Altogether Now

A friend of mine recently posted about the craziness of these times in our country, and how frustrating it is to not seem to be able to make an impact to change anything.  Here's a perspective I shared with her:

Sometimes I look at all of this as a healing crisis. I think most folks, coming from multiple points of view and positions, will agree that things haven't been working as well as we'd like for a long time. We are all getting severely shaken up right now, and it's pretty clear that no one has yet stepped forward with a unifying vision. I think what's becoming clear is that the left cannot win over the right, and the right cannot win over the left - so perhaps we are in the throes of being purged of our separatist, fear-driven, self-righteous, us-versus-them antagonism -- by being shown how it will destroy ALL of us. It may have to get a lot worse before it gets better, because egos are often slow learners requiring big whomps up'side the head to let go of what's not working. (Lord knows I speak from personal experience!!). All I know to do is keep shining light on the process wherever and however I can, and keep moving myself back into the experience of oneness that I know is my and our heritage ...and is what truly IS, even in this moment of chaos, whether I (or we) recognize it or not.

None of this is meant to suggest that anyone should stop taking whatever steps they can take to make the positive differences they want to see.  However, we must take those steps with the same kind of openness and inclusiveness that we claim to want from those with whom we disagree.  To the extent we take those steps with a sense of separation, moral superiority, judgment, or ridicule,  we simply become part of the problem - quite simply because NO ONE is going to alter their course in order to make US right about how wrong THEY are.  We also become part of the problem because we are adding fuel to the fires of separation, moral superiority, judgment, and ridicule that are likely to exist on both sides of any percieved fence. We become part of the problem when we don't first step into the shoes of the "other" with an intention to learn from them about what is important to them.  Maybe we turn out to be right that they are self-serving, immoral, uncaring, dishonest, manipulative, and a whole long list of things (that, by the way, BOTH sides are saying about each other, using slightly different language).  And maybe not!  But it's important to remember that each person who holds strongly to a belief or position (no matter how unfounded or unworthy WE may find that belief or position to be), holds it for a good reason - a reason that TO THEM is a good one.  If we don't understand the values behind it (and sometimes they are not obvious), we cannot find an answer to it that will be valid to them. And then we are left with even more separation.  

I have sometimes stopped at that point, at that place of "agreeing to disagree."  But that's too soon to stop, and I'm sorry I did.  I've long coached my clients that real collaboration means agreeing - not to disagree, but agreeing to agree ... meaning, we agree to keep going until we find the common ground that both of us can stand upon solidly.  Of course that works only when both parties are willing to make that commitment - and it's a tough one to make, even tougher to manifest.  So what I've come to as an individual is this:  I hold inwardly and outwardly for that place where there can be agreement, even though I don't see it yet.  I march toward it as if it were inevitable.  I pour as much energy into the possibility of positivity as I do into the recognition of negativity.  I keep going.  

That's what I do on a good day, a day I'm in my heart. On a bad day, I judge and fret.  

It's a choice.


Martha BostonComment