01-30-2017 paradox

We’ve all seen this famous image. Is it two white faces looking at each other? Or is it a black vase? See how you have to shift your lens to see one or the other? It’s almost impossible to see both at the same time, isn’t it? But if you pull back far enough, you can almost see that both are true at the same time. It’s two white faces, and it’s a black vase. You can’t quite see them both at the same time. You can flip the lens of your perception back and forth faster and faster until they almost collapse into both at once. But you can’t quite do it.. When you focus on one perspective, it’s hard not to lose the other. Such is the mystery and wonder of holding a paradox.

My guidance is very clear that this is what we are being asked to do right now- to hold paradoxes, holding multiple points of view and perspectives as equally true and valid. Are you comfortable holding a paradox?

Earlier this week, when I tuned into the collective, the energy was so disruptive that I felt called to offer two posts about comfort (here and here and a post about strengthening your emotional resilience here). That disturbed, chaotic energy is still present, and we all still need comfort, but today, I feel called to switch gears and draw attention to something else I feel in the collective, something in the shadow which is calling to be brought into more light. It’s a paradox. We need extreme measures of comfort right now—the nurturing, compassionate aspect of the Divine Feminine. But we also need to wake the fuck up, and waking up sometimes requires the extreme scalpel of truth of the fierce feminine.

So let me ask you this, and please know that I ask it from love.

Why are so many who preach non-judgment, non-duality, and unconditional love judging, hating, and attacking Trump supporters right now?

I live in Marin County, so I’m surrounded by a bubble of people who consider themselves spiritual, liberal, all-inclusive, open-hearted, generous, loving, non-judgmental people. Yet, over and over, I am witnessing a bewildering phenomenon. Why are these same people spewing anger, judgment, and intolerance at Trump voters? If you are an honest, hard-working, conscientious American who exercised your democratic right to vote for who you believe will best help our country, isn’t it understandable that you’d be defensive if half of the country is judging you, shaming you, and writing you off as a racist, sexist, ignorant pig?

Trust me. I’m not a Trump fan. I did not vote for him, and I am viscerally and emotionally wrenched by the choices he’s making as the President of my beloved country. I am also not trying to employ some spiritual bypass by preaching about unconditional love, tolerance, and acceptance right now. I’ve held my protest signs alongside others who are horrified by what is happening.

We are all vulnerable to this war-like consciousness because it is how we’ve been conditioned. But I am doing my best to resist the temptation to participate in it, even as I hold the paradox of actively speaking out and standing up for what I believe. Will you join me in shifting our consciousness from one of war to one of peace? Right now, it feels like we are at war with one another. This is why I left Facebook, because Facebook has become a war zone of people attacking one another because their opinions differ. I’ve encountered this war-like consciousness on Facebook before, especially if I dare to write about my opinions about things like vaccines, male circumcision, or abortion. But never before have I seen the divisiveness and pure hatred being slung back and forth mercilessly like it has been this past year.

What is happening to us? When did differences of belief and opinion become a justification for war-like consciousness, even among those who call themselves “spiritual?”

One of my readers told me that she and her husband are getting divorced over this election. They have often voted for different Presidents, and they simply agreed to disagree. But this time, they cannot agree to disagree. They both see it as a “make it or break it” issue. Neither will back down. Thirty years of marriage down the tubes. They are heartbroken but resolute in their righteousness.

This hurts. And it makes me wonder what hurts inside of both of these people. Aren’t you curious? What if it’s not as simple as one of them is “right” and the other is “wrong?” What if we’re dealing with two white faces and one black vase here? What if it’s a paradox? What if both sides of the divide could be right at the same time? What if it’s true that Donald Trump is a glaring boil on the planet, representing the most vile aspects of patriarchal, right wing, racist, misogynistic, materialist, greedy, corporate, reality TV culture? What if it’s also true that Hillary Clinton represented an entrenched, corrupt establishment that ignores the needs of working class Americans, dismissing their needs and glossing right over these unmet needs and fears with self-righteous language of social justice, equality, and moral superiority? What if both are true at once? Wouldn’t that make neither voter “wrong?”

