Everywhere we look nowadays there is political antipathy. Two parties approach the finish line on November 8th holding steadfast to their ideals and platforms, as well as their assumptions about the opposite party. We get very wrapped up in the drama and constant barrage of media influence related to the campaigns. As individuals we hold tight to our own belief systems.
It is apparent that much of the negative and cynical polarity that exists in this current election has an effect upon our wellbeing. To what degree are we affected, and how can we control some of the current hyperbole that politics has on our everyday life?
There is constant discussion related to the current political environment and the sentiment by many is that there is more division and volatility than ever before. Americans expressing political views has doubled over the past decade from 10% to 21%. As a result of this increase in participation, views displaying shared perspectives have diminished. “Ideological silos” are now common among groups with less common ground. There is a myriad of opinions covering topics such as immigration, gun control and health care, each of which inspires passion in each of us. This passion can be used positively or conversely, and this same passion can have detrimental effects both for us and others.
Each of us can look within our own circle of friends and family to find stories of division, resulting in separation and sadness. Another byproduct of the current political picture is a tendency for many to feel helpless. This apathy can sometimes be more debilitating then the escalation of passion and emotion. Helplessness leads to inaction and a depressed approach to helping others or oneself.
Lack of choice and voice for each American is a sentiment that seems to be growing, and this sentiment can only perpetuate as we focus on deficits around us. We must find small ways to cultivate daily benevolence and the ability to remain calmly active and actively calm. The constant nature of our environment places individuals in deficit consciousness, and we end up being on the defense related to so many issues. We must avoid this fragmentation by meditating and focusing on acts that bring higher vibrations of love, peace and compassion. These mindsets, even in the midst of disagreement with others, lead to a subtle activism that is extremely empowering.
The political charge in this country escalated with the Republican and Democratic conventions and daily media coverage around the clock. We were then able to break from this media barrage with media coverage of the Olympics, thereby focusing on the pride of countries through athleticism. Soon this will fade into memory and history, and we will next be exposed to the debates as we watch candidates go head to head. During this time, try creating a heightened sense of self and observation of stress levels instead of being enveloped by negative emotions. Observe actions and reactions of others. Use this as a tool for introspection. Swing the pendulum in the direction of love. Good thoughts, good words and good deeds in this current time are what we need most for our own health and for that of our country.