I was thinking about some of what I was taught culturally which really never made any sense to me. When I reflect on them now, I see they were attempts to increase separation, fracturing our unity.
I were taught to avoid the sun—I would get burned and get skin cancer. In reality, we need the sun. Vitamin D deficiencies cause all manner of illnesses. Actually I love and have always loved sitting in the sun.
I were taught to avoid walks in nature. There were ticks, disease infected mosquitoes, poisonous snakes, and wild animals in nature. Actually, walking or even just sitting in nature is vitally beneficial. It grounds us and connects us with all. I have walking in the woods and camped my whole life and at most have faced hungry ordinary mosquitoes.
I was seduced by fancy technologies like the Internet and smart phones and was told that was the best way to communicate and connect with others. I was taught phone calls, hand written letters, and personal visits were not in keeping with the world. Even if you live in the same household with another, texting from another room or across the table was better somehow. In reality, physical contact, touch, hugs, and sharing space are vital for our growth and connection. And I love to get a hand written letter or card in the mail. I had a smart phone for a while but exchanged it for a flip phone with no wifi. That’s all I need in a phone.
I was taught that hand made and home made items were viewed as quaint at best, or backwards. I was taught store bought from large superstores were preferred. I was taught I could get a sense of community by shopping at a clothing store which sold my own “look” which I then shared with millions of others who also wore that same look. For me, it was Banana Republic clothing. But in time, I have relearned to simplify my wardrobe and to shop at a Goodwill for clothes, recycling and wearing items another has decided to share. Likewise, I also take clothes I no longer wear to Goodwill.
I was taught there is a finite amount of anything in the world, be it money, love, toilet paper, or love. I was taught to store up things, to be prepared because that shortage would certainly come along with floods, tornadoes, fires, earthquakes, and other disasters. I was taught to fear the future because I would never experience the illusive good old days. I know now that there is an abundance of everything, and we experience shortages because we manifest that experience. When I have needed to go to the grocery store recently during what feels like the “world wide shutdown,” I have been able to find everything on my grocery list. I just knew what I needed would be there.
I could go on with so many more examples. We were taught to be separate and independent to the point of looking at the environment to be a hostile other and to view others as competitors in collecting the limited “stuff” out there.
There is a much better way, though. We all are one. What I do affects others. And we each are really a reflection of each other. If I feel strong negative emotions towards someone, then in reality they are just showing me an aspect of myself I don’t accept and love.
For example, I found myself judging someone who appeared to be a hoarder, with junk all over their house and yard with barely enough space to walk. I have realized reflecting on this more that people hoard because they are lacking something in their life and so collecting stuff somehow feeds them or fills them or satisfies them in some way. It made me go deeper into myself and ask, Where and how do I feel like I am lacking?” It also reminded me it was time for me to clean out closets and book cases and give things away I no longer used or read. It also reminded me I need to continue with this blog.