(This is about the American society, but could be applied elsewhere).
President Joe Biden is the 46th president of the United States. Yesterday was the inauguration. I skipped it, I avoided anything to do with it, but it kept me up all night anyways – I was missing something I needed in order to move forward.
Over the past 4 years I have done a lot of thinking, been confronted with and witnessed a lot of unfathomable hypocrisy, double standards, violence, pure evil and much despair.
As a survivor of childhood abuse, it took me a few decades to move from defiance and self-harm, to daring to expose abuse and confront abusers. In Anonymous groups, there is a saying about making amends, which for me is also implied for other situations: “…except when to do so would injure them or others.” This awareness of possible harm to others is for me like the tiger on the rescue boat Pi Patel finds himself on in the Life Of Pi movie.
Being that my values are a mixture of Conservatism and Liberalism, I have good friends on a variety of political nodes (except supremacists and extremists). And I trust their judgment, most of the time, and I read their sources, verifying their claims and getting better understanding of their opinions, I do a lot of fact-checking, and I have some aversion for double standards.
Now, I’m a Canadian, so my opinion is worth what you decide it is worth. I have read and watch all I could stomach on America’s foreign policies over the past many decades. carry a deep-seated But for the past few months I’ve been holding on
Lately I haven’t been sleeping well at all. In the violent swirl of both hopes and rage on my timeline, domestic and foreign, I got deeply affected. I lost friends, motivation, and hope.
But REALITY does not stop moving forward, and the work is mine to find out how to put up my sail to catch the wind of change, so I would not be turned into a statue of salt.
So I decided to watch a replay of the inauguration, not for the politicians (stinky bunch, those), but to see THE PEOPLE’S HOPES being expressed, and not mainly their national pride.
And that is when I started to feel the wind again as I watched children, youth and adults join in expressing their joyful hopes and optimism and I pondered about that.
I thought of all the messages and video footage they have been exposed to, all the lies, the statements, the slanders, the insults, the mockeries, the loathing and bickering. They were exposed to political trench wars while their whole world is tilting due to the pandemic, the isolation, parents losing jobs and hope.
Yes there will be challenges ahead, some as serious as before no matter who would be in the White House. Those who believe they are getting away with their dark deeds, foreign and domestic, they are not. It is now part of their moral code, their conscience is seared, and there is a harvest awaiting them down the road.
But I was strangely rejuvenated by the presentations, real testaments to a survival spirit, to faith in the power of community. It strikes me how all of these were also declaring an oath: “We are here, this is our moment to shine, for our voices to unite and uniquely engrave in history – and in the hearts and minds of all those under the sound of our voices – our pledge to build a better country, to clean up, to reach out and to remind ourselves of our commitment along the way.
And I remembered that the act of letting go was the wisest thing I had ever done before in life when confronted with insurmountable challenges. And when it comes to deadly self-destructive addictions, there’s always a hook that keeps our souls bogged down, which has nothing to do with the reasons we give ourselves to indulge.
And letting go of these hooks – when finally made aware of it or of them – freed me to be transformed and fueled for a new season, a new destination. And I spent all night being pulled this way and that and wrestling to find a place of peace and freedom.
I arbor no addictions (25 years sober), but I have been operating out of the same old paradigms as before. “Dry drunk,” they call it. But I’m alive to pursue the work of healing and transformation unhindered by the constant sliding down the hill into the gutter as I used to. By God’s grace. Abundant and accessible.
So I don’t have to make sense of everything, I know I can’t. The game keeps changing, and it involves billions more people than the handful of rooks we elect in governments. I would have to reduce everything to the limitations of my own incomplete and flawed inner vision.
WHEN HOPE IS THE TRUE MESSAGE, it will radiate from the people who promote it. It will not be just a political slogan. I decided I needed to believe the people who believe in it: those who surmount ancestral grievances, those who are exhausted from seeing only one name or ideology occupying the whole space, those who have the optimism of youth to pull their generation forward with enthusiasm and boldness.
There is something pure and genuine rising from their messages. THEIR brand of hope is probably not the brand of hope of old political dinosaurs mixed up in all kind of shady dark room deals. They will figure it out. This is their battle now. I had my turn. Now that I’m on my way out, I want to support them, and their labor of hope, no matter the side of politics they choose as a vehicle (within limits). I want to be holding space for them to own their place in history, their destiny.
And I found out this morning that doing so in my heart, candidly, granted me a measure of strength I didn’t expect could be restored. How then shall I live? The same way that I hope – relying on grace, extending grace, and learning to love and be loved. FREE and creative, and hopefully having a guard at my mouth, God helping…
There’s music to be made, however. Like this… Some were moved by the poem. Me, I felt this “duet” was the crowning moment of it all. One in Hollywood, one in Washington, DC.