Violence is on our political landscape this week and people are asking what to do about it. I’m hardly an expert. By all accounts, I’m a born pacifist who, as a young boy, played endlessly with tiny Matchbox cars and never with little green Army men. Throughout elementary school, I was every day repulsed by the Vietnam war, which permeated our dinner hours courtesy of the small black-and-white television in our kitchen. In eighth grade, the draft ended; in tenth grade the war ended. So I enjoyed my junior and senior years of high school free of any need to figure out how to become a conscientious objector and/or move to Canada. I do not watch violent television shows or movies (unless they catch me off-guard, and they do), I have never gotten into a physical fight, and save for a one-time, by-the-book riflery target-shooting session at summer camp when I was 12 — or perhaps because of it — I recoil at the thought, sight, and sounds of guns.
There was that one time, though, when I felt an unfamiliar aggression rise up from deep within me, went to another man’s house, got in his face, and rhythmically jabbed his chest with my index finger, like one does, without breaking eye contact, and verbally seared into his ears, mind, and heart just how urgent it was that he cease and desist from his ongoing, public harassment and stalking of me. And he did. I learned that I could and would physically defend my Self if necessary (do not fuck with this pacifist!) and was also grateful to have learned the very real difference between perpetrating violence and defending from it.
Otherwise, I will assume that you are aware of some level of violence on our political landscape and may be wondering what to do about it.
But this is not about me and my take on violence on our political landscape. It’s about what the issue looks like — or could look like — from the perspective of a conscious politics practitioner. Before we do that, though, if you are currently being victimized by violence and do not have support, I invite you to reach out to me personally (by replying to this email). Otherwise, I will assume that you are aware of some level of violence on our political landscape and may be wondering what to do about it — whether from afar or from being right up in it. I’ll throw some ideas against the wall for you to mull and you tell me what sticks:
Beliefs matter so ask your Self what you believe about the violence you see. Some examples: we are doomed; it’s a symptom of something else; it’s getting worse; it’s diminishing; my information is/isn’t accurate; it’s an unsolvable problem; we can/can’t create a violence-free society; violence is rooted in fear; it’s rooted evil; there’s nothing/plenty I can do.
Listen to inspiration means your gut is your guide. How do you feel? What are your sources of information? Do you trust them? Why/Why not? What, if any, action(s) do you feel inspired to take as a result of what you know? Are you being guided by your head or your heart? Are you reacting or responding?
The law of attraction is always on so remember that what you focus on grows. Do you see and/or hear the same stories and/or the same images more than once, twice or three times? How much of your attention are you focusing on what you don’t want vs. what you do want? P.S. Violence begets violence.
Intentions matter and intentions are about what we want to experience. So if what you see is other than what you want to experience, can you articulate what you want to experience? Some examples: a peaceful society that works for everyone where equity and respect for others are givens; everyone feels safe and secure; all people are welcomed in each other’s neighborhoods; government and policing are trusted.
We are here for a reason so ask your Self, what is it that most challenges you about this? What muscle might you have to grow or what trait might you have to adopt in order to navigate to a more settled, peaceful place? Some examples: I’d have to judge less; accept more; be more compassionate; be less angry; be less fearful; trust more; take more responsiblity.
Be compassionate. Compassion would not distinguish between a peaceful you and a looter, rioter, or shooter. Compassion would recognize that a human who deems it acceptable to perpetrate violence on another human is disconnected from the truth of who they really are. Compassion would ask what wounds do they carry that propel them to act?
As you kick these ideas around, know that the most direct way to contribute to reducing and eliminating the violence you see “out there” is to remember non-duality and the concept of no separation. That means if fear, hate, anger, resistance, rage, and the like exist in you, you can reduce and eliminate them in your Self and, thus, reduce and eliminate them in society. We are all connected.
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NOTE: Violence on our political landscape is exactly the type of conversation we can have at the next Spiritual Workout for Politics & Current Events on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 from 5:00-6:30pm Pacific / 8:00-9:30pm Eastern. CLICK HERE to sign up as my guest by using the coupon code “SWP2020,” which will render the fee $0.
NOTE: Thank you.