If the election has you up-in-arms, it could be because you don’t know how to integrate the relationship between the macrocosm and your microcosm. You might be looking at our political candidates from the perspective of what they will do or not do for us and there is that, but there is also that they reflect who we are, both light and dark.
Our healing is the change we’ve truly been seeking and our candidates, journalists and irate social media friends are bringing what needs changing in us to our conscious awareness. Who knew?
I came to this political awareness after finding interest in my reaction to a video in my newsfeed, which was posted with the intent to shame Trump and his supporters. My irritation was not toward Trump or in his defense. It was the result of a build up of all the negatively persuasive, political posts toward various candidates and the criticism of these posts that have showed up in my newsfeed lately. Although I like these friends, I initially felt like they were violating my newsfeed boundaries with their judgments and judgments of the judgments. There’s been a lot of hatred going around.
I could have gotten on my high horse and reprimanded these friends for their social media dumping or simply un-friended them if their posts bothered me that much. I could even have absorbed their negativity by doing nothing. But since I am me, I decided to lean into my irritation to see what it might be showing me about myself. I have come to trust that when my hackles get raised that there is value hidden somewhere in the circumstances that raised them. Making the time to receive that value has never proved disappointing and this was no exception.
I am convinced that our healing—one citizen at a time—is the change this country needs and the political debates and candidate perspectives are bringing what needs healing to the surface for us. In this way I think our candidates are doing a great job. Now, for us to understand our homework assignment for creating a harmonious America rather than go into judgment, blame and condemnation over the circumstances themselves. It’s easy to feel irate, righteous and justified but when we stop there it only serves to feed our insatiable egos. Not the energy our country needs more of. If you are irate I feel for you. Just go on an internal rant with it rather than an external one. That’s where the value is and I can even help you find it if you’d like since that’s what I do.
If you are about to share a negative story about a candidate on social media, try asking yourself, “Why?” before hitting the post button. Go deep inside until you find the feeling that is motivating you for the answer. If a candidate scares you lean into the fear that was stirred before you post. Ask yourself, "Have I felt this way before?" See what you come up with and if you find something, do what it takes to reconcile it inside yourself rather than throw it all at your friends on social media. Also be willing to explore the possibility and even probability that if you don't like something about a candidate that you likely have your own inner-candidate who needs harnessing rather than unleashing it in an effort to trump that candidate. Be mindful that in order for something to be stirred it must have already been there.
The macrocosm is merely a reflection of our microcosm. So it makes sense to me that our time would be better spent revisiting our own dysfunctional ways of thinking than merely shaming our public figures for theirs.
When a client comes into my office irate about someone else’s behavior I don’t condone that other person’s behavior nor do we dwell on that person. Our time is best spent looking for the similarities between that person and my client than the differences. In the end this drastically changes how they feel and what they communicate back to their ‘offending’ party. Politics is no exception. When a client is feeling wronged, a shift of perception can help them see that they are in a rich place—rich with opportunities for learning, healing and growth. Same with politics. It’s just that with politics the macrocosm is more out there, less personal, and easier to see.
Macrocosm and microcosm is an ancient Greek schema of seeing the same patterns reproduced in all levels of the cosmos.
In Plato's The Republic, Socrates mentions that this virtue is “spoken as a virtue of an individual, and sometimes as the virtue of the state” and that it would be easier to discern its essence if one looked at the State because it would have a larger quantity of it and then proceeding back down into the individual to see how it appears in the smaller unit. ~Nordan Symposia
So may I conclude by putting my words and Socrates’ into practice?
I would like to publicly thank the higher selves of those whose hatred has come spilling into my newsfeed recently. It has reminded me of times in my past when I have gotten on my high horse and preached my disapproval of ignorance, which, in hindsight I can see now, was, in some way, a reflection of my own. Oops! Humbled! I forgive myself for those times and ask forgiveness from those whose boundaries I have violated with my past venting. I also ask forgiveness from those who I have falsely targeted as the cause of my fury when I didn’t know how to receive them as my mirror. And lastly, I forgive my fb friends whose ignorance and arrogance have spilled over into my newsfeed when they didn’t know what else to do with it. It was valuable to be on the receiving end so it must have had the potential to be valuable for those on the receiving end of my past ranting too, but that doesn't excuse my behavior or theirs. Yet wisdom is born of experience so we all get A's for effort.
What candidate or fb friend's behavior might humble you if you allow it?
Lead on politicians! My hope is that you will lead more and more mindfully of what is for the highest for all as a reflection of us doing the same as individuals. I’m on the political healing path thanks to you and my upset fb friends. I will move forward even more aware of how sometimes you will inspire me with your integrity and how sometimes your ignorance will inspire my integrity through the revealing of what in me is ready for healing, forgiving and changing. I know without a doubt that this is what lends way to humbler new beginnings all around. Just what our country needs.
From my perspective we are not victims of our government. We are co-creators of it. So, as a people, I ask you to set your standards of integrity and willingness to be humbled high and put them into practice consistently rather than case sensitively. Our time between now and the November election can be well spent healing our own fears, thoughtlessness and dysfunctional ways of thinking and acting. At least that’s what I’ll be doing. I hope you will join me. What do we have to lose? I can't think of a thing. I can think of a lot that we will gain though.
“The things that irritate us most in others are the things we don’t like about ourselves.”~ Source Unknown
“Be the change you want to see in our country.” ~paraphrased from Gandhi or whoever said it
Thanks for considering my political 2 cents.
Friends in this Love,