Politics is all about relationships, and relationships can bring unity to our life. Now, let’s create unity in politics by starting with ourselves.
Our country is seemingly divided, but only as much as we are divided within our own lives and hearts. We are the people who make up the United States of America. Let’s bring unity back to politics by finding unity and love in our relationships. Below, I share five steps to be the change you want to see. It all starts with us. Imagine what our government would be like if the politicians followed these actions, too.
1 — Find a Common Pleasure or Joy to Share With Another
Invite someone to join you in something that brings you joy. Try to invite someone who may have opposing viewpoints about politics. The act of “invitation” in itself creates an openness to giving and receiving. What you are sharing does not matter. Maybe you like books, coffee, baking, dance, music, or crossword puzzles. Take the effort to share your life and joy with someone else.
2 — Take Time to Laugh with Someone Else
Did you know that laughter is the best medicine? Per an article in the Scientific American¹, laughter has been shown to release feel-good chemicals called endorphins in the body. The endorphin release is thirty times more likely to happen in a social context than alone, so grab your family (or socially distanced friends) and watch some Mr. Bean or your favorite comedy. My husband and I recently discovered the sitcom Man With A Plan starring Matt LeBlanc (“Joey” from Friends). Nothing feels better than doubling over in laughter until your stomach hurts. Perhaps each session of Congress can start with a Mr. Bean viewing.
3 — Trust Your Inner Knowing
Each of us has had times of insight, flashes of knowing, or a feeling of what is right for us. Following that inspiration increases our self-confidence in who we are. Most of us know who we are at a deep level, but the masks, the societal norms, and the fear of rejection keep us hidden. The bare nakedness of vulnerability does not feel safe. No one else may see the true “us” through the façades we erect, but we know. This is the time to bring your unique particularity up to the surface. It is there, just waiting patiently in your heart for you to allow it to come forth. You may feel fear, but it doesn’t last, and it doesn’t control you if you trust. The politics of this country can be very chaotic, but if you go to the resources you have been given and trust in yourself, you will be able to harness a sense of peace, even if your nervous system is going into a high red alert. One may hear of “primal fear,” but there is also “primal trust.” Now is the time to find that primal trust and flow with it. As you do, others will notice, and you can share your knowing with them, too.
4- Listen to Other Ideas and Beliefs
When you have allowed your “inner knowing” to have a voice, go talk to your family member or neighbor who has a differing political view. Ask them to share what they believe to be true. Know that there are always two sides to each story. Be brave enough to listen to their side. Remove your blinders, your conditioning, your patterns, and beliefs long enough to hear them. Validate your understanding and share your perspective if invited to do so. Your act of listening will show that you stand for unconditional love. Your non-defensiveness sets the example and builds stronger relationships.
Someone recently shared BraverAngels.org’s³ mission with me. Their mission is about healing the wounds between left and right. Their work is about supporting a more perfect union and inspiring our beloved community. Thank you, BraverAngels.org, for bringing that into the world. Remember, you don’t have to agree with a differing view; just let them know you heard them. If they don’t seem to hear you, don’t take it personally, which is a fifth way to be the change you want to see.
5 — Don’t Take Anything Personally
One of the biggest ways to sustain unity is not to take anything personally. Coming from a person who was uber-sensitive to what people said and how they said it, this is a continually expanding awareness for me. What people say to you or about you (whether it is helpful, beautiful, and encouraging or snarky, critical, and inflamed) is just a reflection on them. There is constructive feedback, and there is criticism. Constructive feedback comes from someone who cares about you. Criticism comes from someone who is unhappy with themselves. After you have gathered the courage to talk to your neighbor or uncle about a topic you may disagree on, if they are still determined to label you, well, so be it. Let it go, and don’t take it personally.
The Ultimate Goal
However, these actions are just the first steps in moving toward unity. The ultimate goal is to move into an ego-less unity, a sustained connection with others without the sense of “separateness” that we feel from one another. It is a way of being with each other that is not survival-based or fear-based, which is what creates separation. I have been practicing with a group called the Evolutionary Collective², founded by Patricia Albere. She has managed to create a safe space for people to connect in shared unity, which she calls mutual awakening. We need each other to continue our evolution in consciousness. This is not an individual job, and through loving others and feeling the love from others, we can move past our separateness. This kind of unity must be chosen, and at this moment, it is available. All you have to do is say “yes.”
During this time of seeming separation and division, dig deep and be the change that you want to see. Invite “the other” in. At the core, we all want the same things in life: to feel love, to share joy, to live in peace, to be heard, and to express our highest potential. Those core desires are human, not liberal or conservative, black or white.
Have hope. We are building unity, and all you need to do is choose to participate. Eventually, politics will take its proper place as a servant to the unified people. If we can show our politicians how to behave, they will follow suit or no longer have a job.