The truth about 2012 – Part I of III
There is a big truth about 2012 and there is a little truth about 2012 and they are both the same: It Does Not Matter!
The other day, I was chatting with a woman who is an industrial psychologist. That means she goes into large working environments – in this case corporate or industrial – and assesses every person from plant sweeper to Chair. In-depth psychological analysis combined with years of experience and intuitive skill allows this professional to advise on the best way to bring each individual to their optimum level of potential within the business entity for the greater good of the whole.
At any rate, she shared that a prevailing concern for many was the spectre of 2012 – and the end of the world. I was really surprised by that. I thought the whole Mayan Calendar thing was more in the realm of New Age and that the infiltration into popular consciousness was a one-off disaster film. But, it seems fear is a sticky thing and what for many of us is a call to awakening is for the masses another reason to fear the unknown and uncontrollable.
Fear is debilitating. It’s also completely illusory. A popular anagram F-E-A-R spells Future Events Appearing Real. Now, a future event hasn’t happened and may not happen and may unfold in infinite possibilities and combinations of probabilities – but there is that variable of the unknown that is unassailable. And in our minds, we can only hold in our imagination of the future, what we already have experienced.
If we dream of a frightening end to the world, we can quickly reference trillions of recent films in full digital effect – or a daily dose of CNN. If we dream of a benevolent future, we can envision “Avatar” and lovely scenes of crystal palaces and abundant flowers and birds and loving folks all caring about the beautiful Earth who sustains us.
But fear is like black velvet in a dog grooming studio. It attracts everything! If we’re not worried about the world banks or whole governments going bankrupt, we may be worrying about our jobs – or our children. The other day I was rushing through the subway and saw a huge lit-up poster. Something unnerved me about the image – though it was a little toddler standing on a beach looking out over the ocean. The next time I went by I read the caption: This time next year, she will be diagnosed with cancer.
I was outraged and heartsick at the same time. Media plays to our greatest fears. Day after day, minute after minute, we are assaulted by our worst fears and they are printed up and thrown into our face in lovely colours and pretty pictures – we are drawn in and then slapped down! Or the images are dire and horrific – children with flies on their crusted eyes, icecaps melting, rivers on fire from pollution, rain forests – the lungs of our Earth decimated. Let’s face it if we were to look up Hell in the dictionary - what might we see there that we don’t see every day. Most times, we soak up these images subliminally. They don’t exactly register, but instead wriggle down into the shadow where our other unconscious fears reside. Like burrs, one sticks to another until the cluster is like a prickly straightjacket that robs our lives of joy and meaning.
What does this have to do with 2012 and the end of the world – and how could the end of the world not matter? Well, this: Your life – yes yours – the life of the one reading this – is going to end. It will end only one way: by you taking your last breath. Through your last exhale you will return to where all Life begins. When and how that will happen is only speculation. Will it be a world cataclysm, a group ascension, an earthquake, drowning, heart attack, car accident – or in your sleep? It doesn’t matter. The result will be the same.
Many who are given a terminal prognosis of disease live to say how grateful they were in how it changed their lives; focussed them on what was truly important, and allowed them to find joy in simple pleasures. How often have you heard of ‘miraculous’ remissions or cures when a person’s whole outlook and lifestyle have changed?
A death sentence has an incredibly beneficial filter for what is worth spending time on and what isn’t. Somehow we take the doctor’s pronouncement as more authoritative than Life’s itself. The fact of our birth is the fact of our death. Each breath we take is a breath of Life, each breath we exhale, is one closer to death. Instead of getting twisted into tangles about the unknowable end then, ask yourself now: What are you spending your time on? What are your predominant thoughts? What relationships fulfill you and what relationships tear you down. Where can you be compassionate and draw someone more closely into your life and where can you show compassion for yourself and let someone go from your life?
If you really believed the world was going to end in a handful of days, how would you spend your last? Where would you like to be? Who would you like to have told you love them? What gifts of inspiration would you fulfill to know that you have expressed the unique soul you are? Death is a very personal and independent event. Even if we were to be annihilated in one swat, each of us would have our own singular experience.
When my husband and I finally ‘gave up hope’ and came to terms with the inevitability and imminence of his death, which turned out to be only weeks away, I suggested we begin to prepare him for that passage. I also made a commitment to myself that day that I would begin to prepare for my own death. That may sound maudlin, but I assure you it is the most freeing perspective. The best way to prepare for our ultimate last breath is to live life to the fullest – every minute of every day!
Oh – how often we forget to remember and we race down a rabbit hole of grand schemes of false “importants”. How often do we sacrifice to please or appease and leave ourselves distracted from what we do best? How often is the opinion of another more important than the opinion we have of ourselves? How often do we allow the burr of the thought that we are not good enough, smart enough, experienced enough, young enough or beautiful enough to hitch onto other burrs of similar thoughts?
If we just remember that catching our last breath on Earth is on a countdown as strict as catching a flight, we would be a little better organized in what we did and didn’t do on the way to the airport.
Just as Death is personal, Life is also very personal. In fact the only meaning it has is the meaning you give it. No one else – not your baby, lover, mother, boss, not even God can give your life meaning for you. No one can read a book for you or digest a meal for you. You are the one. The only one. The relationships and circumstances in our lives are tools for us to find and express that meaning. Let that meaning be worth dying for. Tomorrow or three hundred tomorrows or thousands of tomorrows from now.
Rather than fearing an unknown and unknowable cataclysm of a debated prophesy – embrace what you do know and live – really live – in the freedom and joyful abandon of that inevitable moment when your time will be complete. Love – now. Forgive – now. Love – now. Look after your body – now. Love now. Be grateful for all you have now. Love more, and more and more. Be tolerant now. Be kind now. And love some more. Be gentle now. Be courageous now. Stand up for someone less able than you now. Stand up for what you believe in now. Love yourself now.
Love is like water. When it is poured it finds every space, fissure and cranny and fills it to overflowing. You cannot guide the path of water, water finds its own path – and so does love. When you pour love out of your deepest heart you stand in the centre of the fountain of Life itself.
December 21, 2012? November 29, 2011? Or ‘Stardate 41153.7 – none of these dates matter in the scheme of your own Life fulfillment. This day is the one you are unequivocally alive. Live it that way. And Love like there is no tomorrow!
With love and love and love,