I am struggling with this as well. Even after deciding to be vegan, child-free, considering leaving a job in aerospace, deciding never to fly across the ocean ever, growing native, buying less, trying to buy land to conserve,etc…I still feel an immense burden.
Not much gives me happiness nowadays…it is like looking at a loved one about to die and painfully.
I realize that extinction events and pain have happened…but not on this sort of scale and what’s worse…humanity acts like this is normal…like it is okay to breed and they are happy to do so which consumes ALL.
I’m sick of it and the more I learn the more I cry and mourn and scream and struggle to find meaning or even have the energy to stand up and speak out.
Its like people look at me like I’m crazy and I see all the pavement and think “Oh wow…what’s going to happen when the ish hits the fan?” I’m prepared to take measures and yet I don’t want to do so…I don’t want to fight off humans in my lifetime…I think this could happen. I think it will get very ugly before it becomes a real horror show.
You wanted some hope I’m sure? I have none…I think the die is cast and all we will do is slow it down slightly…it will still be very ugly no matter what and we will suffer.
I’d rather suffer knowing the cause of my pain rather than asking “Why?” Oh…I’ll know why…the second humans thought they were God and pretended to revere God while all around them heaven was already here and they turned it all into hell.
I’m not religious either…I don’t know what I believe…I just know science works and religion is yet another denial mechanism to me which can make the world pretty horrible.
For me, I’m on medication and going to therapy and volunteering and hoping to buy land and defend it from the future hordes and hopefully aligning with folks that have awakened as well.
@bfuxan I hear your pain. Aldo Leopold wrote:
“One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen.”
All I can suggest is that you try to find the beauty in the world (there is still so much that is beautiful and worth caring for), and not to let things beyond your control weigh too heavily on you. I am also not religious, but there is much to be said for the insight of the serenity prayer:
“grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Quick thoughts on my current go-to recipe for holding myself together so I can keep going. Reading all the supportive comments here really helped me focus my thoughts.
1. Serenity prayer as a 60-sec calm down.
Grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change…
Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.
2. Gratitude for the ability to get out, feel the awe, like the OP and so many here have said.
3. Cultivate that Courage and ACT on it by drawing on that awe as inspiration.
4. Reflection (like we’re doing right here!) to use my time here wisely and with intention, to attend to my emotions with compassion, and to acknowledge that I’m not alone. The Leopold quote helps me with this: so many of us feel the burden, but I’d rather know than be ignorant. How can I subscribe to notions that knowledge is power but also that science is a social construct? I want to be a force (even if only a smidgenary force) in constructing the science, so I’m pursuing it to the best of my abilities.
5. Retain Hope that with solidarity, the recognition that so many of us are in this together, that biophilia is human nature, that we can be persistent, patient, compassionate, grieving and even joyful (even though the world, the greed, our vulnerability and mortality can be brutally harsh) as we harness our collective power and work together to leave this place better than we found it. I so appreciate the transformative positive examples in this thread.
6. Start small and learn. Boldly go for the easy, obvious stuff first to learn and get better at tackling more complex problems.
7. Be forgiving cause no one’s perfect, we’re all mortal, challenges abound. It’s impossible to understand what anyone else faces in their mind, body and circumstances. I often find it difficult to forgive myself for not doing more, but acceptance of our current state seems like another aspect that’s important for not getting stuck or feeling paralyzed but moving forward.
Thanks to all for sharing.
From my personal experience two things seem to work like a charm.
A) taking a break, if it’s not part of your job, one can take a break and it’s well respected, don’t be scared.
B) Imagining what else would I do with my time, thinking how valuable this truly is to you, may sometimes get lost in monotony, but if you think about it, you appreciate it more.
But sometimes a burnout is bound to happen, a break can help or just a complete change of schedule or location may help to refresh yourself. Hopefully some of this posts will help you and others that may come across this problem.
Two years ago our neighborhood had a tornado and we’ve been busy restoring and improving our neighborhood after the damage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcXurL0YUoo&t=5s
Maybe this will cheer this thread up a bit.