STILL MORE THOUGHTS ON POLITICAL ANGST IN THE AGE OF TRUMP, McCONNELL AND KOCH.
I know what to do about staying sane. I don’t always do it, but even when I lose it, when I’ve had enough upset, I can self soothe.
Having soothed, the question remains, since I care about my country, my compatriots and my grandchildren, what can I do? Here are some of my thoughts on the matter.
What can I do? In the arena of national and world politics, very little. I feel helpless and hopeless. I am not a politician and have no inclination to, or talent for, becoming one. Neither am I rich enough to buy one. Neither am I willing to shoot anybody.
So, I will vote, send my meager donations, sign the petitions and submit an occasional letter to the editor and to my congressperson.
So far, so good.
ABOUT STAYING SANE.
I ration my news intake, I don’t tweet, twitter or twix and I edit what I read on facebook. I breathe, I meditate, I write to sort myself out and remember the “big picture.”
Beyond that, I engage my heart and my compassion and focus on my sphere of influence – my family, friends, colleagues, clients, readers and students. I will continue, as a therapist and author, to teach my clients, readers and students to maintain their sanity and make their own decisions about right action from a place of clarity and calm.
THE BIG PICTURE.
When I consider the Human Dilemma and my place in it, it seems that ever changing world and national events, politics and the economic conditions have always provided a context for the experience of being human. My life is experienced on a very small stage of that huge amphitheater and the “actors” are me, my family, friends, colleagues, a few readers, students and clients. My task, it seems, is to evolve personally and professionally, to live with integrity and love, help those in my sphere of influence as best I can and trust that the ripples of that way of being have some influence on that vast pond of humanity.
Recently a friend commented that her life was very satisfying and that she was grateful for that. She said that when she remembered the horrible condition of so many of our fellow humans, she was sad, disturbed and somewhat guilty and overwhelmed about doing anything to help them. At times I have that experience as well.
To me the dilemma is this: I can never live a life of equanimity, fulfillment and satisfaction if, having achieved it, I feel angry, sad, guilty or otherwise burdened with the responsibility for everyone who is in need?
My answer, so far, is that when I am in that state of peace I am clear about my desires, my aspirations, my compassion and my capabilities. From that place I decide what action I will take. Feeling disturbed, guilty and overwhelmed about the plight of others doesn’t motivate me to right action, it takes me out of my clarity and is disempowering.
What I’m getting to is this: Having achieved equanimity, my obligation is to maintain it. Then, from that place of calm, competence and compassion, decide how I can most effectively pass it on.
ONE MORE THING.
An important part of my personal cosmology is that us humans have the responsibility and the ability to create a peaceful and satisfying life for ourselves. I believe that the troubles that life presents us are opportunities to learn, to do right action and expand our experience of self. I choose to think of the human experience as a boot camp for our soul’s evolution. As such, wars, disasters, hatred and violence are as much a part of the Great Plan as love, abundance, comfort, harmony and peace.
I believe that the evolution of the human condition takes place one person at a time. The more you and I embody equanimity and love, the more the human race will reflect equanimity and love.