Yesterday was the day, the first Tuesday in November. Eager for the onerous task to be done, I got myself to the polls early. The outcome never meant so much to me, nor did I care about it with such angst.
In my lifetime, elections tended to mostly Twiddle Dee/Twiddle Dum choices for the big office. The only seeming difference between the candidates was their party’s twist on graft, corruption, gerrymandering and the court, or whatever agenda du jour happened to be on the ballot. That was before we became so fractured. Our leaders were hard to tell apart because the electorate was more homogenous. Not so much these days. We lost our innocence when those planes flew into the twin towers. Fear took over, driven by ego and greed.
Yesterday I envied the verve women all around me felt for breaking the glass ceiling, but, oh, why her? And even the passion the basket of deplorables mustered for their candidate, I wished for some of it.
Asking myself, and Hubs for the last six months why can’t I get past the despicable personalities and focus on the issues? All I can see are two loathsome talking heads spewing invectives, pointing fingers and doing their utmost to separate our country into reds or blues. Name calling, and judgments ran like a leaky toilet for the past year.
After I cast my vote sure it was for the right candidate, I took the dogs off to the woods to clear my head hoping of find something positive to write. For a good part of the walk, I attempted to remind myself that the deplorable choice we all faced today was, in fact, our shadow staring at us. Like in the cartoon Pogo, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” A loud voice in my head retorts I was spouting new age hokum.
There is a favorite passage from A Course in Miracles that I like to say to remind myself of my purpose especially when I fall off track or to quite the noise in my head when it reaches a crescendo.
I am here only to be truly helpful.
I am here to represent Him Who sent me.
I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do,
because He Who sent me will direct me.
I am content to be wherever He wishes, knowing He goes there with me.
I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal.
Having just repeated those words, I happened upon a bearded man, decked head to toe in camo, carrying a rifle. After exchanging greetings and pleasantries, we talked about his black powder gun and the size of my dogs. I hoped we hadn’t scared his game away. He assured me that it was no problem. Then sure that my candidate would win, I might afford the largess, despite my certainty of his political leanings, I said, “don’t forget to vote.”
He responded, “Yes, ma’am I sure would if I could make up my mind which one I disliked least. You would think we could come up with better choices, wouldn’t you?”
Before I could stop it, I opened my mouth and out came my thoughts on how I believe we are responsible for this. If we want better choices in leaders, there is work to do. I wasn’t lecturing, just saying out loud what I had been thinking.
He said, “it’s in our hearts. We are going to make the changes in our hearts if we want better leaders. we are going to have to change our hearts.”
We went our separate ways. Mulling over what to write, I only barely heard what the man said. Still grousing about the horrible the choice we were forced to make, focusing on the divided nation listening to my ego. With every step, I became sadder until by the time I was back home I was near tears, still deaf to the hunter’s words. Fortunately, I had an appointment with a wise woman I admire. As we talked, I struggled to maintain my composure.
Completely off topic, I began to tell her the story of meeting the hunter and what he shared with me. The fact that he had repeated my thoughts back to me almost verbatim had escaped me. Before we had exchanged a word, I had made my mind up, dismissing him and his wisdom while going through the motions of conviviality.
When my friend said, “You met an angel today.” I wept in gratitude for the truth of what she said. Also, I wept in humiliation for my judgments. Because of them, I missed it entirely.
This morning, I am challenged as never before to learn to love the parts of me that I shove aside, dismiss as not worthy and flat out despise. I can no longer afford to straddle the fence and condemn. The time is here. I cannot listen to my ego’s siren’s song. I must learn to love all of me for all our sake.