“There is more that unites us than divides us.”
I posted this sentence on Facebook in 2007 the day after the election of President Obama. I had hoped that this post would help bridge the divide between my friends on the right and the left. I got only a couple of likes and one comment by a Christian conservative friend who was a minister at an evangelical church: “No, there isn’t.”
It saddened me, and to be honest, I experienced a little righteous indignation. More than anything, though, I began to feel the separation. After all, I was quite happy with the election, so much so that I attended the inauguration. I began to wonder where “people like me” stood in the hearts and minds of “people like him.” I kept hoping people would chill out and we would all learn to get along.
Fast forward eight years. Tensions have mounted, emotions have spiraled out of control, and the citizens of this country have found themselves more divided than ever since the civil war. And certainly in the days and weeks after the 2016 election, I was not making similar posts about unity. Instead, I was experiencing shock, grief, and anger, and feeling quite demoralized.
After weeks of this emotional chaos, I decided it was time for a reset.
Finding myself in uncharted territory with questions and concern over our country’s core values of truth, freedom, and tolerance, I needed a shift of perspective. It was time to adjust my inner environment to the changes occurring in my outer environment, to tune to a channel of a higher frequency. Only through new intentions, attitudes, and thought streams can we produce a more harmonious state of being, one that is capable of seeing through the worst filters of the personality, which for me is the fear of betrayal and a hyper vigilant outlook when conditions feel unsafe. I require heavy doses of both patience and compassion to do this. I know that if I fail to stand solidly in my truth with fervor but without judgment, I will fall victim to the slings and arrows of my own discontent. This donning of the spiritual armor of Truth, Love, and Unity has never been more necessary or more important for me than now in 2016 and in the upcoming year. I believe this is also true for our country, perhaps even for the whole world. The global unrest and changes that are taking place, including the populist movements we are witnessing around the world, appear to be indicating a very significant time of reflection, reassessment, and transition.
While all this is going on, I figure that I have two choices in the way I decide ride this out: 1. I can succumb to the practice of judging others and the belief in Separation, that it is us against them, that conditions MUST align with my expectations, that I should shun those who disagree with me, and that people with different ideas should simply be quiet or be assimilated into the Borg, or 2. I can acknowledge the divine gifts of free will, natural law, and Unconditional Love and Acceptance. I can trust in the evolution of mankind and his basic goodness, despite his vulnerability to the inner demons of fear and greed. I can make more room in my life for healthy conflict (while not necessarily looking for it). I can let go of persuasion and invite conversation. I can let go of my judgment and welcome back the belief that there really is more that unites us than divides us. All the while, I can and should stand up for Truth and for the Unity and Sanctity of all creation.
The first step of my reset is to decide whether I really will take the higher road and stand up for the Unity of All Creation or whether I will take the lower road and support the Myth of Separation. I can’t be silent on this topic; my silence equals my disengagement and my complacency. Silence contributes to the sense of Separation that has occurred in our society as people of differing viewpoints retreat into their little corners of society and live in their communication bubbles. Unless I want to be a part of the problem, I have to choose the second path and make a clear plan about how I will participate in the solution.
For starters, I can begin each day with a positive Intention, such as staying in an attitude of love no matter what anyone else says or does.
Next, I can expand my daily spiritual practice to include feeling in my body the emotions of Love and Compassion for All, especially for those who do not think the way I do. I should keep an attitude of Humility, too, and not forget that we are all woven from the same divine fabric. I hope this will open my heart to help me meet every situation with peaceful acceptance and to “love my neighbor as myself”.
Lastly, I can practice thinking thoughts that help me to rise above the buzz-killers of righteous anger, shock and disbelief, judgment, and fear of the unknown. I can keep a list of empowering thoughts, and read it daily. Thoughts such as “life is always happening for me and not just to me”, “I accept everyone where they are”, “I commit to finding compassionate responses to those with whom I disagree”, “I am for everyone, against no one”, or “I can stand in my truth while embracing tolerance, patience, and love.”
By daily conditioning my mind to thinking empowering thoughts, I am hoping to create a positive thought stream in the background of my mind that triggers emotions of positivity and forms a reservoir of strength and resilience through even the most challenging of circumstances.
As always, I remember to STEP into Presence through all its dimensions.
The Spiritual dimension as I align my intentions, my Will, with a higher Source; the Thinking dimension as I create a positive thought stream that keeps me on track, the Emotional dimension as I elevate my state of being with the expansive healing feelings of Truth, Love, and Unity, and the Physical dimension in order to integrate these qualities through the bodily experiences of grounding and sensation.
If the past is any teacher, I know that there will be moments I will need reinforcements and reminders, but here it goes.
Ready. Set. Love.