Your purpose is more than you think

 ©Joy Malek

©Joy Malek

Let me tell you about last Sunday evening.

Reading the news from both the U.S. and abroad, I buckled. I felt anguish over current events, fear for what’s coming, and I encountered, again, the enormity of my own powerlessness.

Can you relate? Above all, I felt a restless, roaming search for some way to weave a thread that matters into the tapestry of these times.

I think, Deep Feeler, that this is your yearning, too— whether you cope by poring over the news or by keeping a safe distance from the heartbreak. Because behind it all is a grief-stricken ache to see the world begin to heal.

Then, on Tuesday I received an unexpected lesson in botany (of all things!), and I remembered the unique gift that we Deep Feelers offer the world. I remembered our contribution.

It goes like this: 

I learned that the underground part of a plant’s stem contains the entire DNA of the plant.*

(Stay with me— this is going somewhere really good!)

This holder of the DNA (called the rhizome) can be cut into parts, and each part planted will flourish. Life can blast the plant, but as long as this subterranean stem remains, the plant will shoot upward, again and again.

Carl Jung wrote that the story of his life is about the rhizome. Not about the parts the world can see. But about what lies below the surface, ensconced in fertile darkness. 

And we, Deep Feelers, carry a felt sense of this same root. Access to that subterranean landscape is easier for us, because we feel each stirring of our souls’ experience. We notice the insights that shoot up from that stem, and the fruit it offers for above-ground living.

So, our contribution? I can speak for myself: To cultivate my connection to the rhizome. To listen. And to weave the vines that grow from it into the tapestry of the times we are living.

*The rhizome metaphor comes from Joseph Cambray, speaker at Pacifica’s 2016 Climates of Change conference.