Finding Balance – Love and Tolerance
Love and Tolerance have been MIA (missing in action) during this political season – not just in the United States of America, but across the globe. It can be difficult to find and/or keep one’s emotional, spiritual, and even physical balance when immersed in the news of political or social upheaval and in images of the victims of wars and acts of terrorism. Doctors report a big increase in patient visits for stress-related symptoms during and after the Presidential election. So, what can be done about it?
It is Winter and, in “Indian Medicine,” a Power Animal whose wisdom is cited often is the hibernating Bear. This is a symbol of becoming still, quiet, and introspective. It is a time to listen for Divine guidance as to what future actions should be taken after one has replenished body and soul.
In today’s non-stop, electronic, constant challenge and stimulus world, I don’t think we can afford to be inattentive or fail to take action when timing requires it. Events won’t wait for us to wake up from a nap. However, it is wise for us to “take a breath,” “step back,” and get a sense of what will or will not help each of us fulfill our personal mission to make the world a better place. (Of course, for some people, making the world better is not anywhere on their list of goals, but I’m not talking to them. I’m talking to YOU.)
Your heart must become a sea of Love.
Your mind must become a river of detachment.
How Does One Acquire Love and Tolerance When It Does Not “Come Naturally?”
- In my experience, the quickest and most effective way is to perform some kind of volunteer work on behalf of and with people whom you do not understand.
If part of the solution is for us to be able to “put ourselves into other people’s shoes,” this is a great way in which to learn the challenges they face, how they think about those issues, how they think about themselves, and what can be done to empower them to live the best life available. I offer this quote from the B’hai faith.
“If the learned and worldly-wise men of this age were to allow mankind to inhale the fragrance of fellowship and love, every understanding heart would apprehend the meaning of true liberty, and discover the secret of undisturbed peace and absolute composure.”
2. A second beneficial practice is to meditate while concentrating on the Third Eye (Brow) Chakra or Crown Chakra at the top of the head.
I have found that, when one concentrates attention consistently (even when not meditating) in these physical areas, even though conditions or circumstances do not change, my attitude toward them can become one of peaceful co-existence.
It’s definitely worth a try. If you do not know how to meditate, there are many ways to learn, and I also would be glad to teach you. It is simple. You actually do it all the time. You just might not recognize that you’re doing it. Contact me, if you want to know more.
3. Another option is to READ! Yes, actually read books – like biographies about people whom you do not understand or who represent views with which you do not agree. I don’t mean fake news publications. I mean legitimate biographies or educational materials on a topic. You might even want to take classes to better understand economics, social movements, or world history and why we are in or out of relationships with various countries.
Of course, you also can get audio books, if reading poses difficulties for you. I’m not being sarcastic. Some people have vision problems, hectic schedules, etc. Audio presentations are great for using during a commute or while doing household chores.
Little Tips: Use the Winter Well to Achieve Love and Tolerance.
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is and Shop For Peace of Mind.
4. You can feel better when you contribute to groups which are powerful activists for your causes.
If you want to preserve Medicare and Social Security benefits into which workers pay/paid, then AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) is a suggestion. You will be much more effective in a large lobbying group than as a single voice from a single individual.
If you are interested in the court challenges that are forthcoming on behalf of the rights of groups and individuals, then contributions to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) may be in order.
If you are interested in preserving the environment, you might support the Natural Resources Defense Council.
There are many more groups which might suit you. These are just suggestions to get you started. Of course, if you need help in writing position papers, letters, etc., you can always hire me; but, be aware, I am selective in what causes I will support.
These are just small, but effective, things you can do – even while you hibernate and figure out bigger avenues of avocation or vocation. May we all be blessed in learning how to share Love and Tolerance with one another.