Over the last several months, I have found myself struggling to accept the division in our country. I prefer to think we are all moving in the same direction, that we are becoming a more loving, accepting and compassionate planet. Yet, we have all seen a lot of evidence to the contrary.
As I hear more and more friends expressing despair, fear and disbelief and as those emotions creep up in me, I become aware that every effort I have made externally to change things, Facebook posts, verbal proclamations, even political signs in front of my house, have only served to polarize more and create more separation from others. This is like one big exaggerated relationship problem among a whole bunch of roommates sharing the same country.
Einstein said, “We cannot solve problems from the same kind of thinking that created them.” With this in mind, we cannot solve fear with a fearful mind. We cannot stop despair from a feeling of desperation. And, truth be told, we cannot stop judgment and division with more judgment and criticism. We are now faced with questioning whether our words, thoughts and actions are part of the problem, or part of the solution.
So as we face these deep dark unknowns, false beliefs, divided perspectives and strained relationships, it is more important now than ever that we turn inward, tune in and turn up the volume of love, trust, faith, understanding and compassion.
While it is easy to think we are mastering relationships while alone at home with no one to bump into, the truth is that true relationship mastery comes from interacting with others. So, too, is it easier to access and rely on love, trust, hope and faith when things are going along fairly well. It is in our deepest, darkest, most scary times when true faith and trust are developed.
It may be helpful to remember that courage does not exist without fear. An act would not be courageous if it were not a scary thing to do. So now is the time for us to courageously, in the face of fear, grow our trust and faith. And, it is time to act with wisdom.
When we are scared, or threatened, our egos rise to protect us. The ego is great at seeing problems but terrible at solving them. Ego is great at creating problems, but only our spirits are capable of finding true Soul-utions. Now is the time to be vigilantly self-observant and mindful so that our spirits are doing the problem solving, not our ego-talk.
Now is the time to pray for guidance, strength, wisdom, compassion and responsibility. Now is the time to be more loving, more responsible, more creative, more caring, more gentle with ourselves. and each other.
Now is the time to develop, enhance or deepen our own spiritual practice–to pray, to meditate, to journal, to learn, to ask, to seek clarity, to question our beliefs, to explore other possible truths, to trust. Now is the time to ask Spirit for help.
Now is the time to identify our true values, and recommit to living in alignment with them.
Now is the time to fact check before spreading stories and rumors. Now is the time to edit what we say and how we respond for how it will land on someone’s heart. Flinging more insults will not heal this rift.
Apathy and withdrawal will not suffice. Now is the time to take responsibility for all of our thoughts, beliefs, words and actions.
Now is the time to bring the best out in ourselves, in the hopes that this action will be contagious.
Now is the time to love others, pray for the planet, protect the environment and God’s creatures.
Now is the time to deepen our own spiritual practice, to go inward to find peace and love and bring it outward into the world.