The Politics of Dividing the Collective

As Charles Eisenstein wrote in his wonderful essay The Election: Of Hate, Greed & A New Story:

For the last eight years, it has been possible for most people (at least in the relatively privileged classes) to believe that society is sound, that the system, though creaky, basically works, and that the progressive deterioration of everything from ecology to economy is a temporary deviation from the evolutionary imperative of progress. A Clinton Presidency would have offered four more years of that pretense. A woman President following a black President would have meant to many that things are getting better. It would have obscured the reality of continued neoliberal economics, imperial wars, and resource extraction behind a veil of faux-progressive feminism. Now that we have, in the words of my friend Kelly Brogan, rejected a wolf in sheep’s clothing in favor of a wolf in wolf’s clothing, that illusion will be impossible to maintain. The wolf, Donald Trump (and I’m not sure he’d be offended by that moniker) will not provide the usual sugarcoating on the poison pills the policy elites have foisted on us for the last forty years. The prison-industrial complex, the endless wars, the surveillance state, the pipelines, the nuclear weapons expansion were easier for liberals to swallow when they came with a dose, albeit grudging, of LGBTQ rights under an African-American President.

When Fear Spirals Us Into “Othering”

I’m on the mailing list of a spiritual teacher who teaches “non-duality” in the Advaita Vedanta tradition, and the first newsletter he sent out about the election was an “us” versus “them” letter of duality! There wasn’t even a mention of how there can be two (or more) seemingly conflicting things that sit side by in paradox from the non-dual perspective. The whole letter was about those bad guys who voted for a corrupt President who was violating spiritual law. The letter vibrated pure fear. It was all about what Findhorn leader Lisette Schuitemaker calls “enemy-making” or “othering.”

This way of being and behaving is a recipe for war. We’ve been conditioned by our culture to go to war with anything we don’t like—the war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on cancer, the war on the self. But the consciousness of war only breeds more war. The terrorists ramp up their war on us. The drug lords armor up to fight back. The cancer cells become resistant, at war with the chemotherapy drugs, requiring stronger and more expensive drugs. The war on the self fuels a  multi-billion dollar self-help industry aimed at going to war with the parts of ourselves we judge and reject. There seems to be no end to how we inhabit this war-like way of being and doing in modern culture.

If we’re ever going to find peace, we have to exit the consciousness of war and be willing to try to understand what those we deem “the other” are thinking and feeling. We have to ask the terrorists, “What hurts?” We have to be curious and wonder about the drug lords, “What had to happen to make you do the things you do?” We have to ask the cancer, “Why are you here? What made me susceptible to you?” Instead of turning rejected parts of ourselves in refugees, we have to love and accept the parts of ourselves we exile. As Matt Kahn says, “Whatever arises, love that.”

The Consciousness of War

Charles Eisenstein and I have been comparing notes about the state of the love revolution on our planet, and in our latest exchange, he wrote, “In the mindset of fighting evil, when you are losing, you feel helpless, victimized, despair, futility, depression. Your primary tool for making change happen [force] is useless. The enemy is stronger than you, and you can see no future but a descent into evil. When you are winning, you are inflated with self-righteousness and blind to the humanity of the defeated enemy. Thereafter, you want to consolidate your power and dominate all who oppose you because, after all, you are the good guy. That’s how the good guy becomes the next bad guy. It is as in the interpersonal victim-abuser-rescuer triad. The rescuer inevitably becomes the new abuser.”

But we have a choice. We can step outside this narrative of war altogether, to be a curious outsider, looking in on it, rather than participating in it. This moment in human history is calling for us to do this now more than ever. The call to action is actually a call to love.

What Is It Like to Be You?

In a recent blog , Charles wrote:

“I am concerned for my country…when I see opposing groups of people, each imagining themselves to be the champions of virtue, swollen with self-righteousness, marching off to do battle with the enemy. Yes, I am horrified by racism, misogyny, homophobia, Islamophobia, and the rest of the ugly sentiments that have erupted in the USA in the last year. But if we really want to change these things and not just feel righteous about being on the right side, then we have to address the ground from which they spring. To do that, we have to let go of war thinking with its accompanying dehumanization, and enter the question that defines compassion: What is it like to be you?”

