Earth doesn't need to be saved.
Updated: Jan 23, 2020
I know because she told me.
It was one of the few things she whispered in my ear, when I visited Sedona last week.
On my way into one of the state parks, I passed through the visitor's center and learned that the entirety of Sedona was once a sea, millions of years ago. All of the red rocks that characterize this city were once completely underwater.
It floored me to realize how Earth is ever-present, and ever-changing.
Consciously I know that the law of life is change, but when I see an example of it, so large and powerful, the messages come in crystal clear.
As I sat on the top of a hill in the park, overlooking the red rocks that were once at the bottom of the sea, Earth spoke to me. Loud and clear. I heard her say,
"I don't need to be saved. I have been here long before you, and I will remain long after your life has ended. When you return in another body, I will still be here…just in a different form. Go tell them. I don't want your saving, I don't need it. What I need is your respect.”
This was a startling message to hear, and an even trickier one to convey now.
I understand how it sounds to say that Earth doesn't need saving. And I understand the magnitude of the devastation currently occurring because of the systems we've put in place here.
My point isn't that none of that isn't true or valid, I guess my point has to do with the language we use surrounding what's going on. In the face of climate change, I’ve seen a lot of language around “the planet dying,” and the planet “needing” to be "saved."
I think I may upset many but...I just don’t feel in my heart that that’s true.
Earth isn’t dying. The way we understand Earth to be is dying. There's a difference.
Maybe it seems like a small, insignificant difference, but our language is so important in shaping our consciousness of what’s happening here. And the role we both play and can adopt to make a true, lasting difference.
The Earth is not dying. We are.
Let that sink in...
The conditions that have allowed us to survive here are dying, and they are what need to be saved in order for us to continue life as we know it, as its been convenient for us.
If you are envisioning Earth going up in flames and falling out of its orbit, I think you’re mistaken. Australia IS on fire, but when the fires have gone out, the Earth will indeed be torched, covered in ash.
And then she will begin to heal. She will slowly mend herself, as is nature’s way.
I’m not saying it will be beautiful, easy, or any less heart-breaking to witness, but I’m saying...it’s true.
Earth doesn’t need us to “save”her.
She's been here before us, and she'll be here long after us.
No matter what hell we put her through, or create upon her.
She'll heal herself.
She doesn't need us to save her.
What a beautifully flawed, human thing to assume we could save something so old, so vast, so powerful and natural.
What a beautifully flawed human thing to spin a narrative of Earth as a damsel in distress.
As if she is not the very thing that keeps US alive.
Earth is not dying, she's suffering.
But we know that suffering is not death.
Suffering, eventually, forges strength.
Mother Earth doesn’t need us, we need her.
She doesn't need to be saved, she needs to be respected.
The question is not...can we save the planet?
It’s actually, can we save ourselves?
Can we go within and love ourselves so fiercely,
that it ripples out with a force that erodes fear and hate,
softening and smoothing all the systems we’ve created from the mindset of fear,
until they are something beautiful to behold.
Just like the water that eroded these rocks millions of years ago,
and turned them into this:
When we speak of "saving our planet," I see Mother Earth smile.
I hear her giggle and say gently, “Oh child. I'll be here no matter what you do to me. Just worry about yourself…and you will have saved me.”
Words spoken with the unconditional love of a mother who will always put her child first. Mother Earth doesn't want saving, she wants respecting and loving.
And the first step to doing that is loving and respecting ourselves.
In this way, my prayer is not that we save Earth, it's that we learn how to save ourselves.