I’ve watched the change over of leadership in the USA with fascination. Trump replaced Obama. Now all sorts of things are rising to the surface around the world. Sometimes people think that being spiritual means keeping quiet about politics.
That oft repeated statement ‘Everything happens for a reason’. And I am certain it does. However, I also know that it is important for our spiritual development that we take a view of world events. If only to speak up for a better way of doing things. To remind ourselves that we are all connected. So what one person, one nation or one half of the world does will most certainly affect others. As someone brought up with the idea that America is the ally who will help us stay safe against the might of dictators across the world it’s been rather strange to watch the process now going on with Donald Trump. Not because I fear that bad things will happen. But because it really highlights something about humanity for me.
The USA is racing towards another set of elections. But it seems Trump is playing a somewhat better game of poker. After all, he is managing to please some of the people quite a lot of the time. Despite all of the protests and marches against his plans. He also seems to be taking a sledge hammer to all of the ideas and policies advocated by Barak Obama. It’s as if there is a personal vendetta ( at least on Trump’s side) against the former President. I do believe that it is personal. I also believe that the current President exists in a ‘One Up’ energy. He cannot be ‘One Down’. Therefore he competes as hard as possible to put all of those around him in a one down position. Yet he has singularly failed to get Obama into a one down position.
The Trump Vs Obama example can teach us a lot about ourselves too.
Competing agains each other implies there is always a winner. To get someone to give in and say yes, I’m one down. However, aggressive competition of the sort practiced by Trump reveals a different truth. He is a deeply insecure man who fears being one down. So deeply insecure that he can’t stand being laughed at. He takes himself so seriously that he flares into a rage if anyone makes him a figure of fun. Interestingly, Obama handles himself in a completely different way. He makes fun of himself. He is self aware enough to know that being President, being a leader of nations, requires a thick skin. And now that he has stepped down he retains a humility about his time in office that Donald Trump would never understand.
What Barak Obama shows us is the way to be ourselves. Neither one up or one down. Using the energy of competition to challenge ourselves. Not others. And to respect that one up, one down is a flawed response to the challenges that shape our lives. Trump is busy meeting the other One Up leaders of the world. The ones who have, as he sees it, enough power to challenge him. And he hopes to best them. So that his flunkeys and fan base will carry on thinking that he is a strong leader. In the process he has done immense damage to the standing of his county with it’s traditional allies. And I suspect that the USA may never recover from being placed one down to Trump. Not because of his policies. But because he wants to win at all costs.
In my life prefer to let one up people get on with taking themselves seriously. Whilst encouraging those who believe they are one down to find their uniqueness. And courage. Because that is what it takes to refuse to be one down. To deal with people with gratitude and humility. And to respect that we are all part of the same human race. To deal with what is already happening we really need to get along with one another now.
Why did my Past Lives workshop bring up the idea of a personality cult? Sometimes when I’m working my Guides throw in extra ideas. Today they wanted to remind me how deeply rooted some patterns can be.
Helping other people find out the karmic patterns that are currently affecting their lives is really rewardsing. It can explain why someone has a particular aspect of their personality. Or why they might have chosen to experience certain events in their lives. I know that understanding my past lives has helped me to make better choices in this life. Choices to love more. Share more. Be the best me I can be. As I balance off each karmic strand I am preparing myself for improved choices next time round. But there is one question I always run into. What happens if I know the best choices but decide not to make them?
What if, instead of thinking for myself, I get drawn into the cult of personality? Either my own or someone else’s? I have been thinking about this kind of cult all week. Mainly because of the election of Donald Trump as President of the USA and the forthcoming elections here in the UK. In times of fear people look for a strong leader. Someone they think can take control and change things for the better. Their vulnerability leads them to trust in the words of the voice that shouts the loudest. That person believes in themselves so strongly there is no room for arguement. Anyone who disagrees must be bad. Yet a strong leader who goes unchallenged may become autocratic and authoritarian.
There is a lesson for me in this. My personality must always remain open to challenge. Not only by other but by myself too.
Only by remaining self-aware can I deal with the potential to believe myself so totally in the right that I ignore or attack others. Again I am thinking about the example of Donald Trump. His campaign very heavily criticised and vilified Hilary Clinton. It descended into the policitcs of personality. A cult view requiring all the members of his following to demand that ‘crooked Hilary’ be put in jail. Without any trial, reason or evidence. Simply on the say so of this cult leader. I wonder what happened to innocent until proven guilty. People seem blind to the inconsistencies of this. Reacting to ‘do as I say, not as I do’. And also operating with the same closed mind as their leader.
