Having been around a bit in the New Age world, I've heard the phrase "we were made for times like these" a lot. I'm not hearing it as often nowadays, I'm not sure whether that's just because I've changed who I hang out with, social media's got me on a different algorithm, or because as a culture we've learned a thing or two about spiritual bypassing.
Is this phrase always a form of spiritual bypassing? Probably not - I mean, that's going to be the point of most of this blog - but I think maybe it has been used that way sometimes. Why would I say this? Well, in my own experience, a slogan like this gives us the sense that there's a bigger spiritual meaning to world events that are taking place. Maybe we feel that we've got a "soul contract" that caused us to incarnate when things were getting crazy so we could learn a lesson. And I think this would be epic if it sparked us to get up and use the unique gifts we've incarnated with to make significant change for people suffering all over the planet. But too often it seems like we get comfort from the sense that maybe there's something deeper going on and then we make a story of what this says about "me", and then we sort of go back to business as usual, now that we've used a spiritual concept to help us handle it. We've got a new spiritual "identity" that makes the pain a little less.
I personally have no problem with spiritual concepts or identities - I'm a person of faith in my own practice - but it seems like sometimes these concepts are helping us to check out, when we should be checking in. "It's all part of god's plan" makes it easier to ignore the suffering of people or animals that should be ripping us apart inside.
So the bad news is, I think, that if you aren't feeling a lil ripped up inside, you are probably checking out.
But the good news is: we were made for these times! Not in a way that requires you to believe in past lives or soul groups or anything like that (though if those beliefs empower you, nothing inconsistent here). Rather, we were made for these times because of how our human heart is built.
Most of us received a mis-education of the heart, and this causes us fear. We've been taught that compassion might make us weak, or that there's a finite well of it for us to draw from. We've been taught that hope is naive and leads to disappointment. But we've been taught backwards.
We've been taught that our compassion should somehow depend on how the world looks coming at us, how we feel that day, how the object is of our loving. We've been taught to base hope on how likely our preferred outcome looks. But this is upside down and inside out, because the truth is that compassion is something that comes forth from us as an intrinsic quality. Hope is a light that we shine out to illuminate our own lives and others. Joy is a gift humans have manifested in the most dire of conditions.
We can let go of the false notion that hope cannot live in a broken heart. Our hearts are breaking because of the love that lives in us naturally and wants to burst forth. All too often we try to tamp down these pesky feelings so we can get on with the "necessities" of life. But this is the soul-nourishment without which none of the "necessities" have any meaning.
We were made for these times because the goodness and luminosity that we ARE are not limited in what times or situations they can express themselves. Every moment is a moment for empathy. This one, this one, and this one too. It's not a stoic stance to vow "I will open my heart under even the hardest conditions." It's not a punishment. It's simply a commitment to living from and as your truest self. Living from this core and source of our Being is the joy we've been looking for all along.
We've trained so long on how to dim our light, when the despair of the world adds its cry to our own within, it can seem unbearable. But this shock could be the ripping away of an unnecessary bandage. You were never truly wounded, there was no obstruction to your giving your gift fully.
Even now, when times seem darkest, the dark is no obstacle to your light. And in times like these we need that light to shine all the brighter. So truly, you were made for these times.