Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Being Spiritual In a Political World By Victoria Lynn Hall
"We have deep problems and we need to be deep thinkers," my spiritual and political role model, Marianne Williamson said early in her presidential campaign.
I thought I was cool with that. I've always been a deep thinker and I thought I had made a breakthrough in my life when I chose to detach from a world that so often seemed to ridicule me for it.
Then Williamson appeared on the debate stage and was subsequently ridiculed by mainstream society for saying deep things and smeared by mainstream media for daring to name the issues beneath the issues. I realized she was modeling not just deep thinking for me now but deep conviction and deep courage.
I wasn't as cool with that, in fact I was terrified but my love for this woman, for my country, for humanity, was stronger than my fear. I found myself reengaging with the world I had detached from through what seemed to me the most unlikely and unfriendly portal of all: politics.
Suddenly I felt like I was the weird kid in middle school again, being insulted for not thinking, talking or behaving like everyone else. It wasn't pleasant but it led to the powerful discovery that although those insults could temporarily hurt me, especially when they touched on old wounds, they no longer defeated me. I wasn't a kid anymore, I was an adult and I had a whole arsenal of tools that could help me navigate the world now. This was my opportunity to take those tools down from the shelf and put them to good use.
Some of my fellow deep thinking volunteers and I would often joke that being involved in Marianne Williamson's Campaign For President was like boot camp for applying all the lessons we had learned from her books and lectures. To me it was like trying to practice love, compassion and forgiveness at a holiday dinner with my extended family, only on a near constant basis. Every day there were tears, blow ups, dashed hopes and thwarted expectations. However, because we knew how to keep our hearts and minds open and trust the higher power in ourselves and each other, those incidents often led to laughter, breakthroughs, creative discoveries and inspired action.
Of course boot camp ended when the campaign was suspended and many of us went on to serve in different ways and in different areas of politics. Some of us were for Bernie, others were not. Some of us now subscribe to the notion "vote blue no matter who" while others, like myself, see things differently. People on the outside could look at that and think we are divided now but I don't see that. I think we still have one very important goal in common: to bring our brand of deep thinking to the deep problems this country is experiencing now.
"There’s a difference between form and content. Forms change, but content doesn’t," Marianne reminded us when her campaign ended.
I have had to remind myself to keep bringing the same content to whatever form my service to this world takes; to keep thinking and looking deep whether I am dealing with people who share my spiritual perspective or not. Among other things, that means seeing the fear or pain beneath someone else's anger and practicing compassion, and realizing that same fear or pain is behind my own anger and practicing forgiveness.
It is rarely easy or simple and I don't always succeed but when I do it is such a victory because I realize if I can succeed in practicing compassion and forgiveness in politics, then I can succeed in practicing those things with anyone in any arena and so can you.
Peace, Love and Justice for all,
Victoria Lynn Hall
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