Monday, February 27, 2006

peace and LOVE, ya'll

(hey everyone... i'm travelling across country in a car with a dog and stopped in a little wifi coffee shop to check email and news. wow, you guys have been BUSY! i knew MF would get the juices flowing again. here's more fuel for the fire. it's a post from democratic underground, by OXBOW that i thought was apropos. sending love from Austin, Texas! -- brook)



For me, love is at the center of Liberal philosophy. Love for our fellow human beings, our fellow life, and this planet that we find ourselves on. And as good as some of us are at showing it for others (even to the point of loving our ENEMIES) we can still be so inflexible when it comes to loving ourselves. I think this might be an issue with a lot of activists I know too. They care very deeply about the world and want to right the wrongs and help the suffering. And on the flipside, they care so little about themselves, and do the work sometimes to convince themselves that they're a good person, rather than from the conviction that they are a good person. At least, that's what I did in my old life.

And I know that any work that's done from a place of self-doubt and self-loathing can easily lead to pettiness and disillusionment. There was an article being discussed in GD (general discussion on democratic underground-- b) last week about how Conservatives are happier than Liberals, and I believe it. Conservatives live in a world of easy decisions, a one size fits all place where the church or the political leaders or some other authority makes all the choices and a minimum of thinking/soul-searching is required by the rank and file. It's a place of pre-processed, easily digestable spirituality. I get the image of McDonalds food thinking about it just now, and its an apt one. It's junk food for your mind; it fills you up easily and goes down delicious, but it has no real value. In the end, it won't lead you to a lasting happiness.

Liberalism, on the other hand, is hard work! We have no choice but to break off from the safety of the patriarchical religions/institutions, the security of having 'all the answers.' We know that nobody else can give us the answers. Nobody can tell us how to live our lives, cast our votes or think about things big and small. The best they can do is to show us the path; we're the ones who must walk it. And many of us on this side of the aisle have to walk through much darkness, loneliness and confusion before we can find God/Inner Peace again. It can be done though, and those who seek will find it. We can begin by being good to ourselves.

So here's the important part: Today, at least, I want everyone on DU (johnson city forum) to be kind to themselves, to treat themselves like they treat the rest of the world. Be gentle and loving and forgiving to yourself. Practice gratitude for your gifts and who you are, and just enjoy being alive. You are doing a good job, and everything is fine. Events are playing out as they must, and big changes are coming for our country and the world. It's a paradox that I constantly deal with, the need to surrender things up to God and the need to take control of my own destiny. It's hard to do either without having all the answers. Eventually though, you learn that you are expected to do only the best you can, and the rest WILL work itself out. The human race will survive, and the sun will still shine tomorrow. Despair only drains our energy, so rejoice in who you are and how things are working out now, be it politically, personally, or whatever.

It is a tremendous opportunity we've been given to be born at this time. To take full advantage of it though, we must be strong in ourselves. We must feed the fire of our soul so that we can act from our full potential, not limited by guilt and anger and feelings of inadequacy. This is not our true nature. We are each boundless, beautiful beings devoted to the greater good of all. This 'all' includes ourselves! So treat yourselves well today, my friends, and know that you are worthy of every ounce of love and gratitude you show."

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