Don’t Talk Politics And Other Life Philosophies

I feel like in this political climate, its so hard not to view those with opposing views as the enemy.

I have to continue to remind myself that, fundamentally, all humans want the same things; Safety, security, and love.

That’s it. All of our physical and emotional needs can be lumped into those three categories. And yet, the pursuit of these needs, and the failure to meet these needs, makes us feel powerless, angry (which is a cover emotion for powerlessness), and not worthy. It creates a deep inner hostility which will also draw outward hostility towards us.

Somebody should really just teach humans that whatever they believe, internally, will be continually reinforced and reflected back to them externally. It’s not the other way around. We are incapable of really taking in experiences and information that contradict our long held beliefs. Not to mention that the way we conduct ourselves determines how others react and respond to us.

For instance, if you were taught by your parents (through words and actions) that life is hard, the world is hostile, and people can’t be trusted. You will live your life on the defensive, necessitating others to become offensive when dealing with you. You will feel that to survive, you need to value your own needs at the expense of others, and others will become angry and hostile. You will buy every pack of toilet paper and meet with the ire of everyone else at the store. The world will be a battlefield for you.

It will be your own doing.

I feel like our president has an extreme case of this belief system. He does not feel safe, he does not feel secure, and he does not feel loved. He believes that one must always be conquering, or be conquered.

I grew up having people in my life who held and demonstrated these hostile beliefs to varying degrees. At some point, I decided that I felt happier when I didn’t believe them. I decided to believe that the world was kind, people generally wanted to help each other, and that there is enough of the pie to go around.

AND, most importantly, I decided to believe that, separate from any success or achievements, I am worthy of safety, security and love. I think our president struggles with this belief too.

Anyway, I’m a lot happier, a lot kinder, and– to use a buzzword–a lot more “abundant” as a result. This blog is my example of that. If I look back to my entries from ten years ago, I was a lot more hateful and snarky (which basically just means being judgmental — with humor), and also not nearly as happy.

Anyone, can change a belief just by focusing on the belief they want to have. I feel like they should teach humans that, too. I am safe. I am safe. I am safe. I am worthy. I am worthy. I am worthy. Your mind is like a bike tire, when it gets a little flatter you have to keep putting the air in.

But that does not mean I am not still fucking human. I get angry, when I see injustice, and I get angry when I see acts of hatred, I get angry when I see suffering that is totally unnecessary. I get frightened when I see political cronyism, I get frightened at the thought of my freedoms being taken away, I get frightened at the thought of the Earth getting snuffed out like a flame. Like I said before, all of the anger and fear stems from my feeling powerless to fix it. This blog post is me making a small effort to take my power back. To refuse to fester in a fearful, angry state that will only lead more fear and anger back to me. This is me putting the air back in.

We change the world by changing ourselves. And we do it with a thousand little intentional efforts that over time, gain momentum.

I cannot support a president who values himself at the expense of others; who believes that the American people are his at-will employees; and that he is it’s CEO; who responds to professional criticism with personal attack; who encourages fear, anger and hatred for political gain. Who emanates fear, anger and hatred, himself.

I cannot support a president who represents the kind of world I don’t want to live in.

But I can still support the people in my life who support him. Because I know why they do, and I would too, if I believed the things they believe, and therefore had experienced the things they have experienced. For me to meet their feelings with disgust creates an even deeper divide that ultimately, just reinforces their views.

Talking about politics is uncomfortable. It brings up really heavy emotions that are easier for us to hide from than to deal with. As a result there is an underlying tension, always, with those who have opposing views. This underlying tension probably always existed but it has been amplified eleventy-billion percent, lately. It will continue to amplify until we deal with it. And we deal with it, by diving into it. By talking about politics, by talking about race, by finding any subject that makes us uncomfortable to talk about, and talking about it, ad nauseum.

I write this knowing full-well that until recently I could not engage without getting very heated, and feeling even more angry (and powerless) knowing that I couldn’t MAKE them see.

But it’s our attitude that determines our outcome. The goal for these discussions should never be to change someone’s mind. The goal should just be to try to understand why they see it the way they do. Every single person on this earth holds beliefs that are valid for the reasons I have stated above. Their life experiences will have only justified those beliefs. And every single person on this earth, fundamentally, wants the same things you do. Keeping that in mind will lessen the tension, and lessen the divide.

It’s hard to have compassion. It’s hard to meet defensiveness with radical kindness, and radical understanding, but this is the answer for a better future. They weren’t lying when they said to “be the change.” We just need more humans to believe it.

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