We will be missing the underlying lessons of the dark side of this chaos if we think all of the work at hand should be focused solely on elections.

We can’t give all this work over to the politicians. WE have a calling and duty to show up in big ways, too!

This week’s 2017 election was clearly a big night for the Democrats.   Political insiders across the spectrum are labeling the drubbing that Republicans took up and down the ballot as a clear repudiation of Trump and his divisive politics.

There will be a rush to assume that this is a bellweather for the 2018 mid-term elections and a preview to what will come in 2020. There might be a tendency to predict that all of the current chaos can be tamed with the results of a couple more elections. “We just need to keep focused on winning elections.”

YES, BUT

Please, please, please do not let that be the only framework for your vision.

Yes, elections matter and have great consequences for our communities. I am hopeful that candidates of both parties wake up to see that the people are tired of politics as usual, and that means abandoning divisive language and the assaulting attacks on each other. That clearly must change.

Yes, we are looking for leaders with a vision of how to help connect our communities and address our challenges in creative and insightful ways that speak to our best selves.

Yes, we must hold that vision for our leaders to change — and work tirelessly to turn out voters to support candidates who support these values.

HOWEVER

We will be missing the underlying lessons of the dark side of this chaos if we think all of the work at hand should be focused solely on elections.

To hold that view makes all of this work seem to be purely an external exercise related to the elevation or removal of someone to whom we have given over our power.

Think about it – the whole premise of an election is to cede some portion of our power / our voice over to representatives we anoint to go do the work.

Awesome. As long as we don’t think our work is done after we have elected them.

We still have to use OUR POWER.  WE have our OWN work to do with EACH OTHER.

We have work to do that pushes each of us to recognize and fully own our own empowerment and our own role in creating this change – person-to-person.

That is the fault line that has been so clearly illuminated in the Trump era.

And those divisions do not go away simply by electing a different leader.

Those divisions are the wounds our nation has inherited from generations of unspoken and misunderstood pain and suffering inside our people — and having forgotten how to relate to someone who is different.

What’s being deeply called for in these times is to match our external civic action with our internal wisdoms. Our deepest spiritual promptings know that we are all connected to each other and our humanity. When we get out of our heads and into our hearts to find a space to listen and love with unconditional support and compassion for the other’s experience, then we start to make way for real conversations and deeper, more lasting transformations — the revolution that is waiting inside of each of us!

There is reason to be excited about the results of this week’s election – it is an energy that will undeniably cause a shift in the way things are working in Washington, D.C. right now and that is certainly cause for celebration.

Let’s just also remember to keep doing the important work of honing and recognizing our internal source of power, observation, and awareness that gives us the heart-based talents necessary to skillfully engage with those we might consider “the other.”

We can’t give all this work over to the politicians. WE have a calling and duty to show up in big ways, too!