I was born into a world where I feel I don’t belong; I have never truly understood why and have based most of my years trying to find my place. Like most people have at least one time in their lives, I ask myself, why do I exist? With such a loaded question, the answer can seem daunting to figure out. Time seems to go so fast, and getting lost in society’s race and its demands leaves me in a fog some days; where does one even find the time to step out of your fog and find clarity to be honest with yourself enough to grasp that question? I have found only one environment where that clarity is allowed to be seen. I have found one place in the world where that sense of belonging occurs for me; nature.
I have realized in situations where I’m forced to perform my duties as a human, such as work, socializing, raising children, that my perception does not mix well with others. I have gone through immense struggle to fit in among my peers at times due to my intense perception on the world around me. I raise my children in a particular way that has raised conflict in every relationship I am invested in, which ultimately causes its failure. I am an observer in every sense of the definition. I thrive off the energy around me and am affected in a way that most people cannot fathom. The lessons I teach my children have focused on what has already been gifted to us by our planet. Whereas some parents focus on raising their children to become successful in work and how to fit in, I have taught my children to feel the world’s energy around us. I have taught them to listen to the silence around us on a hike, surrounded by trees and birds, and feel the immense pleasure of its song. I observe the distractedness among my coworkers, be it the current events fed by our media, their dramas of everyday life, and most days, I shy away on the lecture of raising their consciousness by meditating under a tree or laying on a rock while the sun warms their soul back to life. I have tried, do not get me wrong here. But this has led me to experience conflict in my relationships due to a lack of understanding and differences of opinion on what is essential in life. Ultimately it has led me to spend most of my life alone.
I notice the struggle amongst my peers with their everyday lives and coping mechanisms that I feel is caused by their disconnection from mother earth. I see the depression that has laid itself over the people around me and the clouding of what losing their true purpose causes them every day. This is where perception plays a significant role; I fear they have lost their connection to the planet and how nature can give back what they don’t even realize they have lost. The feeling of stepping into an environment of trees, animals, bushes, bugs, anything other than Facebook, Instagram, cell phones; has a tremendous impact on our emotional well-being. When I am dealing with a loss or any daily struggle, being in nature takes away the pain. It has been the only place I feel myself completely. I see the use of alcohol amongst the people I am surrounded by, or how they base their status on materialistic gains, and I wonder if they notice how unhappy they indeed are. I also understand that I see this so much because I have not lost my connection to our mother earth, and we live in a society that promotes losing that connection.
Raising our consciousness is so essential as we carry out our tasks throughout daily life. I wonder how many people genuinely pay attention to the little things that we experience in our day. Do they notice the way the trees look when they are changing colors? How many people get excited when the rain falls, and you realize it is watering our grass and breathing life into our trees? When I get close to a tree and place my hand upon it, I feel a connection. I know I am different in that way, and I am fortunate to not have lost that. The actual question is, how did we get so far into destroying our earth that we have lost the connection? Our society promotes us to live lives at such a breakneck speed; how can we be present to raise that question and find our way back to our relationship with our earth.
I believe wholeheartedly that the signs of where we need to be directed in life are there, as long as our eyes are truly open to seeing them. I have been placed in an English class where I have realized that I have stumbled upon what I needed to pull me back to reality. I am guilty of losing myself to the societal race of providing food for my family and ending up back inside a familiar fog. That fog that clouds my sense of purpose. That fog leaves me feeling that I do not belong. I recently watched a documentary about a man and an octopus. While I neglected to pay attention to the first half of the show for the fact that I was watching it at work in between taking care of broken humans; I cued into a species of sea life; reaching its sea arm out to connect with a human outside of its world, and I began to cry. I cried because I mourned our human race. I cried because I felt inside my soul the importance of the bigger picture of living that gets lost during the day-to-day tasks we have to participate in to survive. I cried because I had become what I most feared; disconnected. I believe that I took this “English” class because I was supposed to reconnect on a deeper level with my planet.
This assignment’s goal was to explain what we had learned by watching the information we were provided by our professor. Luckily there was no specific outline except that we should attach this to our everyday lives and what we learned about our planet by watching the material. I know that every individual viewed this at their own level of perception. My learning amped up a side of myself I had lost touch with. I felt the emptiness of an orangutan sitting at the top of a tree that had been destroyed by humans. I felt the wholeness of a man being caressed by a sea creature. I felt the desiccated heart of a community that ceased to exist because of a lack of caring about our actions as human beings. I felt; that is what I learned. I feel, beyond the shadows of a growing technology-based society. I feel, passed the destruction of a fantastic nature-driven planet that is being stripped of its purpose. I have found the goal of this assignment for myself was to bring me back to belonging to a planet that was meant to be there for me like nothing else can. My purpose is to merely exist with the world I was born into in harmony, balance, and respect.
Most questions that gnaw at my soul can be answered best when there is a silence surrounding me. When I watched the documentaries given to me by my professor, I wasn’t just thinking about the planet. I was attaching its story to my life and interactions with life around me. Be it human life, wildlife, the life of a tree or flower. The way the sun sets and rises each day without us telling it to. The way the rain nourishes the ground and grows our food. My heart hurts watching the planet die, and it forces me to look at myself and fellow humans and wonder why we are the way we are. Why do we destroy; when we can create? Why do we take so much more than we need and give back nothing that replenishes the natural resources we draw from? When the questions cease, and I pull away from people and find myself sitting under a tree surrounded by sounds of birds and running creeks, it’s simple. We came from the earth; we evolved from the ground. We were born onto a planet that we belong to; we were meant to be its caretaker. Over time, I believe; personally, the world has just become too loud for anyone to find that answer for themselves.