I am writing this, not from a political standpoint, but from a standpoint of truth. I am disturbed by the paranoia and bitter feuding that I see going on between citizens in this country. I do not see a discussion, but I am witnessing the emotionally bled feelings of disapproval from everyone, crossing every party line. Politics is our excuse, the truth is division, and the diagnosis is fear. It would not bother me so much, if I did not see it occurring between people I love and care about deeply on a personal level.
There has always been heated political discussions in modern day politics, but to the length of ugliness, distorted lies, and bitter rage –I have not felt this much anxiety in my life time. Growing up as an idealist, in a Republican home was not easy. As a child, I did not understand the true nature of politics. What kid does? I just knew democrats where wrong and republicans where right. I knew the death penalty was a must and taxes where bad. I started going to church and embraced a strong belief that homosexuality is a sin, because as I rationalized it –it goes against nature. I remember getting into many heated arguments with many of my friends, whom were proud democrats. I was trying to figure myself out. I was the kid, who cried when trees were cut down, felt compassion for the homeless man on the streets; I was the kid who didn’t see color or race, but the person inside. To say I was ethnically diverse when it came to boyfriends is an understatement. The truth is I was intrigued with understanding everything. Yet, I was quick to adopt the political ideology of my family, and ultimately, these party views would fly in the face of my true beliefs when it came time to truly understand myself.
I remember how I felt during those years and I definitely felt a sense of entitlement to my beliefs. After all, it is an empowering feeling to stand for something, especially when everything appears so black and white. It is easy to hold a belief when nothing opposes those beliefs in your life. I held on to many of these beliefs, until the moment life forced me to look again. In my late teens/ early 20’s I soon had to face who I was inside. I had to face the truth; I was a supposed straight Christian Republican, who was in fact, a lesbian in denial. When I came out, I was shocked by the initial reaction from those closest to me. Apparently, I was in danger of going to hell. Apparently, my beliefs of who I thought I was, no longer lined up nicely with who I am in truth. In fact, the majority of those who held my beliefs did not warm up easily to the idea of me being a Gay Christian at the time. I received a lot of news articles and church fliers on being gay; I had been directed toward websites that would enlighten me toward the abomination of being a homosexual; and I found myself involved in a few family ‘discussions’ on the topic. My neatly structured set of beliefs was not so neat anymore. Now, I had to search my soul.
I went on and will always continue to be on a spiritual journey of discovery. Also, I had to reevaluate my political beliefs –what does it actually mean to be a republican or democrat? Do I fit into one of these categories? Or am I neither one of these? Maybe I am an independent? And is anything really black or white? The answer was simple: I am just me in all my shades of gray. I threw away all labels. I am not a Christian, not by religious views. I am not a Republican or Democrat. I am Independent, but not by party standards –and I am not undecided because I had made a decision to abandon labels. I decided I wouldn’t even be gay, because I wanted to love who I love for true authentic reasons, and not false ones. Now try living a life where nothing fits into society’s labels and you learn one thing –labels are not for you to define yourself, but so everyone else can define you for themselves. It really makes people uneasy when they cannot put you into tightly organized boxes of understanding. People don’t like the unknown. They were taught this is the way it goes, then they adopt the idea this is how it should be, and when they grow up, they live by the motto of this is how it is –end of story. Not many people want to grow in their beliefs, or challenge them on a personal intimate level. They have too much to do in too little time, too much to deal with and not enough energy to cope; and they have too much worldly responsibility to waste time on reflection and self growth. They have families and jobs. They have secrets and inflictions, but most of all they have an identity and an image they cannot abandon.
It is only when life disrupts the intricate interweaving of our adopted beliefs that we are faced with the realization that maybe this belief is false. Maybe, it takes life pushing from a standpoint of truth to make someone see. As an example: maybe, someone takes a second look at their personal view on abortion after facing the tragedy of being raped. The conflict of what they thought they believed and what they are experiencing after being raped forces them to look. Maybe not having the psychological stamina to carry this fetus to term, makes them reevaluate what they once thought. Maybe it takes something like this to make someone wake up and see life is not black and white. It is OK not to agree with abortion. Personally, I do not, but independent of my personal believe, I would never force my belief on someone else. I know there are situations no woman would want to be in. I am thankful I have never been in one of those situations and I pray to God I never will. Again, we all complain about welfare and claim ‘those people’ just sit on their lazy asses collecting their welfare check, stealing ‘our’ tax money, while we work our asses off for it. I have heard this argument over and over, but I never hear anyone offering a solution that is constructive and compassionate toward the people living on less than the average American. If someone is not being productive, the reason is clear: they are lost without purpose. You can’t blame someone else for your unhappiness, just as much as they can’t blame you for theirs. They are not the problem and neither is the system. The problem will always be a deep rooted ‘human’ problem. Nothing is ever black and white.
