“They” say you should never talk about religion and politics in polite society.
This has always suited me just fine, because if there’s one thing I am, it’s polite. And religion and politics are subjects that are personal, divisive, messy, emotional, and a sure fire way to incite arguments, misunderstandings, judgments, and call forth the latent archetypal forces of the bullies, wounded children, critics and judges that lie within each of us.
At least that’s how I see it.
So I mostly avoid the subject of religion, but talk in terms of my comfort zone, spirituality. And I let that looser, broader, loving terminology give language to my beliefs.
In my book, Tao Flashes, I talk about the Taoist philosophy of living in harmony and integrity. Especially from the viewpoint of a midlife woman. And I combine it with Western references to love and spirituality and Spirit.
My book was written from the purest part of my spirit. And with the intention of inspiring midlife women at an often difficult stage in life. Yet, there were members of my own family who literally would not even hold a copy of my book in their hands, much less a place for it in their hearts. They let a title, a viewpoint, a misconception, define what the book was about….without ever turning a page.
Spoiler Alert: The book is about love. Integrity. Grace. Compassion—for oneself and for others.
I won’t lie. It hurt. But when you mix your personal or spiritual or religious beliefs with the belief system of others, sometimes you end up with a volatile cocktail. Even if the mix is sprinkled with love and good intentions.
When it comes to politics….the same rules apply. I don’t like getting into political discussions because little good comes from it.
I respectfully support your right to your opinion, so please respect mine.
But frankly, I don’t often share my political thoughts. I don’t like messy discussions and I know that airing my thoughts aren’t likely to change someone else’s political leanings. And vice versa.
I don’t even tell people who I vote for in presidential elections.
Plus, I’m guaranteed to raise the ire of friends in political discussions. After all, my Liberal friends think I’m a Conservative. And my Conservative friends think I’m Liberal. When in actuality, I’m a Libra. It’s the sign of the scales, justice, balance, peace, fairness……and darn it…there are things I like on both sides of the political fence. And there are many things I don’t respect in both the Conservative and Liberal agendas.
So I’m an Independent, a person who is comfortable with the gray. What I’m not comfortable with is all of the ugliness that politics brings out in people. Which is why, like I said, I don’t normally like to talk about politics.
Except today, when I’m going to break my own rule.
Because today, I learned that respected author and inspirational leader Marianne Williamson, is running for Congress in California. I’m not from California, but if I were, I’d vote for her.
She is a principled, wise, heart-centered woman, a peace activist who is committed to higher principles.
She says… “Politics shouldn’t be the least heart-filled thing we do. It should be the most heart-filled thing we do. It should be a collective expression of our most enlightened selves.”
In a statement Williamson released announcing her candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives from California’s Congressional District 33, she talked about the biggest threat to democracy as being a “pattern of a thousand cuts – the slow but now constant chipping away at our democratic freedoms—one capitulation to moneyed interests at a time, one new gerrymandered district at a time, one government surveillance program at a time, one limiting of our voting rights at a time….”
I am thrilled the voice of the Feminine is emerging…and is coming to take center stage in the political arena. I am hoping it will be heard in the hallowed halls of Congress, stretching its reach from sea to shinning sea, echoing into far away places beyond our borders.
Liberal or Conservative, it makes no real difference to me. What makes a difference to me are principles. And heart. Passion. Compassion. Collaboration.
Heart centered principles that we will all benefit from in society.
So, now I’ve said it. If she can be brave enough to run for Congress, I can be brave enough to declare my support.
I posted a comment on a social media site in support of Williamson’s candidacy earlier today. Within a minute, a friend responded with a less favorable viewpoint.
And for a second, my conflict-averse SELF felt a pang. And then my little wounded girl began to make up stories about not being liked or understood. Then my judge came out to referee telling me my friend was WRONG in her opinion.
And then I realized I am the same as everyone else. No matter how enlightened and open and loving my intentions. So I’m calling myself out…and returning to love. To the place where I can hold a space for different viewpoints on politics, religion, life.
To a place of integrity. Harmony. And grace. I hope we meet there.