I’ve been struck by how often we choose control when we don’t trust. When things seem like they are getting unfamiliar, or surprising, then the usual strategy is to bring up or create a ‘rule’ that banns that behavior. We really don’t trust each other. We substitute rules and obedience for trust.
Why is that?
I think it goes deeper than the stories about strangers. I don’t think it is just about strangers. I don’t we think we really trust other people – period. Why?
I’ve been doing values work for over 20 years. I’ve discovered a couple of insights that I think bear on this question. First our values are scrambled, we put importance on values that are superficial and ignore action on values we claim are important. Deeper still, we see anything we like as a ‘value’ and yet have no real foundational perspective to give direction and coherence to our values. We seem to think that everyone can ‘create’ their own values and that no one else has any right to say anything about that. Really?
Many folks also think that values are so individual that there is nothing that unites us or holds us together. That, I think, speaks to our basic distrust. AND, I think that is not true. The sickness that we all are fighting and that has put our beautiful planet at risk is the illusion of separation. In the past few decades, we have been saying to each other, “we are all one” but the actual experience of that has eluded us. There is a sense of the truthfulness of that statement, but not the emotional experience of it.
There is also some confusion about being all one and being treated the same and being treated equally – is there a difference and how do you know which is which? Something seems to be missing from the equalization. At the same time, our culture has lost any sense of respect. Nothing really matters, nothing is really important. If something is more important than another, than isn’t that artificial and elitist?
We are body, mind, spirit and emotions. Our Greek heritage separated our mind from our body, in search of spirit, leaving emotions as barriers to a free search for the glorious. As water is ice and steam, so life is body, thought, feelings, and connection/spirit. It is not one or the other, but a joyous celebration is every aspect of life’s expression.
To understand the Earth as a living, whole, being, to see her expression alive in every other self that exists here, is to become a living part of the majestic whole, that is EARTH. It is to become connected to the whole, to become reseated IN the life around us. The biology that has open up our eyes, my eyes, to the actuality that every self, every life form is actively choosing what makes its own life better, that that is the ONLY decision that life can make, that that is THE decision that can be trusted, has given me deep peace. We CAN trust life to choose life!!!
And that is why we don’t trust each other. At some time, when we choose to be separate, different, special, we also choose to dismiss the need to choose life. We now deny life, dismiss the need to nurture, and enjoy engaging in taking life from others (human and non-human). The belief in that illusion has made us distrust, and rightly so. If we are not actively looking to nurture the life around us, then what are we doing?
Kathryn Alexander, MA
Regenerative approaches require a deep integration with nature. Collaboration requires different structures and ways of working together. If we want different results we have to do things differently!