Sunday, May 28, 2017

Instead Of Draining The Swamp, I Need A Dog

I woke up this morning feeling as much discouragement and hopelessness as I can ever remember. It was easy for me to go that way. I am alone for another holiday weekend which I hate. In spite of the fact that I had other options, I am responsible for choosing to take off another weekend for working on my book and getting caught up on blog articles. Still it is hard for me that my children are now grown, married with families of their own and are far away.

Solitude can turn into too much aloneness, especially on a holiday weekend, I have come to discover of late. 

While these circumstances can drag one down, my inner reflections showed me something else at the core of my darkness; I had spent yesterday immersing myself in the whys and wherefores of swamp draining, trying to accommodate the demands of my board to not take up this theme for New Horizons next agenda

This led me to explore, with board members and on my own, what exactly it means to drain the swamp. And why that phrase had taken hold so powerfully of the American public in the midst of the 2016 election campaign cycle.

My task, of course, was to discover the antithesis to this theme on behalf of developing an updated language for branding the good works of New Horizons to better our world. In doing this exploring, somehow I had gotten myself “bogged down” in swampiness inside myself.

Should I, would I, could I just allow myself to sink into this, I wondered as a dense fog covered the morning sunlight outside my bedroom window?

For a time I seemed to be lost in the fog moving through my mind. Exploring this mind set for a time, before long I felt myself saying “no” to this way of thinking. It was then that I realized that I was, as is all too easy these days, drifting into the prison barriers I had just been describing on my last Anastasia The Storyteller blog, “Beyond YOUR Prison Walls.”

Mr. Trump has brought with him into his administration a pall of negativity that has become almost epidemic. That negativity, very much intertwined with a mentality that sees enemies everywhere, is what is singularly most toxic about the way we are presently living in our U.S.A. 

To not embrace this perspective is one of the major ways to live beyond prison walls.

It was at this point that the strong, inner self in me, steeped in ideals I learned as a child and still hold today, bounced out of my own darkness, remembering that my “life is with people,” all people. It is in support of that principle that New Horizons carries forth its overarching mission, building small “zones of peace” everywhere we can.

It seems it was not long after that I noticed the sun shining and decided to get on with my day, knowing in my heart and soul that no matter how grey things often seem these days, we, the people of the United States of America, must not allow ourselves to be divided.

We must rise above the efforts that threaten to envelop us and suck us into believing we are surrounded by enemies and, thus, live in a state of constant reactivity, defensively and always on guard against the “other.”

We must not allow ourselves to succumb to this way of the Dark Side!

Our country was not founded on ground that was toxic as the wetlands of Washington D.C. are often described. Our country was founded on ideals, values and principles that above and beyond all, sought to ensure basic human rights, freedoms and justice for all. This is what is most important for us to remember!

Wetlands are often called swamp. But swampland serves an ecologically sound function that while certainly, at times, might be improved, is legitimate in and of itself too. Transformation of swamp areas, not ridding ourselves of them entirely, should be our aim. Upholding our founding principles is a way of generating transformation too. This way comes closer to my ideals of what to do with swamps; transform, if necessary, so that they flourish and nurture surrounding environs.

Washington as it stands today, geographically physically, politically and socially must always strive for transforming itself to its highest potential, as it seeks to do for its residents, generally, as a place to live and work. I should know. I have lived in or near Washington, D.C. my entire adult life!

Right now we have a president in office who seems to be cut off from love, compassion, truth and beauty; from the simplest, most basic expressions of humanity.  This way of being, a Dark Side way of being, can translate, if allowed can even mushroom, into widespread negativity that is based on a “get rid of” mentality; a weakening of humanity and its resources, rather than a “work with,” strengthening approach.

This morning I slipped into that dark side. Fortunately, I know all kinds of tactics and tricks for “finding Light in the Darkness.” But I was tempted. This I must not allow. We must not allow!

This is part of what it means to move in the direction of “instead of draining the swamp.” 

And why I need a dog!

More to come on “instead of draining the swamp.”

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