The Cultural Narrative

We are all writing our own narrative. Every. Single. Day.

Every hour, every minute, every second that we spend on this spinning, virus-filled, pale-blue dot of a planet. Writing your own narrative, your beliefs and values, the story of who you are – that doesn’t change.

The ever changing/shifting/evolving data that the WHO keeps putting out on the other hand – does. What once was a 3-4% death rate of the COVID-19 virus, is now at a 1.3% death rate. What once was masks helping not spread the virus, is now helping prevent acquiring the virus. The numbers – constantly climbing, as the predictions of total deaths continue to change.

Has the story of what you tell yourself about this virus changed, as the news media continues to change? Has the fear of the virus gone up and down, side to side, back and forth like a pendulum swing? Or are you attached to the idea that it will kill you if you acquire it? Are you afraid of acquiring the virus, or are you afraid of spreading it to other people who might die from it? OR are you afraid of not wearing a mask at the grocery store because of what other people will think if you’re not? Because it’s now socially expected of us. You want to be an outstanding, contributing, safe member of society, right?! What’s the real reason you’re wearing that mask?

I don’t really care if you’re wearing that mask to keep yourself safe, others safe, or your credibility/ego/appearance safe. I just think it’s funny how we can hear something one time, such as acquiring the virus has a 3-4% death rate and then continue to act in accordance to that statistic even when the death rate goes down. How attached are you to that stat?

To get even deeper – how attached are you to your ego? Your story. What about your physical body? Your life? The moment that a life threatening virus entered the WORLD CULTURE, we all started freaking out, hoarding every last bit of toilet paper – an attachment linked to such a physical practice. But what are we really afraid of?  Is it perhaps an inevitable life occurrence? That perhaps the virus, might “GET US?!”- like the boogey man in the middle of the night. Is it possible that maybe we’re actually all just super afraid of death? Afraid of this thing that we ignore day to day – until we’re forced to think about when a “dangerous virus” is put into each and every one of our consciousness. Maybe, just maybe, alongside working on ways to prevent the spread of this virus- we should work on ways to accept death. Accept this thing that each and every one of us will eventually go through one day? Because death does not discriminate. It may come in so many different shapes and forms and look different for each of us, but it does not discriminate. It’s going to happen to all of us. Maybe this virus is actually a subtle nudge to examine the ways in which we view our relationship with not only the earth (for those of us who are happy about the climate changes from lockdown) but also with our lives.

So how do we accept death? Pretty big ask, no? Pretty contradictory subject, yeah?  It’s a topic that I feel like hasn’t been discussed at ALL during this time. Probably because it’s a topic that’s generally overlooked, that few understand, or even want to think about. I’m still trying to understand it myself. But, I have come to understand some things. I’ve meditated on death a lot. I’ve sat with it. I’ve tried to imagine what it would be like to die. What will happen next? I’ve meditated and breathed, and chanted, and tried to understand death. I’ve seen bright lights in my meditations, I’ve felt tingly other worldly sensations. I’ve had dreams and inklings and deep realizations of the infinite universe while in deep meditation. I’ve come to understand that this is not the end. And I don’t expect you to believe this, just because. Just because it’s comforting. I invite you to entertain the idea that maybe, just maybe, it’s not the end. And then to do your own seeking and searching. Follow that little hint of  a wonder. Do your own meditation, your own practice, and see what you find for yourself.

Then we can begin to rewrite the cultural narrative. Our narrative that believes we are a culture of purely physical beings – who rot after we die. (Sorry I’m graphic!! lol) We can rewrite the narrative of finding comfort in material things. Or that we need to work 40-50-60 hour weeks to be “successful”. We can rewrite the narrative that, if we’re being honest with ourselves, wasn’t working. That was destroying our earth, dividing our wealth distribution, and severely challenging our mental states to remain balanced. How many reposts, retweets, likes, etc., were there about enjoying this pause? People who were finding benefits from slowing down? How many posts did you see about using this time to reflect on your life, your contribution, or your internal state? Maybe this reflection period that was gifted to us, was a time to get really really really quiet inside.  And what does getting really really really quiet inside do? It helps you feel infinite. It makes you KNOW you’re infinite. It makes you understand the interconnection of all people, animals, rivers, mountains, oceans, ecosystems, etc.

With the fragile state of the world, I can only hope that we begin to collectively get quiet inside. To collectively entertain ideas behind what happens next, instead of worrying about how to flatten the curve (not that I’m demeaning the importance of that). All I’m saying is, we should stop thinking small. Start thinking bigger picture. Breath into the infinite nature that we are.

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