This past week was the one-year anniversary of the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol. I listened to President Biden address the nation on January 6th about the dangers of losing our democracy.
“I did not seek this fight brought to this capital one year ago today, but I will not shrink from it either,” President Biden says. “I will stand in this breach. I will defend this nation and allow no one to place a dagger at the throat of democracy.”
The divisions in the United States seem to be partisan, Republican vs Democrat, red vs blue, but are they really? Are income inequality, racial resentment, and the people’s declining trust in our institutions really a “versus” anger?
Yesterday, I watched Dave Chappelle’s comedy special on Netflix, “The Closer.” Dave tries to set the record straight on his feelings toward the LBGTQ community – part personal reflection and history lesson – the show takes on a serious perspective rather than comedic on the divisions between communities. How can we laugh about ourselves as human beings and at the same time understand our differences through the lens of another without taking offense?
Anger is fear turned inside out.
Our anger has exposed our fear of our collective places of hurt. How do we find our equilibrium to put away the daggers?
Wholeness, the unmasking
One of my three words to live in 2022, is wholeness. Achieving wholeness, that elusive equilibrium of mind, body, and spirit may just be what we all need this year as we enter the third year of COVID-19 and its variants.
Fear is being less than, incapable of, and believing the worst will happen if others perceive what may happen to be already happening. It causes us to believe the worst will happen and we will not survive it. Our brains are on a treadmill that will not shut off. This brain treadmill actively aids our fear emotion, paralyzing us and resulting in procrastination or a path of talking vs action. (Yes, there is that ‘versus’ word again.)
Fear is holding us hostage from joy.
He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy
He who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sunrise
~ from the poem, “Eternity” by William Blake
What is your fear? Let me share mine.
I am not who I am. If you find me out, you may change your perspective of me.
My place of hurt is driven by my fear of failure, feelings of unworthiness that stem from adverse childhood experiences. It has been heightened by my age and now because of my leukemia diagnosis. My fear is being less than, incapable of, and the worst will happen when you find out I am not who I am – the positive, intelligent, spiritual person you thought me to be. And if that happens what becomes of me?
The vicious cycle of worry.
Worry leads to a need for more control, which leads to taking more responsibility, which leads to more exhaustion, which leads to anger and resentment. The defense against anger or resentment is more control. Is that what happened on the steps of the U.S. Capitol? Is that what happens when we strike out from our individual place of hurt?
The underbelly of blessings.
‘Let go, let God’ is a popular spiritual mantra. ‘Resist reaction. Reason rules.’ Has been my often-forgotten mantra. I need a new mantra and perhaps, we all do.
The more we think something the more power we give to it. Am I thinking positively about something or am I thinking negatively?
I cannot change ‘them’ or ‘that,’ but I can change how I react which could result in wholeness.
Every gain has an inherent loss.
I will be ecstatic when I achieve remission from my leukemia, and I will also grieve what the chemotherapy has done to me. Every blessing has an underbelly we did not see coming at the beginning of the journey. We cannot always kick the rocks over in our path to see the other side when we are walking it. The rocks are simply too heavy for us to overturn. Trust is a tricky thing even in spirituality.
To become whole, what we want to change begins within us and must be done with kindness.
Self-aware is self-care.
I hate that it is taken me so long to get to this point of admission. Yet with patience and kindness I hope you will come to understand me as I want to understand you. We each have a place of hurt. Yours is different than mine although our places of hurt may have shared similarities. May we be safe in using our authentic voices. Mine is not a versus of yours but an agreement of ours. I hope one day we can laugh at ourselves despite our differences to achieve wholeness for us both. May we always have the courage to use our authentic voice.
Wholeness for me personally will be an ongoing struggle but one I hope to achieve. The more I think about wholeness, the more power I give to it. I will think of wholeness like my favorite dessert – a pecan pie with a sweet warm center.
May we all achieve harmony in mind, body, and spirit no matter the rocks in our path or the trickiness in our mantras.
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