This morning at about 8:30 am, Rome time, I saw the results of the US election. I would say that I was shocked but not surprised – my inner voice had for some time been saying that there was a far greater level of support for Donald Trump and conservative policies than was being voiced in the public arenas to which I was attuned.
So how to respond? How to feel? What to do?
As I ate breakfast, I glanced at a couple of social media sites and a few news outlets. That didn’t help.
I felt a great sadness, and, at the same time, I felt that there is a wide swath of the US that I simply do not understand, and without understanding I would be unable to move forward in relation to them, and to myself. I was not in a place to think about specifics – what was likely to happen or not happen with all the branches of government being regressive as opposed to progressive or gridlocked for the next few years. I knew instinctively that I had to process my feelings first.
So, I went on a walkabout in Rome. This is a city that has survived many an incompetent and narcissistic leader. And it is still here. There are remains from thousands of years ago as well as still standing and useful buildings from six hundred or more years ago. Despite all the conflicts, avarice, inquisitions, fascists, communists, and others who have held sway here, the city still stands, vibrant and filled with life.
My walkabout led me past the Spanish Steps, the Villa Medici, the Piazza del Popolo, the Pantheon, the Piazza Vittoriano, the Trevi Fountain, and more. I stopped in every church that I passed, I lost count how many (there are a LOT of churches in Rome), and meditated for five or ten minutes in each.
Some of that time I had my eyes closed, and some I had them open to see the wonders of art in these amazing places. I saw the high percentage of artworks that depicted suffering, pain, and sadness; and yet, the general feeling of the churches and basilicas was of inspiration. I found solace in these buildings despite having left much of what is taught in them behind in my life.
I came back to my hotel room and looked at some quotes by Ernest Holmes that have inspired me. Here are a few:
“The thing simmers itself down to this. Can we, in the midst of negative conditions, accept a greater good? If we can we shall be complying with the Law of Life. We shall be giving Life a chance to work for us.” ~ Ernest Holmes
“Cease weeping over the mistakes of yesterday and steadfastly holding the face of the great and divine Reality, walk in that Light wherein there is no darkness.” ~ Ernest Holmes
“I cleanse the windows of my mind, that I may become a mirror reflecting inspiration from the Most High.” ~ Ernest Holmes
“(One’s) mind should swing from inspiration to action, from contemplation to accomplishment, from prayer to performance.” ~ Ernest Holmes
“SELF-HEALING MUST COME FIRST OF ALL.” ~ Ernest Holmes
“Crying out to Life, beseeching It to be good, has no effect whatsoever upon It; It already is good. Asking It to give you life produces no good results; It has already incarnated Itself in you, as you. But inward awareness unifies the intellect with Life and binds the personal man back to the Universal Presence. This is what is meant by spiritual understanding and realization.” ~ Ernest Holmes, The Art of Life
THE HIGHEST ATTITUDE OF MIND. “The highest attitude of mind, from which all else springs, is one of perfect calm and absolute trust in the Spirit. The one who can with perfect confidence look into the future and with perfect ease of mind rest in the present, and who never looks backward, but who has learned to be still in his own soul and wait upon the Spirit, he is the one who will the most completely demonstrate the supremacy of spiritual thought over all so-called material resistance. ‘Be still and know that I Am God.’” Ernest Holmes, Creative Mind
And this quote from Florence Scovel Shinn that I used as the title of this post:
“I am not moved by appearances; therefore, appearances move.”
My suggestion to all who read this is to get in touch with your feelings about this election and its meaning in your life. Ask yourself what is causing any feelings that arise and further, ask if your mind is focused on the ultimate Truth of your being, or on the fear that comes from believing that others have dominion over your experience.
Ours is not to wish that what has appeared had not. Ours is to make our way through the current expressions of external reality toward something greater. And to do so with love, clarity, and compassion.
Once that is clear, you are ready to decide how you will be with the new external reality and what, if any, actions you may take.
Do your spiritual practices as often and as deeply as needed to allow yourself to move through whatever is stopping you from embracing Life within and without.
I am still processing all of this and will be for some time. My flight back to the U.S. is scheduled for tomorrow, after nearly six months in Europe and the Middle East. I look forward to being a healing presence wherever possible.