Living is dangerous

Your cells already know about safety. They know about security, about conserving and protecting what is essential. They also know about dynamic, transformational existence. They know that remaining static, building fortresses and battening down the hatches are simply not options.

Your body is made of discrete individual pieces, universes all of their own, biosystems we call human cells. These cells have walls. Boundaries separating what’s outside from what’s inside.

The boundaries are for the cell’s own safety and security. They carry precious cargo. Important molecular information that must be kept safe and undamaged. They each carry a powerhouse, turning matter into energy, allowing for your heart to beat, your eyelids to blink and lungs to inflate. Your cells have an important job to do: conserve the precious, life-giving, identity-defining pieces of YOU.

But they are not independent. Communication is necessary. Your cells talk to each other. More precisely, your cells send chemical signals to each other, telling them when to grow and when to pause growth. When to migrate to a wounded area and fill in gaps. When to hurry up and make more energy because you’ve begun to exert yourself. Chemicals like hormones, pheromones and neurotransmitters are all essential for the nuanced, responsive and sensitive operation of your cells.

These chemical signals – like hormones, pheromones and neurotransmitters – come from your cells’ neighbors. They come as outsiders, foreign material and your cells are able to discern whether they are poisonous attackers or honest messengers.

We too-often frame our choices as false dichotomies: stay safe or embrace change. Your cells are doing both at the very same time. It’s possible to remain grounded in a transforming world, and in fact transformation is the only way to live. The alternative is literally death. You have a core self, a True Self that is aching to be transformed by your neighbors, your community, the times you find yourself in and the cosmic evolution of the universe.