Today is September 11th, the thirteenth anniversary of the devastating 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers. As Americans remember that event, the country is about to enter yet deeper into conflict with ISIL, a terrorist organization that is perhaps the most dangerous we have ever faced. It is a time of remembering, sadness, anger, frustration, and as seems inevitable these days, political discord. I have always been interested in current events, something of a news and political junkie. Most of my life, I have been an activist, working for causes I felt were important. I am proud of that work, and I know it has value. Much of the social progress we have made over the history of the country has been sparked by activism. But as I get older, I find myself feeling my way to a more conscious response.
If I am living the full expression of my core beliefs, then I must acknowledge that every problem has a spiritual solution. And more and more, instead of raising my voice to be heard, and trying to convince other people of the rightness of my position, I am learning to turn inward and align my thinking and my actions with the spiritual solution.
After all, our old solutions are not working. War is spreading, not retreating. While 9/11 brought us together briefly, we soon broke apart. Friends and families have divided into political camps of left and right. The experiences of white and black people are so removed from each other, we might as well be living in parallel universes.
The spiritual solution is for me to change the way I think, and thus the way I feel. This is not new for me, but like all habit patterns, it requires practice. I am feeling my way toward a new response to everything I hear, everything I read, and everything I see on television, or around me.
Instead of needing to speak up every time, I am releasing my attachment to engaging in discord. I am breathing, and meditating, and letting go. I am bringing my attention much closer into my own immediate world, and noticing that in my little world, there is peace. I am paying attention to all the peace and joy around me. I believe that what I notice increases, certainly in my own experience, but also in the larger world.
I am loving myself, and making a decision to love other people, instead of judging them. After all, what does it matter if someone disagrees with me, or sees the world differently? When the actions of other people seem reprehensible, I just notice that, let it go, and choose to love them anyway. If I can’t feel my way to doing that, then I stop thinking about them altogether.
Does this mean I don’t act when action can make a difference? Of course not. Nor does it mean I have withdrawn from the political process. I vote and sign petitions in support of causes. I respect those whose chosen work is government; they are charged with hard decisions. Each of us, in the appropriate way, renders to Caesar.
I am endeavoring to keep my mind clean, in the same way I choose, generally, not to eat food with chemicals that will make me feel bad. I want to feel good all the time, and I believe feeling good changes the energy in my world. From my little world, that pure energy can flow out to others.