Made you look! Today’s blog only has a little bit to do with the results of the presidential election and much more to do with how to maintain peace in the midst of what we might not want.
As a bleeding-heart, liberal, democrat, I am pleased with the results of yesterday’s presidential election. At least 40% of the US population and over 50% of the House of Representatives are not, however, happy with these results. With the make-up of Democrats vs. Republicans in the House and the Senate, President Obama will once again have his work cut out for him. Posing an even bigger challenge will be the fact that many of our political leaders are no longer working with the best interests of the collective in mind, but instead work for the special interest groups and lobbyists that pad their pockets and fund their elections. While Barack Obama has succeeded in winning this race, he might once again face a losing battle in accomplishing anything of meaning or value to the American people as policy change gets thwarted by bi-partisan politics. Regardless of what may or may not happen in the forty-eight months ahead, today, there are many people who will be disappointed, frustrated and angry over the results of yesterday’s elections and even more who will be frustrated, angry and disappointed over the inability of our current form of government to affect positive change that is truly for the good of the people. But, as I suggested in my August 12th blog, Elections and a Disturbance in the Force, the results of yesterday’s elections has nothing to bear on our ability to move forward with our lives enjoying peace, contentment, love and joy.
I found confirmation of this truth while enjoying my morning meditation. As usual, I begin by reading the daily scripture readings, then continue by listening to and sometimes singing sacred chant, ending in silence with maybe a little journaling to round things off. In the first scripture reading, Paul had this to say to the Philippians:
Do everything without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.
These words certainly apply to our response to yesterday’s election results – if we are not happy about the results, let’s not grumble about it, complain, throw stones, cast dispersions…instead….let’s move on and look toward how we can make the best of the situation. For those happy with the results and who will become later frustrated by that battles that are sure to continue between parties and interest groups, again, let us not grumble, complain, throw stones, cast dispersions…instead….let’s move on and make the best of the situation.
Applying this to our everyday lives
The results of yesterday’s elections and the path ahead are but a drop of water in the pond of challenges that we face in our everyday lives. What happens in Washington truly has little to bear on the day-to-day struggles that we face – death, job loss, illness, aging, unemployment, underemployment, divorce, heartbreak, children growing up and moving away, business failure, unfulfilling jobs and relationships, injuries, physical, emotional, mental, verbal and sexual abuse, assault, natural disasters, crop failures, etc. etc. etc. No matter what happens in Washington, we will still face these challenges. People we love will die. We will find ourselves in unfulfilling and seemingly meaningless jobs. We will age and experience illness. Our businesses will fail. Our hearts will be broken. While it is appropriate and important to grieve these losses and disappointments, it is equally important to remember that the end result of healthy grief is ACCEPTANCE. It is in grieving the loss and finding acceptance that we once again know peace. This peace is what Paul is inviting us to enjoy in the reading above. Political races are lost. We don’t always get what we want. We become frustrated when our efforts fall short. Bad things happen to good people. And…..in the midst of all of this is the promise of peace. As Paul says, this peace is found not in the grumbling, complaining or questioning, but is instead found in acceptance of what is and in trusting that this too is in the highest good, no matter what it might look like right now.