Choose your own destiny


There's a toxicity in the ether these days and we breathe in its noxious fumes through our daily rituals of social media check-ins and reading and watching the news.

Each morning, I awake to the challenge of remaining balanced: informed about current events driving the geopolitical, social and economic landscapes yet able to keep these matters at arm's length so I can effectively live my life without being consumed by them.

We can't turn a blind eye to a world that's turned a blind eye... to truth, reason, science and democracy. Nor can we be Atlas, carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders. The search for conscious realignment ultimately and ideally ends with self mastery.

Sure, it feels like the world's gone mad. But, I believe this radical shake up is also a wake up — not just to party and nation — but to humanity (as in compassion and benevolence) and to our individual destinies.

We are being asked to think about who we are and who we want to be — what values make up a balanced, empathetic, at-peace human being and citizen of the world?

On an individual level, we're being reminded that a single person in power — be they tyrannically inclined or a (wo)man of the people, at the helm of the 'highest office in the land' is not in charge of our individual spiritual destinies. We are being asked, on a practical and spiritual level, to take control of our own lives and happiness.

There have been and will be good days and bad days. On bad days, we allow the psyche of an unhinged American Psycho to become our psyche — get 'possessed' by the madness. The rage and lack of poise is infectious.

I won't say his name because as even he knows (via the mechanism of branding), a word — words — are powerful. He is a digital age Frankenstein monster sustained on a cocktail of obsessive, unbridled material pursuits, selfie social media era narcissism, the nadir of sycophant-ish celebrity culture (Hollywood Babylon) and tech-fueled binary oversimplification (sans grey area nuances) — all of which have marked Western culture in recent decades... and which have now reached a crescendo.

He is the worst of us. And on such days we engage with the worst of ourselves and this culture.

But then there are good days. During these fleeting periods I am thankful for this human incarnation of weakness and darkness. It helps me root out any semblance of similar traits in myself. They have manifested in such a vulgar way, in such a vulgar person, that — like going on a bender and getting sick all night — this ego-fueled ringleader has become an unlikely teacher.

His very presence on the scene makes me want to be the best person I can possibly be. Simply put: it makes me want to clean my soul. And that's a good thing.

Ultimately, the events of the past year may have put a dent in our collective psyche but as long as we pull back and take a long view — while also returning to our own inner truth, letting that be our North Star — our spirits, however, will evolve.

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Short and Sweet..

© 2020 Shana Ting Lipton. All Rights Reserved.