Gaslighting, what in the world?! Where do people come up with these terms?!I Is this another new 2020 term like social distancing that we are going to wear? Life has certainly changed drastically in every household across the globe (at least I believe it to be true) ever since the term social distancing was introduced into our lives and has become an everyday behaviour for us all. I just finished reading this article that my youngest daughter had shared on our group chat (her sisters and myself) in Messenger yesterday – Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting (Julio Gumbato). I have never even heard of the term gaslighting…oh google. So I look up the word (from Quora on google) and it is not a word of goodness. It is a term describing a form of psychological abuse where a person is manipulated over time to believe they are doubting own sanity or not. Really!!
Although Gumbato’s message is addressed to the American public, there are so many things that he is saying in his article that are stirring my heart strings big time. He is basically saying to me wait for a grand manipulation that will strike at the very emotion and core of our being – getting back to normalcy. The powers that be will light the flame of mass messages to get back to normal, blurring the lines between needs and wants, in a bid to fire up the economy. Making a Hallmark moment of all the things missed and here they are…ready and waiting. Without doubt, we have lived in a world with easy access to almost anything and everything…the world is our oyster. 24/7 availability, all day, everyday. Wants become needs. Coupled with the tension of wants/needs to the inequity and destruction of the very lives and world we live in across the world from driving needs/wants. Then, a tsunami of epic proportion, a chaos from COVID-19 blasted to bits normalcy (life as we know it) – spiritually, emotionally, financially, socially, physically, mentally – the whole kit n’ kaboodle. Leaving the heart and mind open to being vulnerable, at the mercy of, even safe to say an easy target for….what he refers to as gaslighting. I am afraid he may be on to something. Holy lightning.
What happens when the restrictions from COVID-19 are lifted or ‘open back up’, slowly or quickly? I mean it is going to happen sooner or later right. But what I am sensing is his underlying message, is we as people have been given a profound gift. One that has been given to us unsuspectedly – a GREAT PAUSE (Gambuto’s point) – a quiet. Getting down to the basics, living simply instead of simply living the lived spin. Rat race. Me me me mentality. Have I really lost anything? Not so much things in as much as human contact. After reading the thread in group chat between my daughters – they miss being able to be with one another. Camp. Explore. Be on front yard together. I tear up when I read that because oh boy can I relate and sooooo agree with them.
All in all, I guess it comes down to how I want to continue to live my life, with me and with others. I remember when I retired from education, I promised myself that I would slow down, get off the spin. In that decision, I had freedom of choice. What do I really need? It is not a negative thing to want or have things but is it okay to be in gratitude for having things? To be able to have them? And to really be in wonder and awe to the pause? I remember travelling back from Ontario to the island in later March, going through Toronto in early morning. Honestly it was kind of eerie because there was little traffic. My head was not turning up down all around to change lanes. Nope. I certainly do not miss the traffic. Islanders have no idea what rush hour is let me just say.
It is a big question for me. What happens? I am not sure we as human beings are very good at being told no. And let’s face it, being flexible like gumby (you know that green stretchy character), that’s a stretch too. But having choice…winner. But choice was literally taken away, necessary, but still taken away, in an instant. So a knee jerk reaction to me…give me give me give me. Just need to remember the old adage “Give me give me never gets, don’t you have any manners yet.”
I pray for the coming months as choice and normalcy…well I’m thinking maybe hide the matches or lighter or at least for starters, build a campfire.
Praying for those in need this day. Blessings.