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Brought to Our Knees by Rochelle McLaughlin

I was co-dependent (my level of contentment was dependent upon “you” doing, being, feeling a certain way), narcissistic (my life was mostly about me; my education, my career, my commute, my family, my friends, my beliefs, my opinions, my perceptions etc…), and addicted (to processed grains, preservatives, and sugar). I was distracted, traumatized, disempowered, and numb. And, like a skilled chameleon, I fit right in to the larger collective culture of the Western industrialized society I grew up in since these are the qualities that are perpetuated, fostered, and maintained for “the greater good” and that greater good generally has to do with patriarchal corporate interests in the name of Big Agg, Big Industry, Big Pharma, and Big Chem.

Stepping off this treadmill was (and is) multifactorial and happened over a period of ten years or so but every present moment I showed up for I could sense a deep well of power, a stillness, and the flame of Love itself (even if at times only a flicker was noticeable) inside my body that kept me company, that filled me with hope, that humbled me, and propelled me forward. I was literally brought to my knees many times by the grief, the anger, the sadness of the reality of the situation that exists within the collective nightmare we are currently co-creating. Alongside the dense gravity of grief is a surprising and profound sense of awe and joy of the sheer magnificence of this experience of being alive, the interconnectedness, the impermanence, the fragility. I also acutely acknowledge the cocoon of privilege of living in the US. The relative safety, the freedom, the stunning comforts. I have also been brought to my knees in absolute wonder of the luminousness of the world. The blinding beauty of my daughter’s faces, seeing the Universe itself, Consciousness itself right there in the iris’s of their eyes.

I know this to be true: that we all must make this journey into our own darkest hour. Every one of us must recognize how we collude and conspire to keep the insanity of the current destructive cultural norms alive. We must allow our hearts to break open, to be brought to our knees with grief about the devastation and exploitation of Earth’s resources and the human and non-human resources. We must allow ourselves permission to feel, deeply feel the heartbreak and then to use our deepest feelings in the service of our most healthiest, our most wisest, and our most empowered selves. Because from this place of authenticity we will go out into the world and make waves that move others and empower others to do their own unique and significant work.

It will take many millions of us doing just this for us to see the change we wish to see in the world. You are the only one you have control over, and the world now more than ever needs you to feel deeply, be humbled, and be empowered from and with that full spectrum of human experience and having been brought to your knees.

What wakes you up at night with heartbreak about the current conditions of the world?

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