In this culture we display a compulsive avoidance of difficult matters and an obsession with distraction. Because we cannot acknowledge our grief, we’re forced to stay on the surface of life.
. . . → Read More: The Geography Of Sorrow: Francis Weller On Navigating Our Losses
Being happy is about feeling good. Meaning is derived from contributing to others or to society in a bigger way.
. . . → Read More: Meaning Is Healthier Than Happiness, By Emily Eshfahani Smith
From my experience, conscious grieving has two consequences that the world has never needed more than it needs them in this moment: Gratitude and love. When I deeply connect with the reality of planetary ecocide and grieve it, I become unspeakably grateful for Earth, and I love it on a deeper level than I could have imagined. In other words, grieving is an act of generosity.
. . . → Read More: If We Have No Future, Why Grieve? By Carolyn Baker
What matters in the story of our human relationships is not whether they lead to “happily ever after” but who and what they make of us. All relationships are our teachers, and this is especially so in a time of societal unraveling.
. . . → Read More: Loving, Living, And Preparing With A Reluctant Partner, By Carolyn Baker
Contact with the pain of the world, however, does not only bring grief but can also open the heart to reach out to all things still living. It holds the potential to break open the psychic numbing. Maybe there is also community to be found among like-hearted people, among those who also can admit they’ve been touched by this “Great Grief,” feeling the Earth’s sorrow, each in their own way. Not just individual mourning is needed, but a shared process that leads onwards to public re-engagement in cultural solutions. Working out our own answers as honestly as we can, as individuals and as communities, is rapidly becoming a requirement for psychological health. To cope with losing our world requires us to descend through the anger into mourning and sadness, not speedily bypass them to jump onto the optimism bandwagon or escape into indifference. And with this deepening, an extended caring and gratitude may open us to what is still here, and finally, to acting accordingly.
. . . → Read More: The Great Grief: How To Cope With Losing Our World, By Per Espen Stoknes
As the conversation about Near-Term Human Extinction (NTHE) grows increasingly deafening, I notice many people behaving as if they are already dead—and in fact they may be. Do we have 15 years, 20 years, 50 years? Should I move to another location? What’s the point of doing the job I now have? Why even have health insurance if I’m not going to be here anyway? And on it goes…I have no problem with preparing for the future. I’ve been writing books on that topic for about six years. The future has come to meet us and smack us upside the head on just about every level imaginable. And…living primarily in the future takes a terrible toll on us in current time. In fact, it strip-mines our lives in the here and now and guarantees that we become “extinct” long before NTHE does its dirty deed.
. . . → Read More: Is There Life Before Death? By Carolyn Baker
The ancients took a different line on happiness. As Oliver Burkeman observed in his excellent book The Antidote, the Stoics were particularly keen on being mindful about all the disastrous things that might happen to you – if only to understand that they probably wouldn’t be as bad as you thought. Now instead of Seneca, we have new age gurus who tell us if we think positive thoughts we will float around on a pink cloud and get what we always wanted. I would not go so far as Slavoj Žižek who, asked what he found most depressing, answered “the happiness of stupid people”. But I know what he meant. Anyone intelligent and sensitive and thoughtful cannot look at the world and themselves without some inkling that everything, although strange and remarkable, is not always awesome. Anyway, the light relies on the dark to exist. If we could acknowledge it, the weight of denial could be lifted. And you know what? We’d all be a lot happier for it.
. . . → Read More: The Secret Of Happiness? Stop Feeling Bad About Being Unhappy, By Tim Lott
An approach of reverence establishes a foundation ripe for amazement. We are readied for surprise and awe by a posture of reverence. It is a stance of humility, recognizing that the otherness that surround us—that infuses the world—is vast and powerful and yet curiously open for connection. An approach of reverence invites the mystery of encounter where two solitudes meet and become entangled, creating a Third Body, an intimacy born of affection. All true intimacy requires an approach of reverence, a deep regard, an unknowing of who or what we are meeting. It is our bow honoring the exchange.
. . . → Read More: The Reverence Of Approach, By Francis Weller
If I can share some humor, or discuss news and current events, if a person needs to hear me read psalms, or have me sit quietly, then that’s what I do. Hospice care is not there to judge or give one-stop care; each patient is unique in their history, their needs and the way we care for them. I love that challenge. There are patients I’ve only known for hours, and those I will always remember — people who have touched my life, and allowed me to share a sacred time in theirs. Each week I look death in the eye and I’m reminded just how fragile life is and how my actions can help make the final transition a little bit better — I am reminded, how to live.
. . . → Read More: Four Things I Learned Comforting Dying People, By Dawn Q. Landau