In this bitterly divided political season, too many of us are closing ourselves to “those people”. I understand that you might feel very strongly about a particular cause or political party or candidate. I understand that you may believe that the Republic may fall if one of “those people” get elected. But do we really need to bring this level of hate and vitriol to such a personal level? No, we don’t. It happens because we close ourselves off to “those people”, not just their beliefs. We just don’t seem to be open to anything other than what WE believe or who WE support. And the country is the worse for it.
We’ve spent the last few presidencies looking down our noses at “those people”, regardless of how progressive or conservative or Christian or fill in the blank with whatever belief system you might have. It’s really quite selfish, when you look at it. And more than a little hateful. The election will be over in a few weeks, and we will have to find some way to make America great again so we can move forward together. Or we move forward together so we can make America great again. That’s about as even handed as I can do that, OK?
Being open to new ideas, new information, and new experiences will allow us to come together, not as one religion or one political ideology, but as one nation. And that openness will come if we bring Unconditional Love into our beliefs. I know that every post I share ends up with Unconditional Love as the key to Heaven/Paradise/Nirvana, but that’s because I truly believe that approaching almost any situation with Love presents the opportunity for a solution. The mindset we bring to any situation can be based in Love.
So what might that look like? Will we have to let everybody walk all over us with a smile on our face and a song in our heart? Not necessarily. Here’s a translation of what the Apostle Paul had to say about Love. It’s from The First Letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 13, verses 3-7, if you prefer another translation. I chose this one not for poetic language, but for its common sense description of Love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Before you start pointing fingers at other folks on how THEY don’t Love, it works a lot better if you get your own shit straight first. Yes, I know that benefits others and inconveniences you, but I refer you back to the passage above. Plug in your name wherever you see the word Love. How you doin’? Does it make you as uncomfortable as it does me? You can change that.
Here’s a practice that’s working for me. Write each of the statements as an “I” statement. Put it where you see it daily, and read it at least once a day. It helps to read it out loud.
I never give up.
I care more for others than for myself.
I don’t want what I don’t have.
I don’t strut,
I don’t have a swelled head,
I don’t force myself on others.
I’m not always “me first”.
I don’t fly off the handle.
I don’t keep score of the sins of others,
I don’t revel when others grovel.
I take pleasure in the flowering of truth.
I put up with anything.
I trust God always.
I always looks for the best.
I never look back.
I keep going to the end.
If you stick with it, you’ll begin to write those phrases into your Personal Mythology. And when you do something at odds with that statement, you’ll find yourself saying, “ But I don’t give up” or “I take pleasure in the flowering of truth”. And you change what you do. It ain’t magic, it’s simply adding a new neural pathway in your mind.
If things are gonna change, somebody has to go first. It might as well be you. Because it’s always one or two people that start changing the world.
REMEMBER – I AM changing the world by changing Myself.
And So It Is!!!
Peace, Grace, & Love,