I feel you: eco-grief

Sentience, as in “The quality or state of being sentient; consciousness.” I have to admit, often I miss nature so much it physically hurts. And it literally hurts when I see trees being cut down, no matter if they are in the amazon, across the ocean, or in my neighborhood. It literally hurts my heart in a very real, somatic way.

Whenever I watch a nature documentary they inevitably mention some form or other of animals or plants going extinct or otherwise being impacted by climate change (which I believe being driven by human industrialized economy the past 100 years). So, anytime I see a scene like that I literally get sad. There is a name for it, as I learned: eco-grief. And as far as I am concerned it’s real.

It literally causes me somatic anguish when I see forests burning, cut down or burnt down for any reason. Especially devastating is the loss of our floral and faunal kin when they are forced to make space for the meat we consume. That is part of the reason why I stopped eating meat and animal-products and pretty much went pant-base for the last 24+ years. It’s just not something I can abide or accept taking part in. But while I said so back then, I learned that it’s not entirely correct to say ‘we’ as in ‘we humans’ destroy the Earth.

‘We’ is a bit to general

When we look at the distribution of wealth and thus economic power in the world, then saying ‘we’ as in everybody, are responsible for climate change is only partially true.

I believe that each individual has a personal responsibility to act in alignement with one’s values and walk the talk, thus making an impact in the world around. Our daily choices, what we spend our money on, where we put our monetary energy and attention, this is what we actively support. Many people claim to want to safe the forests, yet the are regulary consuming fast food, Nestle, and Coca Cola. you get the drift. People say one thing but do not act accordingly. Thus they give power to the companies that acutally do have an impact.

Which brings us to the, imho, real culprits. The Big Companies, Big Tech, Big Agrobusinesses that make incredible amounts of profit off our Earth, those are only a small percentage who hold the real power for change. They hold a big part of the responsability and the profit. Yet it seems the only thing they are able to is scheming for more profit and externalising the cost to the people on Earth.

Put simply: The richest Companies and Individuals make their profits by exploiting the world. Governments support this when they make deals (often behind the scenes, private agreements for lucrative jobs if they push certain agreements through on the political agenda) and individual people support this on a small scale by buying their business. Nothing new, I know.

But let me repeat:

The responsibility lies with the Big Companies

And: The power lies with the people.

Idealistic and probably utopian, but if we the people would all band together we coud easily starve the monster. If nobody buys their products, then their exploits would simply be no longer profitable. Everything is about power and money, because money is power these days. But. Yeah, I am too pragmatic and realistic, so that’s probably not gonna happen. Good thing is, we only need a critical mass. That is doable, so not all hope is lost.

There is one big problem that I observe, and which is I think by design AND incidentially. We are disconnnected from our own Body, and since our Body is Earth, we are disonnected from Earth. Obviously not all people feel – or are aware – of their Body being a fractal of Earth itself. What happens to Earth, happens to our Body.

Industrialisation and the ongoing idea pushed by some megalomaniacs that there is no soul and we are nothing more than ‘animals’ (which they mean demeaning, idiots *eyeroll*) furthers this disconnect. We – the people – are forced to earn a living by doing jobs that neither are important, meaningful or make us fell alive and empowered. I hear statistics say that 80ish % of people are unhappy in their jobs (no matter if thats USA or Europe etc… ) and we are pandemically suffering from depression, addictions and illnesses caused most often by the lack of community, connection and meaning. Industialisation is not working. Capitalism is literally killing us and dehumanizes us. We inherit transgenerational trauma from our ancestors, and then we get traumatized in real life – while we are forced to earn a living as if that was a god given plan not a man made scheme, we are lucky if me find the time to heal some of the wounds and take back some of our sovereignity.

So, now you ask me what my point is? What is the solution to all these well known problems?

Surprisingly I have one for you: one you can only do yourself, one that puts us on the spot. One, where we have to take responsibility – and one that makes us response-able. Sure, there is no one solution, but trust me, if each of us does this, makes this the best of our abilities, then the solution will grow organically.

Reconnect. That is the solution.

You know how it hurts me when trees are cut down? That is because trees are sentient, I am sentient, and I share a connection with this Earth and every stick, stone, tree and animal on it. The universe inside and out is made up of networks of neurons, bloodvessels, nadis, mycorrhizal networks, roots, water cycles, starsystems, etc. Inside out everything is connected and woven together. So when we reconnect to our own Body, when we somatically root into our bodies, then we start healing and changing.

Listen to your body. See your body as an ally. Your Body will be with you from the day you start to shape in your mothers womb until the day you split from it. And yet we are so very disconnected from our body.

Follow your bliss. Learn what your body wants and needs: Rest? A Nap? Movement? Water? Healthy food? A cuddle? Skin on Skin? Fresh Air? Sleep? learn to listen. It’s a practice. And while we might not always be able to give the Body what she needs right that moment, we already win just by being aware and caring for her needs like we would care for the needs of a beloved person.

Then we learn the true quality and magic of being sentient and consciousness.



Personal Illustration | digital | 2020

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