The Upside of the End of the World


Published in Mystical Voices Magazine, Spring 2012

I can’t remember exactly when I started hearing prophesies that the world will end in 2012.  They snuck up on me.  We’ve all heard end of the world predictions before, and flipped the pages of our calendars as the dreaded dates approached, and then passed.

This one got under my skin though.

Maybe because weather patterns and natural disasters appear to be on the rise; maybe because ancient cultures have apparently predicted this approaching prophecy for thousands of years; maybe because the media has been cashing in on the story.  All these likely contribute.  But the biggest reason this prophecy has gotten to me, even though it is reminiscent of others before it, is because this time I am different.  This time I’m a mom.

I try not to imagine clutching my baby daughter and my four year old son as the earth crumbles beneath us.  Still, some nights, after watching the news or a zombie apocalypse movie, my mind goes there and it’s terrifying.

I chatted with the friendly Jehovah Witnesses who regularly drop by my house earlier this week.  They assured me that while the apocalypse is indeed coming it may not culminate on Dec. 21 of this year, and that the earth will not be destroyed, but rather a new magnificent age of humanity will begin.  Other groups say similar things.  Even so, even if God, or aliens, or humans from the future show up to usher us into a new kingdom and leave the earth unscathed, change of this magnitude is nonetheless unsettling.

I’m not saying I believe in the prophecy of 2012.  I’m not saying I don’t either.  Regardless, it has had an effect on me.

Earlier this year I was given the opportunity to participate in a fantastic project.  It was right up my alley – creative and active with a fun bunch of people who I admire and respect.  But I had to make a choice.  Commit to the project and spend less time with my children over the summer, or let the opportunity pass me by.

I had about two weeks to make a decision.  I went back and forth.  Yes.  No. Maybe.  All the while the 2012 discussions twittered around me on the radio, tv, and on the podcasts I enjoy.  Gradually, the 2012 prophesy took a role in my decision making. I found myself thinking, “Well if this is my last year on the planet, I should spend it doing the things I love and being true to myself.”  Of course the flip side to that argument came immediately after: “If this is my last year on the planet, I need to spend it with my family, and give and receive as much love as possible.”

Then I started to wonder, how many other people are making life decisions with the end of the world in mind.  Are more people throwing caution to the wind and pursuing their dreams?  Are they spending more time with the people they love?  Are they being kinder?  Are people, like those huge flocks of birds, simultaneously changing direction?

If the world doesn’t end, but we all live like it might, maybe we’ll see the end of the world as we know it, and the beginning of the world as we really want it.  Could believing in a prophecy of doom, even half-heartedly, culminate in the actualization of ascension?

Who knows?  But if people are being better to each other because they think the world might end, let them think it.  I’ll be at the beach with my kids.