Hello Dearest Ones,
I have spent a lot of the last year contemplating a particular word and its concept. I have a dear friend who starts off the year by identifying their word for the year. I didn’t think to identify a personal word for 2020, however, I have had one particular word come up over and over again. This past year, the word found me. It’s a word that has had a lot of influence on how I have processed and interpreted my experiences in 2020 and during the pandemic.
As you may have already guessed, the word is ADDITIVE. In the simplest of terms, it is the value I have used to gauge or evaluate my experiences of the last year. Anything and everything I have been faced with, or have had to make a decision about this year, has been observed through that particular lens. Did it have an ‘additive’ quality to it? If it didn’t, it was not welcomed into my life. In some cases that meant it was uninvited from my life. There are so many things (and people) we hold onto in our lives, that are no longer additive.
As I have had experiences this year, I have asked myself (and often others): Is this experience/ person additive to my life? My career? My health? My understanding and awareness? Additive implies, intrinsically, that something ‘good’ comes from it. That there is a benefit to, or improvement in, some aspect of our life or being as a result of this thing/ person. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be grandly additive, that it has to be earth shatteringly beneficial. It only means that something, maybe something quite small, is improved or benefited.
The fear monsters have come out to play, in force, since the beginning of the pandemic. We have been assaulted from every direction with our personal and collective fears for over a year now. Will we get Covid? Will it kill us or someone we love? Will we be okay financially? Will our business recover? Will our kids be less prepared in life because of online school? Can we give them adequate support at home? Will our African American and Asian friends and family be killed just for walking down the street? Will we get gunned down at our local King Soopers because someone with mental health issues slipped through the cracks? The fears have been incessant.
I have had plenty of experience with fear and its paralyzing (non-additive) nature. The first time fear really overwhelmed me, it took me more than a year to learn how to neutralize it. It seemed so real, and was so good at convincing me that if I didn’t live by it, the earth would give way under my feet. What I learned, when I finally did neutralize it, is that there is not one single additive quality to fear. Succumbing to fear never adds anything positive to our lives.
Now, being aware, proactive and responsive is highly additive. So here is where we can make friends with fear, and use it to help us understand ourselves and our situation better. When fear tries to overwhelm me, I ask it what it is trying to teach me. If I’m bombarded by financial/ professional fears, it is likely that I feel a certain amount of preexisting insecurity in my professional/ financial life. If I have deep fears about my child’s education, it is likely that I already have distrust in the educational system, or in my child’s ability to thrive in academic situations. If, all of a sudden, I have a deep fear of people of Asian decent because the Corona Virus started in that part of the world, it is likely I already carry a fear of difference and xenophobia within me.
At this point in the process, I turn to the fear and tell it, thank you for the insight, now you may go. I have no other use for you. All you will do is paralyze me, and I need to remain active, vigilant and willing to address my new awareness.
I think the opposite of fear is trust. And I have found trust to be incredibly additive. When I choose to trust that I will be okay financially, the knot in my throat softens, and I’m more able to appreciate that I have a roof over my head. When I trust that my child’s academic needs will somehow be met, I relax, and am more able to support them at home. When I trust that all people are inherently good and viruses are not morally or racially preferential, I feel safe, and I am more able to respond when another human is in need of my help and protection.
I have turned to trust over and over again this year. When fear tries to make its way into my heart, I continually turn to trust, for trust is truly additive. I trust that we are exposing and healing deep ancestral, societal practices of injustice. I trust that our children are learning wonderful lessons about ingenuity and making do with what they have. I trust that by becoming more aware of the systemic racism and xenophobia that exist in this country, more and more people will come to know the truth, of the love in their hearts, for all of humanity. I trust that having to stay local and confined will move us toward remembering (or learning for the first time) the importance of Mother Earth to our own well-being. I trust that love will always be more present than hate. And this trust, gives me the fortitude and wherewithal to be actively involved in making all of these changes and truths a reality. Fear, on the other hand, only paralyzes me.
In deep love, and a desire to give you an additive perspective,
Tawa Ranes has a very curious mind and has always been interested in the nature of consciousness and the workings of the Universe. Since healing has been a big part of her own personal journey, much of her curiosity focuses on understanding how and why healing occurs or fails to take place.