I am sitting pondering what to say after reading the headlines about where we are as a country.
I don’t want this to be a political post about who you should vote for or why. Sure I have a opinion and I have voted. Probably so have many of you. Plus a lot of my regular readers are Canadian so just watching and wondering – what they hell are we up to!
It seems people around the world are watching and mostly either laughing, crying or fearful that somehow democracy has failed in a country that was founded on the idea and stood strong in defending those noble roots.
Have we lost it?
It would be so easy to just make this mess all about the names on the ticket – Hillary and Trump. To make the issue about how they are such poor options.
That is such a cop-out.
Whatever, is surfacing is something each of us is participating in.
I am a believer in using conflict and this situation is putting that belief to a very strong test.
I work with individuals, couples, leaders and teams. I speak to the importance of being willing to be vulnerable and curious. Yet, I admit I have struggled to stay open and when people ask me what I am doing to make a difference. I admit I have many times remained hidden in my opinion because of my fear of rage, retort and the venom that comes back.
So I have to ask myself, what will I do and who will I be on Wednesday if the elections results reflect something I don’t like or fear.
So much of this election has been about fear and hate. I am not talking about the candidates, I am talking about us, the people.
I’d like to say – not me.
But I can not say that. I have moments of rage, hate and fear. I have protected myself from owning my own shadow by projecting it out on people I thought were far worse. But if I am honest and do the only work I have any control, I most look at my own part in this crazy process.
Maybe I am not standing on some political stage where everything I do is reviewed. Maybe I don’t have the power to let my own fear and hate change the state of the world. No, I don’t have control over armies, bombs or people’s right to seek refuge. No, I don’t have that kind of reach.
But I would be kidding myself if I didn’t know my interactions matter. I do and can make a difference. Maybe not on the world stage but how I could I possibly know if that one person I screamed at in hate or recoiled from in fear won’t have the power to self-destruct or destruct a family, a community or country some day.
How could I not know that one kind and honest conversation made someone else do the same.
Don’t get me wrong I am actually not suggesting that making all my interactions positive is the solution. Because frankly, I think that approach is just as damaging.
I mean show up real, raw, vulnerable. Owning what I am thinking without just projecting it out without awareness and choice. That is not an easy task. But I do think one worth living. I think it is the only real path towards intimacy and connection. I also believe that to be human does mean we will make mistakes. But we can recover if we are willing to look at our own part and not make it something outside of ourselves.
I have spent years working with couples and so often couples arrive in a crisis because of a big event – an affair or some type of event that seems to crack instantly the foundation of trust and possibility. However, over and over in working with these couples I see that it isn’t the big events that ripped at the foundation but the little things that never got talked or addressed.
I think that is the issue in our country. Our politics are simply a reflection of not dealing directly and honestly and with each.
This hate didn’t just surface because of Hillary and Trump. We have been on this trajectory for a long time.
Now we have surfaced the beast inside. Will we embrace, look at and own it? Or will we try to kill?
The challenge is not an easy one. It is one that can only take place in the hearts and minds of each of us as people. This isn’t just a political problem.
We all have work to do.
I want to wake up Wednesday and have my person win. I admit it. I think the world will be a better place.
But I do not know that I am right. It’s my story – a story – not truth.
What I do know is that whatever happens, I want to wake up on Wednesday (actually every morning) with a renewed commitment to not point the finger outward but to turn 180 and ask myself how will I participate in the interactions where I can have an impact? Will I live from my heart or from my fear and hate.
That my friend is the only thing any of us can do – including Hillary and Trump!
I have faith that all people have that as a choice!
I even have faith in Hillary and Trump.
I have faith in my ability and yours to make a difference one interaction at time.
I really don’t even need to wait until Wednesday, neither do you.
We can change the trajectory now! Yes, we are cracked – but I don’t believe we are broken!
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