Many of us are cheering in the streets, the woods, the cities–Joe Biden is the 46th President of the United States!
Many of us are grumbling and angry in the small towns, the meadows, rural outposts–fraud, lies, chicanery, Trump has been deceitfully swindled from his rightful office!
Others of us are decrying politics altogether.
It seems a world filled with division, upset and fear. Rage, irritation, resentment. Neither side seems to understand or resonate with the other. You’re either red or blue, not shades of multiplicity.
I’m not immune to any of this. I make questionable outrageous statements to friends and family claiming my views. My poor mom in assisted living has to listen to Kathy proclaiming this and that during many of our daily talks.
On Facebook you meet the rush of humanity gloating, taunting, agonizing and fuming.
I don’t like to do this publicly. It feels like a slap in the face to my neighbors and family who think and feel differently. It feels like…I am sucker-punching my own self somehow. It feels like a betrayal of love. (Even though others feel like NOT speaking out is a betrayal of a greater love and I totally get and respect this viewpoint, too.)
I grew up in a Republican home in the Thumb of Michigan. My parents owned a small business. Most of the people we knew identified as Republican.
In sixth grade we learned about politics and I excitedly campaigned for Richard Nixon. “This time vote like your whole world depended upon it.” We distributed Nixon stickers around town. It was great fun!
I didn’t have a clue about anything Nixon represented. It was simply a familial and community movement…go, Nixon, go Republicans, rah, rah, rah!
Then came college. I studied. Learned about the underprivileged, the poor, the downtrodden, the environment. My heart kept expanding larger and larger to embrace not just the family and country–but the entire world.
Soon it became obvious that the Democrats more closely aligned with my new values.
I came home from college and argued politics with my dad.
He smiled at me: “Kathy, this is what happens when you go to college sometimes. Give it a few years–you’ll calm down and see things in a different perspective.”
We moved to the Upper Peninsula and I decided to run for township treasurer in our small rural township.
You need to declare a party upon running–I boldly checked “Democrat” and began campaigning. By some struck of luck won the race and started on my thirty-two year political career. (Am grinning–I still do not identify as a politician even after all those years.)
Slowly, over the years our mostly Democrat board changed to Republican. The newer board called me a “tree hugger” more than once when environmental concerns arose. Mostly it seemed with a fond but resigned sigh. I spoke assertively and publicly about my views when necessary, never really enjoying it, but feeling an obligation to share this heart’s truth in as loving way as possible.
I could write an entire blog about why I am glad Joe Biden won this election. How I am hopeful about a new direction for this country.
That is all true–but something always interests me more than my own dualistic opinions.
Last night in the middle of the night I suddenly remembered the little Kathy-Republican-for-Nixon. Recalled my parents, brothers, other families still living in the Thumb of Michigan. Thought about my social liberal tendencies, and conservative financial aims. Thought about how things are not always black or white: we can hold a variety of viewpoints within a single human being.
And realized with a start that I am not solely a Democrat–as I have thought all these years. I am a Democrat-Republican. I can feel both energies within this body.
This jolt changes something inside, something that can’t yet be articulated.
Until now there’s been a silent interior fight that put Democrats and Republicans at odds–in the same way they’re at odds in the outer physical world.
This morning there’s a recognition that love can embrace both. Because I am both in some inexplicable way. And this has nothing to do with my vote for Biden and love of democratic values.
“Dad, thank you,” I whisper to my father, gone almost five years now. “You were right. In a few years I’ll see the world with a different perspective. Just not the one you might have thought!”
This heart feels both joy for Biden’s victory and sadness for the Republicans who are grieving. Simultaneously.
It’s a mystery.
I don’t know if this will change anything externally for me, but there is a peace rising up from the stomach and softly settling around the heart.
I wonder if this is how God holds the world. Holds everything in love, knowing He is in everything.
It’s a little scary for me to write this because I don’t want to see anyone arguing in the comments. Or being triggered. Or missing the point: this is about seeing a larger viewpoint without denying or minimizing our individuality, without denying our celebration or sorrow about the election. (But if this is misunderstood–another opportunity for me to sit with muddled feelings and try to express this differently on another golden day.)
Blessings to all of us–no matter what our political opinions. And may we learn to keep our hearts open to what often looks like an opposite duality. Sensing that perhaps we are larger and wider than we can even imagine.
Day 22 of a seventy-five day journey to connect more deeply with God, Spirit, Holy, Love…to explore “What the Heart Knows” during the waning days of 2020.