What is it like to be a working-class white guy from Alaska who has been shamed by feminists and blamed for the patriarchy his whole life? What is it like to be an indigenous elder willing to give his life for his people’s sacred land if they move ahead with building the Dakota pipeline? What is it like to be a single mother who just left an abusive marriage, who will do anything to have even the promise of more safety, security, and protection from the terrorists that scare her? What is it like to be a feminist who marched fifty years ago in a women’s march and is now carrying a sign that says, “Do we still have to protest this shit?” What is it like to be Donald Trump? What had to happen in his life to make him who he is?

Charles also wrote:

“As we enter a period of intensifying disorder, it is important to introduce a different kind of force to animate the structures that might appear after the old ones crumble. I would call it love if it weren’t for the risk of triggering your New Age bullshit detector, and besides, how does one practically bring love into the world in the realm of politics? So let’s start with empathy. Politically, empathy is akin to solidarity, born of the understanding that we are all in this together. In what together? For starters, we are in the uncertainty together.

We are exiting an old story that explained to us the way of the world and our place in it. Some may cling to it all the more desperately as it dissolves, looking perhaps to Donald Trump to restore it, but their savior has not the power to bring back the dead. Neither would Clinton have been able to preserve America as we’d known it for too much longer. We as a society are entering a space between stories, in which everything that had seemed so real, true, right, and permanent comes into doubt. For a while, segments of society have remained insulated from this breakdown (whether by fortune, talent, or privilege), living in a bubble as the containing economic and ecological systems deteriorate. But not for much longer. Not even the elites are immune to this doubt. They grasp at straws of past glories and obsolete strategies; they create perfunctory and unconvincing shibboleths (Putin!), wandering aimlessly from “doctrine” to “doctrine” – and they have no idea what to do. Their haplessness and half-heartedness was plain to see in this election, their disbelief in their own propaganda, their cynicism. When even the custodians of the story no longer believe the story, you know its days are numbered. It is a shell with no engine, running on habit and momentum.

We are entering a space between stories. After various retrograde versions of a new story rise and fall and we enter a period of true unknowing, an authentic next story will emerge. What would it take for it to embody love, compassion, and interbeing? I see its lineaments in those marginal structures and practices that we call holistic, alternative, regenerative, and restorative. All of them source from empathy, the result of the compassionate inquiry: What is it like to be you?

Look for Paradoxes

Right now, as you notice yourself dividing, be curious to see if you can inhabit the expansive lens of paradox. Maybe things that seem to be in opposition are not necessarily opposites. Maybe two things can be true at the same time. Maybe it’s true that we are all One and it’s also true that we get triggered and feel separate and divided when someone we love disagrees about something that feels like a core value. Maybe it’s true that Donald Trump is a scary, disruptive, destabilizing, dangerous force, and maybe it’s also true that there is Divine perfection in what is happening, that Trump is doing an excellent job showing us our collective shadow and shattering age-old systems that no longer serve us, going “nuclear” on the establishment in order to open space for something brand new, something mysterious that we can’t even imagine yet. Maybe love prevails when we stop “either/or” and we start expanding into an eagle’s eye view of “both/and.”

Perhaps the mind cannot hold paradoxes. Perhaps only the heart can. Perhaps we have to lose our minds in order to inhabit our hearts.

So what can we DO? This is part of the challenge of coming into right relationship with uncertainty. Often, we don’t know what to do. We are in the space between stories. We can pray. We can trust in a benevolent universe. We can surrender to Divine Will. We can wait for spiritual guidance to show us inspired action with open hearts. We can let the current take us wherever it’s going and hold hands with our fellow journeymates as we enter the mystery together. We can trust that when it’s time to do something, we will know what to do and we will have the courage to say yes to this calling.

With you,

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28 Comments

  1. Beth Anne

    Thanks Lissa! This was beautiful and I agree with you wholeheartedly! I’ve been mistified with those who I thought were trying to live a life of love and are now spewing hate. I firmly believe it is fear. I’m learning to lean into my fear and I’ve learned that love lessens the fear in my heart!

