We’re better than this. A call to loving arms in the face of a confusing election.
[Image by Farouq Samnani]
My head hurts as I write this. My right temple is pulsating.
I awoke at 5 am to see the election results. I was quiet. Still. I felt like I was dropping slowly, as if without gravity, to the bottom of a deep well.
I cried uncontrollably for reasons so basic and universal that they lack words to describe them.
To witness unconsciousness and remain conscious ourselves is difficult.
To see crazy and not fight it with more crazy challenges our pride, our pain, and our hope.
But we’re better than this.
The issue is not the elected and the solution doesn’t lay with him/her, either.
It begins with us.
This process of evolution never ends, but if it did, it would also end with (you guessed it), us.
I felt scared this morning. I feel trepidatious this afternoon. I have a comedy class at 7 pm and all I want to do is roll up into a ball and be held by something more comforting than reality.
And what is reality?
What I see and feel on the surface is universal division.
The dominant belief that we’re different and that these differences need to be emphasized, magnified, and then fought for.
That our salvation from our pain is the result of “our” people — folks who maybe look, sound and complain similarly to us — coming out on top.
But despite the short-term comforts of such effort, divided still we will stand.
A house divided against itself cannot stand. That house, by the way, is made up of billions of human beings.
What pains me most is not who ran for office or who was elected as POTUS. It’s the division I see all around me. It’s feeling the hate, confusion, and sincere fear of millions of people.
We hold so tightly to our differences and the belief that someone fucked us over.
More fiercely still we cling to the notion that if we fight that someone, if we hate them, and create our own rigid identity structure in opposition to them, that we’ll be protected and maybe even win.
But these wins are temporary and that which is born and made from division ends in division, which is the root of this strife we see.
I wish I could wrap up the world in a big blanket and comfort the sick, the LOST, and those who mistake hate as a way of salvation from the discomfort of being human.
It’s not an easy trek, for any of us.
And some of us have harder lives than others and could use greater support.
But we judge those that need ‘extra’ support, asserting that if they didn’t need so much help, we wouldn’t have to pay so much in taxes, thus we wouldn’t be in debt, and China wouldn’t be growing, and blah blah blah punch-me-in-the-face blah.
We judge those who need help because we ourselves feel underserved. Our own pain is projected onto others as hate, ridicule, and anger.
I learned a long time ago it doesn’t make sense, or make me happy, to judge who deserves help and who doesn’t. Better to give equally in all directions.
When we monitor and fight for inches on moral high ground, arguing who deserves help and who doesn’t, it puts us in our lowest form. It goes in direct conflict with our good nature as human beings.
Let us choose leaders of good character filled with wisdom and kindness.
I don’t choose who I follow based on how much money and worldly power they have acquired.
I base my attention on the quality of one’s character. On honesty. On kindness. On civility. On wisdom, which is different than intelligence.
I don’t orgasm at the sight of those who have blindly built legacies in this world at the expense of their health, our trees and oceans, communities, and self.
I tremble with joy, instead, at those who can achieve worldly success in tandem with their spiritual nature.
I don’t admire or aspire to be like the Trumps or the Clintons of the world, not because what they’ve achieved isn’t admirable, but because I would never want to be like them. Because the systems they abide by are soul crushing and mandate them to be far removed from their true selves.
I don’t judge their distance from self but nor do I trust it. Nor do I admire their ability to push on in the face of internal pain, abuse, and lack of self-love.
Nor do I think those qualities make an ideal leader, for I value a different type of inner strength.
I trust people who listen to their inner voice.
Who learn to master themselves before they venture to manipulate others.
Who accumulate worldly goods with respect for the greater good, the environment, and all living creatures.
The ends never justify the means.
What I want to leave you with is the following…
You’re worth it. You can ask for help. You can feel good despite what’s happening around you.
To remind you that you chose this journey long before you were born and you knew of the strife you would face. Your challenge was/is to see through the conflict in front of you and witness your true nature. To be in this world but not of it. To remember what is buried deep inside of you.
We come here with a purpose.
For some, your path will be to build new structures. For others, you will lead groups, organizations, and spiritual groups. For many more, you will be called to write, share, and detail your wisdom for others to learn from.
And for all of us, our path is to rise. To elevate. To become the most loving, authentic version of ourselves.
This self is beyond mind and beyond time.
I need not convince you of some story of how we got here. I simply hope to remind you that you’re here to lead your life in a way that honors your deepest self and all living things.
And to remember that we’re all suffering. To be human is to feel pain.
So take care of yourself.
Nourish your innermost parts.
And pray, in whatever form that takes for you, for love. For peace. For understanding. For harmony. For clarity. For that which brings us to our highest good.
And then listen.
Listen with open ears and a humble heart.
And be surprised by the eloquence of silence and the power of song that will rise up from inside of you.
We are magic.
All of us.
And we forget that and in the process do stupid things out of confusion, pain, and ignorance.
I don’t need to know you to love you.
…to care for your well being.
…to sense that you’re more powerful than you realize.
Go forward today with the belief that everything is happening for you.
That you have the power to make yourself feel better and to inspire others with the tiniest of gestures.
That you matter, so, so much.
And that truly, we’re all in this together.