February 5, 2017

We are America & this is how we will Stay Strong.

We are not anger and hatred and fear.

We are not blustering and jeering, grabbing power and forcing our will.

We are not closed borders and hardened hearts.

We are not “winners” who gloat and “losers” who are punished.

And yet, we are dining these days on a steady diet of these harmful things.

“I can’t take any more,” a friend of mine said the other day. “I can’t look away, but I feel so powerless. It’s like I’m watching someone I love die, but that someone is our nation. My heart aches.”

I know exactly how she feels.

Yet I feel certain America is not dying; she is giving birth to an amazing wave of new activists.

So many are rising up to say, “No, this will not happen. Not on my watch. Not in my country.” There is an awakening taking place, a refusal to yield to darkness.

But that toll, that sense of powerlessness—I sometimes think it descends with alarming ease on those of us who feel inclined to do good in the world.

How will we maintain our strength and stand our ground?

“Celebration of the beauty of what we care about is key,” says Loren Swift, author of the forthcoming book From Me to We: Waking the Heart of Humanity. 

“Take the time to name exactly what those things are. It might be clean water, clear air, global health care, social justice, community gardens or any number of other beautiful things. Take a few minutes every day to remember why you’re giving what you’re giving, and to acknowledge the beauty in that, in and of itself.” ~ Loren Swift

As one who believes that the things we resist persist, this makes sense to me.

Mainstream and social media may focus on the fear factor of all the things we need to oppose, but shifting the focus to the positive outcome we seek—and doing so gently and mindfully—can be incredibly powerful and restorative.

Julianna Ricci, author of the bestseller The Power of Practice, explains, “When pushed too hard, we come up against two subconscious choices: we either shut down, or we resist. In either case, we end up taking down our own forces. We weaken ourselves and our cause. This, obviously, is not a sustainable, powerful approach.”

This is how one ends up at their breaking point.

Julianna adds: “This is a marathon for which none of us have trained. Most of us came out of the gates at a sprint. We now settle back into a more sustainable pace. This pace will be different for each of us—do not compare. Most importantly, we must take extreme care with these bodies, minds and spirits that we are beseeching to keep running. We must stay hydrated and fueled, and rest when we need to rest. This is of critical importance. We will keep going, but only if we make certain to care for ourselves along the way.”

And so we must. Because after all:

We are peace and love and joy.

We are encouraging and cheering, sharing our strength and offering our support.

We are a safe harbor and open arms.

We are wide awake, in this together, winners when all are safe and respected and empowered.

Author: K.C. Wilder

Image: Courtesy of the author 

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock 

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K.C. Wilder