    Reply
  2. Debra Denniston

    You put into words, so perfectly, what so many of us, who like to think of ourselves as spiritual, have been struggling with since the 8th of November. Thank you.

    Reply
  3. Erin

    This is the bravest and most beautiful evaluation of what is happening from a spiritual eye that I have read. My heart has been feeling too tired to play the game of “us vs them” (either way), and there’s a part of me that has felt guilty for that — for not getting louder and angrier, but as my spiritual path evolves I simply cannot use force any longer. It doesn’t resonate. But you have given me the freedom to see the bravery in non-dualism, in practicing compassion as a mean of birthing this new era, that it’s not stupidity to trust in what is happening. Namaste, sister.

    Reply
  4. Lisa Rini

    i find myself just bursting into tears – the stress of all of this – the never-ending feeling i have to do something – is quite overwhelming at times…the women’s march helped some – but the daily barrage of insanity – is taking a toll…how can we possibly keep this up for 4 years?

    Reply
    • Lisa Simpson

      You are not alone. I burst into tears last week hearing Keith
      Olberman talk about the possibility of nuclear war. I have been depressed ever since. It is definitely taking a toll. I guess I am Giotto need to limit my exposure to news and social media. We can’t let them steal our joy!

      Reply
  5. carolyn cross

    Thank you, Lissa. All those from Arab lands have been knocking on our door for decades asking to have what people in the West have enjoyed. It has gotten louder and louder and many in the East see the terrorism as the only tool to be seen and recognized. We are all one and we deserve to be love and be loved, seen and cared for. To be able to earn a decent living and raise our families in a safe environment. So many are afraid. As I said to a longtime friend who views the world differently than I do: I am sad that you are so afraid. Closing borders will not make you safer and nobody can guarantee you safety. Each person only wants a peaceful place to raise their family, no matter where they were born. I do my small part working with refugees where I currently live – Berlin, Germany.

    Reply
  6. Amber Starr

    We are in a surreal time. I read recently one of the highest Trump advisors is obsessed with a book called the Fourth Turning, in which they believe a major war or equally catastrophic event is needed to help our generation. Although this may sound delusional, it tells me WHY some are so oppositional to any discussion that does not come in line with this modality. I also think the division we are experiencing is due to the fact that people feel personally attacked “by the other side,” and that is why both sides are SO quick to become defensive. However, when in this mode, you are literally “defending” your values, life and family. Unfortunately, this also means we are not in a place for rational thought or problem solving, so how we are to transcend??

    Reply
  7. CarolWT

    Thank you Lissa, a powerful, compassionate perspective that shines a path forward. I have struggled to find the points at which the paradox meets. I feel hurt and fearful that people whom I have considered friendly are willing to sell out our environment and our rights for economic wellbeing. And I have not been able to reach out compassionately to find the thread of fear that we share, stuck in the anger and righteousness for all that I hold dear. But your words resonate with a truth that is undeniable, and urge me to find a softening in my hard lines. Oh this work of life, of living daily with intention ain’t so easy. But I will try to take the baby steps of staying in the moment, cautiously, rather than resigning in the fear of the unknown tomorrow.

    Reply
  8. Cat Shoemaker

    I do believe this country will be set back 20 or more years by the politics of Donald Trump. But if we are to live like we speak, we have to accept those who have a dissimilar opinion of what is needed to right this country. We have to look at our constitution and realize that we must abide by the congruity with which is was written. We must accept the difference of our neighbors and still hold our own beliefs aloft. I do not like Donald Trump, I have never liked Donald Trump, I will never understand how he was actually promoted to office, And I will never call him my president. But the people who voted for him had their own beliefs and we can never restrict their voice. Just my humble opinion.

    Reply
  9. David H. Breaux

    Thank you Lissa. Thank you to all who share their thoughts in this discussion.

    A contemplative response…

    “Perhaps we have to lose our minds in order to inhabit our hearts.”

