I’m sitting here behind my laptop, still reeling from the recent US election news. I had a whole different post planned for this week, but at the moment it just doesn’t seem appropriate or relevant.
I’m shocked. More than shocked. Perhaps naively, I never thought hate and fear could win over love. But it has (for now) and I feel heartbroken. The realisation hit me that I have been living in a bubble, protected from the realities of life and what we’re seeing across many countries in the world, and now in particular in the US: a painful rhetoric and action based on division, separation, and inequality.
And for today, I will allow my feelings of sadness to be. The sadness that we have allowed fear to rule. But tomorrow, I will wake up.
I will wake up again with a strengthened drive to be and do more. Because we all have a responsibility to shine a light in the darkness. To have a different voice. To listen to others. To be a different person. To share a different perspective. We are not powerless.
Because in the words of Martin Luther King,
Darkness cannot drive out darkness.
Only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate.
Only love can do that.
We can feel overwhelmed, allowing ourselves to be brought down. Giving in to fear.
Or we can choose to rise.
We can choose to do more. We can choose to step into responsibility and action. We can choose to listen. Not from a base of fear, but from a choice to love.
Here are just a couple of thoughts on how we can step back into the light:
– Care for yourself and others. Listen to what you need and what others around you might need. Time for yourself, meditation, a hug? When we’re feeling bruised and fearful, be kind and gentle with yourself and others.
– Take responsibility. Know that there is always something you can do. We have the responsibility and the power to do so. This is not a time for complacency but a time to see how you can make a difference. Whether that’s talking to your friends or neighbours, supporting organisations doing important work to help those less privileged or looking deeply within yourself to see what you can do and what you stand for.
– Listen. If anything, the move to separatism and fear shows us that we have not listened. We have not truly deeply listened and responded to what the concerns and fears are of others. We have not taken them seriously. And while this may be very difficult to do, and believe me, this is very much a work in progress for myself too, we must find ways to listen to each other and find another way.
For me, this all means that I feel the need to look deeply within myself to hold on to what I stand for and to try to bring those values to the light in how I live: love, abundance, joy, equality, and connection. The question now becomes, how much do I truly live by these values? Am I living in integrity with those values? Are there ways where I could do more?
In many ways, I feel even more emboldened to strive for a different and better world. A world, where we care for each other, where we believe that everyone should have the same rights, where no human being suffers because we believe that there is enough to go around, that we respect, love and care for this planet and all who live on it. That we can live in a win-win paradigm, where someone’s loss isn’t someone else’s gain. That we can live in a world, where we listen to each other, truly listen and try to find a third way – not mine, not yours, but ours.
I was asleep and I’ve now woken up.
So my final point is:
Rise, and stand up. Let this be an opportunity where you do your best work, where you show up in the best way possible. Because what you do matters. It makes a difference.
Believe in what is possible.
Live & love well, and shine your brightest light.