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*Warning! Some naughty language ahead.
*Editor’s Note: Elephant Journal articles represent the personal views of the authors, and can not possibly reflect Elephant Journal as a whole. Disagree with an Op-Ed or opinion? We’re happy to share your experience here.
When I take my dog Marley for walks at night, I look into people’s houses.
Not in a sketchy way, but with a genuine “who lives in this house, how do they live, how do they love?” curiosity.
What I observed last night was straight-up sad.
Mostly every single house I could see inside of had a TV on. And mostly all of those TVs were blaring CNN or FOX. The people inside these houses were on their couches, far away from one another, making no physical contact. And many were on their phones.
Disconnection amidst distraction. This is the state of our world. A reflection of the disappointing majority failing miserably, individually, to better form the collective.
Some of you won’t like what I’m about to say. And that’s okay. I stopped needing people to agree with me or understand me a long time ago.
The point of this isn’t to offend anyone. Though many of you will surely blow up my inbox, vehemently arguing a perspective that will do more to prove exactly what’s written here than it will to validate your feelings.
And that’s okay.
Because I’m willing to say what few people will, about precisely what’s not okay.
Because without us getting to the root causes of why this post may upset you in the first place, there will be no healing for our planet.
I repeat: there will be no healing for the planet collectively until the people I’m about to address commit to healing individually.
So here it goes.
If you’re choosing to be “informed” or “educated” via TV networks like CNN or FOX, you are part of the problem. Actually, you quite literally are the problem.
Your issues have zero to do with who is president, the money you don’t make, how much you pay in taxes, the burning Amazon, the climate crisis, border security, white supremacy, the patriarchy, gun control, terrorism, world hunger, poverty, or inequality.
These are all results and responses.
They are not causes.
They’re the combined result of your collective failure to evolve with a human consciousness that’s been expanding while you’ve been sleeping.
They’re the combined response to you being more interested in watching fake news and reality TV than spending time on a hobby or passion.
They’re the combined result of you poisoning your body with processed foods in excess instead of seeking help for your emotional eating.
They’re the combined response to you choosing not to prioritize mutual respect, vulnerability, and transparency in your relationships.
They’re the combined result of you barely touching your partner anymore and not making sex a sacred, cherished playground for you to celebrate your connection.
They’re the combined response to your unwillingness to truly and deeply know yourself—and embody that knowledge—to attract a tribe of people who are an energetic match to your frequency.
They’re the combined result of you judging the fuck out of your loved ones with addiction issues, instead of making yourself available to share a vulnerable space with their pain.
They’re the combined response to your typed-out novels of bullshit behind the comfortable walls of a text message instead of having a real conversation.
They’re the combined result of both your active and inactive choices to blame other people, perspectives, and circumstances for your lack of fulfillment and happiness.
They’re the combined response to you being more focused on your external world than your internal one.
What if instead of watching the “news” you read a book to expand your mind?
What if instead of mindlessly scrolling you took a walk—without your phone—and used that time to observe and appreciate nature?
What if instead of hiding your feelings, you honored your heart by speaking your truth—even when it literally feels like your stomach might explode?
What if instead of spending 80 percent of the day on your ass, you gifted your precious spacesuit the love and respect it deserves by raising your heart rate for a mere 30 minutes?
The individual informs the collective, yes. But formation does not occur with information alone.
Real formation doesn’t give a fuck about your voices or votes.
Things only change with action.
No one else’s.
Individual effort is what creates collective results. Stop expecting other people to take action on your behalf. Start forming instead of informing.
Choose connection over distraction.
Choose self-agency over self-pity.
Choose to change your life—by changing your fucking self.
Stop waiting for other people to be voted into or out of power. Stop waiting for the rules to change. Use your power. Make your own rules. Heal yourself by choosing yourself.
If you insist on being “informed” in order to “make decisions” that you could be making through living and breathing experiences instead of fake education—at least obtain your information from actual news and literature.
Obtain the information you base so many fear-driven decisions on from actual books, actual authors, actual experts, and actual journalists who report on factual stories.
Obtain your information from people who travel the world to collect experiential wisdom from those who are suffering the actual consequences of your refusal to go inward.
Obtain your information from traveling the world for your own fucking self. From living instead of dying.
Choose exploration. Conduct your own investigations of the things you see and hear. Create your own evidence.
Nothing comes from outside of you. Everything comes from within you. The external shitstorm of debauchery you claim to be so fed up with is a direct response to you.
It’s all a clusterfucked reaction to you, neglecting to care for your precious internal ecosystem.
It’s a reflection of your refusal to drop in to the only thing that actually matters in catalyzing real change: your relationship to you.
You cannot change the world. You can only change yourself.
The world will respond when you respond, to yourself instead of the world.