It was in March, while in Arizona, that I first noticed my thoughts about the presidential campaign season were turning fearful. Uh oh. Doomsday scenarios of a Trump presidency kept playing out in my mind. I’d left my greatest power at home: Faith. It’s clear to me that most of us spend more time in fear than faith, and this primary season has not only highlighted that truth but exacerbated it. But when I dig deeper, I see that this particular reality show offers an opportunity for real change.
I’m talking evolutionary change, the kind that rockets a whole species into the next chapter of their existence.
That vision of a new world and the faith required to believe in it, however, is being subverted at every turn by an echo chamber of pundits, anchors and bloggers who call themselves “journalists,” the vast majority of whom are shockingly ill-informed and/or pretend to be unbiased while weaving the narrative in such a way as to promote one candidate over the others. The bottom line: We simply no longer have a functioning army of journalists, as we did fifty years ago, but that’s another story.
I say this as a person who remembers a time of actual seeking out of facts on the part of the media! Maybe because I valued that so greatly I began developing my critical thinking capacity along the way. Now I keep that indispensable tool sharp in four main ways:
1) Seeking out news outlets that are independent of corporations and are committed to ferreting out truth, regardless of party affiliation. Yes, they are all “progressive,” but that’s the direction in which pioneering truths tend to go. Democracy Now!, The Young Turks, Thom Hartmann, Laura Flanders and Ring of Fire Radio to name a few. I watch, listen, and learn, not only about civics, but history. A whole new world opens up when we are afforded the opportunity to listen to the stories, for example, of desperate refugees fleeing violence and war – in their own words.
Our hearts open and we realize we really are all one, contrary to the “us vs. them” storylines we’re fed on the nightly news.
2) Making the choice to put my own personal evolution first in my life. In other words, besides meditating and praying, I focus on keeping my heart open, especially when I catch myself closing it through judgment of those I disagree with, accepting everything and everyone exactly as they are, which is really forgiveness, and lifting my thoughts up into a higher vibratory field of awareness where fear and blame and worry do not exist — again and again, through stopping what I’m doing and breathing light into the heart. I keep returning my attention to a higher playing field than the one on which the primaries are being played out.
3) Activating and honoring my “inner bullshit detector” as Hemingway referred to his intuition. It’s more reliable than reason, because reason is too distorted by our emotions and is based on our past experiences rather than the present moment. You do your research, but you go with your intuitive knowing. My life has become so much less complicated and so much more satisfying as a result.
We automatically make more life-enhancing choices when we choose the inner voice over the ego voice. It just takes practice.
4) Reminding myself that I have the power of faith at my disposal. More about that in a moment.
This is where consciousness comes into the story: as a species, we are nearing a tipping point where we will recognize our oneness, but the majority of us are still driven more by fear than by love. That last fact holds true not only on the personal level but on every level since reality is holographic. In other words, we are vulnerable not only to the fear-inducing machinations of governments and corporations, but everyone whose mind they successfully invade, including our friends and neighbors.
My cousin told me earlier this year that I SHOULD worry: “Don’t you know they HATE us, Diane?” referring to the whole Middle East as some monolithic culture. A local nature center employee told me that they ask for our ID’s because “the world is a scary place!” Walking through two different airports in March, I was thoroughly creeped out by the disembodied, robot-speak voice on the PA system urging everyone, “Please report anything or anyone acting suspiciously to the nearest TSA official.” I only wish that George Orwell could have lived to hear it.
Our media outlets are the main distribution network for this manufactured fear. As fear grows, (and a world in thrall to the ego can only grow in fear, since that is the nature of the voice that is dominant in most peoples’ minds), the overarching goal becomes to preserve the status quo. At all costs. The outcome is that we are fed an official narrative on a daily basis which does not match up with reality. The more serious you get about seeking out truth, the more cognitive dissonance you experience, because you are witness to the growing gap between your experience of life and that tacitly agreed-upon narrative. Why do you think George W. Bush implored us all to “go shopping” the day after 9/11? Don’t worry your pretty little brainwashed heads. Please.
We can choose the world we want to live in simply by focusing on it every day in a hundred different ways.
Hate that idiot spouting nationalistic, racist, sexist self-serving nonsense on TV? Don’t throw your shoe, forgive him. He knows not what he does. His consciousness needs a booster shot, that’s all.
Want to encourage him, get him elected, maybe re-elected? Get real angry and spew that angry energy around everywhere you go. That’s exactly what got Trump where he is now. That and a media who have lowered the bar for discourse so low you can’t crawl under it. Your choice. I’m not saying it’s easy to go against the tide that is dragging us back and forth, not at all. Nothing this important is easy. But it is possible, with vigilance and an open heart, to not only see a better way, but to walk toward it steadily, and with faith, even when nobody else around you does.
Some thoughts, then, on faith:
When you realize you’ve lost faith, it’s not that it’s disappeared, you’ve just turned your attention away momentarily. I say to myself, “I intend to keep bringing my attention back to faith rather than getting stuck in the fearful, anxious thought patterns about what might happen to this country; to this world.” Then I actually do that. It gets easier with practice. We were not meant to be controlled by our thoughts, and we don’t have to be. I know that now.
I know that I have to consciously bring my attention back to rest in that faith over and over because the furnace of the world wants to devour it at every turn.
We don’t create faith out of thin air; it comes from acting AS THOUGH it exists. Then the higher results we see build more faith. Faith is always waiting to be invited in.
Beauty and faith go hand in hand. When you have faith, even a little faith, there’s nothing that isn’t beautiful in some way. Even Donald Trump.
When we live without faith, we live in a world of lack, because abundance can’t recognize us. In that impoverished state, beauty eludes us.
Faith means choosing to see the difficult and the dissonant through grateful eyes. We see the beauty of their own true nature, and we know it to be ours.
Faith shows me the wholeness instead of the separate pieces of the jigsaw puzzle.
And my favorite insight:
Faith is an energy that moves down through me, connecting me with Mother Earth. Together, they are my most powerful support team.
It’s up to each of us to find a better way now. It gets so much easier when we find at least one other person to share this adventure with. Remember, swimming against the tide of the dominant culture puts you in the flow of evolution. There’s no higher accomplishment than that.