Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
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If we were having coffee today I would tell you that I am dedicated to simple pleasures like coffee with you right now. I have some spiced cider, a selection of teas, and we still have lots of nuts to go around. Please help yourself and take the load of your feet for a few minutes. As I told you last weekend this friendly digital drink downing party between writers is a welcome safe space to hang without exposure to crazy political hoo ha. This rare and exotic privilege to hang out and share personal thoughts is very valuable to me. The trauma of the political season has exhausted everyone. This is a time for healing by sincerely listening to others.
We have been subjected to far too much hate speech and faulty logic. The big November surprise of the election of Donald Trump has twisted history. We will now change the narrative of our story along with the costuming, the moral values, and the judicial system. After I considered the facts, although I did not vote for him, I do share the frustration about dysfunctional government that his supporters claim to be able to remedy. I despise the wasted days and wasted nights we spend supporting the Congress while they bicker our money down the drain. My solution to this problem would be different, but we agree that there is a giant problem. I do fear and loathe what has happened, but I also have been upset about the government’s dysfunction for my entire adult life. As soon as I started paying taxes, before I could vote, I started freaking out. I have voted in every election since I turned 21, but feel that many of my choices have sucked. My taxes have not been spent in my best interests. I am not sure whose interests were served, but I can tell mine were not. My level of approval has not changed much over time. It hovers around 2%. There is no love lost.
Some people think he will not be able to deliver on any of the bombastic promises. Others think he will do wonders for the economy. He seems determined to roll back civil rights and health care legislation, but he has no experience in making laws. This is a volatile experiment being felt around the globe. It is explosive and pernicious. Nobody knows what will happen.
My focus is where is usually is, at home. My well-being begins and ends at my house. I have limited control over the way the larger cookie crumbles. Here in midtown Tucson I have purchased some perfect comice pears, some brie cheese, and some tangerines. I am shifting the menu to holiday specials without turning to sugar to create them. We are setting out on a gourmet journey into fabulous fall flavors. Eating delicious food at home can make up for a lot of terrible things out in the world. I have tiny solar lights all a twinkle outside. In a few weeks I will start to plant my fake poinsettias in the front yard. I bring them out a few at a time. The week before Christmas it goes into full coverage. I am amazed how long these fake flowers have held up, since they spend a month each year outside in the yard. I plan to pursue my own festive plans without taking on a burden of worry. Actions are of the utmost importance now. Just as we can’t be bullied by foreign terrorists, we can’t give up our own peace and quiet to worry about the government. I plan to keep a warm place for you by the wood stove all winter. Thanks very much for visiting today. Take a ripe comice pear with you for the ride home.
Do check out all the coffee sharing action here. Visit the contributors, leave comments or write your own weekend post to let us know what you’re thinking and doing.
I am not making a prediction on the outcome of the election. Projection in this instance refers to the defense mechanism of projecting our own faults onto others. This is one of the common ways we control our environment and defend our self image. They include denial, intellectualization, repression, regression, displacement, compensation, and projection, also sometimes called transference. I took a quiz the other day that has disturbed me. Here it is. It may disturb you too. I scored a few points in regression and intellectualization and my highest score was in projection. I understand that his quiz is not a shrink and there is nothing conclusive about how I defend my position. I instantly became angry at the idea that I project blame on others because that is what I dislike about others….well, there it is….. some crazy downward cycle of blame operating in my very own psyche. I am contributing to our mutual distrust and blame my own self. This is known as the shadow…the hidden secrets we hide even from ourselves. Kooky stuff. This political season has damaged us all with the nasty rhetoric and new levels of dirty tricks.
It is very easy in this political environment to slip into a simplistic view about how “the other” is ruining everything. As a nation we will go even more haywire than we are now if we can’t see this blame game as the destructive habit it is. Language about reaching across the aisle will fall on deaf ears if we don’t take a close look into our own hearts and minds. We have met the enemy and he is us. We all have some work to do. Mother Nature is watching.
We are being swept away by strong currents of blame and hatred projected onto others. There is a pendulum of possibility swinging from reality to unreality. We treat this as if our perception at any given time is good, and all other positions are evil. This leads us all into delusional thinking. Everything is the fault of the beings on the other side of the swiftly flowing river of anger that divides us. The blame game has been elevated to epic proportions while our social fabric has been torn. Collective invisible enemies are everywhere, like Pokemon. I believe we all contribute to this dangerous state of affairs. The very belief that some other entity is responsible for our problems is at the root of all our problems. We the people are the problem as well as the solution.
The politicians use the phrase reaching across the aisle to say they compromise. The rhetoric has become so toxic and harmful to our mood that general malaise has turned to a much more confrontational tone. To say this election cycle has robbed the entire nation of happiness in 2016 is an understatement. It has been detrimental to confidence in our government, both at home and abroad. Our image is tarnished. Our belief in our own ability to cooperate is diminished to the point of hopelessness. We the people are sick and tired of politics, ignoring the fact that we ARE politics.
Please vote, then devote your own personal energy into understanding “the other side”, whatever that may be for you. Our codependent lifestyle, in which we all want everyone else to be different while we stay the same, is unsustainable. We must find unity or drown in this violently churning whitewater of wild schemes and devises. Some think we are at the end of days. Revelation 9:5
And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man.
