My garden yesterday gave me the answer I have been seeking….
Our diversity is our solution ….to all of our challenges! I have felt this way for a while now – and whilst it triggers the hell out of me sometimes – to be faced over and over with perspectives I find hard to swallow…. we all hold a piece of the jigsaw and it is time we started recognising just what those valuable pieces are that others hold even if they threaten our sense of identity. Actually, make that especially if they threaten our sense of identity. There is no barrier harder to shift than a stuck perspective and nothing entrenches a stuck perspective more than opposition.
It could be that the greatest act of rebellion is to “embrace” our so called enemies and discover where kindness takes us; imagine the wealth of experience, skills and resources we all share when we work together. Perhaps this great threat of our times is the thing that will finally stop us pitting one belief system against another and rather begin to love what the other brings (whilst recognising and working with its shadow, as well as our own) and acknowledge finally that a human being is not their beliefs, but simply being a part of a whole expressing one perspective of it.
7 years of living in an intentional community and attending weekly meetings taught me that a perspective is not personal. no matter how much it may feel that way (and if it does it’s time to look within for the cause…) , it is held by one person, or group, only until the other, or some others, take it on, then the original holder/s feel free to shift position and explore their response to that.
Once that shift occurs the whole group shifts and the issue in question begins to get looked at by all in a much more open way and resolutions that are right for the whole, not just for one group, are made. It takes time, of course, and people’s shadows are triggered, but the work is to stay with the process and not be attached to any particular perspective until a solution is arrived at that everyone can say a wholehearted yes to.
Any decision made with less than that degree of agreement is doomed to failure no matter how much urgency is perceived….more haste less speed. Even if there is apparent acceptance (by making it a rule, for example) the decision will be sabotaged or outright ignored or gone against either explicitly or in passive resistance.
I started my little piece of this yesterday by writing to the Conservative Lord Ashcroft and asking him to share his story. What is it about the Tory stance that makes him feel passionate? I am curious. I want to feel from the inside how it is to have the perspective that appears at least to be so different from my 93% green stance (according to the surveys I have been filling in lately and having read the green party manifesto from cover to cover).
I am changing tack; I know what I believe in, and why, (what perspective I am embodying) and what I perceive as its shadow too. Now I want to understand all of the other perspectives too – not only their shadow, which feels like a huge block right now, but what they are passionate about; what makes them jump out of bed in the morning with a desire to uphold, change, support. To be sure there will be plenty there to trigger my own unexplored places, but you know what, I bet there is some gold in there too…some untapped wealth of humanity that at present is being condensed into a volatile tight band of defensiveness…and it’s hardly surprising given the strength of angry energy directed at it (at being the operative word).
Let’s use our collective angry energy together to fuel action – not against one another like so many children in the playground.
I wake this morning after the initial feeling of sadness the election results brought up in me to a sense of commitment that began during the day yesterday as a surge of energy (that could have so easily turned into anger at); now it is time to get real. There is no US and THEM. We are all in this together and it’s time we started acting like it.
The Transition Movement started out small, tiny in fact. How about we now consider this; if we each make a friend, a true friend, with someone whose views seem to oppose ours, and listen, really listen, openly, get genuinely curious, and explore what it would take for that relationship to blossom into something meaningful where each learns from the other, treats the other with kindness, and really hears the others perspective before even considering offering their own view … how powerful, exponentially, would that be? Just a thought.
I am feeling inspired, as if I have found my direction again, after swirling around for a time, in a sea of like mindedness that was nourishing; now it’s time to explore what others have to say. The solution may well lie where we least expect it.