Sitting on the Edge of the Cliff
Hello fellow travellers,
I was quite taken with something I heard Wendy say on a recording, that engaging with the field of Positive Deep Adaptation means learning how to sit on the edge of the cliff. This same recording then later included a conversation around the use of metaphor, enquiring as to whether it helps a difficult conversation, or enables further avoidance of the actual difficulty, with the notion then expressed that both are possible, depending on the individual’s tendencies.
But I wondered then if it would be helpful for us to use the metaphor of sitting on the edge of the cliff as a conversation opener into expressing in actual terms: what is on the other side of the cliff? In other words, describe your fears.
For me, currently, the fears that live on the other side of the cliff are:
- Inwardly, being so overwhelmed by the amount of aspects of life that are changed (in a collapse scenario) that my sanity is knocked and I become ineffective in my own life, and also therefore unable to look after anyone or anything else.
- Outwardly, that the collapse of systems and ensuing lack of resources bring out the worst in people, and that a ‘me first’ mentality takes over and becomes the predominant feature of human nature.
- In a larger sense, that those who live are only able to scrabble around looking for the bare minimum of survival, and there is no longer any time or place for culture, and the nurturing of the true human spirit.
In describing these, I was quite surprised to find that these more nuanced pictures are the greater fears for me than the more obvious ones: death, especially painful death – of self and others, and the destruction of the earth.
But also, the fears I have described feel, for me, more able to be worked on, which is already part of their being turned into a medicine, and a way to continue to be in life in this time where we face such huge prospects.
Lastly, this leaves me with another idea, as well as describing what is on the other side of the cliff through the lense of fear, we could also experience the same metaphor in a different way and describe it through the lense of love; what keeps you living, why are you in life, what do you walk towards?
I would love to hear from any of you fellow cliff-sitters who feel to share your responses: what do you fear? What do you love?
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