Even When It’s Really Fucking Hard
As I watched the polls role in election night, I felt anxiety and fear.
I wondered if the dystopian reality that I read about in the young adult novels I love to read was close to becoming a reality.
Maybe these books are preparing our young one’s for the world they truly will live in.
I hope not. I hope they are pure entertainment to show us what we can look forward to if we do not heal the split that exists between (and within) us.
The election results are a wake up call. We can heed the call, and choose to create another reality, from where we are now. Or, we can continue in our old ways of being, and be forced into something much worse.
It’s clear, we are a nation divided.
If we do not take action now, the war that’s been “out there” will be here.
It’s time to truly wake up, find the root of this war and create a new story.
I understand war. And why it happens.
I’ve been living “war” inside of myself for what seems like my whole life.
Perhaps you’ve caught a glimpse as you’ve watched me live the reality of Alexis Neely and Ali Shanti.
As I watched the poll results come in, I let myself feel the energy of this split and recognized it’s familiar form.
I hope the lessons I’ve learned through healing the divide within me (a process I’m still engaged in) will help many of us to come together to heal the divide we are seeing so plainly reflected in the state of our nation.
I’ve nearly entirely stopped the war inside (there is still some, but less and less everyday), and I believe that what I’ve learned on the path to doing so can stop the war outside too.
But, only if we each take on the challenge to be the change you want to see in the world, and make it not just a platitude, but a mission.
So, here’s what has worked, and is working, for me — to heal the divide:
Resolve to create more harmony, even in the face of great conflict.
Resolve to feel all the feelings, especially those that are the most challenging.
Resolve to listen more deeply, especially to that which doesn’t want to be heard.
Resolve to understand, even when you most desire to shake your head and walk away.
Resolve to bring compassion and love to all of the parts of myself and other that I most want to push away.
Resolve to bring my highest and best self to each moment.
Resolve to be the change I want to see in the world. For real.
I would like to be able to say that this way of being, being the change I want to see in the world has come easily to me.
And yet, it hasn’t.
I have struggled mightily to live up to these ideals. If I’ve struggled with them, I imagine you have too.
And, if you have struggled yourself, probably the people you most judge or dislike or believe are “on the other side” do as well.
This struggle is the foundation of all war.
I have desired to create more harmony, in the face of conflict. Instead, I have often run away from conflict, through defense and wrong-making. Or sometimes, pure avoidance.
I have desired to feel all the feelings. Yet, they were so painful, it was often easier to numb out. Except that in the long run, it wasn’t really. Because the numbness ultimately became more painful than I could bear.
I have desired to listen more deeply. And sometimes what I was hearing felt unbearable, so I put up walls and defenses to protect myself. And, these walls and defenses created the perception of attack. A vicious cycle that too often escalated into war.
I have desired to understand. And yet have often walked away, shaking my head, or muttering “whatever” under my breath. My heart breaking, as I did. Wondering what was wrong with me that I didn’t get it.
I have desired to bring compassion to myself and others. Mostly myself. I’ve been so hard on the parts of myself that weren’t what I desired. Creating a never ending loop of self judgment and shame, which got reflected out onto those around me, most often in ways I couldn’t see. Often, making me sure I couldn’t trust anyone. Mostly myself.
These are the ways of being I desire most to see “out there”, so I’ve fought the good fight (funny choice of words) to bring more harmony, to expand my ability to feel it all, to listen, understand and have compassion … first to myself.
Because it has to start there.
When I can feel more hear, listen more deeply here, understand and have more compassion here, create harmony here, I can offer it out there.
No matter who you wanted to see elected President, I believe that you desire these things.
Peace between us.
If you don’t, I would love to hear from you. I want to understand. Truly, I do.
And, if you do want these things, I encourage you to find your Resolve. It’s time for us to truly be the change we want to see in the world. No more platitudes.
Resolve to Be It.