The last several months have been the most tumultuous in recent history. We have been facing a global pandemic, which has forced us into lockdown and quarantine. People have been grieving the loss of their way of life and how things used to be before COVID 19. As if this was not enough, the United States is now dealing with widespread protests over the senseless murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. This has opened up old racial wounds that have been festering under the surface ever since the days of African-American slavery in the United States.
Government corruption has been left unchecked around the world, mainly in developing countries, leading to the squandering of wealth by the elite and widespread poverty and injustice amongst their people. This is what has led to the various crises over the last several decades including the war in Syria and the resulting refugee crisis.
Indigenous cultures around the world have been decimated by the widespread colonization by European civilizations, mainly Britain, France and Spain. This has resulted in the loss of their culture and their timeless wisdom and knowledge in areas of medicine, healing, sustainable living and spirituality.
Education systems around the world are outdated and have not been updated since World War 2. They focus on rote learning of core subjects including math, science and language with no attention given to important life skills such as how to learn, emotional intelligence, stress management, health and fitness, disease prevention, financial literacy and mindfulness to name a few.
Chronic disease has been on the rise globally with only bandaid solutions in the form of pharmaceuticals, which only deal with the symptoms of disease and do not get to the root causes of illness and how to truly heal.
Mental illness, such as anxiety, depression, addiction and substance abuse, not to mention unhappiness, have been on the rise and reflect and overall dissatisfaction, amongst the general population, with our current way of life both individually and globally.
These are just a few of the examples of how we have been living unsustainably both individually and as a global civilization. Many of us have faced crises in our personal lives such as a chronic health issue, the end of an important relationship or job loss. While these occurrences often feel tragic at the time, they often prove to be the best thing that can happen to us.
For example, when job loss occurs, it is often in a situation where the individual hated their job and only did it to make ends meet. When a relationship ends suddenly and unexpectedly, it is often in a situation where the two people involved were deeply happy and were staying together for the wrong reasons.
Life has a funny way of setting things right when we are going down the wrong path. This is precisely what is happening on the planet right now. The COVID 19 pandemic and the publicized murder of George Floyd have set off a whirlwind of subsequent events which have forced us to reexamine how we have been living our lives and the injustice we have been doing to our selves, by not living in harmony with who we truly are, and the injustice we have been doing to each other, not just through racism but also through entitlement, exploitation and lack of appreciation of those who deserve more.
We were globally on a path of self-destruction and, when this goes unrecognized by those who are on this path, life has a way of setting things straight. This process is often painful, such as witnessing the brutal murder of George Floyd and all the old wounds that are opened up, but this is often needed to purge us of an outmoded and outdated way of living by pushing us through the fires which are often needed to burn away the old and make way for the new.
This is precisely what is happening on the planet right now. It is a global dark night of the soul and, although it may seem painful right now, you can be reassured that we will emerge on the other side stronger, wiser, healthier, more empathic, more compassionate and more connected to one another than we have ever been.
What you need to do is NOT resist what his happening around the world and what is happening in your individual life but to remain fully present and let the fury of the global situation blow right through you without resistance so you, too, can emerge on the other side with a fresh, new perspective of what it means to be a human being on this beautiful planet we call earth.
Our survival as a human species depends on each of us being fully present in this time and being open to the wisdom that awaits us if we only have the patience and the insight to learn the lessons that life is bringing us right now in this unprecedented time.
Nauman Naeem MD