With the inauguration of the most recent U.S. president, I have become very aware of the preciousness of being a citizen of the United States. It is because I sense that our way of life feels threatened. Specifically, I believe that many of the quick actions by the new president reflect these attitudes:
- Short-term thinking, not taking into account how today’s decisions will affect my children and their children;
- Divisiveness which threatens the safety and security of many people living in the United States; and
- Dismissiveness of science as it relates to being good stewards of our planet.
I could list more, but these are my biggies.
The marches by millions of people around the globe the day after the inauguration represented hope, love, and inclusiveness. In Boston, Mariama White-Hammond a female pastor of an A.M.E. church in Jamaica Plain, asked each participant to “lock eyes” with one other person and say to this person, “I see you. You are valid. I stand with you.”
I cried when I heard this. There is a lot of power in those three sentences, a power that acknowledges the dignity and human rights of every one of us.
Now that the marches are over, how do we keep that feeling of hope and interconnectedness alive? This is especially difficult as our news feeds deliver up to the minute disturbing news every day. The questions I ask myself are:
- What is my role in all of this?
- How can I stay grounded in the midst of what feels like chaos, especially when I can feel the fear and a deep sense of uncertainty that is swirling around in the collective emotional field?
- What issues do I take on? Do I have to take them all on?
- Can I live my daily life fully, pay attention to what is happening in the political world, and stay in a centered state of peace and ease?
The only way I have found that I can “be” with these questions is to tap into the essence of who I am at my core. I ground myself with my two feet planted firmly on the earth. I sense deep inside at the level of my soul where there is no duality, only a sense of peace. Once I feel at ease in my whole self, I ask my deeper self “What is my role in this new national political landscape? What is my sphere of influence?”
I then define my role for myself and I begin to take action. For me, personally, I am beginning to take steps to bring my own local community together. I step up more to support causes that I see are for the greater good and which are now threatened. There are so many now that it gets overwhelming. Then, a twinge of conscience hits me. Our country’s freedoms are being threatened. I have to do more.
This calls for me to step back, breathe deeply, and remember. I am not alone in this challenge. There are millions of others who are also awake and stepping up to this threat to our way of life. I trust in these people and the capacity of “us” – all working together to make a positive difference.
My central work in this effort is to stay alert to what is going on and to stay grounded and centered with love in my heart, while not getting caught up in fear and worry. This is a daily practice of clearing out negative energy and staying grounded in the energy of love.
When I am successful at this, I know that my presence will have a rippling effect and that it will affect the whole for the greatest good of all. That alone will make an important difference. Then I can more effectively attend to my community engagement.