So I got to spend some time. All alone. In my car. Listening to NPR… and no one was yelling from the backseat, “I don’t like news!”
It was glorious.
I got to hear a couple of Ted Talks, and they are what inspire this post.
So, here it goes.
First, rewilding… I am not talking about the anarchist movement, the sexual intimacy counseling, or the idea that we should shed domestication and live nude in the woods (though, if you drop by my home without notice, you may think we have started the latter.) Rather, rewilding, as a conservation initiative. The idea is that by introducing key, and very powerful species back into an environment we can restore connections within the ecosystem that have been broken- bringing it back to its intended and flourishing state.(George Monbiot explains this in his talk– super cool stuff.)
Stick with me, this is will make sense! I hope.
Ok, so then I heard Abha Dawesar’s Ted Talk “How do our Screens Distort Our Sense of Time?” She talks about how our sense of time, and even our identities have melded with the digital world. How our stories as humans need both the long flow of time (our lifespan), and the small moments that contain our direct experiences. Because of our activity in the digital world, our moments have shrunk. Past, present and future have all blended into this abstract universe she calls the “digital now”, which serves one purpose: to distract us and carry us off into the land of anywhere and anything else. “Travel can be liberating, but when it is incessant we become permanent exiles without repose.” And she’s right.
I have a confession. I spend the majority of my waking hours in very, VERY close proximity to my children (can I just pee alone?! Just once?). But there are days; tired, bored, restless days, when I go to bed and think, “Have I connected with my children today? Have I connected with anyone?” Sure I fed, wiped, dressed, bathed, held, and generally kept them alive. But did I make memories, did I invest anything in them? And then I think on the moments I brushed them aside, or told them “In a minute”, so I could have just a few more minutes on Facebook, the one place where I feel like I am actually “connecting”.
I’m going to stop here and say- this is NOT a “Mama, get off Facebook,” judgmental rant. Sometimes we need a mind-numbing break- and that’s ok. Do you, mama!
But, what I am saying is this: I have spent entire days being present but not present in my own ecosystem.
I have a friend who talks about how there is always a “nucleus person” in the family. The one who kind of keeps things running, keeps the peace when things crumble. After hearing these two Ted Talks I realize that the days when I check out, that I am removing the keystone species, the nucleus, from my children’s sweet, fragile ecosystem. It’s one thing for my family to survive, it’s another for them to flourish.
Dawesar says that we owe the present our full attention. “Attention is time,” and “love is attention.” Who and what I spend my attention on is where my love is.
Rewilding is about reinserting oneself (ie the “keystone species”) back into the present, not just for your benefit but for all that interconnects. Allowing all within your realm of influence, your little ecosystem if you will, to reconnect and thrive. Broken relationships are a norm of our society- but we can change that, by being present- in the now. The real now.
Allow me to switch veins here.
As I discuss the concept of “rewilding” in the sense of re-introducing a key component to repair disconnect, I am hit with an even greater truth:
We live in a world where broken relationships are the norm, right? Name one family that does not have some sort of rift between parents and children, siblings, spouses… Now think about your own relationships. Are they broken? Is your life somehow dysfunctional? Like you’re not connecting in all the ways you need to in order to really thrive, to really feel alive? Are you on a hunt for healing, feeling fragile and alone?
The reason is: you were made for more. When God created man and woman he made us to live in completeness and in connection with him. We chose to reject his presence in our world, inviting in the very disconnect and brokenness our relationships suffer every day. I will address this specifically more in another post. But I want to leave you with this: there is a keystone that is missing. His name is Jesus, and he is the remedy for all of that disconnect. He doesn’t want to condemn or punish you, he simply wants to put your world back to right, to save and reorder all the chaos you may be facing so that you can again have completeness with him. Please, if you need this, feel free to contact me, I would love to talk more!