It’s irritating. This skin of mine feels too short. Ready to get out of it, become something new. Many are thinking the same thing. Squeezing out of the old could have, should have been delightful. But it’s been a forced push. Change is upon us and the transformation is confusing and even scary. From deaths due to the coronavirus to people peacefully protesting for equal justice getting tear gassed for the So-Called President of the United States’ photo-op, we are truly in some weird times.
So what is the new normal? Or can we only hope for nearly normal. Even though we don’t yet know, each of us can find a sense of balance. For me, the Torah is a teaching that instructs us on how to resolve the inherent disparities of life. For example, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is a concept consisting of diametrically opposed notions. Our sense of spirituality includes non-rational aspects, inherent conflicts, and outright paradoxes. It requires the seeker to decouple from, or dispense with our everyday way of viewing the world. In other words, it pulls the rug out from what is considered normal and requires a more poetic way of seeing to achieve understanding.
Then you have to apply what you comprehend. We live in a real world and not just what we think about it. You have to manifest your desires and thoughts. The time to do so is always now.
Take for example the term ‘social distancing’. At first blush, applying it in our daily lives seemed counterfactual, and caused uncertainty and unease. It implied being in the physical company of others, yet staying at least 6-feet away from them. Without some sound advice, the requirement by our state governors and city mayors was perplexing. Yet communities creatively adapted. Of course, a determination about our national wellbeing and guidance on how to stay healthy was warranted to achieve a balanced approach, especially in high population density areas such as New York and Seattle. However, three and half years into his occupation of the White House, the cognitive dissonance set up by Trump is overwhelming. Although he wants to portray himself as caring, his recent publicity stunt before a church, crudely holding a bible for a photo-op after his secret police on horseback tear-gassed peaceful protestors, is more proof he is unfit to lead.
I came across this tweet by HowardinDC, “Explains why MAGAts create all the Trump "porn" - like a muscular Trump standing on a tank: it must alleviate the cognitive dissonance they feel when they realize their 'hero' is actually a draft-dodging, mind-bendingly incompetent, cowardly bully.” A September 2019 article in the Sonoma Index-Tribune about why Trump’s lies don’t affect his standing in the polls noted something similar, “People who believe in someone will believe almost anything he or she says, also refusing to believe almost anything negative about them.” According to the Oxford dictionary, cognitive dissonance concerns circumstances involving “conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors. This may result in feeling mental discomfort, which can cause you to alter one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors to decrease the discomfort and find balance”.
I purposefully wrote ‘My Random Death’ to not come across as a know-it-all, new age guru. Rather than a self-help book, my memoir is a guide for self-discovery, to live life in your own way. I encourage people to pay attention to the meaningful coincidences in their lives, learn to trust their intuition and follow its inner guidance to find your own sense of poise, and the self-confidence to move forward in the ‘real’ world.