Being Transformed into Diamonds and The Best Immunity of All
Last week I had to go to the UPS store to drop off a package. When I entered, none of the employees was wearing a mask or gloves; there was no plexiglass; I didn’t see any sanitizer anywhere. As I got my package weighed and received the receipt I asked in the most neutral tone I could muster, “You’re not wearing a mask?” Her reply left me speechless. In a tone tinged with challenge, the young woman replied, “Everyone has their opinion.”
For a diamond to be created, there is an immense amount of pressure – pressure over a very long period of time. That pressure, together with high temperatures, causes carbon to transform into one of the strongest substances on earth.
A lot of pressing is happening right now: a lot of people are dying. There is a lot of deep suffering. There is a lot of grief throughout the world. There is a lot of letting go. That pressure is not letting up any time soon. Our very structures are dissolving into mush (like the caterpillar in the cocoon). The old way of being is gone.
Not only are we pressed by these forces that are breaking down so much of what we’ve known, but that pressure, as I wrote last month, is part of our initiation – this pressure is transforming us into something new.
The Pressure is Part of Our Initiation
We’re being pressed to be present for ourselves.
We’re pressed to search for what truly brings meaning to our lives.
We’re pressed to face our own possible mortality and find what’s essential.
We are pressed to remember our intrinsic connectedness – with each other, with the earth, with all that is.
We are pressed to come back to our hearts, and to remember that our hearts are also hard-wired to each other and to all that is.
We are Intrinsically Connected
I was reminded of that intrinsic connection in a real way this week, when I attended an event that brought together more than 300 people from literally all over the world. This event was a huge reminder to me that we are all connected – that we all share in this immense challenge, and that no one is exempt. It was a great reminder that this virus is actually drawing us together into one global community and that together we have hope.
This event also reminded me of another metaphor used in many different religions to talk about our interconnectedness: if one part of the body is in pain, sooner or later, the whole body is affected. You’ve experienced this, I’m sure. If you hurt your knee, you find that soon your back hurts and/or your feet hurt. And soon after that, your whole body aches.
It’s Not a Matter of Personal Opinion
Here is what we keep forgetting: we humans are actually one body. When one person elects not to wear a mask, it may mean that many people end up dying (no, I’m not talking about Mike Pence, although if you went there…).
Wearing or not wearing a mask is not a matter of personal opinion. It can very literally be a matter of life and death. The kind of disdain that young woman was (I’m sure unconsciously) presenting could cost her her life. Given how many people she encounters in a day, that lack of action may cost many other people their lives as well, particularly those who are more vulnerable. I have no way of knowing if her manager had forced her and her coworkers to work with no protective gear – but that kind of attitude does not take into account the very real vulnerability of people who come in to that store. I want to be very clear here. In sharing this story, my point is that if we forget how interconnected we are, our actions can have very deep and real consequences — especially for others.
Together we are the body. Together we are being pressed. Together, our carbon is being put under tons of pressure and high temperature, so that we can transform into diamonds.
We are One
What that means is that we are also being pressed to change how we live: we can no longer live as if each of us is the whole body. Instead, we have to live as if we’re part of one collective human body. When the finger is hurt, the whole body is hurt. When the finger heals, the whole body heals.
Quantum physics shows us that every cell in the body is in constant communication with every other cell. What you do affects everyone the world over. When we truly get that, it will change everything. Any decisions we make for ourselves, for our families, for our communities, have to take that into account.
The pressure here is probably the greatest, as it means we can’t live as we did before. Every spiritual and philosophical tradition I know has said this all along. We are One, and as part of the One, we are called to live as if we are One.
The Best Immunity
What does that mean? We are being called to connect in love. Practically that means we are being called to cultivate lovingkindness and compassion for ourselves, for our families, for our communities, for those we don’t know, for those we disagree with, for those we have disdained, for those who we have – without even fully realizing it –unconsciously deemed as more dispensable than ourselves.
And here’s the good news – when we cultivate lovingkindness and compassion, it is also the best immunity – literally. Numerous studies have shown that cultivating or perpetuating fear and anger actually depresses our immune systems. Conversely cultivating and expressing lovingkindness and compassion actually strengthens our immune systems.
How can you deal with the pressure? Let go. Feel all your feelings (yes, even the fear and the anger – just don’t stay there). Connect with Source. Connect with each other. And from there, choose to move through fear by acting with lovingkindness and compassion. When you do that, you are not only participating in the transformation that is necessary, but you strengthen the immune system of the earth: you form the foundation for the new, stronger, and connected structures – the diamonds – that will come out of this time of pressure.
With love and gratitude,