Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Moment of Truth

After an ugly battle, we're just about to the moment of truth.  Tuesday is the day when all the American voters who didn't cast their vote early will have that moment, alone in the voting booth, deciding once and for all who they will choose in what I imagine must have been the most polarizing election in American history.

I've taken quite an interest in this presidential race, mostly spouting my own opinions about the need for more choices, the downward spiral of lesser of evil choices, and the philosophy of governance that I think is most likely to lead to a peaceful society, but I'm finished with standing on that soap box. As we get close to the end of this election cycle and the beginning of whatever chapter follows, my greatest interest is in how we will choose to move forward from here.

Will we hold on to all the anger that has been generated during this election?  The screaming fights, the judgement of other people as stupid or ignorant for their positions, the physical violence that has broken out at rallies.  Will we bury the hatched, let it go, and move on from all this division?

Will we be able to unite under whoever wins?  With such passionate opposition to both of the subsidized party candidates, will the vehement opposition be able to accept, allow, and be at peace with the win of the candidate they believe will fail us horribly?

And most importantly in my eyes, will we heed the call of that common intuition that we are so off track and it's so important that we get on track?

As I've talked to people over the past year, I've noticed that Trump supporters, Bernie supporters, Third Party supporters, and Hillary supporters alike seem to have a very similar theme when they are actually talking about their candidate of choice instead of bashing the other.  They all seem to say some version of "we are off track, and X is the only one that can begin to get us moving in the right direction."

Whether the hot button issues are climate change, economic inequality, the monstrous size of government, the possibility of our own economic collapse, all our military intervention abroad, political corruption, or the looming potential of World War III, I sense this agreement that it's so important we don't repeat the mistakes of our past.  Even though our focus may be on different mistakes, different issues, different qualities in each of the candidates, there seems to be a common desire for a peaceful and prosperous future, a common intuition that if we stay the course we will not get there.

That intuition is very alive in me as well, and as much as we'd all like it to be as simple as electing the right person as our president, it is becoming obvious that this will actually require much more from us than a simple moment alone in a voting booth, deciding who to put our faith behind.  Let's be real: we're grasping at straws in thinking that any of these candidates will fix our predicament.

The greatest act of leadership I've seen in as long as I can remember, I saw this morning: Forgiveness March, Lyla June.  In this video about a Forgivenss March happening today in North Dakota, these women point so clearly in the direction that I feel Life is aching for us to choose.  The direction of love, of unity, of forgiveness, of reconciliation.  They are being the change they wish to see in the world.  They are the leaders that herald that change of direction that I believe so many of us, despite our differences, are feeling is needed.

I don't just mean these two beautiful women are our leaders.  They are expressing something that is sitting just below the distracted, self-righteous, and mentally charged surface of our culture and of all of us.  They are expressing the heart, the soul, the truth that we all have access to when we quiet down enough to really listen to the subtle whispers of reality.  That inner voice which can lead us.

Every single moment is a moment of truth.  A moment when we can choose where to act from, choose what to support, choose whether to fully pay attention to what we are doing and saying.

And yet, there is something unique about the moments that many of us will spend in the voting booth on Tuesday.  It's our chance to send out our own personal intention into a collective hope for the future.  Each of us will be there, alone, no one else watching, knowing, or judging what we do.  It's our own personal moment to express our own intention as part of a whole.

When I have that moment on Tuesday, I plan to take a second before I vote.  I'll close my eyes and take a deep breath, and when I open my eyes, I'll see what button I push.  I'm sure all my preaching, my bumper sticker, and my yard sign make it seem obvious what I'll push, but I'll tell you that it's actually not obvious to me right now.  Some new thoughts and feelings are moving in the mix, and now, I'm just going to allow that moment of truth to arise when it's just me and my own conscience.  I trust that right there in that moment, Life will know just what to do through me.

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