Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Shifting is hard work

I’m feeling kind of raw, vulnerable and exposed, endangered, really; many of the things I counted on to protect me – inclusive, compassionate ideals, political relationships and institutional arrangements - might be slipping away, leaving me vulnerable, exposed, endangered. For instance, I’m a VietVet, 100% disabled and also receiving Social Security – a double dipper. A Federal Gov’t shutdown would wipe out 55% of my monthly income. I’d be alright, wouldn’t have to re-mortgage the house or go on food stamps, as so many of my brothers and sisters have had to do during these rough times, but the idea that it might happen worries me and makes me angry.

I’m worried about Israel, too. The same type of holier-than-thou, narrow-minded, hard-line, right wing extremists are running that country as are running the US. As the wave of Islamic assertiveness sweeps the Middle East with the great potential for anti-Israel sentiment and worse - with the potential for active aggression, I worry. I am for the elimination of Arab despotism and the emergence of popular rule, I only hope such ‘popular rule’ doesn’t go the way of Iran. I’m also concerned that the US has lost a great deal of its influence in the region, both on Israel’s behalf and our own. America and Israel also seem to be losing influence in Latin America, as China, Iran and many other Arab countries become more assertive.

Oh, so many opportunities to practice! I want to know that what I fear need not materialize. I want to know that the ideals, structures and relationships which I have relied upon are not the only way to go, the only ones to rely on, or the Source of my peace and security. I want to know that ‘things’ are evolving, that how I’ve understood and related to these ideals, structures and relationships can shift without endangering me. I want to make peace with how I’ve used these things in the past, acknowledge that they have served me well, release them, and be with Source unfettered, free, and open to today’s revelation. Yes!

But doing this is painful, so painful! My very identity, and with it my sense of self and well being, are so bound up in the ideals, economics, politics and world view. Being with source “unfettered, free and open to today’s revelation,” is the goal, the ideal. But getting there won’t happen all at once. It will involve a process of reflection, re-thinking, and a gradual shifting; an increased trust in God’s love and Source’s beneficence and a release of my investment in my own small self’s knowledge, skills and abilities. Hard work, very hard; but worth it.

And really, what’s the alternative to doing the work and shifting? To become embittered, mean, cruel and radicalized; nasty, blaming, always anxious and fearful; to lose my compassion, vision and sense of wholeness? If I did that, I’d be a Republican, or worse, a Tea Party Republican.

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