I, too, have been driven to my knees by the outcome of this election. And driven to tears and to prayer. Like so many others, I am in disbelief of the events unfolding in this nation. I am heartbroken. I will be for a very long time. And I will admit that I have turned my "eyes up to heaven" and screamed, "How could You let this happen? How? If ever there was a human event that called for You to intervene for the sake of humanity, this was it." But heaven did not intervene - at least so far as I am concerned (emphasis on 'so far as I am concerned.')
So, now what do we do? Where do we go from here? I've read many of the FB posts and emotions are bubbling like hot water. That's understandable. My own emotions have yet to calm down. I don't want to stay in this inner place, however. I don't know about you, but residing in shock, despair and sadness is not my natural state of being. This event, this epic-sized, historic choice that this nation has made, cannot be allowed to shape the way you wake up or face the day. And equally - if not more important - it must not become an active agent that influences how we see our brother and sister Americans.
“A nation divided against itself cannot stand.”
I am, as many of you know, deeply committed to the teaching and practice of Spiritual Direction. I firmly believe that among the many inner rewards that come from pursuing the gifts of your soul are the capacity to endure the unimaginable and to gain the high ground within your own nature. Each of us has an inner route to our own high ground, our own higher nature, from which we can glimpse, if only momentarily, a greater view of what is occurring in this one small moment in time. And from that higher place, we are able to make inner choices that direct the flow of our life force. I will admit that it is not easy to get to that place at times but get there we must. Especially when we have entered a time of chaos. And curiously, let us keep in mind that many Americans now believe that their prayers have been answered. For them, they believe they are beginning an era that marks the end of their chaos, as we enter one that signals the beginning of ours. Two views from the same moment in time. In truth, all of us are standing at the precipice of change and the outcome is unwritten. All of us hold one pen each in our hands. We are still voting, in other words, on how the future will unfold, regardless of who is in office. Many people felt that Obama was the answer to their prayers, only to feel at times so very disappointed in him as the years of his administration wore on. A presidency is not a kingship. Presidents must work with Congress and the Senate. This is a nation of laws and rules - not a dictatorship. And it is also a nation in which the population has the right to speak out and speak up. All too often the population becomes silent after an election instead of remaining active politically through phone calls or emails to the offices of local senators and congressmen/women. Become a pain in their necks. Stay apprised of current issues. Participate in the running of your government as a way of life. Let this election inspire a reason to become a political agent for change in some way.
And inwardly, build your spirit. You know we are living in a time of historic proportions. We are evolving from individual nations into a global community - if not entering into the galactic age. We are living in the greatest age of transformation in the history of civilization. This could never be an easy ride - ever. Of course we will face people who want to turn back the clock, who long for the good old days. I miss them myself. I still have my typewriter, for God's sake. But I don't use it any more. I've moved on and it's not likely I will turn back, except sentimentally.
Spiritual community is a necessity today more than ever because so much of our lives and society are fractured. We need spiritual companions with whom we can share our inner journeys. And we need to pray together. And we need to speak through our sadness and despair because we will cycle through these emotions again and again. Changes in our lives assures us of that. Don't expect anything less but a wild ride. You must be able to count on yourself to rise up again. This election brought out the very worst in people. Like pulling that curtain away from the Wizard of Oz revealing the Wizard to be a fraud, the bigoted, racist, misogynistic, and nasty underbelly of this nation got exposed and it was - and remains - shocking. For all the progress this nation has made in so many ways, it just can't shake lose from it's Master-Slave heritage and its need to be ruled by white men. Obama unhinged that racism but the possibility of a woman following a Black American to the White House? Ah....nope. I'm not sure how long it will take me to recover from that, although I really was not all that surprised. But wow. And how about how eager some Americans are to kill one another? Wow...The blood thirsty appetites of people are absolutely astounding to me. Who could possibly be suited up so "at the ready" to kill a fellow countryman in every day life? Who is that fragile and frightened that he needs a gun to go shopping? But here we are - returning to the Wild West.
I wonder again and again what sort of progress we have made spiritually - really. Are we actually more "conscious" today? Perhaps. But realize that evil is also a "conscious agent" in society. That is, consciousness is not a one-way street.
I am teaching a new Reflections class, starting November 22, entitled, Initiation by Fire. It's good. I also think it's exactly what we need right now to return to the center of our souls. We are being initiated. We are being tested. Regardless of who you voted for, all of us have to transition into a unified humanity. That is our spiritual calling. Anything less than that contributes to the toxic underbelly of this nation and that is not your spiritual path. It's just not. We need spiritual community and soul companions to get through times like these. I leave you with this wisdom:
“I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle: be patient, bearing with one another in love.”