If you’ve seen any news lately, you might have noticed stirrings and unrest in the United States. It gives a whole new meaning to the term, “ugly American”. Perhaps, it’s not new for generations past, but for those of us alive today, I feel we’re on uncharted territory. It’s not apocalyptic ― but this type of collective unrest is a new unknown ― a wake-up call. It’s like we’re approaching a tipping point and now it’s critical, for me, to learn how to respond and discover what I feel?
In my lifetime, I’ve witnessed pockets of unrest across my country, some serious ― like in the ‘60’s with racial tension, Viet Nam and the assassinations of some of our great leaders. But this is unlike any I’ve seen in a long time as a result of this latest Presidential election.
Anger and hatred are showing up nationwide and, instead of an open ear to listen to one another, it’s finger pointing with the claim that I’m right and you’re wrong. There’s a sense of fear and panic that reminds me of how people reacted to the bank run in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”.
“So, what do I do?” I ask myself. For now, it came to me as TRUST ― another word that strongly sets the tone for 2017. Whew―this word carries a lot of weight and potential emotion and I don’t take it lightly, given what has come down the pike already and in the past 2 years.
What is trust, if not taking a leap of faith, when there’s no information to go by or definitive guidance? What do you do when it seems like the world is crumbling around you and you have to make immediate decisions? It’s like Indiana Jones stepping off a cliff when there’s no apparent bridge.
I thought this year was going to be different, as the days passed, that there wasn’t going to be a word or phrase given to launch me into the New Year. But then, with the election and inauguration, it came with strong feelings to listen and be open ― trust. This is not only from the voice of others but my own voice on the inside. It’s not a call to action but a pause to note where I’m coming from rather than reacting.
It says not to jump to conclusions ― trust. There may be something more going on than what can be seen right away. A shake up from what we’re used to as normal could help us decide who we are and what we really want.
I say these things as my own way of trying to process what I see happening in my country and understand my feelings. It’s like putting a lobster in water and slowly heating up the water. It doesn’t know it’s being cooked until it gets hot. Well, it’s hot and it’s time to . . . what?
I am now out of the daily grind of commuting and the corporate world, being retired. So, I’m removed from the personal interaction and connection of the contrasting joy and unrest. From a distance, I watch the news and read social media and I wonder how people can treat one another the way they do and be so bold about it. I wonder if this is what has been in our hearts, all along, and has been set free and allowed to surface ― no longer being restrained, we’re discovering what we don’t like and it’s causing conflict.
I’m having a hard time getting my head and heart wrapped around it. So, for now, I quietly trust in this moment. Opportunities for change and to awaken don’t always come in beautifully wrapped packages. Sometimes, they’re ugly. We’re living in the fire and it’s because these are things we have to acknowledge within ourselves before we can move onto the real purpose of living and why we’re here.
“When you lose touch with your inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself. When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world.” — Eckhart Tolle on Oprah’s Own from his book, “Stillness Speaks”
Now, I am wondering what it means and will I have what it takes to meet what comes. I hope so, if I allow myself to come from that quiet space and in this moment step back, breathe and trust. I see glimpses of light shining through and love coming forth, like sunshine after a severe storm. It warms my soul and I can only hope to help spread a little more love in these words.
Whatever we do, we can only do when we work together. We are one. God bless you all.
Pat from the ‘ol kitchen table