We have been tormented to the point of madness. Let the stings of hateful mud slinging cease. Let us find peace. We are officially hitting rock bottom in this democracy. We must have a bounce from this awful experience. This is a sink or swim moment for us. We are all relieved about the end of the election cycle, but nobody is particularly thrilled about the outcome, whatever it may be. We all create this mess with our thoughts, beliefs, and actions.
There is despair in the air. Our society’s collective adrenal gland is shot from the constant stress of our current political battle. Fight or flight, a reasonable healthy reaction to scary circumstances, has been exhausted by the season’s campaigns. We are sick of the fight, and there is no place to flee from reality. The blame and shade is flying freely. Our weary spirits are drained of faith hope and charity. By charity I mean extending the benefit of the doubt to those with whom we disagree. The most charitable act to make is to listen with care. The most civilized goal to set is mutual understanding. After this election we will still be living with each other, so our current problems will not vanish in November.
To dig ourselves out of this mess we will need to:
This is a tall order, especially when everyone is bracing for total disorder. We have our work cut out for us after we finish counting votes. Our futures depend on our ability to listen, which means we will need to be quiet for a while. We will need to be still and know. How hopeful are you, gentle reader? I am optimistically neutral. We have survived tragedy in the past. This too will pass.
I came to the University of Texas as a freshman in 1968, a very turbulent year in American history. The Texas History Museum is currently showing an exhibit about that year. It makes me wonder why we never hear anybody say “fascist pig” any more. I was clearly against the war in Viet Nam, and went to see Hubert Humphrey when he came to campus to speak. I did not particularly like him but was only 17 so I had no voting rights. As students we were not very tied into current events because we had studying and partying to do. We also mistrusted news sources that were conventional. This was the era of the underground newspaper. It was also the era of protest for political change. The campus was divided. The football, sorority, fraternity people were already invested in status quo. The rest of us were rallying to stop the war in Viet Nam because it had no earthly purpose, and was destructive. I came to school in September and Richard Nixon was elected in November. There was much to protest. I remember on very symbolic gesture that illustrated our differences. A group of students wanted to raise money to buy The Texas Longhorn, Bevo, and send him to Biafra to feed the starving people. “Send Bevo to Biafra” was actually a moral pivotal point in student organizing. It had only been 2 years since Charles Whitman, a Nam vet, shot people on the mall from the UT tower. To the anti war faction the shooter was not seen as a victim or a sufferer of post traumatic military issues. He was seen as typical of the “other side”. Some of us liked killing and some of us thought war was not healthy for children and other living things. We believed Charles Whitman was doing what we thought all Nam vets wanted to do, kill people with a big gun. He was a capitalist imperialist pig, and that was all there was to it. Things were so simplistic in 1968, but somehow I feel that nothing has changed.
Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated in 1968. Lyndon was president when I came to school in Austin. Even though he signed the Civil Rights Act he was not seen as a progressive hero by the youth. He was seen as a crooked politician who sent kids to war. Lady Bird, who wanted people to stop throwing garbage out the windows of their cars, was seen as a wet blanket. Garbage throwing was perceived as a birthright, just like owning a gun or hating other races. Her “Beautify America” campaign was the foundation for today’s ecology movements. Museums and libraries document history and put matters into perspective for those who were not alive or old enough to know what happened. When I walked through the 1968 exhibit it brought back memories as well as a sense of struggle. For a while it seemed that the struggle resulted in peace and harmony. It did not last. Where were you in 1968? Were you on the bus or off the bus?
I am not the only one wishing the political campaign dollars had been spent on the real problems instead of talking about those problems while blaming others. If you have children who must compete for attention, dollars, education, etc, picture a nation of these children. The soon to be elected leaders are trying to become head of our national household. They are advertising, traveling, and spending money like crazy to convince voters that they are the best for the job. The race it self is boring, but the budgets to bore are outrageous. Vast sums that can be traced to donors, and even bigger super pacs whose donations remain anonymous run the heavily negative ads.
Imagine how your life would be if the members of your household voted on the leadership who control the money spent in the household. What kind of ads would be run to woo the members of your family? Politics always chooses winners and losers by crafting legislation. This never ending cycle of winning/loosing/changing the laws is paid for by the people subject to those laws. Parents and monarchs can dispense with being elected or making a promise to anyone. We know what to expect from their performance after we observe them in action. Some are wise, some silly, egomaniacal, or weak. The good ones seem to get better with time and experience. They do not need to constantly campaign to stay in the monarchy or parenthood, so they can develop wisdom with all that spare time.
The country that allows all this wasteful expenditure on political campaigning is not in a position to afford to blow so much money. Part of the big argument is about the nation’s debt. I do not see any future in keeping the system that proclaims that we are too big to stop borrowing and too cranky to agree on how to spend money. The Swiss are famously cranky about how to spend money, but have solved this problem within their political system. They keep the tax revenues in the canton, working for the people who paid the taxes, as they see fit. They have, but do not go overboard, with the idea of a federal government. There is a beautiful building in Bern to house the congress, which has two chambers, similar to our own. There are no lobbyists, no free parties for the federal employees who serve in the Bundeshaus. In fact, congress is in session in Bern for only 25% of the year. The rest of the time these civil servants go live at home and make a living like other citizens. The salary to serve is not high, so they must want to do it for the service aspect. I wish the US congress could be treated like that. If they did not have that full time free lunch waiting for them every day from lobbyists, they might be able to work effectively for the people who paid all those taxes. Throwing new groups of bums out every 4 years does not seem to be leading to enlightened governance. It makes sense to throw out the system that creates all these bums.