From God, to country, to community, to family, to self, and back to God again, we have been unable or unwilling to be of one mind.
We will never attain peace outside ourselves if we do not first attain it within ourselves.
Once upon a time I was a far-right conservative Christian. A flag waving American patriot! An active Young Republican in college and beyond, I interned as a press aide for my republican congressman, and then went on to be his campaign coordinator for a short stint. I organized fundraising events, worked the polls, canvassed neighborhoods, ghost-wrote op-eds, fought for the right-to-life, and made my opinions known to anyone willing to hear them, the latter of which I soon discovered is not acceptable when you represent a political figure, which is why I didn’t continue in that line of work.
A few years later I met and married my late husband, the pastor’s son, who got me to question many of the things I had so rigidly stood for and believed. He introduced me to the perspective-expanding qualities of Cannabis, the pros and cons of which I still sometimes wrestle with, and slowly but quickly, my paradigm began to shift.
One day, after seeing video of US Marines waving the American flag as they stormed a home in Florida and violently removed young Elian Gonzales for deportation back to Cuba, I began to seriously question my allegiances. How could I pledge allegiance to that flag? In fact, what was I doing pledging my allegiance to anything other than God, family and humanity? What was this patriotism that had walked, hand-in-hand with my faith?
As the Universe always provides, for those who bother to be aware, synchronicities of more questions and answers began flowing my way. Or should I say flooding? First, the inspiration of an intentional community-based business inundated my thoughts. Imagine my surprise when my mention of community evoked reprimands of my slide toward communism. Despite my mother’s and others’ fear laden warnings, I began to actively seek answers outside of my religious and political boundaries.
From esoteric studies, alternative spiritual practices and philosophies, like meditation and a “oneness” mindset, fast forward 10 + years, and I suddenly found myself supporting a progressive candidate for president, in Marianne Williamson. I included her articles in our magazine “Omni Vision,” and even wrote a song inspired by her (which I still stand by, by the way—you can download it here). I ingested the narrative of the main-stream media and late-night jesters, who fueled Trump derangement syndrome and I felt quite proud to have escaped that extreme right mentality, (though I always maintained my right-to-life stance).
Then came 2020. First, disappointed by Marianne’s resignation from the race and shortly after, disgusted by the Democratic party’s running of things, and the blind allegiance (even by MW, herself) paid to an increasingly and obviously corrupt establishment; add to that the Covid chaos (also a political tool) and the rude awakening to the propaganda of things, my political pendulum began to swing to the right once more.
Now, here I am, somewhere in the middle. A hippy-dippy (not my words) Love, Light, Peace and Freedom, non-flag-saluting, anthem singing, pot-smoking, America-loving, Trump-supporting, patriot.
So, what does one do when pulled by two seemingly opposing factions?
In her book, “Rise Up: A simplified guide to the Great Awakening, Spiritual Revolution, and the Ascension,” spiritual luminary, Victoria Reynolds, discusses the significance of the Vesica Piscis. Have you ever heard of it? In her words:
“Vesica Piscis / Venn Diagram: A sacred geometry figure consisting of two or three circles of equal size, overlapping each other at the center. In Latin, vesica piscis literally translates to “Vessel of Fish” due to the design's resemblance to a fish. This graphic is an integral part of the Flower of Life, a sacred symbol for all creation, where apparent opposites meet in harmony with the potential to create something entirely new. Regarding our present political polarity, with each side represented as a circle, the extreme left and the extreme right are both manipulated by the powers-that-be for the sole purpose of driving humanity into greater fear, hatred and division. The 2% on the far extremes are the loudest voices that drive the division and perception of the other 98%. In the center, where both circles overlap, liberals and conservatives actually see eye-to-eye.”
As you may have guessed, I have found myself in this center of things. In the belly of the fish, if you will, where my judgements and biases are being acid-washed by lessons of humility and love for those with whom I disagree—life-long lessons, btw.
Finding myself in this center of things and hearing the call to be a reconciler of sides, I feel it’s my duty to explain my position a bit further.
Looking at both sides from the center, here’s what I see plainly:
Sadly, the word “patriotism” has become a bad word to many, however, it should not be confused with “nationalism.” While patriotism includes love, commitment to and willingness to sacrifice for the defence of one’s country, “nationalism” implies an aggressive, elitist allegiance to one’s country and policies at the expense of others.
Many on the far left have renounced any patriotic Love they may have had for America, condemning nearly all she stands for, including the US Constitution and the rights it secures. Those inalienable rights and basic freedoms that I and so many others hold so dear, are under threat by the leftist agenda. Our rights to life, free speech, peaceful assembly, to worship freely and to bear arms are slipping away, some more quickly than others. They are fighting for greater government social and financial controls and consider anyone who disagrees with them to be greedy, arrogant, xenophobic, deplorable, racists, and that’s being kind.
On the far right I see a seeming aversion, or in some cases a revulsion to the idea of community, social welfare, and the ideals of peace, and an unhealthy adherence to rugged individualism, capitalistic greed, religious dogma and nationalism.
While I don’t believe political socialism is the answer, I do believe individual socialism is absolutely necessary if we are to ever thrive as a human organism. And while I do believe in the right to provide oneself and family a living, I don’t believe greed should be left unchecked or uncapped.
I see that on both sides, freedom of choice is denied, freedoms that are not only the bedrock of American patriotism, but also of Divine will.
If you consider the life and teachings of Jesus, which those on the right tend to claim as their guide to life, you will find a mix of liberal and conservative ideals. He had little to no attachment to nationalistic ideologies or religious ties. From calling the Hebrew pharisees white-washed tombs and pits of vipers, to overturning the temple tables that had been corrupted into trading centers, he exhibited a left-wing zealousness to rival that of Antifa and BLM. He lived a life of a wandering communitarian, unwilling to be bound by the business as usual that was typical of the people and political landscape of his time. He called out hypocrisy when he saw it and refused to submit to the status quo. He was civilly disobedient, refusing to be ruled over, and answered to a far higher law than any man could come up with. He loved and forgave those whom the self-righteous called sinners. He equally honored the rich and poor. He didn’t social distance, but rather embraced the highly contagious outcasts of his society.
He answered the age-old question, “am I my brother’s keeper?” and the answer was a resounding “YES!”
He lived his life for Love and Light, Peace AND Freedom.
In short, Jesus lived a very different truth than any side of society had to offer. He epitomized the center of things—the fish in the middle of the flower of Life.
And that is where I choose to sit, with Jesus, in the center of things, doing my utmost to make Love the seed and soil of all that grows from me; not putting my trust in the laws and ways of man, no longer swaying from one extreme of duality to another, but trusting a higher Law, a higher Source, a higher Truth to guide me into a new existence, of Peace, Love and Freedom. I Love America and will be a patriot so long as she continues to stand for Liberty and Justice for all, but only until then.
My Pledge of Allegiance
I pledge allegiance to my friends and family; may I never do you harm, and only seek your benefit.
I pledge allegiance to my community; I will work to keep you healthy.
I pledge allegiance to humanity. I won`t give up on you. I will shine my little light to try to make life brighter.
I pledge allegiance to Mother Earth. You`ve been mistreated, but you can be healed. All you need is Love.
I pledge allegiance to the Universe. We`re all in this together.
I pledge allegiance to the First thought, that brought everything into being.
I pledge allegiance to the ONE who thought it. How could my allegiance lie anywhere else?