As I’ve mentioned throughout this GRIT Series, these times continue to require GRIT: The willingness to Go Right Into Trepidation and sit in it for a while. For me, the ‘while’ has felt rather endless. As I watch friends return to old patterns—going to work, travelling abroad—my own internal pressure to do the opposite continues to increase. I desire deeper solitude; disconnecting further from society feels more natural to me. I dream of finding a patch of nature somewhere so off the beaten path that I can stand in the middle of it, scream at the top of my lungs to the four winds, and no one will call 911. If a person screams in the forest and no one hears them, did they really scream?
And yet, for the most part, I continue to do what I’m expected to do in response to external pressure even though it no longer feels natural or balanced. And I wonder, am I alone?
In natural osmosis, a substance moves from an area of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration, eventually distributing equally and effectively finding balance.
In reverse osmosis, hydrostatic pressure forces the particles to move in the opposite direction than the osmotic pressure—from lower concentration to higher.
We are naturally meant to find and live in balance—in natural osmosis. Yet, how many of us even know what it is to live naturally based upon our own intuitive desires and abilities? How many of us would spend our days doing what we do now if life were simpler? How long would we naturally sleep if we turned off the alarm clock and rested when we felt tired? How much time would we spend outdoors in nature if we weren’t dependent upon multiple electronic devices? How would our decisions alter if we followed our intuition over external input? And how much less medical ‘care’ would we require as we aged if we followed these natural inclinations? Most of us will never know.
I’ve become increasingly aware that most of us are raised within completely unnatural environments, within confining and controlling systems—systems in which I’m feeling increasingly uncomfortable. With very few exceptions, ‘everybody’ goes to school, work, the doctor, grocery store…just like ‘everybody’ else. And, within the middle-class system I have lived, we tend to rank our value and worth based on our place within these systems—the prestige of the school we attended, the neighbourhood we live in, the restaurants we dine in and the resorts at which we vacation, the title on our business cards, and perhaps most importantly the dollar figure on our pay cheque. These environments and systems so fundamentally direct our lives from the moment we are born to the day we die that few people pause to consider them. We just keep doing it—the daily grind…. Until recently.
Recently, the entire system came grinding to a halt just long enough for some people to begin to question why we’re blindly following it. But, just when we had the opportunity to feel a sense of freedom in the pause from our daily grind, that freedom was restricted in a different way by a new, ever-evolving set of rules telling us what we must and must not do—yet another source of artificial pressure pulling us in the opposite direction we would naturally choose. Regardless of whether these new rules and mandates felt ‘natural’ to us, most of us followed them due to the external pressure from our governments, mainstream media, and each other. Although I determinedly refused to adhere to some prescribed protocols, as I related in my You’ve Got GRIT post, I personally submitted to wearing a mask in public places, despite feeling intensely uncomfortable when wearing it, as well as believing that masks are ineffective and harmful.
GRIT: Go Right Into Trepidation
Aligned with Gravity; GRIT grounds us down, breaking down negative connections.
“When I resolutely face my discomfort, my fear disintegrates—my resistance dissolves.”
PLUCK: Purposeful Luck
Aligned with Levity, PLUCK raises us up, building up positive connections.
“When I intently focus on my purpose, my luck aligns—my possibilities harmonize.”
I feel excruciatingly uncomfortable wearing a mask and have difficulty interacting with people who are wearing one. I’ve realised that I have some auditory processing issues and I read lips very closely in an attempt to compensate. This artificial barrier disabled me from comfortably and confidently interacting with anyone wearing a mask. As a result, I’ve found navigating in a world of masked faces very alienating.
Further, I believe that medical masks don’t actually stop the spread of Covid because it’s an ‘airborne,’ aerosol-based virus. (This understanding has been acknowledged by the ‘powers that be,’ though they continue to advise wearing a mask regardless.) If Covid is an airborne virus, then if you can breathe through the mask, you can contract the virus through it. Meanwhile, the mask restricts oxygen intake as inhaling the fibres can actually harm our lungs. Not to mention the environmental toll of billions of discarded ‘disposable’ masks going into landfills.
Yet, despite these feelings and beliefs, I submitted to the artificial pressure of wearing a mask in public places. Why? First, because I feared the supposed repercussions of disobeying. Then, eventually, to be polite—I didn’t want to offend or scare people who apparently felt significantly more fear of the virus than I did and who must have believed that the masks actually could protect them from it.
But, there’s a price to pay for acting counter to our own intuition, comfort, and beliefs. “When we believe in one path, but we walk another, we’re creating a lot of conflicting energy in our field.” Mentally, it causes cognitive dissonance. Emotionally and energetically, it drains us, fragmenting us and taking us out of integrity, “the state of being whole and undivided.”
At what point does our need to find our own natural balance, and to return to integrity, outweigh societal pressure? In the case of masks, at the point that it finally occurred to me that my choice to continue to wear a mask in public signified that I feared the air and people around me. Choosing to interact with the world maskless signals to the people around me that I feel safe. And does that feeling of safety, of natural balance, in one individual actually positively affect everyone? I believe it does—I hope that my choice to interact directly with the people around me gives them the courage to remove the artificial boundaries dividing them from others and to feel safe in the world as well.
If we do something that’s not in alignment with what we believe, it’s like forcing expanded consciousness into this tiny little container where it suffocates and doesn’t thrive…on a grander scale, it is a skewed signal to source because when we believe in one path, but we walk another, we’re creating a lot of conflicting energy in our field. So what we’re here to do is create a life and navigate a path to our highest freedom and sovereignty personally.
If we believe that we are here to make change, physically or otherwise, if we step outside of the bounds of what we believe in order to comply, we’re only going to find ourselves falling off the path. So finding peace in our personal life is like holding space for others to do the same and navigating us to a society where we don’t have to be in fear.
Allowing what is is not the same as accepting what is. We can allow what is to be here while we know there’s an intelligent process going on beneath the surface and have faith that it’s carrying us somewhere. So it’s an interesting kind of balance to think about having faith in the process while at the same time navigating a personal journey. But that’s how the new structure comes into being.
And I wonder, in what other areas of my life have I believed in one path but walked another? In those areas, can I find the courage to follow my own intuition, to distribute my energies more evenly, and effectively find balance? And through that process, to feel my own unique and personal sense of wholeness, of integrity.
Are there areas in your life where your actions have not aligned with your beliefs, but you’ve felt pressure to follow those actions even when they feel unnatural? Do you also feel drawn to this process of distributing your energies more equally to find balance?