In times of extreme change, how do we connect with God and receive the inner wisdom we need to move forward with grace?
We are in a time when the American government is making a radical transition from diverse views, to extremely wealthy, mostly white, mostly male views. Yes, we have been here before, but in my 58 years as an American – well, almost (I wasn’t declared an American by the US consulate in the Congo until Jan. 9, 1959), this appears to be extreme – almost a takeover of the US government by white supremacists and billionaires. Almost being the keyword here – I do not mean to make any accusations, I am just sharing the appearance of this transition as I see it from the news I read.
The other appearance I see – whether it is reality or whether it becomes reality, I don’t know, for I will leave that up to God – is the appearance that our incoming president may be setting himself up to do business around the world, expanding his own interests into a global business empire. Does anyone else see that possibility/appearance, or am I just seeing things? This appears to me to be the most narcissistic use of the US Presidency I have ever seen. Or, maybe it just looks that way right now – things could change, and I could be mistaken, or it could be genuinely narcissistic behavior.
I am now reflecting on both government and spirituality in the context of substitute teaching. I love empowering kids to think for themselves. I especially love empowering teenagers to think outside-the-box, to think critically, to be aware of culture and how we create culture together. There seems to be little I can do as a substitute, but I manage to sneak in a few tidbits of reflection, questioning, wise thoughts, inspiration, as I am able.
I found myself sitting down by a middle school girl yesterday, and instead of sending her out with security, telling her that her life will become so much better if she will start to think about the impact her behavior has on the people around her. I shared that not only will her life become better, but also she will become happier when she learns to consider how she impacts people around her. She actually listened, and pulled down her headphones when I asked her to. I explained that it was either this conversation or going with security. The energy between us was actually gentle, not combative as is so often the case with defiant teenagers; instead, this felt like a positive connection was made.
How many of us fail to think of the impact of our behavior on others, a few times a day, often, or every now-and-then? Isn’t that narcissism? As a substitute teacher, I always need to ask myself, “Is my energy making things worse or better in this classroom?”
We all seem to walk through life as though we are the center of our own universes. Human beings, in our ego consciousness, are all seemingly natural narcissists. Two-year-olds who develop the language and awareness of me, my, and mine express this developmental stage of humanity. Generally, we grow beyond this to some extent.
And yet, we Americans seem to be electing a president who gives great evidence of acting narcissistically. Why are we apparently electing an apparent narcissist? What do we do about it from a spiritual perspective?
I decided to make it my personal practice to look for narcissism in myself. The basic spiritual principle I am using is the spiritual principle of the mirror in relationships. This principle states: if we see or experience something in someone else that seems negative or undesirable to us, and IF we feel upset about it, then we need to look inside ourselves to see what mirrors that undesirable aspect, either in our thoughts, attitudes, or beliefs, or in our energies.
I realized that narcissism is the ego’s way of keeping us from letting go and becoming one with God. Every time we choose to remain in our own consciousness rather than opening up to the consciousness of God, we are acting narcissistically in relation to God. If we will just let go of our own consciousness, we will be able to become Self-Realized, and attain God-consciousness. Most of us are narcissistic enough to prefer to be in control of our own thoughts and conscious awareness, rather than letting go into the mind and awareness of God.
If we do not like the narrowly self-serving interests of certain politicians and government officials, and if we feel concerned about the appearance of narcissism, then our first responsibility is to look at these things in ourselves. I never used to understand why Jesus Christ did not take on the Roman government (other than that would have entailed battle, and a losing one at that), until now when I realize what Christ was teaching us was that, by changing ourselves, we change our world.
Yesterday, when I prayed for an affirmation for the Friday night meditation circle, what came to me was: “I AM Truth. I AM Wisdom. I AM the Eye that can see all that is needed for everyone.”
The nature of God is that the Center Is Everywhere. There is no single “I” that is central – everywhere and everyone is central to God.
What would happen if we used a yardstick like this to measure our politicians and if we chose them based only on inclusion of everyone in their attempts to be fair and just in governing? What if we reflect on the concept of the center of government is everywhere and in everyone? Isn’t that the true essence of democracy?*
More important spiritually speaking, what do each of us need to shift inside ourselves to be more inclusive in our day-to-day life of considering the wellbeing of all life on this earth? Do we go through our days only thinking of what we need, or do we consider the needs of those around us? Do we merely compete with others, or do we cooperatively work together for the greater good of everyone?
When we shift our energies and intentions, the world around us shifts. We will grow closer in our Oneness with the Divine and with one another when we remember that every time we affirm, “I AM,” we affirm that the center of our Self is everywhere and in everyone.
For everyone and everything we see and experience, perhaps we could practice responding, “I AM That.” Changing our world, one affirmation at a time!
For some additional thoughts on how we can change the world not only spiritually, but also politically, I invite you to check out my book, Exodus 2012: A Mission to Save the Earth on Amazon.com.
In this season of Hope, Joy, Peace, and Love,
*I realize that we actually elected, by our popular vote, Hillary Clinton as the woman whom the majority of us felt would indeed represent, as US President, the diversity that we Americans are.
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