In the two weeks since our 2016 presidential election, many people have been experiencing fear and anger. I can understand why given the words of inequality, prejudices, and disregard for our precious planet.
My heart feels for every person who is experiencing fear or anger or separation.
To be honest, I didn’t think this would be the outcome of the election, and it took awhile to wrap my brain around what happened and how to be with it.
My experience tells me that judging one who judges is not the answer, and only leads to more suffering for all.
What has become clear is this is an incredibly important opportunity for spiritual growth to cultivate the heart. As President Obama said after the election, “We are all in this together.”
We truly are. There is no separation between each of us, only the perception of how life and others should be.
I want to be clear also, that this doesn’t mean we stick our heads in the sand and be complacent if we are moved to take action in some way. But it’s possible to do so from a place of love and compassion and Truth, instead of fear and anger.
How do we cultivate this when it can feel so difficult to do so?
In Sharon Salsberg’s book Loving Kindness, she shares the teaching of the Buddha, “Fear cannot uproot love, but love can uproot fear.”
or his wise words of, “Hatred can never be ceased by hatred, it is ceased by love alone.”
When we’re in fear, our innate nature of love, compassion, gratitude and generosity is squelched, but it doesn’t disappear. Love is too strong for that. Love is our essence and nothing can erase it.
By cultivating love in our own hearts, it actually can uproot fear, so that the fear softens and eventually fades away. Fear of what may happen with our health care, fear of what may happen with the planet, fear of what may happen with our rights can soften.
Then from a place of love we can take action as we feel called to: write a letter to our new president sharing what you want for our country, take part in the protest or solidarity gathering, give money to our favorite charities that support equal rights, health care, and support for the planet, or more.
How do we cultivate this love?
Every day in meditation or while you’re driving, or cooking, or cleaning the house, say these phrases of loving kindness:
May I be safe
May I be happy
May I be healthy
May I live with ease
May I be free
Then say them for someone you care deeply about, then say them for someone you are challenged by.
Over time this opens the heart and helps the mind see the through the illusion of separation into the Truth of Oneness.
Last week a client, who’s been practicing loving kindness for 4.5 months now, said, “If this election had been a year ago, I would have been a lot more reactive – really angry and miserable. But because of the LK practice, I feel more centered in receiving the news. It doesn’t mean I like it, but it’s not knocking me off my center.”
This is the power of the loving kindness practice.
Let this be an opportunity to open your heart, take action, and create peace in the world. Uproot fear in your own heart and the benefits ripple out like a stone thrown into a pond.
Categories: Conflict & Forgiveness, Heart Centered Living, Inner Wisdom & Intuition, Stress & Anxiety