    Current affairs seem to be culminating into the full exposure of the body-mind—the identification of one’s self as a person rather than presence. We can be grateful for this exposure because we can finally move into the heart, an age of pure, unconditional love that all the masters, mystics, saints, and sages have espoused through example. When one sits in the awareness as consciousness, seeing worldly functions as a construct, it reveals the peace, love, and compassion inherent in all things. Perhaps that is what is happening now—the revelation of pure Spirit.

    What can we DO? Self-realize. Know thy Self. Recognize Oneness. Be love. Be compassion. Establish that inner peace, the same peace creating the Universe in the first place. So deeply rooted that any amount of anger, resentment, envy, jealously, or hatred cannot budge it. Through this, all comes into right knowing and with right knowing comes right action.

    Reply
  10. Henrik Ravn Jakobsen

    Sorry to come with what might be a “disturbing” point of view. If I could have voted in the USA. I would have voted for Trump. Not because I in any way agree in much of what he is saying, even less in his way of doing things, but because a BIG change is needed in the world. It is not going to come from Trump, but if all of the people with the “profile” for reading this kind of post get the wake up call, the result could become fantastic.
    If something good is to come out of this, then it is all up to “us” to get our act together, NOT by yelling at “the others” Then you are no better. Please see this TED talk and you will get a tool for further conversations.

    Lissa is SO right (once again)

    https://www.ted.com/talks/robb_willer_how_to_have_better_political_conversations?utm_source=newsletter_daily&utm_campaign=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_content=image__2017-01-20

    I wish you all the best

    Reply
    • Amber Starr

      I too had thought this must be a catalyst for something bigger, better and more fantastic than any one person, especially Trump. That being said, I disagree with your position on how to vote, but I agree it feels we are at a crossroads….only time will tell if people as a race will rise to the call.

      Reply
      • Henrik Ravn Jakobsen

        Had Hillary won, you would all have gone about your day, like the last 8 years = basically no improvement. No wakeup call would have happened. So no, voting for Hillary was not an option.

        Reply
    • Marjorie

      This TED Talk goes to the core of the issue. It is all about our deeply held values and beliefs. If we can have a discussion by using another’s values to explain our values , we might be able to have a discussion. I was so sure Lissa would be called names for daring to suggest curiosity. I am pleasantly surprised that am not seeing the hate and name calling I generally see.

      Reply
    • Lisa Simpson

      Well, I didn’t vote for him but recognize one positive thing, and that is to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. We are already witnessing that.

      Reply
    • Terry Neff Allen

      Thank you for posting this Ted talk. Being a Libertarian conservative who could not vote for Trump but couldn’t stomach the other either, I have been so saddened by the great divide in our country and the hate that has come with it. I think many of us want to have an open dialogue and don’t know how. We need people like Lissa who, with love can help us see the beam in our own eye.

      Reply
  11. Lisa Simpson

    Thank you. That is a brilliant piece. I find myself veering from one emotion to another, from anger to empathy. The intention of the current administration is to shock and divide and keep us off balance. I feel it is past time to practice deep listening to one another. It sure isn’t easy though, when we are confronted with anger and hostility in those around us. I will keep trying to remind myself to breathe, breathe and breathe some more, and try to put myself in the position of the “other.”

    Reply
  12. Alba Margarita

    I understand that we are all suffering, we are all people just trying to
    get by, to survive, to love our families and do our best. I see this
    and feel this. But I cannot bring myself to feel much empathy to Trump
    supporters simply because, time and again, they lack basic empathy to
    the fact that people who don’t look like them (brown, black and every
    other non-caucasian shade), don’t love like them (LGBTQ people), don’t
    worship like them (Muslims, and yes, non believers i.e Atheists) etc are
    also people that are suffering, are also people who are struggling, and
    have families and have loved ones and want the best for themselves and
    their own. Time and again, I see Trump supporters spewing their hate for
    anyone who doesn’t think like them, and hide behind the good ol’
    “Middle America is being ignored” while turning their face away from the
    common thread that we all have as humans and American, regardless of
    skin color, gender identity or sexual preference. As a minority in this
    country, I simply cannot muster enough shiny happy unicorn love for
    people who spew their hate people like me and my loved ones who have
    dark skin, for people like my Muslim landlord and his family, my best
    friend and his husband. If I see enough Trump supporters showing just
    one ounce of empathy for us, then I’ll perhaps change my mind.
    You
    are a privileged white woman Lissa, you can afford to shed tears for
    this rift and mumble “Can’t we all just get along?”, but you are sorely
    shortsighted if you’re asking the minorities who bear the brunt of the
    hate of the alt-right to hug a Trump supporter when they never EVER show
    one ounce of acknowledgment to our common humanity. Please stick to
    your meditation retreats and stay in La-la-land if you’re going to keep
    asking us to show compassion to Trump supporters who have absolutely
    none for others.

