What Can You Get Away With? by Cherie Hanson

What is your personal margin of error? Is a drip on the carpet the end of the known universe as you know it? Or do you run wild and throw those black work out pants into a washing machine full of fuzz spewing sweaters and towels?

Each of us has an operating system that we let gauge our choices. What we are currently having to adapt to as a worldwide phenomenon is the unknown. When I was growing up what was unknown became more and more clarified through my knowing. If I knew one particular law of reality and lived within it, I was more likely to understand the unknown.

Babies drop a toy off of the high chair tray repeatedly engaging in a physics experiment. Will the object once released from the hand always fall to the floor? The only way to know is to conduct the experiment until you are satisfied.

And so we pursue a way of surety, of predictability, of knowing how events will unfold.

It is how we go in the world. Expecting consistency is our security.

Naturally, for some people the soothing repetition is more assuring than for other people. The risk takers, the rebels, the to hell with it cadre are satisfied with whatever has not shattered them.

And then the North Pole moved and we discovered that the sands from the Sahara cover the world. What are the limits if we simply don’t know the rules?

Now we are all learning more and more about our own personal limits. What do we do when we are in the locked room of COVID, climate change, human tragedy, disruption? How do we find our way out?

The baby lets go of the cup and it floats, or spins out like a boomerang to smack him in the back of the head.

We cry, “It isn’t fair. It is too much.”

We cannot judge our own performance in the midst of turbulence unless we have the skill of calming down.

We knew exactly how far we could walk out onto the ice-covered lake of winter, or overdraw our bank account without destroying our finances, or how long we could leave a pan untended on the stove. But THIS! This world we are in currently does not obey the old rules. We simply don’t know what is slightly risky and what is a move too far to ever recover from again.

Traditionally, we judged our own margin of error from the rules of our society, our culture, our familial tribe. We relied on others to show us how to behave. And in a time when one of the only ideas we can agree upon is that we cannot agree, we feel out of control.

The gauges are broken. The yardstick has shattered. How safe can we be within this restructuring energy?

And knowing that the only possible action we can take is to stop fighting the flooding in and just lie back and relax into the drift is the wisest kind of knowing. Release. Relax. Let it carry you.

There is no getting away.


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