Collectively, we have lost direction, we have lost purpose, and the debt is not monetary, but is seen in the conflict and bitterness of the world. The debt we face as a human race is serious. We are in debt to our inability to grow in compassion without fear; to let go of false beliefs and embrace beliefs that will lift every human up, while letting no one down; to look at the individual without labels and ask one question –how can I help this person grow today? Collectively, we can get out of debt, by moving past the bitterness of today, with the renewal of tomorrow. We can leave politics behind by putting our dissatisfaction in helping each other create a better world for our children. Instead of putting our energy into making a phone call to the schools to demand they not show the president’s speech to our children, maybe, we could call the schools and ask, “How can I get involved to help our children succeed?” We should ask one person, at least once a day, “Can I help you with anything today?”
Yes, I am an idealist. Yes, I believe we can make great change, but do I think this change will come by focusing all our attention on the government and blaming them for our dissatisfaction? No. I think it is a distraction from the real work that needs to be done. Nor do I think being divided politically will change anything for the good. I believe in the power of the individual doing his/or her part, trusting their neighbor will do their part. I believe that sending a positive message will always outshine sending a negative one. I believe the reason we are all tired as a nation is because it takes far more energy to stay bitter than it does to let go and be a positive force in this world. I believe in the power of positivity. I believe it is a renewable energy source. And I believe the reason you see so much negativity and slander out there is because it takes one person to make great change for the better and a thousand more spreading negativity to equal the power of the one being positive. If you want peace and harmony in your life, it is not something achieved, but lived. Let’s start living the life we want, rather than waiting for the government to mess up and then saying it’s their fault. Let’s be the force of change.
If people think buying into the lies and distortions of those spreading negativity will ever lead to anything positive in their life, think again. If you feel the boiling up of rage, disharmony, anxiety, or negative thought about anyone based on something someone is saying –question it inside yourself. Challenge you mind. These emotions are often directly related to the emotions they are experiencing inside themselves. It could be thought of as mob mentality. They are trying to enrage you, fuel you in hate, so this hate will spread. And more often than not, it does not come from truth, but emotional distortions of right and wrong spun together with fear. Reject this kind of fueling inside of you. Instead, find something positive to put your energy into and don’t give negative thought or emotion your time of day.
On the flip side, if you feel deep inside your being, some kind of fluid movement, excitement of spirit, renewal of hope –go with it and embrace the inspiration. Feel the chills of truth it evokes within the heart of who you are inside. Go out into the world and inspire in return. Life really is this easy. We really do create our reality. This world we live in, it is the product of the collective dream. We cause our suffering, we cause conflict and drama. We are capable of creating another world, but we have to allow for it. If we decided the only thing we would show on TV was positive images, words of hope and unity –guess what? We would begin to live it. We would live it, just like we are living the conflict that is being created on TV now. Positive and negative, these are our choices. My question is… which one are you going to live?
You do not have to be a Republican or a Democrat. You do not have to be gay or straight. You do not have to be a Christian, a spiritualist, agnostic, or atheist. You just have to be you, desiring a better life for yourself and everyone around you. You just have to believe in the power of change because change is the real constant in life. Every second of every day, we are changing for better, or worse. You can’t stop change, but you can consciously influence it by the words you speak, by the love you share, and through the compassion you give by choosing to understand the plight of others.
Let’s realize that labels are not who we are, but only how we are defined within the world. We should try to define ourselves in a way that does not breed negative connotations. We should reject from the media and those with power the use of such words that do not aid us in unity. You can have truth, honest truth, without a negative undertone. I am just me. And those who truly know me know the heart of who I am. I am a good person. I put the work into being this person and it is not phony, or a lie. I know I will never be perfect, and not everyone is going to like me, but that does not mean I have to dislike anyone in return.
Life is too short to spend it blaming other people for our problems. Yet, it is long enough to do some real good within one life time. If we waste these days debating how bad the president is, or how he is going to doom the country, then we can assure ourselves one thing, if he doesn’t do –just by our focus, we will do it to ourselves. If you do not believe this, just think this way, if I put all of my focus on what I do not have, I never leave room for what I do want. All my attention is on what I don’t have; and with that, so is all my energy. If I focus on what I want, I put my energy into making great change in my life and allowing for what it is I will get.
All of these people, who are so focused on what they don’t want, on how the president is going to destroy this country is leaving no room for what they do want, which is what we all want –a better world, a better country, and I brighter future for all.
Don’t be fooled into negative thinking and bitter tongue, because after awhile, in turns into action and action is the direct cause of the world we have now. If everyone had a home, had food in their bellies, and were doing something that made them feel good, would we mind? Certainly not, so let’s do our part to try and make this a reality, because after all, this is our world –the creation from the human mind. Please, keep me in this box: I am an idealist and I do believe one day, we will get it right.