Loss in Post Collapse America
Almost everyone here realizes that troubles are in the immediate future.
That said, some of us are feeling the heat, some are seeing the flames, and some are entirely detached from the whole nightmare.
At some point, this will end.
All of us will be effected by the collapsing system we live under.
The fissures in families, the loss of material wealth, inevitable deaths due to dependancy on medications that may or may not be available, or deaths; all loom over us.
So, my question is this:
How do we deal with it?
No one is immune to the psychological trauma of losing someone they love dearly.
Or to violations, or visions of catastrophe.
As these things build up, and the pressure brings this situation to an explosive level, how do you keep focus amidst the loss?
What gives solace and strength in times of desperation and sadness?
Inquiring minds, and all…
(sorry to deviate from optimism and facts for such a bitter topic, I assume it’ll be short lived)
I believe that the realizations of folks who "get it" to the truths in your above post are a significant portion of the jumpiness and weird behaviors by those of us who post here lately. We are all under stress.
Tonight I am going to a Cardinals baseball game. My boys are really looking forward to it, and my wife is a bigger fan than I. All I can offer is to prepare as best as you can but live your life and love those in it to the best of your ability now. Whether it be because of an economic crash or for other reasons, we will all feel the pain of separation in our lives. Inevitable.
Go see a game (or insert your fun activity of choice) and bring the people you care about, live a little for today while we still can. This helps to have a clear head and a happy heart so that you may make the right decisions for yourself.
Timely post for me, Aaron, as I’ve been particularly doomerish the past couple of weeks.
The Max Keiser on Goldman video made me even more so this morning. I felt overwhelmed and rudderless because it seems that the corruption is so deep, inbred, and systemic that justice will never be served in a civic sense — via the court system. Though perhaps in a karmic sense someday it will be — but then that sentiment even brings me down because there’s a fine line between justice and revenge fantasies, and I begin to wonder about the true impetus for my own feelings.
I get through it by trying to remain thankful for what I do have and have experienced — something made a bit easier to actually live out because I have a six year old daughter who — being a kid — is also in need of this simple lesson.
Plenty of Xanax and vodka
I believe you hit the nail squarely on the head with your questions—and I agree with Rog that this perception of imminent collapse is what so many people are responding to with the accelerating jumpiness, anxieties, squirrelly behavior, etc. Think about the way animals behave before an earthquake? We are facing an economic earthquake with an unknown timeline for the shakedown.
Suggestions are for you (but that can be the rhetorical you, if you want!) These seem like small responses, but I suspect many/most people on this site are already taking on the big ones, from what I have read over the last umpteen months.
Breathe! Breathe deeply. Walk outside somewhere green—it has a calming effect on the human nervous system. Get some daylight. Recognize/acknowledge out loud (verbalize this) that you contribute fully to the extent that you are capable and let go of what you cannot control. No one is responsible for more than they are–and we are all responsible to the nth degree for every iota of what we can and do control (namely ourselves and our own behavior).
Learn something new–something outside your normal comfort zone, preferably. Widens the spirit.
Practice compassion. I remember reading a quote from Outlaws on the Design Frontier by a Buddhist woman who said, "In this world, how can we be anything but heartbroken and very, very kind?"
Play with children. Blow bubbles (remember what I said about learning something outside your comfort zone?)
Write a haiku. Read it to your significant other (or to your dog, if you prefer—or cat, or hamster). We get patterned into left-brained behavior, don’t we? Give your left brain a break.
Bake some bread. Share it. Eat it slowly. Connect.
The world will go where the world is going — we can prepare, we can change our circumstances to some degree or not, but our strategic response is based on our attitude and that demands replenishment of your heart and spirit on a regular basis, just like we water our garden when it doesn’t rain.
Who was the tactical trainer who said something like, "Two people are lost in the woods. One of them has no skills or survival training, but has a strong, positive attitude. The other one has been fully trained in survival but has a bad, fearful attitude. I guarantee the person with the positive attitude is the one who is going to walk out of there."
We have met the woods. Now we walk.
Great and timely thread.
I think what your inquiring about can be summed up by the first tenant of buddhism, "Life is suffering". From my own experience, the only way I have found to deal with the suffering inherent to life is to face it head on, experience it, and then let it go. In my opinion however, there could be no more difficult of a task. My only suggestion in tackling such a task is to try to avoid using the mind to try to control the mind. A more concrete and effective way is to use the body to control the mind, a somato-psycho approach you might say. By the nature of your posts, I think this concept is probably nothing new to you, but I’ll elaborate anyways.
While I don’t think you can do anything about the suffering of life, I think the real objective in dealing with it is to not let become a physical part of you. As self-image and its emotional ramifications are echoed in one’s posture, you can use this relationship to your advantage. You can purge the effects of suffering from your posture, and affect a parallel release or "letting go" of the suffering from your mind as well. Pay particular attention to your kinesthetic senses during times of great suffering. Focus your attention on the muscular tensions that result from emotional stresses and use physical techniques to address them.
Now its time for me to practice what I preach, as an old friend of mine and his family are dealing with unbelievable suffering right now. Life can be a real nightmare at times.
Live in the moment.
It’s is all we have, and all we’ve ever had. We spend too much time thinking about what was, or what will be that we miss all that there is.
Open your eyes with childlike joy at the miracles that surround you, the beauty of the sunset, the industry of a bee, the wonder of a spider spinning it’s web, the grace of the eagle, and the power of the buffalo, the strength of an old Oak tree, they were here before you and will be around long after you’ve passed, and few take time to actually see them. They don’t worry about what will be, we can learn from that, We do not know what we do not know, so why worry about it?
Life is a journey, not a destination, we all know where that destination lies. Enjoy the journey, plan your waypoints, but the destination was set at your birth.
Now I’ll admit that I struggle to live by these ideas, but they are great rules to live by, if you can achieve it.
For some reason, I’m not terribly anxious. I’m frustrated and angry about a number of things, and certainly have taken steps to prepare for what may happen, but I just don’t find myself worried too often. I do find this a remarkably interesting time in which to be living, so perhaps my curiosity simply outweighs my anxiety. I guess I’m just a bit odd…
You are right. Collapse is upon us.
Most of us here are trying desparately to use our brains to survive. Human nature.
We read, listen, study, ponder and then worry until we become despondent.
Okay, maybe not everyone, but many, self included. In the last two years,
I have read every doomerish book anyone recommended and have gained many
perspectives on collapse, peak oil, sustainability, defense, transitions, permaculture,
evolution, economy, environment, etc., etc.!
Why? As a retired librarian, I know bibliotherapy works for some….for me.
Amanda ask a good question a few days ago about what 3 books would you
want to have through hard times…can’t remember the exact wording. I should have
added the book , Sacred Demise: Walking the spiritual path; of Industrial Civilation’s Collapse
by Carolyn Baker. This calming book helped me gain footing after One Second After.
Somewhere I read….. "some people read too many books and too few people".
I have read and admired so many high volume posters here on Dr. Martenson’s site.
What you are doing by your thoughtful dialogs is connecting with each other….reading people.
Juli said it very well. Practice compassion and connect….with others, with nature, and with yourself.
Enjoy and be present in every waking moment.
If you view personal growth as the purpose of conscious life, then adversity becomes the greatest gift of all.