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The Loudest Message


I fell asleep in the bath.


When I woke, one of my knees was upright, sticking out of the water like a snow capped mountain. The other was comfortably submerged. I thought about what it means to be in different positions, different realities inside this one, same reality we all share.


It feels like living in separate units of the same apartment building. If one tenant knocks a candle over and starts a fire, it’s only a matter of time before all the other inhabitants are impacted.


How much longer can we, as tenants of this planet, go on reinforcing, in vain, our separateness with a kind of narcissism and denial that is literally destroying our world before we heed the deeper message that is asking to be acknowledged and understood?


When the body is ill, the feedback gets more and more severe and nonnegotiable until we are forced to either deal with it or cease existing.


This feels like the crossroad we’re at as a species right now and nuclear war is the metaphor. It’s the loudest message Life can send us about how serious our refusal to understand is.


As a survivor of narcissistic abuse, I am thinking extremely deeply these days about the micro and the macro. On a micro, personal level, I’ve seen the damage narcissism can level on a family system. And I’ve observed my own tendencies to play the victim or to offer a kind of wounded empathy that leans codependent and winds up enabling the dysfunction more than healing it.


The turning point for me, on the micro, personal level, came when I started asking: What am I supposed to be learning here? It was the shift from trying to change the other person to seeing them as a reflection of myself.


When we dissolve the illusion of “other” there is only “we”, “us”, “our”.


The dysfunction and abuse were not “his”. They were an extension of the family lineages we both came from. They were iterations of a traumatized belief system we both shared which said: get into the ring and fight it out until one of you wins and the other loses.


In truth, there are no winners and losers in divorce or in war. As long as we are “othering” one another, we are all incurring losses. Because we are demonstrating ignorance in the face of the lesson we incarnated here to learn. Life will send us back to our seat to keep working on the equation until we get it right. There is no buzzer that sounds. Time is never up. We will just keep incarnating, keep returning to the same piece of paper with our no. 2 pencils sharpened, until we solve this.


I don’t like to issue directives. I prefer to share reflections on life and healing as offerings which the receiver can take into their own heart and mulch in their own way, in their own time, for their own purposes. But today I feel urgent. Today feels different. Today I want to say: it is imperative that we begin, every single one of us, to reinforce our unity instead of our separateness.


Today, let the other car into your lane. Hold the door. Take the time to make eye contact with a stranger. Thank the cashier. Forgive the little grievances easily. Broadcast gratitude across every last square inch of our lives here on earth together. If you have the means to afford gas, give thanks the entire time it’s flowing from the pump into the tank of your car that there are not bombs falling onto your house right now. Use that time to pray for peace instead of feeling resentful of the cost, scarce or worried.


Replace all worries with prayer and let the prayer be: May I be a vessel for peace in this world. May the demonstration of my understanding that all beings are one amplify, like a stone cast into a pond, rippling out beyond what can be seen or comprehended.


May all aspects of my life be love in action. Enough to create a tipping point. Away from the brink of nuclear war. Toward a new way of living together on this planet we all delicately share.