I recently decided to take a social media break. I felt like all I saw were people expressing their anger into the void that is the internet, and it paralyzed me. I used to pride myself on my contributions to causes I cared about. I was always creating an event, raising funds, or informing myself on new issues. The more time I spent listening to all of the tragedies going on in the world, I felt my ambitions slip away. I used to have to search out information, but suddenly I was being exposed to constant news, and very little of it good.
Particularly in B.C., news has recently circled around climate change. Climate change has arrived in the Fraser Valley. Let's be honest, it's been here for a while, but it has been easier to look away and ignore it until the recent floods. This summer when temperatures reached 42 degrees Celsius at the farm, I was so panicked at trying to save my bees and crops, that at the end of it all there was a sigh of relief that the loss for me personally, was so little. This time, as I watch my neighbours suffer deeply, it's much harder to find that relief. On Monday evening I felt a bit of anxiety creep in when I saw signs ' Road Under Water' for the first time in my life, blocking roads out of my neighbourhood in Langley. It feels silly now, reflecting back, but I had no idea what people living across B.C. were experiencing. Our motorhome was shaking in the wind, while people were kayaking back to their homes desperate to save their beloved pets and livestock. Family homes filled with generations of memories, hopes and dreams, washed away. The realization that we are all incredibly vulnerable, and that within 24 hours peoples lives were completely changed, is a heavy one.
This is the grief I am allowing myself to feel. Not because it has personally impacted me, but because it is so close to home and as a farmer I can imagine to my core how devastating this situation must be for many. I am allowing myself to feel it all. To let myself cry, be angry, be moved to donate. To be moved to action. We are so inundated with bad news stories near and far, that at times it can feel like there's nothing to be done. We can't feel everything. The downside of all of this information overload, is unless we feel something in our hearts, we are unlikely to dedicate ourselves to making a contribution towards a solution. The mind can interpret information, but the heart is what truly moves us. So if you've been waiting for permission to take a break from the stories to soothe your soul, here it is. It is okay to be selective of the things we can handle being informed about. Knowing what is going on in our little part of the world and participating in that is okay. The world needs us to show up fully, not exhausted. So take care of yourself, your loved ones, and when you're rested and able to feel it all, I promise you the world will be here waiting.