How to Impact the Terrain of Political Strife
In this era of political devise, polarization on so many fronts, hatefulness, lack of tolerance and violence, it seems we need some ways to contribute to the good of all. It can feel like a hopeless cause as we don’t feel as if we have any impact in the drama unfolding each day. It is certainly easy to get caught up in all of this and become obsessed with the daily happenings yet that can leave us feeling anxious, angry and fearful.
I do feel like we can contribute and make a difference in this unsettled terrain we currently live in. It would start with what our “internal terrain” looks like. Is there unsettledness, anxiety, anger and hatefulness within our own self? Can we work to maintain a peace-filled environment that becomes symbolic of what we want to see in the world we live?
It seems clear that our real work, regardless of which side of the issue we land, is to “be the change we want to see” – as Ghandi so wisely put it. We can use this to be the beacon of light to guide us and remind us how not to get caught up in the rhetoric so much, but instead to always make choices in how we respond. We make these deliberate and conscious responses by remembering our values and how we want to live.
Let’s face it. How we choose to live internally needs to be symbolic of the community, state and nation that we want to see. To me this means we have to choose to be the peace, love, kindness and compassion within our self so that this can reflect out into the rest of the world.
It is exceptionally difficult because the outside rhetoric can keep us upset, worked up and anxious. This is why I continue to practice mindfulness and extend the course opportunity to others. I feel like this tool, practicing mindfulness is needed more than ever right now. It teaches how to recognize that you are having a stress reaction within yourself and then gives the tools needed to make choices to respond in a way that is not reactive.
Let’s imagine that how you feel internally actually does impact your environment, whether at home, work and within your community. If you react to everything that comes across your path in a day, it impacts your internal space. If you begin to catch yourself going into a reactive state and make choices that align with your values and what you want to see in the world, you are contributing to making the state of affairs better. So be the peace you want to see. Start with yourself. Let your desire for peace within be your moral compass for what you extend out. If you would like more formal training, consider taking our Mindful Approach to Living course. Our next course starts January 15th, 2019 – 5:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.Tags: How to impact the political terrain, how to make a difference in this political time, Political Strife, what you can do when politics becomes unbearable
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
- Janie Pfeifer Watson, LICSW, is the founder and director of Wholeness Healing Center, a mental health practice in Grand Island, Nebraska with remote sites in Broken Bow and Kearney. Her expertise encompasses a broad range of areas, including depression, anxiety, attachment and bonding, coaching, couples work, mindfulness, trauma, and grief. She views therapy as an opportunity to learn more about yourself as you step more into being your authentic self. From her perspective this is part of the spiritual journey; on this journey, she serves as a mirror for her clients as they get to know themselves—and, ultimately, to love themselves.
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