    Reply
    • Lissa_Rankin

      Dear Alba,
      Thank you for sharing your point of view. And yes, you’re right. I’m a privileged white woman. So does that mean I can’t possibly have empathy for what it’s like to be you or what it’s like to be a Trump supporter? Maybe you’re right. Maybe I can’t. Or maybe- in the deepest part of my heart- I actually can. I don’t know. I certainly am not asking anyone to hug someone they don’t feel safe hugging or to express some fake “shiny happy unicorn love.” The kind of love I’m talking about is actually the gritty, gut-wrenching, ego-shattering, strips you bare kind of love, the kind represented in this poem by Dorothy Hunt. So let me share it here. Before I share it, please don’t tell me to “stick to my meditation retreats and stay in La-la-land,” just like I won’t ever suggest you should do any more or less than your authentic nature guides you to do. You may express how you feel here but I will not tolerate being written off as some airy, fairy, fluffy, spiritual bypassing flake. You may share what it’s like to be you though- and I would welcome hearing about it. If you’re curious what it’s like to be me, this poem pretty much sums it up.

      The Invitation
      By Dorothy Hunt

      When God comes in your house
      it is only by your invitation,
      but even your invitation is God’s,
      for she has always been
      landlady and tenant,
      windows and walls,
      the fire in your hearth
      and the cold wind blowing at your door.

      At first, her visits seem so welcome.
      She brings tea and cookies and loves you
      so sweetly inside your own heart.
      You keep inviting her back
      by your prayers and meditations,
      imagining you’ve found the one you always wanted
      who will hold you on her endless lap
      and take away your pain forever.

      But pretty soon, she starts arriving
      unexpectedly, at odd hours of the day and night,
      and every time she comes,
      she takes something away–
      a pretty picture here, a bookcase there,
      maybe even some trash
      you are happy to be rid of
      in your basement.

      But at some point, it occurs to you
      she intends to move in completely.
      And now the mind starts backing up:
      “Perhaps you could come back another day,
      after I’ve worked on my house,
      after I’ve bought nicer furniture,
      after I’ve finished my fight with evil,
      after I’ve planted a peace garden.”

      But you must know
      that if you invite God in,
      sooner or later she will set up house,
      and when she does, beware;
      for she tosses out every single thing
      she does not need, which,
      in the case of the personality,
      is every single thing you thought you were.

      Every thought and cherished belief
      she just throws out on the garbage heap;
      and that might be fine if she replaced them,
      but she never replaces those sacred thoughts;
      she utterly destroys them. She strips the coverings
      off the walls, and peels the paper from the window glass,
      opens the door to invite in the wind,
      and every creature you wanted kept out.

      Sometimes she cleans your house gently,
      dismantling it room by room.
      But often, she just comes in with a torch,
      and you feel in your gut the fire burn
      in the center of your separate comfort,
      and you watch the contents of your house
      melt and turn to ash,
      and the roof blow off.

      And just when you think
      there is nothing more that she could take,
      she opens the ground beneath
      the barely intact shell of your house,
      and all the levels of your being
      fall into the space that has no name;
      and you are left alone in all the world,
      without a map, without a path, without a point of view.

      And you know you are creator of your dreams,
      your dreams of mountains and rivers,
      calm seas and storm clouds,
      crashes of lightning and spacecraft,
      beautiful babies asleep at the breast,
      joyful dancing and puppies at play,
      Spring’s new blossoms,
      and the threat of Winter’s war.

