I recently attended a festival, which really embodied the kind of community structure we evolved into as homosapiens. If you are to look at any hunter gatherer or tribal group of people, you will see this sense of community at it’s foundation; everyone has a place within the tribe and is respected and celebrated simply for being alive. Now that I am a parent of two young boys, I can fully appreciate how having a group of women around me, all of us existing closely in one another’s lives, offering pure unconditional love and support, would be A LITTLE BIT BETTER THAN MY CURRENT SITUATION.
The main issues that have arisen out of this modern day situation of segregation and competition, in my life are:
- I grew up feeling alone and with little self esteem.
- I didn’t get the emotional support I needed as a child from my family.
- I had a distorted view of intimacy and sex… and men.
- I had no idea how to deal with pregnancy, child-birth and babies.
- I cannot handle the stress of caring for my own sons without it manifesting as something negative in my own habit patterns.
- I live with severe depressive and anxious episodes.
- I have a constant gnawing in my consciousness that is only filled when I am completely immersed in an event in which community is the foundation.
It is obvious that all of us are seeking the same thing (the popularity of social media is a dead give away), yet so many still can’t recognise it for what it is and continue to seek fulfilment from things outside of human interaction. In fact, human interaction can be terrifying for some people, which is the ultimate sadness, because human beings, in essence, are connection.
The current state of disconnectedness is the absolute and undeniable cause of all mental illness (imagine the backlash if I had followers). As mammals, we are born out of the (what is supposed to be) loving connection of two other beings. There are various studies on the need for human connection and how the lack of it can lead to serious illness. We only thrive when there is a strong foundation for human connection in our community; it’s that simple.
There are many things you can do to increase the amount of human connection in your life and they don’t have to include anything daunting, until of course you are ready for those fun activities! We can look each other in the eye for more than half a second when we talk to one another, or better yet, hold a person’s gaze (even your own) without speaking for several minutes. Inside the family unit it could be as simple as making a set time for a meal together each day (which can actually seem impossible when parents work different hours) without phones being allowed at the table; or, a night each week for which playing a board game together is prioritised over any other invitations.
When parents are exhausted from working hard and trying to raise a family it can be incredibly difficult to muster the energy to do anything other than to crack a bottle of whatever and chuck on the T.V. It’s easy to say, “O.K! No more television or phones at dinner time”, but when exhaustion strikes… well, anything goes. I say every night before bed that I am going to be more present with and available to my family the next day, and I almost always fail, because I’m so tired. We aren’t designed to live in these tiny family units.
I long for a tribe to be a part of; one that lives together, physically. I long for a circle of sisters all helping to raise one another’s children and pass on secret women’s business without the unnecessary taboos of our prudish modern society. I want to enjoy the innate respect for men as it would be if we were living in a tribal community, rather than this constant segregation and hatred between us. Men and women belong together in a mutual bond, built on unconditional love and the understanding of our necessary differences.
We are not healthy the way we are living now. Mental health should not be as much of an issue as it is, and it wouldn’t be if we were living in harmony with all various aspects of life that make us whole. Masculine and feminine; man and woman; day and night; birth and death. Everything has it’s place in a healthy community setting, which is not what we are currently living in. Autististic? Shaman. ADHA? Avid hunter, maybe. Introvert? Powerful healer. Everyone would be accepted and they would flourish and be revered for their gifts rather than diagnosed with an illness and prescribed medication, or teased for being a certain personality type.
I could really just go on for the rest of eternity about this topic so I will end it here. (Next blog post is a doozie so hold your breath for that one).
Stay tuned for our super exciting online course coming up! https://www.facebook.com/thekindmind.au/ for details and feel free to call me for a chin wag any time on 0481 149 104.