My Dear Young Friend,
I, too, am terribly disheartened by the recent turn of political events in our country (My naiveté got the better of me, too.). Like almost all main stream media news pundits I did not see this one coming and spent the greater part of my evening in increasing denial and shock. This morning I am walking through our collective political fog and returning to the spaciousness of my inner Being; the neutral ground from whence I can clearly think and feel and from whence I can take meaningful action in the world. And that, my young friend, is my substantive response to our shared dilemma; a recipe for living in a world that now, more than ever, needs people able to live thusly in the world. What follows is merely footnote…
It is a psychological truth that energy follows attention. This means that on whatever object we place our attention our personal energy gathers and where our personal energy gathers defines our reality. Right now your reality is defined by the disturbing facts that explain the recent turn of political events. Over 50 million people consciously chose to select as our president a man who embodies the spirit of racism, sexism, xenophobia, and violence. This man will lead our nation for at least four years. He will select Supreme Court justices that will determine our legislative future for decades to come, conduct foreign policy that will have global effects for decades to come, and enact economic strategies that will affect the world for decades to come. Despondency is an appropriate response to a reality so defined…
So shift your attention… While all the above, and more, is true, these facts are not the only ones on which we may choose to write a narrative for ourselves. It is also true that over 50 million people did not vote to select as our president a man who embodies a spirit of racism, sexism, xenophobia, and violence. Over 50 million people made other choices. We have many kindred spirits. Place your attention on them. Let your energy build there. Let that be your reality. Further, choose to see these people as coming from a place of love and moral high ground and know that we are such as these also. This is our community.
Indeed, we owe it to such as these to find the wherewithal within ourselves to return to the spaciousness of our inner Being; the neutral ground from whence we can clearly think and feel and from whence we can take meaningful action in the world. Rejecting destructive reactivity, we must act with constructive faithfulness. Above all, let despair and lethargy be anathema that love may have jurisdiction and that our good works may abound. The world does remain ours to make as we will, though we be reminded of the hardened and sometimes exhausting truth that this work is difficult, demanding, and endless. Still, we must begin... again… and again… and again…
I leave you with the following thought that I once penned and to which I myself need sometimes return:
Our vision restored,
Our moral compass attuned,
We recommit to the work that is ours to do in this world.
So, let us think with love,
…let us speak with love,
…let us act with love.
…so that through us, love may create the world anew.
Namaste, My Young Friend,
I am Dr. Riegel, minister at Grosse Pointe Unitarian Church. Enjoy my occasional blog posts here, which may cover subjects ranging from spirituality to psychology to ethics to social justice to church life and beyond...