Oh, how I want to control the world right now.
I struggle against what is going on in other people’s elections. I so desperately want others to see things my way, believing that I am right, and that if only others got on board, the world would be a better place.
I watch compassionately,
as our friends and neighbours to the south of Canada, where I live, once again face the sad awareness that half of their country’s citizens still do not believe in racial, economic, gender, and sexual equality. I bear witness to the tears of my friends who are in shock to see that half of their fellow citizens either do not believe in climate change, or are not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to support worldwide efforts to help our planet.
Yet, here I sit, experiencing true powerlessness.
Powerless to control other people’s lives and thoughts. In the end, I am only responsible for my own thoughts and actions. It is time to practise what I preach. It is NEVER what happens to me that is the problem. It is how I RESPOND to what happens. In this awareness, I have power, I have control, I have the power to choose. To choose my own thoughts, to choose my own actions, to live my own life.
All of life is but an exercise in building spiritual muscle.
This is about learning to not react in fear, but to continually choose love, no matter what. I wish that it was as easy as deciding once and for all that I want to live by the sea, and never questioning my decision, but this is a decision that has to be made every second of every day. In the beginning, at least, there were so many times that I wanted to react in habitual ways.
There were so many triggers, so many childhood wounds that had to be healed.
I took each one of my old grievances out of the vault of my memory bank, and held them up to the light. I knew that I had to forgive each painful experience, every time that I felt abandoned, betrayed and abused; every time that my mother and my brothers were mistreated; every time that my children were hurt by others.
All of it had to be cleaned out of the closet of my mind if I was to find peace.
It was hard work. It was painful to dig deep within myself. The path to freedom was sometimes choked with weeds, but I had wonderful guides who encouraged me to keep going, who walked a few steps ahead of me, who held out their hands, and helped me up when I stumbled.
Finally, I cleaned all that old garbage out of my spirit. I even cleaned up the trash hidden under the trash barrel. I kept on working until I got it all, to the best of my ability.
I forgave those who hurt me and my loved ones. I forgave myself for the many times that I hurt others.
I was able to stand taller, to smile more, to see goodness and beauty in all things. But, life continued to happen. Hard things still came into my life. I lost people that I loved. Sometimes I still hurt people and they hurt me, even when we were trying to be better and do better. But, at least now, I had some tools to continue along the path. And, the path was clearer. The weeds were less tangled. I met fellow travellers who shared their stories of courage, strength and determination. Best of all, I was able to see the final goal.
I could see that every single thing, without exception, was meant for my spiritual growth, as well as for the growth of those around me.
I could see that being on the path of spiritual growth was the only thing that counted. The experiences, both painful and joyous were all meant to bring me to a higher place, a place where I could be of real service to myself and others.
During challenging times like a big election, when there is so much at stake, and literally everyone on my social media is coming from the same political viewpoint as me, it is so hard to understand how anyone could think differently.
How could people support THAT candidate?
I am so tempted to go into judgment, frustration and anger. I want to put anyone who sees things differently into the discard pile, to categorize them as stupid, uneducated, ignorant. But, if I do that, I am starting to travel down the same path as those who cause real physical harm to others. And, in giving in to even a second of that kind of thinking, I am only hurting myself. Worse, I lose the ability to have a real impact on the world around me.
So, today, I will do what I do every day.
I will start my day with a spiritual reading to help keep my mind on the path of love. I will ask my Higher Power to give me his/her mind to think, ears to hear, eyes to see, words to speak and heart to love. I will go out for my morning walk/run, and send love to every person I encounter. I will reach out to my American friends, and let them know that I care. I will continue to support organizations and individuals that are trying to make a positive difference in this world. This little corner of the world is where I am planted. This is where I am able to have an impact. I encourage you to do the same.
If we all practice love, peace and acceptance, we will change the world.
It may take time, maybe as long as a few generations. I have to believe that it will happen if we all pull together. Will you join me?