Everything we do is based on agreements we have made — agreements with ourselves, with other people, with God, with life. But the most important agreements are the ones we make with ourselves. — Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements.
What is at the root of every single fight?
We live in a world where so many of us are sick of fighting with one another. Fighting is often not the productive and right road heroism it is portrayed to be, but rather a result of our own unhealed wounds. True warriors are strong enough to avoid fighting except when it’s absolutely necessary.
It seems to make sense that since there is really no way for us to control other people, why not turn that intention to end the fight inward where we do have some control over making positive changes.
There are some fundamental reasons why you might feel like fighting
It often feels like fighting with others is justified.
- When you feel threatened or afraid for your safety.
- When your ego is threatened and you are not ready to listen to another’s point of view.
- When someone takes something that you think is yours and claims it as theirs.
- If you are ignorant or close-minded.
- If you are emotionally disturbed or exhausted to begin with.
- When the tone of voice someone is using angers or upsets you.
- If you are chronically short-tempered and irritable.
- Or when you always have to be right to feel powerful, and therefore not threatened.
The list above is basically a detailed explanation for nearly all the fighting that’s been going on in our country in an escalating way for years now.
And the subconscious agreements we have made with ourselves and our ideas of how the culture works that put us into the state where we’re all ready to fight at the drop of a hat. It’s clearly no longer working.
It’s time to make some new agreements with ourselves.
Instead of fighting with other people, why not turn our attention towards inner healing? Why not try and cut the fight off at the pass by making it less likely that we want to fight in the first place?
Only then can we begin to make better agreements with the people around us. Only then can we decide to evolve and mature to a point where we are not so tempted to fight with each other all the time.
It’s easy to fall into a state of existential despair
If you are looking around the country and wondering what the hell just happened with the election, you are not alone. Who on earth is voting for the madness of the last 4 years, and the malfeasance of the military-industrial complex to continue? What is wrong with them?
It appears that Joe Biden is the president-elect, but the current thug in office is not conceding that he lost the election. He doesn’t understand democracy.
I’ve been informed that there are now alternate news networks that are telling people that Trump indeed won. So… Now we wait to see what happens? Crazy days folks…
What with the seemingly neverending police shootings of black people and the resultant protests, and the death of both common decency and facts, the world has gone mad.
Top that off with the massive and deadly fires, the howling winds of innumerable hurricanes, looming economic collapse, and oh yeah — the pandemic, and it’s no wonder that fighting has broken out to ravage our communities, our families, and our hearts.
What about … all of it? How can we possibly choose to stop fighting? How will we survive if we don’t fight for it?
Yes. It’s true. There are so many horrific things writ large in every headline. There is so much unimaginable pain and suffering happening around the world right now. It’s a pretty dire landscape, to be honest.
The world has actually been mad for a long time now, but it’s as if Dr. Pimple Popper has applied her little metal scooper to the skin of our culture and started pushing, we’re ALL getting to see the zit pop. People of privilege included. Finally!
Yuck. But if it weren’t so tragic, it’d be oddly satisfying to see the pustule finally burst. We must clear the gunk to make space for our collective healing to begin.
Through maturation and evolution, we can choose to tackle the root causes of our fights
Rather than just trying endlessly to win them.
It’s time to move on from the Marvel superhero movie mentality where the good guy gets the powers to defeat the bad guy and bam! Everything is perfect again once the good guys win. It’s time to move beyond the selfish perspective of the adolescent hero, and into the realms of the mature men and women who nurture, protect, and lead their communities in a humble and purposeful way.
As humans, we are all capable of making the choice to stop fighting with one another. No matter what the situation. Just read Victor Frankl. The choice is one we make inside of ourselves. In our heads, our hearts, and our wombs.
It’s time for us to address the WHY of the cultural and societal pathologies that have made us so ill and put us into a situation where far too many people are living their lives in an ignorant, exhausted, short-tempered, irritable, sleep-deprived, emotionally disturbed, and ego-threatened way.
Let’s stop arguing about who is right and who is wrong. Let’s take a deep breath, a long hard look in the mirror, and let’s work together on fixing the root cause issues of our fighting instead. This will require that we develop our self-confidence, we learn to be impeccable with our word, we learn how not to take things personally, and we learn how to breathe deeply when we are triggered. We must learn to choose our reactions, instead of only acting from our primal self-protective instincts. We must choose to grow up.
All of this work will take patience and compassion. But we really have no other alternative.
It’s hard to believe, but the fight is already over
This might not seem to be the case, especially if you’re watching the mainstream media all the time. But fear and hatred are losing ground to the power of community and love. The very fact that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel shows that we are coming into a changing world.
What we are seeing now is the dying of the old story. These are its death pangs. The old story is clawing at its throat as the domination hierarchy struggles to draw in the last, gasping breaths. The patriarchy is on its knees.
In the dark, the deep, the seed. Lay in wait in dreamless sleep.
Once it has sprouted, there’s no putting it back under the ground. It will either be pulled, or it will be allowed to grow. The time of new beginnings is upon us.
Welcome to our collective rite of passage.
The seeds of the new systems were planted long ago
They have been to germinating beneath the cold dark ground. These seeds have been quietly preserved in the gardens of the wise, in the memories of the elders. These seeds aren’t new to the earth, they are just new to our modern culture.
This doesn’t mean the old story isn’t going to do its best to nuke the new one. It might even, frighteningly enough, succeed. But that still doesn’t mean we should be compelled to fight one another.
The truth of how things work and how they are connected has been known to humankind for eons.
The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. Chief Seattle, 1854
The point is — the new story is here already. It has already been born. It exists within the morphic field. And it doesn’t need to fight. It just has to endure the death throes of the old and make it out the other side somewhat intact.
