your spirit feels more alive (knowing that it survived), and then joy bubbles up. Laughter bubbles up. Love bubbles up. Acceptance bubbles up. And your joy and laughter and love will look good to another person, and they’ll start feeling it too.