Warning: Naughty language ahead.
We can’t change what lies before us.
My ears have finally stopped ringing from the shock-wave conclusion of the 2016 election. I can say, without gritting my teeth into dust, that I don’t care who voted for whom. That is a worthy accomplishment at this point of my evolution. I thought I’d be tossing spitballs at neighbors and strangers for at least another decade.
Unfortunately for me, I’ve got a baseline problem.
My friend Jim said it best: “There are times I wish that I didn’t give a shit.”
As I have slowly crawled out of my burrow, I’ve begun to face what is. And what is, is scaring me down to my pee-laden undies. But instead of allowing the fight or flight response to run me out of my mind, I’m forcing it into submission. I have no choice. I give a shit.
That sound echoing from the irritatingly blue sky above is me sighing through eons of my tragi-comedy life. If it reverberates as more of a howl of rage, please give me a pass (my evolution comes in fits and spurts).
What we have learned during this process is shocking and uncomfortable and frightening. Before this point, there was a global delusion about our circumstances. Now the bandage covering our ugly wounds has been ruthlessly ripped from our flesh. That much is obvious.
Now that we know what exists, we can scurry back into the burrow or get busy. I’m getting busy, and I invite you to do the same.
Giving a shit about love means doing something.
For me, what that will become is evolving in the same manner as my demeanor—in fits and spurts. There are a few things I know for sure, and I’ve gathered them as a helping hand for my friends who give a shit:
>> Stay awake. Use no-dose, meditation, a cattle prod, whatever it takes to keep focused on the wave that is upon us. Don’t get distracted by mindless matters of nothing. That is a form of delusion.
>> Be a human. Eat well, exercise, pet your dog, have sex, and hug your friends. Say nice things to the guy at the gas station. Simply go through the motions of breathing. It may seem pointless, but this is a necessity to be useful for whatever comes next.
>> Heal. Get counseling, EMDR, bodywork or all three. Do everything and anything it takes to be mindful, have the ability to control triggers, come to terms with wounds, and be a productive member of our tribe.
>> See people as human beings. At our core, we’re the same. One of our fight or flight responses has to do with thinking of people as “its,” as us and them. This isn’t real. It is a survival mechanism that doesn’t help with our evolution. It was useful for beating back saber-toothed tigers, but not for dealing with a neighbor who voted differently.
>> Saber-toothed tigers are real. I’m metaphorically referring to racism, hatred, subjugation, violence, and insanity. Pay careful attention to what is happening. There is every reason to believe the ugly side of humanity has been unleashed. Do what it takes to protect those who need protecting.
>> Be grateful for orgasms. And Pinot Noir. And the sunrise. We’ve got several things on this planet that help us cope with effed up circumstances. Get a list going and partake regularly.
>> Protest until there is no reason to protest. If marching isn’t your thing, voice your opinion and stand for love in any way that speaks to you.
>> Laugh. I’m not kidding. Seek out comedians. Humor arises when we see that giving a shit has meaning. Finding the seams of humor in difficult circumstances is how we stay sane. Comedians have always been the backbone of our ungracious society.
Giving a shit about love isn’t easy, especially when the silver lining in a cyclone is difficult to discern. But giving a shit means you are awake. And that in and of itself is a worthy accomplishment.
Maybe together, we can give a shit about love out of this mess.
Author: Deb Lecos
Image: Author’s Own
Editor: Emily Bartran