The Disappearance of Safe Dichotomies

It’s been true all along.

We are all gloriously human, family whether we like it or not. Our lives intertwined like an interesting ecosystem, our personal suffering or intimate joy have ripple effects across the globe.

What happens here, also happens there. We sense our safe dichotomies are disappearing, vanishing so fast it scares us.

Our efforts to pretend like we’re an island are also sinking and with it our selfish belief that we can do whatever we want, when we want.

I wonder if this refusal to consider the stories and significance of our fellow human beings has been the biggest cause of death across our world for centuries?

If I’m honest, relationships don’t always feel that important to me, and they definitely aren’t priority. Getting my needs met and my sanity intact seems to take precedence over the reveling in the mystery of being here…alive…with you.

I’ve always been drawn to communal styles of living, where everyone shares their possessions and probably stays together on the same plot of land or at least in somewhat of a close proximity to one another. My husband and I have been wondering for a long time about what that all might look like for us as a family practically.

Perhaps then, I think, my low-grade, unwavering loneliness would be solved if we could just have more people physically present with us, sharing the normal rhythms of life together.  

I never considered that our dream of doing life together might already be here in the humble recognition of the Spirit present in each one of us.

Could the antidote for my loneliness start with the profound, often overlooked truth that our very breath connects us and brings down every divisive wall and severing distance?

The words ruach in Hebrew and pneuma in Greek are translated Spirit, or more specifically breath and wind. We all have breath and therefore, I believe, we all have this swirling, hovering Spirit in abundance. It doesn’t require a particular religious bent or any lengthy doctrinal code for a human to be filled with Spirit, with an otherworldly life-force. Their simple existence is enough for the Spirit to slip within.

My obsession with making distinctions has never been more disgusting to me- how I attempt to discern which people or relationships are worth more of my time or attentiveness.

Every person on this planet is precious not because of their productivity or their profitability but because they are here.

The pandemic we should all be worried about is our I-centered philosophies and our tall hierarchical towers.

I rarely walk through my days awake enough to realize my complicity in the matter. Bragging about the tiny kingdom I’m building or assuming my world view is the only way to interpret life are all ways I spread disease and death.

In the Book of Joy, the author referred to a study that showed “self-involvement” to be a “better predictor of death than smoking, high cholesterol levels or high blood pressure.” The study went on to say, “Also people who use I and me are more likely to be depressed than people who more often use we or us.”

The rise and fall of humanity, the healing of destructive chasms and unnecessary fears is found when we stay conscious of the rise and fall of one another’s lungs. Yes, it’s the invisible breath moving within and around us mending us back together.

The Spirit alive in you, in me, in us; sometimes it just takes an air-borne illness to affirm what’s been true all along.

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