Bad things happen all the time to our environment, people and animals all across the globe. With the advancement in social media and technology, terrible news is at our fingertips. Phrases like, “everything happens for a reason,” or “it could be worse” are helpful, but doesn’t always make us feel better. These phrases suppose something in the future that will be appreciated or the lack of future events in the case of the latter. What about the here and now?
This question is almost as difficult as answering the meaning of life. Philosophers of old and new ponder themes of eternity and meaning, sometimes with opposing conclusions and often concurrent ones. In many of the writings, the principles apply to humanity as a whole and how the individual is able to apply these concepts in everyday life. The ultimate goal, to work towards a common good or eutopia.
In the popular novel Einstein’s Dream by Alan Lightman, the concept of time is explored in many different ways. What if we only lived for one day? What if we never died? These hypotheticals try to convey the meaning of time and existence by shedding light on the fact that the answer is both all of those and none at the same time. Similarly trying to make sense of the reasons why bad things happen (often to good people or the vulnerable), there are plenty of varied explanations.
Perhaps the climate crisis is becoming so big and plastic pollution seemingly insurmountable so that we can globally come together and make a change for the better. Think of all the times in your life when you made the biggest change. The answer is probably when something especially traumatic or inciting happened. If things are just good enough, we as a species hardly change. Sometimes it needs to get so bad that we are faced with an ultimatum in order to make significant, life-altering changes. It could be a reminder on such a dramatic scale that we are a part of everything around us, we are not below or above it and that it is all connected.
Alternatively, turmoil and unrest presented in an in-your-face manner, bring focus to what has been wrong for a long time. We have grown accustomed to the way things have always been without looking for better alternatives. Maybe we just accepted that there isn’t anything that could be better than the status quo. It needed to be so grandeious that we have to take note. When we notice toxic people in the public eye, it could be a message for our personal lives to ensure that we surround ourselves with those who share our values.
Our subconscious struggles come to the surface once we are met with triggering circumstances or when we start a guided journal. According to accepted symbolism in dreams, bodies of water are related to our subconscious. This is such a powerful element as water is cleansing, strong yet movable and responsible for all life on earth. If we envision that the “waters” of our mind is muddy, stagnant or swampy this will have a significant influence on our lives when we are conscious.
When water is overwhelming and destructive, it could manifest in our lives as frustration, anger and turmoil within our actions and behaviours. If we are so depleted that we turned our water into a desert, our bodies will lack energy to be resilient, move and thrive.
The aim is to have a subconscious that stores our emotions and work out some of the challenges in the background, while we live out our daily conscious lives. What a beautiful sight when we sit at a calm lake, see ripples in the water or put our feet in the cool refreshing river. This is optimal mental well-being and through journaling, we can clean our internal waters. We can call up the stored emotions, work through them and release. This makes our subconscious strong, powerful and work with our conscious as a holistic entity. In turn, this clear subconscious keeps our bodies hydrated and aligned to our source or divine, however we relate to it.
No writing or theory have the perfect answer on why bad things happen in the world. It could be a collective wake-up call from the universal subconscious to clear the proverbial muddy waters, or to make lasting changes for the better or it could simply be a more fatalistic approach in accepting that this was always the conclusion.
The same way that no one-answer will be sufficient for everyone, is exactly the reason why guided journaling is so empowering. It guides us to find our own answers, for ourselves by going into our own subconscious and bringing challenges to the surface.
Whether we have one day to live or will never die, we are here now. We were meant for this time and every mindfulness decision we make has an impact, even if this is how life was always supposed to turn out.
Keep Journaling, Keep Growing.