How can I deal with this? This person has the power to affect my life in some ways. What is the spiritual response? My past lives have helped me with this. Because I am aware enough to question the cult of personality. I have learned through my own past life experiences of abuse of power so I notice it in this life. To watch for it in myself. And to look at what people do rather than listen to what they say. I’ve also learned not to be blinded by the hype surrounding leaders. Listening to the polictical discussions in the UK at the moment I’m very aware that the cult of personality is running the show. That’s why Teresa May is the focus of media attention busy portraying herself as a strong leader. Although her policies seem to have no substance. Whilst Jeremy Corbyn is standing in the Hilary Clinton role.
How do I deal with this challenge? What can I do to reach the best spiritual decision about my response to the cult of personality?
I will be living with the consequences of the choices that are made by others. So one thing I can do is to remind people to look at the actions of all of the candidates. I can also encourage debate with my friends and family about personality politics. Sometimes it’s important to remind myself that we all have prototypes in our past. The mistakes we made whilst finding out who we are and what our values are. Also that I am a different person than I was at 20, 35 or 48. Hopefully a better, more experienced, wiser person. What is important is whether I keep my promises and speak my truth. How do these leaders measure up? Then I can make the best choice I can and accept that my choice may not be the one that wins.
There is one more thing I can do. I can talk to my daughter and her friends about the cult of personality. It is a human response to fear and uncertainty. A strong leader can entice people to say and do things they never thought they would. And to very much regret it later. When it’s too late. Actually there is a lot we can all do. Educating our children and young people so that they can think and act for themselves. Teaching them that they are strong even when life is at it’s worst. Strengthening their sense of self and self-love. Explaining to them that ‘borrowing’ the strength from another for a short while can help. But becoming dependent on someone else to take responsibility for thier life is a trap.
I know that when we all love ourselves enough to care for the vulnerable in society before ourselves the cult of personality will die out. There will be no need for empty words and broken promises. Because we won’t be talking. We will be doing.
Several things came together in my head today. When I was visiting my friend I gave her an update about my Inspired 2 Write challenge. The group I set up has been writing every day since the first of January and we are nearly at the end.
I’ve been enjoying reading what people have been posting. I can see the progress they are making in finding their writing voice. Talking to my friend I was explaining how I was inspired by a challenge to search for my own writing voice. And how, now that I have found it, I want to write a lot more. I love being able to share things my way. Even if I’m only sharing them with myself. We drifted into a conversation about the Women’s Marches last weekend. I’d read an update that 673 marches took place. It felt to me that here were many thousands of women finding their voices too. Not necessarily in writing but in taking some form of action.
I watched the update of number of attendees pop up on my social media on Saturday mesmerised by the tide of peaceful protest. By the power of collective action. There were some inventive signs. Lots of comments and clever ways of expressing their concerns. Our language is a wonderful gift. Expressing ourselves can be such a positive force for change. So our conversation took me all the way back to the writing challenge. I know that I will be running more writing challenges. I feel strongly that the internet can be a force for positive change. But only if people are prepared to raise their voices so to speak.
Every time I update my social media feeds I can choose to post something positive or negative. That seems simple. It’s up to me how I express myself.
I also know that whatever energy we give out we get back. So my writing is generally positive. I want to encourage not dismiss. It’s important for me that I show my daughter how to communicate in an empowering and supportive way. And especially that I am comfortable with the fact that people may totally disagree with what I write. But that I can respond positively to their world view too. Which is why it was disappointing to see some conversations about the marches descending into personal attacks. Everyone has the right to voice their views. Even the most offensive to me. And I have the right to voice my views in return whether anyone agrees or not.
Only by listening to the views of others will we make radical changes to the way we relate to one another. I would expect the same respect for marches in support of Donald Trump. Because in the end, one way or another, we all have to learn to get along. And sometimes it takes someone to be the voice of unpalatable opinions. If only to get us to realise that to get along we need to change our deeply held beliefs about the world. I feel the way to do that is to have lots of voices speaking, a great big debate and plenty of understanding that reaching a consensus point may take time.
Big changes do take time. Getting us to update our world view of women is a starting point.
I would like many more women to be heard. So my challenge, in part, has been to get other women confident in their writing voice. Because women do see things differently than men. I feel it’s one of the best things we have about being human. This ability to have both a creative and a make it so input into our lives. Yet the voice from women has been subdued for a long time. I know it’s time for us to update our view of what women contribute to the world. It needs women themselves to share their voices. Our daughters, granddaughters and great-grand daughters need an example to follow. So my challenges continue. For myself and for anyone who would like to share this journey with me.