We are just a week away from the mid-term elections in the U.S. In my lifetime, I cannot remember an election that felt so critical to our country, and perhaps to the world. We are about to take a measurement of the mass consciousness in our land: Who are we as a country? What do we stand for now? What do we value most? What response-ability are we accepting in the world?
Every day, the news is more unbelievable than the day before. As the saying goes, “You can’t make this stuff up!” Over time, even as good as we may be at consciously choosing where to put our focus, the unsettled energy takes a toll on our sense of wellbeing. Deep inside, what’s happening in our country doesn’t feel good. We’re waiting, waiting, waiting to see what will happen on November 6th. What will we as a country choose? What will the election results reveal about who we are? What will come next? In such a polarized environment, every person’s vote matters.
As a country, we’re living in a liminal space – a space where nothing is clearly defined, everything feels fluid, and the ground is constantly shifting. It’s a waiting space because we don’t know what else to do. There is a feeling of powerlessness. It can be very unsettling. And it’s not just a U.S. issue. Many countries have their own version of this story.
Choosing where we put our focus, whether as individuals, families, companies, or countries, is perhaps the most powerful choice we make. That choice determines everything else. The community that has formed around the Center for Transformational Presence is a very aware group of people. Many of us are quite practiced at finding opportunity within challenge, intuiting the next turn as we navigate unfamiliar terrain, and manifesting the resources we need at just the right moment. These are valuable skills – skills that stretch our capacities for creativity, innovation, courage, and resilience. When we engage those capacities, we find our way forward.
Yet at the same time, I believe it is also important to acknowledge our own humanity – the full spectrum of our feelings and emotions – to acknowledge that sometimes we also experience fear, doubt, anxiety, and disillusionment. If we are really honest, we might even admit that at some point in our lives we have teetered on the edge of despair.
Acknowledging these very real feelings is not necessarily the same as giving energy to them. It’s about recognizing the full spectrum of our experience so that one part of our experience doesn’t take over. When we don’t acknowledge our fears, doubts, and anxieties – especially when we are caught in liminal spaces – they can hijack our awareness. When that happens, we lose touch with who we really are – with our own authentic power and strength. We lose our sense of confidence and secure presence.
Acknowledging the fear or anxiety and getting “grounded in our bones,” remaining engaged, and paying attention, as I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, can bring us back to our authentic strength and presence. It’s all about staying connected to the solid ground within us,even when there is no solid ground to stand on in our situation or circumstance.
Chances are you have experienced what it feels like when there is no solid ground to stand on – moments (or days or months) when nothing seemed clear and everything felt unsettled and uncertain. You know what it feels like to be in a liminal space, a waiting space, an “I have no idea what is next” space.
Yet you probably also know how it feels to be grounded within yourself even when there is no solid ground in your situation. You know how it feels to be clear in your heart and mind, and able to navigate unknown territory.
Allow yourself both. It’s OK to feel all of it at the same time. In fact, it’s more than OK. It’s part of the journey to mastery. You can do it. It just takes practice.
If you are a U.S. citizen, please vote. And in a few days, we will know the results of the elections. No matter the outcomes next week, we will still be a polarized nation with many complex issues to be addressed. There is much healing to be done to move toward wholeness. I remain hopeful that we will find our way forward.
I leave you with these words from author and social justice activist L.R. Knost:
Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world.
All things break. And all things can be mended.
Not with time, as they say, but with intention.
So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally.
The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.
~ ~ ~
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