(Originally posted at Of The Wolves)
This word came to me instantly several months ago. When we began the tradition of the OTW word of the year last year, that word also came effortlessly. 2016 concluded with so much evidence of worldwide prejudice and pain and a mere sense of how many people were barely living, emotionally or physically, as they tried to scrape by in life. To “thrive”, or strive for that, seems as basic a human right as shelter and sustenance, but we all know that countless people around the world are only surviving. Some will not at all. So, we decided in 2017 to highlight a sense of mental, physical and emotional wellness within the human spectrum that we all deserve but that often takes a lot of conscious work. This past year, we watched the wounds of the world tear even further, but we also were either spectators, participants or both in some corrupt systems beginning to crumble, their ivory towers potentially someday turning to smoldering rubble. But what comes next? What comes after intense hardships?
We REBUILD. I recently focused on this for a term paper in my Depth Psychology Masters program – how do we erect new structures in an archetypal world in which we have no models for these new paradigms? How do we build an infrastructure of more equality when all humanity has ever known is patriarchy, which not only oppresses women but also oppresses minorities in general. It favors power and is often disgusted by the concept of harmonious living and fair treatment. I don’t think any of us here at Of The Wolves purport to have the answers other than this: we just start. One day at a time, brick by brick, doing the next right thing – whatever quip tickles you. THRIVING suggests proactivity but is also conceptual. REBUILDING is pure action. Sure, our steps must be bolstered by belief and positive intention for good outcomes, but rebuilding is about taking hope and making it manifest in what we do next, in the ways in which we conduct our lives.
This is not easy. This bears repeating – THIS IS NOT EASY! My world has practically crumbled like those ivory towers of yore the last few years. Almost every external circumstance in my life has been cloaked in loss, tragedy and sadness. I admittedly keep going each day – some days to better degrees than others – and there have been plenty of those days that I’ve thought, “towards what?”. I’m not certain, but my instincts and my intuition simply say, “forward, just forward”. They also ask that I embrace the present, regardless of how much pain I’m in, because that, too, is being human. I know that being of service is my calling and my gift. You have gifts as well, so how might you utilize them to REBUILD in 2018? This act is one of communal strength. Very little rebuilding is done as a lone wolf. How can we come together as the designers, the contractors, the architects, the builders, the visionaries of 2018? We start, we start together.