The time to settle, regroup and restate mission is a message I am hearing from many people. The world has been battered for almost two years while Americans have been processing the reality of the state of the nation. Sometimes I feel we are like a person reflecting back on their life prior to death. People are recalling the crazy-quilt history of the United States before it’s seemingly inevitable demise. At other times, I feel that “sub-conscious America" is speaking up and reminding us of past mistakes we must not repeat and feel the swift “kick in the butt” to be a part of a prevention team. I don’t believe we should ever be so comfortable in life that we don’t keep in mind the painful climb we have endured as a nation. And we must not ever believe that we have arrived. It is in those times, when we think we have reached the mountain top, we look back down the mountain and realize we have missed the inclusion of many people on our road to the top.
One of the pictures I paint for my clientele is the picture of the Pendulum. What I call the “Pendulum Syndrome.” I love my Grandfather Clock which I inherited from my father and mother. The children presented the clock to Dad upon his retirement. It was a kit he had to put together. Now that I have it, the pendulum is a symbol for me. I sit in front of it when I find myself completely out of balance. For the most part it is when I am feeling sad, angry, hurt, unloved etc. If I have lashed out in anger, I sit and wonder what made my inner pendulum lash out at it’s extreme sway. The symbol reminds us that the pendulum has to swing both ways in order to maintain balance. I look at the center of the arc as perfect peace. The pendulum never stays in that place. In life, we get glimpses of hope, contentment, peace, joy and love. The opposite peak of the arc is doom, gloom, anger fear and hate. At times, we experience both arcs at once. Consider death. Many often experience both heartbreak and contented joy when witnessing the death of a loved one. In the past two months I have been in knee-jerk Joy/Doom swings. Maybe we should call it the Hope-Doom arc. Our social media has enabled this place of “stuck-ness.” The truth, for me, is that there are plenty of reasons to have hope and there are plenty of reasons to be on alert.
My suggestions to clients would be to sit with the pendulum and understand that the pendulum must move in order to keep the pendulum in balance. The pendulum cannot stay on either side, joy, hope, light, without visiting the other extreme — fear, anger, dark. And if one finds it stuck in the center, then the clock stops. Stops. In order for the pendulum to do it’s job, it must be in perfect balance. It must be level. The pendulum needs to be calibrated for an equitable swing to both sides as it passes the middle point. And, calibrated to maintain the perfect passing of time. Balances need to be checked and reset (pulling the correct chains) to keep the pendulum swinging.
There are many people on social media during this balance who are tired of watching the pendulum swing. There are responses to posts everyday, good and bad, and people are “knee-jerk” responding to those. There are others going silent in the transition of our nation. They need to reset. Many are checking their balance and re-calibrating the swing of their own pendulum. Consider the fact that we are all different, and all have our reasons for being afraid. We all have our own understanding of joy. The best thing I can do, is honor people where they are in times of calibration or re-calibration. I don’t expect anyone to be with me 100%. This is still my personal journey in life - first and foremost. But learning to accept the journey of others is extremely important to the success of my personal journey.
in my moments of lashing out from my places of fear, I know I will drive away dear friends, at least temporarily; maybe permanently. But, please understand that my personal goal is to seek a perfect balance of being alert and aware, when my fight or flight button is pushed. That is survival. In the swing of my own pendulum, I must be aware that when I am in a state of fear, I must be looking towards seeking the balance and the swing back to joy, peace and love.
Intentionally seeking the balance helps me to refrain from lashing out from a place of fear. I do feel responsible for maintaining a state of awareness and will always nudge others if I fear they are in danger.
I would ask, that others take time to consider your inner pendulum and come to a place of understanding your own arc of fear and love. Where is your perfect peace? It is okay to fear. It is okay to speak to those fears. It is not okay to tell someone their fears are not founded and it is not okay to tell someone they aren’t responding correctly. It is always okay to speak the truth in love. It is not okay to tell people to shut up because you are tired of what they are saying. You have the power to ignore them. If you can’t ignore them, perhaps there is some validity in something they are saying that you have not reconciled for yourself. Or, perhaps you are afraid of the truth they are speaking. There is power in owning your own fear. It is okay, to ask the question, “Why am I afraid?” And, I welcome the question, “Why are you afraid?”. It is always okay to remove yourself from situations that are not helpful to your healing. Quite simply, un-follow people on Facebook, take a break from media, TV and even social events. Take a break and discern for yourself why you can’t be a part of the debate for now. You are watching a nation discern in real-time, the fear, hate, hope and love arcs at a time when the pendulum is not calibrated for speed. We are slammed with the pendulum swinging so fast from love to fear that there is not time for the place of peace in the center of the arc. We pass right over it. It is overwhelming at times and it it okay to take a break. In the meantime, we must always be responsible for the information we consume and especially considerate and diligent about confirming the truth of the information we share publicly.
I opt to be Pro-Love and fully admit that my actions, words and thoughts do not always reflect that. For that I am sorry and strive to learn to be more in balance and calibrated to maintain the balance of my pendulum.