I was teaching a corporate class the other day. The group requested to do a sound bath meditation together. Often it is such a peaceful practice for everyone but one woman caught my attention as I looked out into the group. She crossed her arms was frowning and wouldn’t shut her eyes. I am trained to lookout for possible trauma and will often give instructions to the group first and see if that person starts to settle. In her case she would start to settle and close her eyes but then shake her head, cross her arms again and frown. She did this for almost an hour. I approached her after the class and asked how she felt? She was putting her shoes on quite fast and replied “I don’t rest”. Then left ahead of others in the group.
Interesting choice of words. She didn’t say I can’t or I try to rest but isn’t happening. She was 100% sure she doesn’t rest. She came on her own free will but more importantly she wouldn’t allow herself to rest. Now this article isn’t going into what was happening to her or how to solve it. Instead I wanted to talk about our beliefs. We all toss around thoughts of who we think we are. We have had the thought so it must be true… right?
This is a large issue to tackle because if I ask this question I’m sure many are going to quickly respond with “yes”. I think it therefore it must be true. However the belief that YOU are something vs you are feeling something is quite different. I feel scared vs I am scared. I feel afraid vs I am afraid.
Every place I teach I am looking out for that one person who is struggling. However it would be easy to get lost in that person alone. We can get lose our focus on the one person making the most noise. “Squeaky Wheel gets the Grease”. Then we think that must be the majority of the group and then we loose hope and feel discouraged.
I say this to tackle an even bigger issue. Right now we have a President of the US who is regularly using his voice to post up hurtful remarks. He gains more popularity from his negative views and it would be easy to loose hope. We have become so used to it that we fight back for a day or two and then the story floats away. Until it happens again.
We could join the same bandwagon and fight back the same way but is helpful? I’m not suggesting staying silent either. I think we have to stay on course with compassion, kindness and truth. I think that when we are dealing with a bully that we have to respond with strength. Be strong and each day respond with love and kindness; especially to those who are hurting and afraid.
I believe when President Trump talks all I hear is fear. I wonder why he is so afraid and that I don’t admire leadership qualities like this. Then again maybe he is simply using this method to market to people he believes are simply going to buy into his hate. He is using them and they are also afraid.
Additionally President Trump says he isn’t racist but I’ve never met a racist who says they are a racist. The definition of a racist is a “person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.” I think he has demonstrated this. If you question him though he will bully and simply look to squash any opposition out of fear. If President Trump can market with the phrase “Make America Great Again” then why can’t others also speak out for the same thing without having to be told if you don’t like it go home?
What is needed right now is strength. We need to be able to have conversations without having to strike back or hurt the other person. I heard a recording of John McCain today back when he was running against Obama and a group he was addressing was starting to use some hateful attacks and he corrected them immediately. That our leaders should be better than simply stirring up a hate group more.
Of course this means we too have a responsibility. This means doing this ourselves to everyone we encounter in our day. When I am met with a sharp remark I don’t have to react. I can pause and find a proper way to respond. My intension matters. In my beginning story I didn’t do more than listen to the woman’s statement and smile. “I hope you will come back again sometime”. It isn’t my job to fix or solve everyone. Just avoid hurting them.
What I’m looking for is kind leadership. Ghandi proved that everyone can take action without harm. “An eye for an eye only makes the world blind”. Karma means action; the action you take does impact the next.
One person alone doesn’t have to be responsible for saving the world. But I believe the time for ignoring Trumps hate is long past and we all need to stand up and say “enough”.
Please go out into the world and each day look beyond your fear and hate and see others pain, sorrow and joy. Others that you encounter each day.
Of course please remember that your vote counts and that 2020 is not that far away