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  • Writer's pictureMonique

Sitting in our Grief for Climate Change and Nature Loss

What if we – culturally Western humans – stopped our relentless insistence of our distinctness and separation from Nature? What if we stepped away from pitching dualism as a way of life? What if we stopped using hashtags like #FORNATURE? What if we promised ourselves, no more “new deals”, no more “post-2020 paths to recovery”? What if we said we are done with fantasies and lullabies that tell us we can keep doing everything the same, as long as we protect - some of - Nature, ensure sustainable development, and write a good framework to get us there?

What if we just sat in our grief? Looked at ourselves with humility, with compassion, with love. We could take a step toward integrity, toward wisdom. We could examine a simple yet very disturbing truth: we are aware that we are destroying Earth while at the same time destroying it.

What if we consciously decided that we wanted to be wise, discerning, and emotionally intelligent instead of just smart and clever?

What if we said, collectively, to ourselves: hey, we are so imperfect, so abundantly human, we have made so many mistakes, but we would really like to get to know us, to understand us, to see how we got here. And we would like to sit in our grief so that we can feel and grow. We have so much potential. But first we have to find a way to be truthful – we are in grief, we made mistakes, we have been wrong...

We grasped for too much.

We have to be in pain, we have to end the papering over, the thin lullaby veneer of economic growth with sustainable development without changing the one thing that really matters: us.

What if we each said: I want to have a different sense of myself, I want to reach into my deep potential beyond my consumer, grasping self? I want to feel something more than anxiety about the planet as I get into my car to go and purchase something.

What if we decided to stop numbing ourselves?

Instead, we said: I want to feel my grief. I want to feel my pain. And I want to mourn so that I can step into something else. A transformative turn toward discernment of our collective creations and messes as well as our collective potential.

Let us wonder together about how we might step toward this embodied experience of our own grief.

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