*Please notice what happens inside while you read this, and please read to the end.

Dear Unevolved Dummies,

Wake the fuck up. Stop reenacting your childhood trauma on this planet, me, yourself, and your offspring. Just quit it. Look at yourself and change the patterns that create your self-flagellating reality. Here is a list of resources that can help you. I am a big fan of therapy.

Oh, you’re afraid of therapy? Get over it philistine. It must be a matter of education. If only you were better educated, maybe we could stop playing out your unconscious conditioning and perpetuating self-absorption, violence, addiction, and environmental disaster.

You poor thing, it’s not your fault you are unevolved and afraid of everything, especially of yourself. It is mostly your innocent longing for some utopian ideal of safety and comfort for all. Is that what you think we are here for? To experience a pain-free life run by the all-powerful wizard? How quaint.

Enough of your identification with your ego and thoughts as fact or truth. Who do you think you are? Your mind? Ha! Idiot. Here is an expert that can help disabuse you of that pathetic orientation.

Don’t get it? Meditate. Don’t like meditation? Have trouble quieting your mind? Loser. Just do it. Here are a bunch of facts as to why meditation will help you experience less stress and greater happiness.

Try orgasmic meditation, that one really works. Oh, you have unprocessed material around your sexuality and this idea freaks you out and makes you uncomfortable? Suck it up. What? You don’t unconditionally love yourself and others? Why not? What is your problem? EVOLVE ALREADY!

Okay, time out. Take a breath. What is happening inside of you? How do you feel?

When I write this I feel confusion, frustration, anger, judgment (of self, others, and God), worthlessness, fear, and righteousness. I can imagine your mind jumping into overdrive trying to debate every point and feel right and make me wrong. I can imagine you doubling down on what you think is true and digging deeper into the trench of what you already believe.

The purpose of the above exercise is my attempt to get into the shoes of so many of the people around this election I judge as racist, uneducated, narrow-minded, fearful, and unevolved. The purpose is to illustrate that demanding someone shift their beliefs and get over their fear doesn’t help, it actually makes things worse.

If you are reading this, you are likely in a position of relative privilege and like me, experience heroism as an aspirational human in books, films, or on TV. What if this moment in history is our call to grow up and discover what role we are here to play? Instead of chasing after a pain-free existence of Instacart comfort, let’s all take a collective breath and recognize the nature of reality. It is truly terrifying. It is also mind-blowingly beautiful. It is the ultimate paradox of infinite mystery.

The moment a cuckoo bird climbs out of its cracked egg with its little bird feet, it has a biological instinct to back its ass up to the wall of the nest. It backs itself up, as if on auto-pilot, again and again and again, until it pushes every other one of its egg siblings out of the nest. Is it born a baby murderer? No! Nature is exquisite in her brutal and remarkable neutrality. Our very bodies are made of atoms and carbon from exploded stars. There are more life forms on your skin than humans on this planet. Just look at your hand right now. Approx. 200,000 neurons are firing between your fingertips and your brain to create the experience of touch. YOU HAVE A HAND!

I am not asking you to silence your pain and skip to the wonder. Please get loud and express whatever is real for you. When the world breaks our hearts, as it does over and over again, we experience a loss of precious innocence. It feels like a million fists punching through carefully constructed beliefs about how the world should be. Let it break you wide open. Feel it all the way through. On the other side you will find a deeper level of love and compassion than you had before, especially for yourself. Listen for the quiet guidance of your soul. Who are you really? Why are you here? Forget safety. It’s ok to be afraid. We are all afraid. Now what?

Bristol Baughan is an Executive Producer of Emmy-winning and Oscar-Nominated films, author, and private coach. She is a TED Fellow and Founder of Inner Astronauts, a custom experience and private coaching company supporting people in coming more fully alive in service to the world. Bristol holds a B.A. in International Studies from the American University School of International Service and an M.A. in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica.

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