Not the Villian
Pointing fingers does not lead to shared healing
I fully understand now how hard I can be on myself. In my constant strivings for perfection, and my subsequent healing work through the disappointment of never reaching it, I realized how my attention now really doesn’t need to be on attaining perfection, but rather, in confirming my humanity. And as we might know, “To err is human”.
As I read in the news that the US and China will be building bases within the next 10 years on the moon to mine its resources, which will inevitably lead to exploitation, my first thought was not positive toward the nature of people.
But then I turned it around. I saw that, as a person, I am not exempt from wrong-actions. I too benefit from the callous ways that we get rich in our society. I saw that writing our collective actions off in a negative way doesn’t help. On the contrary, it adds to the problem.
I remember learning about global warming and the discovery of the ozone hole when I was in primary school in the ‘80’s. I remember the implementation of the recycling program and those terribly textured decomposable plastic bags. And while I wanted to “save the planet”, there was something so cold and unappealing about the environmental movement.
It wasn’t until more recently when I went deep into my recovery that I realized, we are the environment! We are not simply in nature, some adversary in constant struggle with it - we are nature. I finally understood what felt so off for me that I didn’t have the understanding for. We cannot remove ourselves from the conversation of conservation, nor is it wise to demonize ourselves for our shared past and present actions.
I believe wholeheartedly that we can combat our tendencies of exploitation and destruction by believing and accepting that what we do to the earth, we do to ourselves. It’s easy to cut corners, to waste, to pollute, to take beautiful, healthy spaces for granted in the pursuit of “more” and “progress”, but with intentionality and mindfulness, we can develop habits that consider the longer term effects of our actions.
It’s not about being “bad”, or conversely trying to be “good”, it’s about doing our best to live purposefully and responsibly. When I live with those intentions, I always feel okay, even contented. It’s human nature to make mistakes and to act in ways that are harmful, but today I realize that the magnificence of life is to own up to our mistakes, make those amends, and resolve to try harder to live well.