Today marks the day President Elect Biden will take office. This is the historic day when we celebrate the transfer of power from one president to the next. This is what our democracy is based upon.
I pray there’ll be a peaceful change. I hope we, as a country, can learn what I had to learn in recovery. Such as:
“Let go and let God”
“One day at a time”
“Learn to listen and listen to learn”
“Resentment is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die”
“The path of recovery is paved with integrity”
I had to heal from my childhood trauma (which is still a work in progress). And through that, I’ve learned to view people from the perspective of trauma. I understand how it’s human nature to react to the triggers from a traumatic past. While that doesn’t condone someone’s actions, I can have empathy and compassion over why they act the way they do.
As individuals, we need to understand, heal, and transform ourselves. It is from there we can do the same in our families, our communities, our nation, and in the world.
We need to heal. The more we “react” to what is happening around us, the more trauma we place on the next generation. We allow history to repeat itself and force the burden of healing onto someone else.
In order to get there, we need to listen to one another. Not on a superficial level, but to understand what’s really going on underneath the unrest and the anger.
The way we’re treating each other in this country shows us we’re truly hurting inside. One way to heal those wounds is connection and the path to connection is listening, allowing another to really be heard. It’s why we have two ears and one mouth, right?
I received a newsletter the other day from Commune. The following is one of their latest blogs which was written to help us understand why someone would believe they were justified in an armed storming of the US capital which left five people dead and what we need to do as a society to heal.
These are some of the ending quotes in that article that stood out to me. I recommend taking the time to read the entire piece.
“Sitting beside the COVID pandemic is a potentially more virulent one. We are experiencing an epidemic of psychological derangement. The genetic sequence of this collective insanity consists of weaponized misinformation, social media, and a bigger-than-life anti-hero set against a backdrop of COVID-exacerbated isolation and the profound human need for connection.”
“As we grope for the prescription to the diagnosis, it is important to remember that Katya and others like her are real people who should not be dehumanized if we ever hope to heal.”
“One thing is abundantly clear. We desperately need to unify to solve COVID, not only to save lives, but also to re-instantiate our ability to commune. We have certainly improved our capacity to find intimacy on Zoom. But the scarcity of in-real-life contact we once enjoyed at churches, gyms, yoga studios, restaurants, and festivals has atomized us. In isolation and uncertainty, our minds too easily default to fear. In fear, our ability to reason is compromised. In community, we naturally moderate toward mutual understanding and a middle path.”
“We need compassion.”
“For others and ourselves, we need to help instantiate a real awakening – an ability to think critically in the service of understanding reality. When you are awake, you respond thoughtfully to an event, you don’t react to your judgment of it. You leverage the pre-frontal cortex, the center of rational thought and reason and move out of your amygdala, the center of fear. Awakening emerges from self-reflection, meditation, reading, and conversation. It is grounded in observation, inductive and deductive reasoning, and the humility to change your hypothesis based on this process. Awakening leads you toward clarity, serenity, and peace.”
Monday, January 18th, 2021 was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It’s mind boggling to think that his “I Have a Dream” speech was over 57 years ago, that we have a national holiday around this bright man, and yet we still haven’t achieved his vision. In fact, the way we’ve acted as a society last year and the beginning of 2021 seems like we’ve taken so many steps backwards.
I Have a Dream
~ Martin Luther King Jr.
August 28, 1963
As it is inauguration day, I was curious to see if any of Martin Luther King Jr.’s quotes would be useful for today’s transition of power. WOW! Such wisdom from the past. These are some that resonated the most.
“The time is always right to do what is right.”
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”
“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”
“Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”
“Hate is just as injurious to the hater as it is to the hated. Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Many of our inner conflicts are rooted in hate. This is why psychiatrists say, “Love or perish.” Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
“Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”
“Without love, there is no reason to know anyone, for love will in the end connect us to our neighbors, our children and our hearts.”
“One of the greatest problems of history is that the concepts of love and power are usually contrasted as polar opposites. Love is identified with a resignation of power and power with a denial of love.”
“The true measure of a man is not how he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience but how he stands at times of controversy and challenges.”
“We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.”
I know we can heal. We can transform. I’ve gone through the depths of darkness to find the light. And I honestly believe we all can.
We need courage, faith, and to do the deep internal work to heal from childhood trauma. This will help us find self-love and forgiveness. And only then, will we be able to open our hearts to loving one another.
May today’s inauguration be peaceful.