A Struggle For Summer: To Turn the World Around
We seem to be trapped in one season. Winter seems to be clinging to us. It’s a little warmer now. It feels like spring/summer, but it’s cooler than it should be. We work hard to adjust to the strangeness of the seasons using layers of clothing, or carrying an extra coat, or sweater. In the state of PA along the coast, where it never happens, we have had tornadoes and constantly have tornado warnings. We have to struggle to adjust to the changes that have happened because of global warming. The troubling part is that the seasons we struggle through in the external world are somewhat like the ones we deal with in our internal world. Painful occurrences happen in our lives.
There is darkness, discomfort, and freezing temperatures. We struggle against them either in the midst of them or as memories stamped somewhere deep in the recesses of our minds that affect us in ways we can’t understand. When it feels like we are getting over them and letting them go they come back, like angry animals just giving it one more try. The madness in the culture around us reminds us of past unresolved issues to the point where resisting the negativity becomes tiring and draining.
If not careful we can see this as a sign of failure. We can become afraid and worse, we can give up and fall into a well of depression and it is almost impossible to climb out. In truth this discomfort is not something bad, it is a sign of spring followed by a brilliant summer of growth and prosperity. This struggle, this internal discomfort is what is related to what is known as the process of extinction. When an animal learns to carry out an action to get a certain reward, if the reward is positive, it is likely to do the action more and more until it becomes a habit. When the reward is stopped the animal does the action expecting the reward. If it doesn’t get it, it does the action repeatedly and more violently seeking the reward.
Eventually, the animal stops doing the action, but every once in a while for most of its life that action will pop up randomly. We can actually modify ourselves to feel pleasant, or normal when certain thoughts or feelings arise. If a thought serves a purpose or did when we were younger, we repeat the same thought over and over. It may be repeated in different words, but the same content comes up over and over and makes us feel comfortable.
There’s a part of the mind called the censor, that freezes our thinking at a certain period in our lives and creates a foundation for our thoughts. When we begin to move out of old thoughts, whether they are good or bad, it sends out discomfort that keeps us caged and trapped in living patterns that don’t suit us anymore sometimes, and may ultimately be harmful.
When we move beyond these patterns, the memories and feelings of painful experiences increase and become more frequent. Our minds are actually going through the process of extinction and are dumping those old thoughts and feelings faster and harder, trying to get the response they did before, which is homeostasis. The extra force then is not a sign that we are not free, it is a sign that we are becoming free and the censor is letting go. “What are you saying?” you may ask. I am saying that discomfort is not a sign of failure, it is a sign of success and personal growth.
As we learn to sit quietly, or meditate, or to even find ways of enjoying ourselves in the midst of these negative feelings they completely disappear. We replace them with the positive and we are free. It is like winter turning to spring and then summer. It always has and always will. We, if we are thoughtful, mindful, and able to use our wills and creative imagination, can turn around the pain and suffering and can be free. Mainly because the most unique thing about human beings is our power to create.
We are beings who can envision something in our heads, think about it, and create it. When we are aware of the truth and have the faith to do so, we can recreate and draw the power of the negative way turning it into something more powerful. That is the power of the human being…the original blessing. Sometimes just knowing the possibility is more than 90% of the victory and awareness…pure awareness of who we are and what is coming up, is the other 10%.
It is time for us to reclaim our power. It is time to learn to sing, dance, take back our control and our right to practice various arts, and most of all, our power to love with power and compassion. Our power to create a true community where love is the norm and where we create the fertile ground that we need in order to become healthy, beautiful human beings again. That is the way we were born. When we break the conditioning that comes from living in a society that promotes winter, we will return to our original selves with the power to move in time and space and be free.
At CUUPs National, we will be scheduling a Zoom meeting in July where we will talk and process our feelings about the effects of the Covid-19 experience and how to let go and move forward. We will announce the date in our next newsletter. Until then?
Take advantage of your CUUPS chapter and your congregation. Ministers are available for crisis counseling to every member of a congregation and you can get in contact with CUUPS Right Relations for crisis counseling. Work with those who want to create a real community that promotes loving kindness and caring for each other as much as the ritual of meeting every so often for a service.
We need real communities where we can share ourselves and know that we will be accepted. Work to create that wherever you go so your world will be a reflection of the desire at the core of humans who are not tainted by the ideology of 2022. That will turn the world around.
CUUPS Right Relations