There’s a phrase you might have heard or thought quite a few times this year: “… in a world gone mad.”
If you’ve been awake at all, you’ve probably muttered something like this for at least several years.
But the world has always been mad. What’s going on right now just reveals a deep level of insanity that has always been there, seething beneath the surface of what we refer to as “normal.”
You might think that the madness I’m referring to are whatever things make you feel most afraid and angry.
That’s not what I mean.
Because those things that make you feel most afraid and angry are exactly what a lot of other people dearly hope could become “normal.”
No, what I mean by insanity is the belief that we can control the universe or other people. This insanity rests on the idea that control is anything but an illusion. And that notion (the one that makes us so desperate) is born from fears of scarcity and intrinsic brokenness.
Humans have always developed stories about life, the universe, and everything. These stories are attempts to convince ourselves of a certainty that never existed.
Because of the way our brains work, we can process only about 2,000 bits of the 400 billion bits of information surging around us every second. And even then, our conscious minds can only handle 50 of those bits per second.
If you focus on that for a moment, it’s obvious that no matter how well educated or even brilliant any of us might ever be, we are trying to understand reality by looking at it through a keyhole.
The madness is believing that what you or I might see through our particular keyhole is the whole picture—or even more than a laughably tiny portion of what’s going on at any moment.
So what can be done about this crazy situation?
Let go and love.
Love is the only sanity.
Love the eyes reading these words. Love the heart that’s keeping you alive. Love the fact that we are living in the most extraordinary time humans have ever shared on this planet—what a remarkable thing, to be alive with over seven and a half billion other people at this moment.
And I’m not talking about a floaty, “thoughts and prayers” kind of love.
The love that transforms is real stuff. It’s pausing in times of panic, breathing deeply, and asking, “What can I do right here within my own arms’ reach? Who needs me to do a practical, courageous thing now?”
Usually the answer starts inside my own skin, you know? I need me to breathe, rest, restore a little peace in my nervous system, drink a glass of water, take a walk, make the bed…
Maybe the old lady who lives next door and walks her dog to the mailbox every day at exactly 12:35 needs me to stop and say hello and chat about the geraniums for twenty seconds.
My son might need a quick squeeze on his shoulder as he runs out the door to get to work.
The brain tries to say that these are insignificant things when those loud voices “out there” are screaming about how overwhelming everything is.
But through the keyhole of reality that I can perceive, the smallest act of love and sanity can change the only world that I can do anything about.
“For a day, just for one day,
Talk about that which disturbs no one
And bring some peace into your