Intense individualism and isolation seem to be the deal of the day in our current society. We are so focused on ourselves and creating some perfect image of our world through our screens that the type of connections we make in the real world seem far and few between. This coupled along with the fact that many of us tend to come from broken or dysfunctional families, the fact that neighbors don’t really talk to one another, our increasingly busy lives as well as the capitalistic focus on the individual, leads for a very lonely existence.
This, as all societal ailments in the middle of their socially normalized processes, do, may not seem like too much of a bad thing. It may seem normal. Although, as human beings, we are naturally social and the majority of us at least, deep down inside, crave that feeling of being a part of a tribe. A group of people that are there to support, accept and love us unconditionally.
This unsatisfied craving in my estimation leads to many addictions from social media, where the combination of a sense of community and the ability to construct a perfect and easy-to-love image of ourselves becomes a heaven for the isolated soul, to drug abuse, alcoholism and so the list continues on. I would even take a leap as to say that by a large, some of those who find themselves to be depressed, could be suffering from a contextual disconnection. This, on top of the fact that collective trauma, which perhaps can only be healed by a community, is playing such a role in the political sphere right now, leads to a society of lost and destructive individuals.
Coupled with this sense of isolation and self-focus, the fear of being vulnerable strikes true in many of us. We are so concerned about making our lives look perfect, about winning some strange societal competition that society set up for us from the moment we started getting gold stars and beating each other in races, that we forgot to show each other our scars and to reach out a hand when someone else is in need.
This is perhaps why people are flocking towards plant medicines and therapeutic practices; not simply because they are in need of healing but because these healing modalities provide that which is missing; intimacy, vulnerability, connection and community with other loving and accepting individuals.
“The need for love and intimacy is a fundamental human need, as primal as the need for food, water, and air.” Dean Ornish
Now I am under no illusion or really qualified to give any substantive opinion about the role of capitalism and how it plays into this issue. I am not calling for some type of revolution. I am simply asking you to be the brave ones, to be the vulnerable ones and to reach out a hand. You may be surprised at how many will reach back.