Politics, religion and intolerance – how can you create a shift?

PoliticsThe next month and upcoming elections in the United States are a source of great stress, worry and yes, even fear for many people. Taking time out to nurture yourself, taking care of your body and finding a break from the television, newspaper, internet and news will assist you in finding that place within you that is calm and peaceful.

One way to really get in touch with yourself and the peace, calm and beauty in your life is to spend some time in nature. Fall is one of my favorite seasons, the heat and humidity are gone, the air is crisp and feels almost magical. I love walking through leaves that crunch beneath my feet. The turning leaves remind me of sunsets and in some ways brings a sense of completion of a cycle.

I just got an email from a dear, dear aunt and it was filled with political diatribe and hate against one political party, then it proceeded to bash a couple of countries, at least one religion and do nothing but promote more hatred in the world. It even went on to tout that our country was based on freedom…but at the same time wanted to deny others their freedom simply because we don’t agree with them. This made me very sad.

I am not politicizing here, standing up for any particular party, religion, people, or the actions of extremists among any of these groups. I merely want to say that spewing more hatred and intolerance simply doesn’t change things, it just adds more fuel to the fires and creates even more “push back” from the other side.

Did you know that you are affected by the emotions and fears of those around you? If you find yourself uncharacteristically reactionary or emotional, it might not even be your emotions.

What would happen if we were to hold in our hearts that we love, forgive and wish the best for everyone? What if we were to send love and acceptance, despite the fact that we completely disagree with their beliefs, actions or missions? We’re not condoning what we don’t believe in, we are simply allowing that we can love the person without loving what they stand for.

You may not change the world this way, but you may change some of the pain within yourself by shifting to a place of love and understanding. And, who knows, maybe you will help change the world.

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