I imagine I’m not alone in what I’ve been experiencing recently: a kind of “push-pull” of seemingly conflicting thoughts surfacing as I deal with what seems to be a compounded divisiveness within our country and within the world.
Just as we begin to deal with the COVID19 pandemic and the push coming at us from various levels of government to “phase ourselves back” into what had become our previous lifestyle and way of believing, some of us continue to wonder if it’s “too fast too soon.” We question the wisdom of it and feel the need to pull back and continue to operate from a consciousness of caution or even possibly moments of fear.
And while dealing with that question, we now find ourselves shaken and shocked at the images of police brutality and are pulled into viewing it on every news station and every newspaper, although I find it curious that within our Villages bubble of “Florida’s Friendliest Home Town” our local newspaper carefully crafts and edits to exclude any articles that reflect any of the reality of both the pandemic and the demonstrations and rioting taking place across our country and the world at large, all in response to the murder of George Floyd by police. And as I’ve already discovered from my experiences in dealing with the earlier phases of the pandemic, when I allow myself to be drawn into the fear and anger-inducing energy of the news channels by watching too much of it, I have moved from “being-in-the-world” to “being-of-the-world.” It is one thing to be aware of what’s happening, but being consumed or directed by it is another.
And, of course, the images of more and more cities where its thousands of residents have chosen to demonstrate peacefully to express their outrage over the police brutality that resulted in the death of George Floyd, only to have many of them turned into rioting, looting and destruction of buildings and fire-bombing of police cars by small bands of angry and opportunistic individuals reacting with violence. And police and National Guardsmen, called in to quell the rioting and restore order, have only raised for us more questions and more fear as we watch some of them reacting with authoritarian anger and the use of violent tactics of force. And we begin to open ourselves up to asking “Why? What is it we’re really dealing with in our country and in our world?” The answer seems pretty clear to me.
One need only watch a few carefully chosen, educational perspectives of past history to see there is much more that needs to be done in creating genuine equality in our country and across the world. As I see it, there is a hidden level of racism (and homophobia) still active across our country although there are those among us that would vehemently deny it. And I don’t know about you, but I have been asking myself the question: “What is it that I need to be doing to help rectify the situation?”
I’ve been receiving an unusually large number of emails from a variety of spiritually-minded souls who may have been asking themselves the same question, and some of them are taking a clear stand against a variety of targets like our president, labeling them in ways that speak to a part of me that agrees, while another part resists joining in because it just doesn’t feel right. So, what is it I need to be doing?
The answers that keeps coming up are these: “Do your best to be an expression and demonstration of those spiritual qualities that are inherent in all of us…Loving, non-judgmental, understanding, open to on-going spiritual guidance, and being willing to take the action when called upon.” And for me, that means continuing to write and improve the ways I can present my writings and share my life journey with others; continuing to spend time in prayer and meditation, and do my inner work of “aware-apy” (a Q Process term for bringing our hidden false beliefs into the light of inquiry/awareness). And perhaps equally important is to be grateful for the life I get to live and all the reasons I have to feel blessed. And after just now reading a beautiful, heartfelt and vulnerable sharing by Dr. Rima Binario, I feel encouraged that I am on a path shared by others like her and, hopefully, many of you!
The alternative, doing nothing and then left to continue experiencing the stress that comes with that choice, just doesn’t seem to be a choice any more.