How to cope with life’s mess and the crazy, foolish world we find ourselves today

Our world is such a constant influx of information, complex dynamics, inconsistencies, uncertainty, anxiety…it is endless. Every one is acting like they’re fine — actually, no this isn’t true. There is a real recognition that we aren’t fine. Something has shifted for humanity and while we can acknowledge this, no one is really committed to solving it. I think there are various reasons for this, but the one reason that comes to mind now is majority of these problems are in fact, unsolvable.

So we resort to chasing things, dreams, identities, endless vacations, money. We just want something tangible with the hope that it would fill it. Now, even I don’t know what “it” is but neither do those who yearn to fill “it”. Again, unsolvable.

There is a lot of meaninglessness. Oh my God, so much do not make any sense any more. I am dead serious. The rare times I open Twitter, I see someone say the most incredulous, most barbaric thing that I almost always close/log out of that dang thing immediately. I have also been [all year] all about divesting myself from those social media apps. The first step towards that is choosing to not create any new or additional one so you won’t find me on Tik Tok (that thing makes me dizzy), but also I give myself serious time limits for the ones I log onto. Hey, listen, I break my own limits sometimes especially on weekends, but at least the boundaries exist. I have decided that Instagram [or how I have curated it for myself] is harmless enough that it shouldn’t be that bad. Any breaks in the future? I don’t know. I don’t use it enough to want a break from it to be honest. How did we get here?

Oh yeah, the meaninglessness, the senselessness, the lack of nuance, the addiction to the applause, the high from the likes and retweets, the outlandish behavior. None of it makes any sense.

But what can be hold on to? Oh so much.

For the most part of this year, I have had to leave home really early for work. From spring to summer, and now, fall; as the seasons have changed so has the beauty outside. At first 6:00am was a little dark, then a little bright, then very bright, then very dark.

“Oh how nature acquaints us with the nature of patience

In addition to the weather, the color and the texture are changing. Leaves blossom in the spring and summer, and this fall, they might as well be showing off. The orange, brown, and green hues are nothing short of stunning this year (I really wanted to get a picture the other day but we were on the highway and my sister didn’t really have the time for my shenanigans).

None of this is new, so what’s this all about? You may ask. Exactly that. It is not new. Even in their routine, cyclical changes, even as the weather fluctuates (climate change in one of the biggest challenges of our future, but that’s gotta be another post entirely), as the temperature becomes more erratic (freezing one day, hot the next), some things are constant. Those leaves change color. Time will pass. Days will become shorter. Nights longer. These are facts of life. These are constants. The leaves aren’t afraid that summer is on the horizon or that fall arrives earlier than normal.

In the same vein, what are the constants in your life? Hold on to them. Maybe it’s family, or it’s the friends who love and support you no matter what, or it’s how good you are at your job (yes, even that one that is so routine you could do it in your sleep), maybe it’s food, or it’s that no matter what, come Friday mornings, you do yoga. Whatever it is, lean on it when all other things are changing or in so much turmoil that you are dizzy. After all, no one told leaves to change their color this October, right? Again, in the same vein, relax, it will be okay.

If everything I mentioned above still don’t cut it, how about this. Ask yourself: what does God want me to learn from this? What is this teaching me about myself and others and life? One great lesson I have learned this year is if it’s a human affliction then I am capable of it too. Before you turn your nose at the alcoholic or the addict or someone who did the sinful, immoral thing, remember you are just as capable of it. So I’m letting go of pride and arrogance and embracing empathy as much as I can (I am still very judgmental, people. So watch out lol). The other thing to ask yourself relates to the age old gratitude philosophy: what about this situation can I thank God for?

That’s it folks.

Something to make you laugh: Hassan Minhaj’s Special on Netflix, The King’s Jester.

Something to make you think: Climate change is seriously endangering lives and livelihoods. As usual, the poor and the marginalized are the most likely to take a hit. I worry we are not taking this seriously enough. This year, there have been record floods in Nigeria, Pakistan, Florida, and many more places. When Covid came, we cried that it was sudden. But it wasn’t. Scientist had warned a pandemic was looming. They are warning again. Are we listening?

Love,

I

Originally published at http://www.themoderncedar.com.

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Ife O

Academic and storyteller passionate about equality and justice and learning to live like Jesus would.