The deeper the darkness, the brighter the shining star

December 14, 2021

How does anyone make sense of what is currently happening in the world?

How does anyone make sense of the trails of destruction being wrought by climate change?

How does anyone make sense of the devastation caused by the ongoing impact of the covid 19 pandemic and the impact on people’s physical health, their mental health and the financial health?

How does anyone make sense of the behaviour we are seeing globally with people becoming more extremist in their views, more angry and even openly violent in public?

Maybe we chose this situation?

Maybe we chose to experience this global change?

After all much of what is happening in the world is due to politicians and their action and inaction.

For example, climate change, this has been an issue since the 1980’s when in The United Kingdom, Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher began to make speeches about the environmental impact of our behaviours. This continued through John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Theresa May and now Boris Johnson – lots of talk. But progress?

The same could be said for Australia though as a country, only in 2007 with Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister did climate change become the challenge of a generation. And then Julia Gillard, then Kevin Rudd, then Tony Abbott, then Malcolm Turnbull and now Scott Morrison. Again, lots of talk. But progress?

And so with the pandemic.

So many trust their politicians to do the right thing.

Unyet we have seen evidence of their cognitive dissonance. Say one thing, do another.

And to go so far as abuse our basic human rights as has happened in the State of Victoria – to keep us safe?

There was a mental health crisis before the pandemic with years of inaction by politicians as all levels of Government here in Australia and in The United Kingdom.

Sadly politicians decisions and behaviour has exacerbated that mental health crisis.

People are deflated, exhausted, traumatised, anxiety-ridden, depressed.

All because of politicians’ decisions to keep them alive.

The over-emphasis on physical health to the detriment of mental health has shown the unconscious bias at the highest levels of Government.

Whilst they may say they get it, I’ve yet to see the evidence.

They say they’re listening and delivering.

Again, I’ve yet to see the evidence.

So what does all this mean for Joe or Susan Public?

Maybe firstly we need to step back from the reality that is life and ask – is this working for me, what I am doing?

Maybe ask, do I feel energised and inspired to live my life? Do I feel fulfilled in what I am doing for a crust?

If you’re pondering these questions without instantaneous exuberance, then maybe there is something worthwhile exploring in your reality.

For me to wake up to myself and realise I was living the wrong life, some ten years after my diagnosis of bipolar and to realise I was not designed for city living – having lived since my late teens in cities – was enlightening.

Being born and spending my early childhood in the country, in a farming community – I find I have come full circle and now live in the country in a farming community. And it is heaven.

To understand our disease is to understand our ease.

For decades I had no idea I was within disordered.

I was a high achiever both at school and in my career.

At the same time I was uncomfortable in my own skin.

I could not relax.

I felt an inner stress.

I did not know why.

Yes, my childhood upbringing was dysfunctional but how would that impact me?

Yes, my parents never talked about their childhoods or lives but how would that impact me?

And there is the darkness into which the light shines.

During my darker moments over the past ten years, I’ve explored memoirs of those who’ve overcome adversity and Viktor Frankl has been one of those who’ve inspired me to not give up my journey of healing and recovery and moreover find meaning from the chaos I’ve experienced.

Man’s Search for Meaning is the perfect book to help one make sense of a mental illness like bipolar.

From the depths of his experience in a concentration camp, he went onto create logotherapy which is all about making meaning and exploring purpose based on one’s life experience.

When you explore nature, everything has a role and everything has a purpose. And regardless of the obstacles, nature just keeps evolving. Rivers twist and wind. Seas ebbs and flow with the weather. Clouds evolve as the continuing high and low pressure systems do their work around the planet’s atmosphere.

To simplify the complex, one of the best frames I have found was created by The European Foundation of Quality Management:

The EFQM Model structure is based on the simple but powerful logic of asking three questions:


“Why” does this organisation exist? What purpose does it fulfil? Why this particular Strategy… DIRECTION


“How” does it intend to deliver on its Purpose and its Strategy… EXECUTION


“What” has it achieved to date? “What” does it intend to achieve tomorrow… RESULTS

If you feel your life is going round in circles or lacking meaning or purpose – maybe explore the Why? How? What?

Maybe your values are misaligned with your mission or your purpose?

Maybe you’re not living your true mission or your true purpose?

Maybe you’re over-focused on the short/ medium term process of your life to the detriment of focus on the outcome(s) you are seeking to achieve in the longer term?

Imbalance across head, heart, gut results in stress and risks burnout.

Flow across head, heart, gut effects calm, happy daily flow towards a legacy worth leaving.

Lining all your ducks up delivers.

But if the ducks are the wrong colour and not even your ducks – you may have a problem.

Be the solution the world needs right now and into the future.