We Were Made for These Times
It’s one week before the election and as things build to this climax of outcome, I’m finding myself quieter, less fearful, moving deeper into a space of trust. Headlines feel empty. Others’ expressed fears are absorbed without anxiety. My own worries from these past months feel more distant, less prominent. This is counter to what I expected.
Several weeks ago, I stumbled upon a writing by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes – Letter to a Young Activist During Troubled Times – and it’s been churning around in me since. I’m not sure how long ago she wrote it, but as is true of so much of her wisdom, it feels relevant whenever it surfaces. Thus, it resonates now and may explain this counter-intuitive reaction, that is, this feeling of internal peace as the external chaos builds.
Because, you see, I do believe I am a seaworthy vessel, made for these times. I feel and see the same in you.
“Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.
Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.”
And so what to do with these seaworthy boats of ours? How about we take them to sea. We are able to ride above and through the fear that is churning all around us. “When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.”
What does it mean to take our boats to sea? “One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.”
To be fierce – Speaking up boldly when our voices matter. Taking right action to serve and protect those struggling and in desperate need of our humanity. Staying fiercely connected to our inner moral compass, our true selves, no matter the regular pull to join the drowning under-swell.
To show mercy – Staying silent and vigilant when our words would only do harm or contribute to the cacophony. And always, always seeking the underlying reasoning, the cause, the wounds from which people act – not in order to chastise, but in an effort to understand. To connect. To practice true compassion. To heal them where they need it most.
“We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do. It does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.”
So seven more days to practice holding this space of calm merciful presence and fierce action within the current tumult. Then seven more days to hone our skills. And then again seven more and seven more until it is our natural, intentional way of walking (or rather, sailing) in the world.
The photo and text in blue italics are directly from Dr. Estes’ article. If you would like to read the full text of her eloquence, you can do so here.