Mission Control, are You There?

Photo by Sieuwert Otterloo on Unsplash

We are complicated grown-up children, but also fine-tuned machines that we don’t really understand.

Our needs and capacities are similar to the gauges and indicators on a space ship. Just as if a ship was running low on fuel, if you are running low on [food] [water] [love] [purpose] [community] you will be unable to operate at peak performance.

You will have this feeling of need where you are always feeling unfulfilled.

As humans, we all have the same basic needs, but we have different levels required to feel fulfilled. These needs are driven by a variety of factors:

  • Health
  • Past Experiences
  • Personality
  • Inclination
  • [Your Personal Needs]

Until those needs are met, and even when you have a surplus in other needs you will feel the lack, the need. Think about if your ship had a full gas tank but it was low on antifreeze. Adding more gas wouldn’t help the situation, and in fact might cause harm.

Addiction is something that comes from a systemic wanting. It has a genetic component in generational trauma, and the affects that that has on development and coping strategies learned.

When we gain the ability to silence what we are being told we need, we can hear what we actually need.

Our society operates with a one-size-fits-all support idea, where it’s assumed everyone has the same needs, capacity, and environment.

This however is also dictated by the difficulty level. Consider the following statements and how they apply to your life:

  • I had a secondary and post secondary education.
  • Where I live, the majority of people around look like me and speak the same language.
  • Growing up, I was supported and encouraged to express emotion and pursue passions.
  • Being able to afford or be able to eat has never been a concern.
  • My Orientation or Gender has never made me stand out from the crowd.
  • I am considered “able-bodied” and my health has never been a concern.

If these things are answered with a YES life has been [theoretically] easier for you.

This isn’t to say having these advantages makes you bad, or wrong, or your fault. It is a factor that needs to be acknowledged in the capacity/need equation for your ship, and in addressing systemic oppression.

For many folks who are:

  • First-generation graduates
  • Refugees
  • Immigrants
  • ESL
  • Queer/Trans/Nonbinary/Gay
  • Other-abled

(and especially for any intersection of any oppressed group,) things are more difficult in some respects, because the default of the system is not designed for them, and actively oppresses their needs, beliefs, customs, etc.

In order to appropriately accommodate individuals, we need to ditch the one-size-all plan that’s distributed, and instead look to each individual (read each individual ship’s manual,) to see what we individually need to perform optimally.

Happiness is a fundamental factor in wellbeing. Happiness, and the contrasting stress, affect an individual’s tolerance to change, productivity, physical wellness (including blood pressure and heart rate, digestion, sleep, etc.), mental wellness, and the relationships they have with those in their lives.

Emotions and pain (physical and mental) are indications that something is wrong.

Sure, our world has an increase in Generalized Anxiety Disorder diagnoses’, but this doesn’t take into consideration the cumulative effect of stress, and how it might be a reasonable reaction to the circumstances unfolding in our lifetimes.

We are in a world crisis, and to feel comfortable during this time may be an indication of an issue.

We need to take this time to make sure that we’re building something ethical, for the long-term, and not rebuilding our system based on status quo, but a new system that is inclusive of all individuals instead of just a select demographic.

Our mission control centre has everything we need; it tells us all we need to know. Rouge invaders have given our OS a virus that silences our intuituon.

The healing process starts by resetting the notifications and really looking at what they’re trying to tell you.

  • ARE you “over-reacting to nothing” or are you reacting to a meta-feeling about a larger set of issues?
  • Has the 100 similar issues compounded to become this Mega-Bot of emotion?
  • A million grains of sand adds up, and just because each grain isn’t heavy doesn’t mean there isn’t a cumulative effect.

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