We can choose another way.
Let us give good death to the old
The seeds of love have been burned by fires. This year, they have been scratched and scraped open by COVID. They have been planted in the soil by the people who care. And nothing can stop the life force, though it sure feels like the powers that used to be ascendant are giving a good go at it lately.
We can trust in the power of life to rejuvenate itself. We can trust in the power of love. We can trust in the turning of the wheel.
And we can do it right now. Right here. At this moment. Within our hearts.
This is what I mean when I say, the fight is over. Why would we keep fighting against the dying of the old? Let us simply let it go, and move on. There is healing work to be done.
The witches new year passed with the end of October. The ancestors were close. The time of giving good death to the old so that we can welcome the new is now upon us. Are we brave enough to enter the void?
It won’t be easy
But the work is in the healing, not the fighting.
Lay down your arms. Stop fighting the inevitable. Stop fighting each other. Embrace your neighbors and your family, even if you have to do it virtually over Zoom.
I’m mad at the white women who almost voted Trump back into office too Tressie McMillan Cottom — but you and I can’t fight because we have different colored skin. I agree with everything you said here.
Shannon Ashley, I also feel your pain at Anderson Cooper’s shallow mockery of Trump as an obese turtle on his back. What can we do to demand greater respect for large-bodied people in our crazy culture?
All of us who feel like we have the right to fight or that our fight is righteous and just — we must look in the mirror and find a different way forward.
How do we fix this giant mess? Where do we begin?
Let’s start by looking into the eyes of our fellow humans and begin to recognize that no matter how mad, how mean, how traumatized, and how triggered that other person is — they are still people just like us. They have their own perspectives and their own pain they are dealing with.
Let’s cut the defense budget and repurpose those resources to a better cause.
Let’s sweep in and pick up all the children who are crying, and return them to their rightful parents. If we can find them.
Let’s stop fracking the shale for gas, and let the Pachamama rest. She will recover quickly. Don’t you remember what happened at the onset of the lockdown, before we all got distracted and buried underneath our fears?
Let’s stop driving around like crazy stressed out monkeys and take the opportunity provided by the COVID crisis we are collectively experiencing that has cracked our society down the middle to make some major overhauls.
Let’s take a mental health year, and figure out how to take care of each other without being myopically focused on the imaginary numbers in our bank accounts.
Let’s stop trying to “save” the economy, and start building an economy that values caring, and life, and beauty. GDP has nothing on mother earth.
Let’s stop trying to just elect the right leaders, and start becoming the right leaders instead.
Let’s leverage our amazing technology to work together, and stop our cutthroat competition for what we perceive to be scarce resources. They’re not scarce. They are merely hoarded and squandered.
Let’s invest in our children.
Let’s invest in education.
Let’s invest in the soil.
Let’s start to rebuild the trust that thousands of years of trying to win the foolish game of domination have whipped and beaten and broken.
Let us make a plan so bold and so brilliant that we leave behind the pain of this terrible era to live on only in the history books.
We can do all of this and then some
Who says we can’t?
The defense contractors? Big Pharma? The lobbyists? The politicians? The banks?
I’m done listening to their crap. Their time is over. I will no longer be manipulated into fighting with other people for the financial benefit of a few people at the top of a crumbling pyramid of perceived power.
We don’t have to be afraid anymore
The ‘war on terrorism’ would end in an instant if we just stopped breeding terrorists through state-sponsored terrorism.
The ‘war on poverty’ would end in a bare second, if people didn’t have to have money to be considered to be of value.
The ‘war on drugs’ would be at an end the instant we offered compassion to people suffering addictions, and respectful sovereignty to the people who just want to experiment with their experience as humans. If drugs were just taken off the black-market where they pad the pockets of the people who use them as a means to make enormous amounts of money and put out into the world as an option for whoever wanted to try them, this would tremendously lower their harm factors.
All the wars are just stories that have been told to us by the people who stand to benefit most from their continuation. There is really no reason for them anymore. We can stop fighting, and it will be ok.
In the long run, it will be ok.
We can’t fight death and expect to win
Yes. Some of us will die sooner than we expected to. It’s true.
I’m not talking about achieving immortality here. I’m not conceding that we must sacrifice the vulnerable among us, throw up our hands, and say well shit, the economy as it is MUST go on.
I’m just stating the fact that we will all be born and we will all die. It’s time to stop resisting this fact of nature.
But the sooner we stop pretending we can master nature, and start working in her service instead, the less full of stress, anguish, and strife our lives will be.
The other day, I shared with my son the concept of attachment being at the root of all suffering. I told him this meant that life won’t be fair, he won’t get what he wants all the time, but nonetheless, HE HAS THE CHOICE whether or not these things will make him suffer, or they won’t.
Suffering is something we create within ourselves, and do to ourselves, and then tell ourselves that the world is making us suffer.
No, life isn’t fair
Life is a gift, full of unexpected twists and turns.
It will take you up and down and round and round, just like the proverbial roller coaster. It will take you to places you’ve never imagined. It will fill you with joy and with dread and with anger and with fear. Life is a wild ride.
But do you want to keep suffering because of the way life works?
I sure as hell don’t.
I’m done with the fighting. I’m ready to start healing. How about you?
The change won’t happen because THE WORLD decides to change. It won’t happen because OTHER PEOPLE start to act right.
It will happen because you and I decide to change.
When the tipping point happens, and we collectively make the choice to stop suffering and start healing in the only place we have any control — within ourselves — then the story will change. The sprout will emerge.
And that’s going to be a beautiful day.