      And at this point,
      what you are inside your house
      is simply What is looking out.
      Nothing’s left but what is looking,
      yet everything you see is you.
      Now your life turns inside out.
      Your body is the world of being
      looking out of Just What Is.

      And strange as it seems
      to the mind of your memory,
      you enjoy each dance of yourself,
      even the pains you hoped to be rid of,
      you experience fully without regret.
      For everywhere your eye may look,
      all it sees is infinite love
      displaying itself in creation.

      And just to be completely honest,
      there are times you might be tempted
      to rebuild your house of concepts,
      for the mind just loves to think;
      but the fire of Truth resides within you,
      where it always lived before you knew,
      and it keeps revealing moment to moment
      what is false and what is true.

      So what can be said about what happens
      when God takes over her house?
      She laughs and simply sips her tea,
      washes her dishes and sleeps when it’s time,
      then goes to find another house
      where there has been an invitation,
      an invitation to come in
      from the deep, deep love of Herself.

      Reply
    • Henrik Ravn Jakobsen

      Ok so you want the others to take the first step, They see you just the same way…. As a threat, a “know it all”, a person who is always right in a discussion (even before it has started) a person impossible to communicate with. They want YOU to take the first move on recognizing them.
      My question: How is going to be the first one to be a grown up?

      Reply
    • Adam

      Hi Alba. Fantastic line “happy shiny unicorn love” !
      How we treat our ‘enemies’ says loads about how we truly are, and not how we imagine ourselves to be. I have found it helpful to look into Jung’s notion of theShadow, of how project onto our ‘enemies’. We are all in this together. I have also found it helpful to bridge build if possible. It helps in non-violent protests to have empathy since one is coming from a less explosive position. It has saved me on several occasions from a serious beating. MLK practiced this. Empathy does not have to mean that you are going to give up on your hope. Many activists need spiritual retreats. ps. You forgot mention disabled people.

      Reply
  13. Diane

    Thank you Lissa for putting into words exactly what I was feeling but unable to define or express in words (living in a paradox – that’s me!) I know that to continue the way it was, was hiding from the truth, and that it would take a tsunami to make a change even possible, in spite of the fact how destructive a tsunami really is. I am like you and hold both to be true. Empathy and compassion is the only way to begin a new way of being in this world. But we need more and I hope spirit leads us soon to the next step after that.

    Reply
  14. Rebecca Stahl

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have been feeling this so much. I have found myself trying so desperately not to enter into the us vs. them mentality. In my job I am forced every day to hold paradoxes, and it has still been extremely difficult to hold that space on the (inter)national stage. But I share your thoughts exactly. I pray we can learn to hold this pattern differently. I have seen more and more places in my life (and others) where we are asked to hold multiple stories that appear to be juxtaposed. I know this election, and everything it embodies, is about us evolving spiritually. I still believe we have as good of a chance of destroying ourselves as we do of evolving to something great, but I pray that if more people step up and speak as you do, we will lead to the evolution side instead of the destruction side. PS – I share your specific concern about our little bubble worlds. That is something else I’m working to shift, but I’m starting with myself.

    Reply
  15. Henrik Ravn Jakobsen

    Dear Lissa, Please stick on this topic, and dig deep. It has roots to all other mayor problems.

    Reply
  16. Janet

    Lissa Rankin, I think that this kind of writing is exactly what Facebook needs. You are right that it is an incredibly negative environment right now. But your voice of love and positivity would bring some balance to what appears to currently be a battleground. Voices of reason and hope are desperately needed! Thank you for this.

    Reply
  17. Melanie Fisher

    Absolutely exquisitely put. I can tell that your words are coming from divinity. That was the best essay I’ve read yet about this time we are living in.

    Reply
  18. Patricia Mackenzie

    Both and. Yes. Love you all!

    Reply
  19. Terry Neff Allen

    Saying thank you for your words just doesn’t seem to hold the power that I wish to convey. But your words conveyed so eloquently what I have thought, but didn’t know how to say.

    Reply

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