Ok, friends, here’s hoping that my Water is welcome here in this place of Fire, that this can be a place of both/and not either/or. I believe we need each other as we each bring a perspective that can help us see the whole. Perhaps I need your fire to keep me awake. Perhaps you need my water to douse the flames of hatred and disgust?

One thing I have learned in my readings this week is that while ‘safe’ places are important so that people can feel free to express without fear, the flipside of them is that they close people off within small worlds so that they do not hear other perspectives and truths, which might keep them open to receiving the humanity in the other. It can make us feel self-righteous when we really want to be about loving. I think this is how the divide has grown so wide. We really are still tribal beings. We just divide ourselves into good and bad (us and them) in different ways.
In my tribe, I think we are about our fear of persons whom we care about being hated and excluded. That fear comes from a place of deep love for humanity, I think. Somehow my personal call has become to find a way to also love and include half of the population, who voted another way, whom I had excluded from my heart as less-than worthy of that love, respect, and understanding somehow.
I did not expect this at all. Looking back through these weeks, I see my initial response was this, “I wanted to believe in the goodness of man, but I have been fooled once again’. I was in deep despair and fear because somehow I had been led to believe that the other side was ‘evil’. Even before the election, I had noted a feeling in me of ‘disgust’ that was new, and which bothered me deeply. That poison had gotten into my heart and that realization is what frightened me more than anything. That I could become that which I said that I hated in the other.
There is so much concern about normalizing hatred. I wonder if we can’t even see how we do it ourselves. It is important to be self-reflective as we are pointing our fingers at others.
It’s hard to come face-to-face with my own hatred, my own bigotry, my own self righteousness. I am one who perhaps prides myself in my goodness, and I can whip up a good, justifiable argument for my stand with my intellect. Studiously, I can know-it-all. And I realize that even in sharing this post, I am likely doing the same.
Ugh, the human condition. Isn’t it beautiful?
Anyway, the poem I wrote yesterday was about this feeling of being one with humanity, in humility (humus comes from the same root word, Of the Earth). We really are all in this together… in our goodness and our blindness. Humility is never the same as humiliation. The best definition of humility I have heard is this one- I am no better than anyone else.
(ps. this is not at all to say I am not here ‘standing for’ and vigilant to protect all persons whom I believe are deserving of understanding and love, dignity and respect, just that I am going to keep check on the places I build my own walls to ‘stand against’ what I judge from the outside with prejudice, without seeing the humanity in the other person. If I say all human beings deserve these things, then I need to begin acting that way.)

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