What to do when frustration and indignation spills over into rage and loathing

What to do when frustration and indignation spills over into rage and loathing

This post is for Republicans and Democrats alike. It transcends politics because it is not about programs and positions and bills to be debated. It is about the intensely felt emotions on both sides of the political spectrum that have fostered unprecedented congressional discord and social insult.

The environment of distrust has ended debate. Respectful disagreement has been replaced by rancor and contempt. Both sides of the aisle that once was frequently crossed have dug a moat that swallows all who dare traverse.

The vehemence of those entrenched on the opposing sides has skewered friendships. Families have been divided. And unless we address the apocalypse pending on the horizon of today’s acrimonious and polarizing political climate, it will destroy the country.

I lean to the left. Seeing Mitch McConnell on the news literally grinds my stomach into a knot. I feel the rage boiling inside me.

But I am not blind nor indifferent to what I’m sure is a similar reaction from those leaning to the right watching Nancy Pelosi on the news.

So there we are, unrepentant, pugnacious combatants absolutely sure we are on the side of right.

How can we live with open hearts and love for fellow man when the world around us is on the brink of madness? How do we live normal, decent lives as our core values and national ethos crumble in front of us?

My wife is a therapist, care giver, healer, yoga and spiritual teacher. Here is her answer.

Have faith in the basic good that exists in all of us.

For humanity, for our planet, there is no other choice. The concept of basic good is immutable.

It is innate to the eternal questions: Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? It is intrinsic to the “answers” that identify us as human.

We are consciousness. We come from consciousness. We will return to consciousness. But what would the blessing of our awareness be without belief in the basic good that underlies the extraordinary quality that distinguishes sentient life from mute emptiness?

Basic good enables us to see those who commit the atrocities and acts of monstrous cruelty as occupiers of the space of darkness, a benefaction that allows us to embrace the contrasting light.

“How do we live normal, decent lives” is a sermon from the pulpit that introduces us to questions so vast in scope and deep in meaning we simply cannot answer them on our own.

Thinking and logic may provide direction, but the path disappears into the horizon. It is a case where the heart supersedes the mind. Ultimately, we must put the answer into ‘Spirit’s’ hands or whatever your visualization is for the undetectable but undeniable presence of our Source.

I often do an exercise with my clients leading them to an exploration of the heart. I ask them to literally visualize going into the heart and telling me what they see, sense and feel.

For some there is blocked emotion to work through, but ultimately the description is the same: “warm, nurturing, safe and peaceful.” Clearly, within all of us, the heart is the source of unconditional love; the core of who we are; the home of our basic goodness.

I choose to live with that belief. To do otherwise would be unbearable.

My wife’s belief in humanity’s innate goodness has not wavered nor abated. I’ve asked her to take me by the hand and to walk with me. I’ll rant and shake my fist in the air along the way, but in truth, there is no other way.

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