When everything is going to hell, we still get to choose whether we are for peace, or against it.
I drafted this blog post a while ago, and slated it for today. I have just re-read it, and given what is currently unfolding in the US, wondered if it felt relevant. I believe it is — and may even be more relevant than I could have dreamed.
I realise this message may not sit well with those caught up in the emotional drama of the US election — and I count myself among you. I spent most of yesterday in a simmering state of fury and frustration which I am finding it hard to pin down, but for now I would say it’s a combination of indignation that the process of democracy is being so egregiously assaulted, disgust for the individual who is the perpetrator of that assault (and assaults on so many other values that I hold dear), and concern for the future — for the safety of my American friends, for the environment, and for the rest of the world, because all of us will be affected to a greater or lesser degree, even in the best case scenario, and like Umair Haque and Van Jones, I’m not that optimistic about that scenario coming to pass.
But I’m doing my best to reframe this into something I can handle. I’m doing my best to take a longer term view. I’m doing my best to understand the sense of disenfranchisement and struggle that has led some people to vote the way they did. I’m trying to believe that everything is exactly as it is meant to be, no matter how non-obvious that may be to my ego-mind right now.
The card I drew from my Taoist oracle deck this morning seems fitting: Treading.
“When you feel impatient or irritated (my note — that’s putting it mildly!) with someone or something, it is a sure sign that the ego is agitated by the possibility its desires won’t be met… The essence, on the other hand, is so self-assured and at home in its own skin that it has no need to prove itself by advancing its own goals against the goals of others… When you act from essence, in other words, you act with awareness and sensitivity to all the variables in play, including the feelings of those around you, the demands of the times, and how your actions might best promote a greater sense of harmony and understanding.”