People are fearful these days about what is happening in the world. However, events that seem confusing can produce positive results. Deepak Chopra noted that chaos often precedes change.
That hopefully describes this disorienting time. When the election happened in 2016, many were caught off guard. Some welcomed the result, others were devastated. As events began playing out in 2017, the mental and emotional confusion increased. It was fascinating to watch the intellectuals and the self-assured pundits, on both sides of the political spectrum, try to make sense of what occurred day after day. Over months, the populace was educated in regard to how the government works. The good and the bad emerged, giving people a better understanding of why governing can be so complicated.
If we examine how the country responded to the situation, one notable fact emerges. Before, people took comfort in the status quo. Now they are engaged. Many have chosen to get involved in local politics, something they never considered doing before. Others are helping vulnerable groups in a variety of ways, if only by being emotionally supportive.
Even though there is no more complacency, people are upset because they don’t know exactly what to do. It is disconcerting when we can’t “figure it out.” We are used to thinking our way through problems. The brain is basically a problem solver. One thought leads to another. The thought is usually, “If this happens, I will . . . If that happens, I will . . . .” Or “This happened years ago, and this is what I did.” Sometimes things worked out and sometimes they didn’t but that kind of thinking was reassuring. When the brain can’t find a quick answer to grab hold of, fear enters the picture. Out of fearfulness often comes anger, even hatred. Consequently, this strange time has not just been about the government. Many have found the same uncertainty in their personal lives. When good people have intense negative emotions, it is unsettling to say the least. Anger and hatred may not have ever been in their vocabulary, let alone in their minds and hearts.
It is human nature to want to do something. Perhaps author, Clarissa Pinkola Estes said it best in one of her blogs: “Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.” That resonates with many people, and they are acting on that premise, helping others in small but important ways.
Sometimes we need to take an emotional step back and just observe what is happening. That is not an easy task in a society that has become impatient in our advanced technological world. It is difficult for us to just allow things to play out. Perhaps, for a while, we need to focus more on living in the moment and trusting the end result will be positive rather than negative. Focus on family and friends and helping our neighbors. Contribute to society in whatever way we can. Trust that there is a reason this needed to happen in the bizarre way it has. For example, many issues were under the radar. That has changed dramatically. Hidden agendas are being made public. People who have gotten away with things for a lifetime are being found out, even prosecuted.
It is possible that the world needs this time to save it from self-destruction. Perhaps the exact persons and situations had to be in place to force each of us to look honestly at ourselves and the world in general. We see people turn their lives around when the worst has happened to them. When there is a physical infection, it is often necessary to lance the wound before healing can begin. Maybe that is what this time is all about. If the election had turned out differently, none of the above might have happened. Complacency would have remained in place. Now we have to trust that somehow, some way, we will be able to fix our seemingly broken world. What we do to address current problems and the manner in which we act is going to determine the outcome.
Emotions have cooled, but there is still a large divide in the country. The reasons on both sides are valid, but nothing positive can come out of anger alone. It only exacerbates the problem. Strong emotions are only productive when they turn into passion. From that place, creative ways are discovered and implemented.
Which brings up the subject of compromise and working together. We can get upset every day when it appears as though things are going awry, but that only makes us unhappy and doesn’t address the problems. Solutions that endure take careful examination and planning. In the end, nothing is going to be changed until we take a deep breath and find a way to share this earth with others, regardless of our political or religious beliefs.
I believe this is a time like no other and that the world is going to get through it to a better place. The challenge is to regain hope. I admit that some days I've felt hopeless as I watched chaos reign. But if chaos precedes change, hopelessness should not be an option. To achieve positive change, we must find our emotional, mental and spiritual balance. As we navigate through a minefield of emotions, we can walk a path of darkness and destruction or a path of light and hope.
The choice is ours.
Link to the Haverford Trilogy: Promises to Keep, Lydia, True Abundance, and my mystery, Desert Soliloquy on Amazon: http://ow.ly/HXHE3
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