Tuesday, August 3, 2021


We are definitely on each other’s nerves.

Have you noticed?

I am in what I consider to be a unique and very blessed position in life. Being in a serving vocation is an honor and a privilege that humbles me daily. While most think of me primarily as a platform speaker that is for me the least important function of what I am grateful to do. Many if not most people keep me somewhat at bay in terms of their deeper experiences. That is one of the drawbacks that comes from platform work. It is exacerbated in these times by the fact that I am speaking to far more people virtually than I am in person. There is also the human tendency to want to appear that everything is good, and if not, that we can at least deal with it all with composure and unflappability. I find this especially prevalent in New Thought spiritual circles. I think of this as maintaining the “church face.” While I am not here to judge this dynamic, I also know it does not lead to integration and healing. Pretense is, well, pretense.

There are also courageous souls who, when asked, will share with me what is really going on for them. And in these turbulent times that is, generally speaking, quite a lot.

What is happening in our world and between each other is getting on our nerves. And some of us are really taking notice.

While I do not consume large quantities of media, I have seen several reports of public eruptions in restaurants, on airplanes, and in numerous public settings. These are being called unprecedented incidents. Many are rude at best and violent at worst. Seeing the footage is for me shocking for sure. And yet is also understandable.

We are on each other’s nerves because we have not attended to our own.

The collective shadow is presenting itself in record ways. We are seeing the result of decades if not centuries of suppression and denial. We have not to any large degree committed to doing our individual grief and trauma work. It has festered and augmented, and the lid is blowing off. Our deep grief has become a volcanic rage. What might have been attended to while it was manageable is now explosive and disproportionate to the inciting incidents. It will only be denied for so long, and the gig is up.

Pass the salt can get you killed.

Projection and blame seem to place the internal pain out and away from where it really lives- inside our own hurting hearts. Displacing it is a momentary and ineffective fix. Screaming at a slow waiter or verbally pummeling a flight attendant does nothing to address the pain and emotional anguish that is the effect of years of internal neglect. While others may trigger us there must be a button within us to push. The less inner work we have done the more velocity there will be when the wall breaks and the dam bursts. Some of the scariest people I know have pasted smiles and affirmative slogans. The smiles are waning, and the affirmations are shrieking. If we all do not get real soon this current crisis can only get worse. More erratic and more explosive. More virulent and more violent. Service workers may soon be wearing bullet proof vests.

Oh, we are definitely on each other’s nerves.

So, friends, there is still a pandemic.

There is ideology identification and extreme political division.

There is racial inequality and dehumanizing legislations.

There is extreme poverty and inequality.

These are just some of the things we are facing in our world. There is collective disturbance and division at perhaps record levels. We are disconnected from our selves and from each other.

Then layer on top of that collective trauma the personal losses, hurts, disappointments. Is it any wonder that levels of depression are at an all-time high? We need to be connected to our own pain, and then have a place to share it directly and honestly. To come out of hiding, at least to someone who will listen, see, hear, hold, empathize and embrace us with our struggle. Someone who will not try and fix or correct us. Someone who has earned the right to our more intimate inner spaces. These people are rare. Rare and precious. When we have no place to express what is happening for us the alternatives are to become depressed, or to express in rageful and inappropriate ways.

The alternative is to blame who and what seems to be triggering our last nerve. And this is what we are seeing. And what definitely is not working.

I am writing this missive for those who are struggling and know they are struggling.

I write this for those who may be disturbed, depressed, and even despairing.

I write this as my perhaps feeble way to tell you it is okay to feel those things. It’s a chaotic, disturbed, and aching world. There is a lot of pain, tragedy, inequality. The fact that you are hurting is proof perfect of your humanity. Of your sensitivity to our shared experience. When you are living in a container such as ours, and then personal challenges are added to the mix it is hard. It is damn hard. And it is not insurmountable.

Our collective mental health is at stake. And there is a direct and inseparable connection between our mental health and our spiritual resources and resilience.

These times are undeniably taxing. Pushing away the pain only leads to more projection. More projections ultimately lead to more eruptions. Leaning into the pain will lead to integration and transformation. And this deep level individual healing will slowly and surely alchemize the collective pain and generational trauma.

It is possible to feel the pain while you pray. In fact, this is deep, intimate, transformative prayer.

It is possible to lean into the pain and not get lost. Leaning into the experience lets you know that you are the one that is leaning in. You are not the pain.

It is possible to navigate a mine-filled world and maintain your own sense of autonomy. Watch where you step. Sense the energy around you. Pause before reacting. And proceed with caution.
,br> We are on each other’s nerves.

Notice. And proceed with caution.

And ask for help. For the sake of all of us ask for help. Stoicism is highly over-rated.

And know that I am here. I spend an hour a week on that platform. It leaves me plenty of time and lots of space to join you in your heart.