The Challenges of Being Alive in October 2018
I have been grappling and struggling with the many complex emotions created by the situation as I see it, in SA at the moment. I wonder how many of you, who are fellow South Africans have experienced some of the same tugs at your heart, flashes of anger and intermittent periods of total despair that I have felt. Maybe it's the same wherever you live right now. Every country has it's challenges!
I have tried banning the subject of politics and I have tried detaching from it and listening with quiet fascination to what people say. I have tried the ostrich, head in the sand denial approach and I have tried the “I don’t care approach”. Whatever I do and whatever approach I adopt, I am still struggling with endless emotions many of which are very uncomfortable.
I wanted to unpack the array of emotions and here they are….
Guilt is tops. I feel guilty for my white privilege and I feel guilt for not doing more to help the less privileged. I feel guilt that I have had it relatively easy, even although I argue in my head that I have worked exceedingly hard to make the opportunities I have been given turn to gold and I continue to do that.
Shame is next. I feel ashamed for being white and part of all the atrocities of the past, even although I was just a child and a student. I feel terrible shame that I didn’t even realize or pay attention to what was happening.
Fury is also rampant. I am so angry that people take advantage of other people. I check myself constantly trying to make certain I don’t do this too. I loathe the power plays that occur in the world and I feel so angry that people can't share and take care of their fellow human beings.
I feel despair. Bucket loads of despair that there doesn’t seem to be any hope. Not even a glimmer of it. There are not enough jobs, thousands are losing their jobs every day and it is only going to get worse with artificial intelligence coming into play. I can't imagine how you would feel if you had no job and no means of feeding your family.
I feel powerless. I feel the problem is too big to even understand and I can't think of a single way to help it get any better.
I feel a sense of urgent determination that it can't be this bad and then I see someone smile and say “hello” to me in the street and I feel overwhelming gratitude for the beauty in most people. I chat to the checkout lady at the supermarket and we are just two human beings meeting each other and I feel incredulous at the wonder of humanity and the beauty of diversity and the courage of most people. I see the people queuing at the taxi rank and I feel respect for the hardship so many people courageously live with day by day.
The only route is to accept and tolerate what exists in my life right now. This is how it feels. This is how complex it is and I don’t have to fade it or fix it. I have to be open to it all, relax with it and know that I just have to do what I can and let the Universe take care of the rest. This is life, right now. Railing against it will not help. Trying to avoid it will not help. It is as it is. My job is to let go and allow my creativity to show me what I can do and when. My role is to bring upliftment and help, hope and support, wherever I can. That is enough. For the rest, I have to watch with fascination and patience and see what unfolds next.
I wonder how it will unfold. I wish you, fellow human being peace and acceptance. Maybe this will resonate and help you to be present with what you feel too.