I want to reach out to you, with a broken and vulnerable heart. I feel utterly and completely devastated by the news in the UK today. I feel unsettled, disillusioned and deeply saddened. I am European. I’ve spent all my adult life in London. I am Greek and I’m married to a Pole. My friends are from all over the world, their children even more so. London has been my hometown for 14 years and I have always, always felt like I belonged.
Today, our world has changed dramatically. The truth is we can only speculate about what this means for the UK, for people in London, for Europeans already here, for the rest of Europe and the whole world. Nobody really knows and that scares the crap out of us. Uncertainty is damn scary and when felt it activates a deep survival instinct: a need to protect ourselves (and our own) from the big bad wolf. It’s a physical response which we all have, because we are animals. Yet, we are also thankfully capable of choosing to use our intellect to judge, organise new information based on past experience, knowledge, facts, and history and then, act accordingly.
I always believed ‘the good wins’. If there was ever a war of good vs evil, I trusted that even if small battles were lost, good always would win in the end. But I no longer see this as ‘good vs bad’. Because the truth is that whichever way you look at this, people are expressing unhappiness. There a clear message in everyone’s words: Something has to change. No matter what ‘side’ you’re sitting on, in or out, the fact is, Europe is in transition and so is the world.
I fear separation.
I fear anger.
I fear ignorance.
I fear arrogance.
I fear resentment.
I fear amnesia.
I do not wish to go into a political discussion here. This is more of an anthropological remark. I feel called to speak to you, because I am certain if you are reading this, you too are feeling shaken by the news of divide. I know that we have been building a tribe of people who believe in unity, in lifting others, in collaboration, in connection and community. A global tribe of HUMANS who work together to educate and empower. I know this, because I see it every day in all my friends around the world. The internet has brought us together and we must use this to amplify our sincere and powerful message.
I will not sit here and tell you what to feel or what to do; that is not my intention at all. But I will tell you this: Nothing is permanent. I’m not trying to be all philosophical about it, but there is no other way of expressing this. The safety we feel in things we own and things we create, in the world around us, in the current state of our lives can (and does) change from moment to moment. Safety is an emotion which we need to create from the inside. Do not take your world for granted because as we learnt today, even the most fundamental concepts you feel connect you to one another might get shattered almost as if without warning, leaving you feeling totally alienated. What we thought was (to quote British friends) a ‘no-brainer’ has now caused an irreversible ripple effect whose consequences we will feel for generations to come.
What we desperately need to do is remind ourselves that stability is created from the inside out. The outside will be chaos as long as there is chaos within ourselves.
If you feel disconnected, don’t blame those who are against what you believe in. Look inside and do the inner work to find the compassion and kindness you want the world to reflect back at you. Ground yourself, do the inner work, and find your centre again, even if it feels shaky for a while. Commit to connecting to your wholeness and acting from there. Before you go out and do what it is you’d like to do, every day, return to honestly looking within. Act out of hope, not fear.
What I know for sure is that when you feel and show compassion, you receive compassion.
When you show openness and humility, that is reflected back at you.
I know we in here believe in a world where people unite in their unique specialness. We believe that even when things take a wrong turn, we can listen, collaborate, heal. Together. Human to human.
Because now we need healing. Deep, deep generational healing. One wounded heart at a time.
Start with yours.
Image credit: Hayley Richardson