Dear Earth, is deep change possible?On 16th November 2019 by Satya
I spent many happy years in ‘the rooms’ – twelve step programmes like Alcoholics Anonymous which help us to manage our unmanageable compulsions. I especially loved the group that meets at the Buddhafield festival, where those of us with different preferred addictions come together and find out what we have in common. Lots, it turns out.
I spent many hours in those church halls and grimy community centres listening to people who had no hope. I’m on the ‘controlling’ side of the addict-codependent spectrum, and so my own dysfunction has taken the form of over-functioning. From the outside I generally look pretty sorted! Others just so happened to be on the other side of that spectrum and lived lives that included life-threatening addictions, violence, abuse, removal of children, prison and long stretches in mental health hospitals. I’ve listened to victims and perpetrators, the abused and abusers, and heard of many who’s addictions have claimed them.
There by the grace of God. I am under no illusions about my specialness or cleverness in avoiding these fates. The accident of my birth into my family, in this country, in these times, has gifted me amazing privilege. Many are not so lucky.
What does this have to do with you, dear Earth? Well, humanity has messed up, and we have messed up big time. Our systems are strangling you, and sometimes I feel that the necessary big change is impossible.
I also thought that it was impossible to come back from the deep hell of addiction. I understand how a person’s whole identity, their whole way of being, can rest on a substance that is killing them. I am aware of the bleakness of the recovery statistics, and I know about relapse.
And. I have seen miracles. I have met a healthy-looking man in a suit who showed me a photo of his previous self, homeless and near death. I have heard murderers speak of thirty years of sobriety and service to others. I have seen wounded boys and girls allow the love of their fellows to trickle into the cracks of their magnificent defences.
I have seen dead women get up and walk, and kindness blooming in the darkest hellish pits of the human psyche.
We need some miracles. The rich are addicted to their money and their power, and giving it up will be near-impossible. We have our own addictions which are contributing to your pain, Earth. We are foolish beings.
NEAR impossible. People go to the twelve step rooms to find hope when they have none. We need new stories, of how a vegan sausage roll saved a high street bakery and turned it’s owner vegan. Of how a film star decided to be arrested every Friday. Of how a populist national newspaper dedicated a whole issue to the climate crisis. Of how sixteen year olds and ninety one year olds glued themselves to you and were carried off by the police because they loved you, dear Earth. Because they love you.
I believe in miracles, darling Earth.
Love, Satya <3