It’s been an interesting journey to travel into one’s forties during this really bizarre period in history. Its during your forties that you start to examine whether the way you have been living your life truly aligns with your core values. Sometimes you don’t even know what those values are anymore, so it can be a period of deep discovery or even destruction of everything you’ve built, a clearing out, a retooling or rebuilding of structures. This can take the entire decade, but hopefully you start to inch closer and closer to a more authentic self by the time you reach fifty. At forty-five, I’m beginning to feel the truth of that journey. The way that I’m experiencing my forties are in some ways a transition period — similar to what 2020 feels like.
Sometimes the call of your heart will start inside you as a mere whisper that can be easy to rationalize away. Each year, you ignore it because reason is so much more powerful. For a variety of reasons, usually money or fear, you talk yourself out of what your heart wants. But slowly the heart gets louder and louder, and your rationalizations weaker and weaker. Fear is still a powerful force and people can get stuck in such a place, but sometimes your heart is so loud it’s really hard to ignore. The heart wants what it wants.
You slowly wake up to the sham that you’ve been living, this false life that is grounded in false truths and is an empty shell propped up by superficial values. And in that way, you see the hidden truth of the false narrative storyline. The “fake news” political propaganda that has now taken on a life of its own. Because we have been asleep, we have been lied to in so many ways. We have been freely and sometimes eagerly buying into a system that does not serve us and hasn’t been serving us for years. We’ve been locked into this crazy cycle of working more hours, making less money, accessing less healthcare, taking on more debt, having less time for our children … for what? I don’t get it. Somebody tell me … why have we been doing this? It’s not just not serving some of us. It’s serving no one. I read something recently that brought this reality into stark focus and hit me like a gut punch.
“Over fifty percent of humanity has never used a telephone. Allow the implications of that statistic to sink into your consciousness for a few moments. If that many people in the world are still distracted by issues of survival, what are the other fifty percent of people who are more fortunate doing about it? The answer is — almost nothing. They are too distracted themselves by the minutiae of their own lives — by mortgages, telephones, restaurants, television, politics, computerization and just about everything else you can imagine. Distraction greatly impedes evolution, but it also finally brings you into a fuller appreciation of your own misery. In the modern world, we appear almost desperate to distract ourselves from who we really are. At the same time, we now have so many distractions that we are becoming increasingly aware of the extent of our addiction.”
- Richard Rudd, The Gene Keys
If you ignore your heart’s calling for too long, its yearning may come out in surprising ways. An unrest inside you may fester until you start responding in manners that can’t easily be understood. It may build and build until it’s coming out the seams in slapdash fashion, leaking some over here and some over there. And when you try to plug the hole, it just starts spraying wildly in another direction. I feel like that’s what’s happening in our country today. We are all being forced to reckon with our values. Our heart wants what it wants, and we are in sudden triage, because we cannot ignore its call any longer.
As Richard Rudd points out above, we cannot deny that our vast ecosystems are broken, that our work, our communities and our government both local and global are not functioning for the good of the whole. We are not getting the support that we need to thrive as communities that are undeniably interconnected. The virus has finally infiltrated and destroyed any and all lifelines that were still managing a faint pulse. There is no possible resuscitation of this unhealthy way of being in the world.
“What has been an ancient spiritual truth is now increasingly verified by science: We are all indivisibly part of one another. We share a common ancestry with everyone and everything alive on earth. The air we breathe contains atoms that have passed through the lungs of ancestors long dead. Our bodies are composed of the same elements created deep inside the furnaces of long-dead stars. We can look upon the face of anyone or anything around us and say — as a moral declaration and a spiritual, cosmological, and biological fact: You are a part of me I do not yet know.”
- Valarie Kaur, from Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation
Some say the United States itself is experiencing a Chiron return, a midlife crisis. We are collectively awakening, and we want more than merely returning to half dead sleep. We’ve felt what it’s like to be dead and we want to be alive. Really alive. We want our neighbors and neighborhoods to thrive. We want purpose, we want community, and we want support. We cannot have it for ourselves if it’s not also for the other. We now see how interdependent we all are. No one thrives unless we all thrive. I can feel the beat getting stronger, stronger, stronger.
You can’t stop the momentum of the universal heart once it starts beating in steady rhythm in so many of us at once. The heart wants what it wants, and it will have what it wants. Soon.