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Nov 04

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Voting for a clean mind

As we head into the final days of this election cycle (FINALLY!!!!!), I’ve been pondering how differently I feel today than I did just two election cycles ago.

As I pondered, I found this piece that I wrote a while back for a magazine about changing perspectives.  It was never published, so I thought I’d share it with you tonight.

PS – While I usually keep my politics out of The Miracle Journal, they’re on full display here.  But the point of the story is the message, not the politics.  I’d love to hear your thoughts about the message, regardless of your political leanings!

***

SPRING CLEANING

November 3, 2004. Bush vs. Kerry.

I was convinced that the world was ending. I couldn’t stop crying.

I had stayed up through the night watching election returns, hoping against hope that something would happen in Ohio to remove an administration that was making a mockery of democracy.

My politics have long run to the “bleeding heart” end of the spectrum – making sure people have enough food, a place to sleep, and the ability to choose what is right for their body.

For a few heartbreaking minutes on the night of November 2, I’d believed that our country could escape the Alice in Wonderland scenario we had fallen into – attacking foreign nations for reasons that seemed too flimsy, young soldiers going to a war that seemed too made-for-TV, and a brand of patriotism that scared the hell out of me.

By the time I went to sleep that night, the outcome was clear.  There would be four more years of insanity.

I was crushed.  It felt like a very personal, very real blow to the gut.

The morning of November 3, I sobbed on a friend’s shoulder.  Normally, I’m a pretty rational person.  But that morning, I wasn’t even coherent. “It’s hopeless.  It’s so awful and there’s nothing we can do.”

Her response was nothing short of brilliant: “We can do something – we can clean up our own house first.”

She explained that we were seeing a triumph of fear-based thinking on a national level.  We’re afraid of other countries, so we bomb them.  We’re afraid of terrorists, so we curtail our own civil rights in order to catch them.  That kind of fear-based thinking starts from the ground up.  The flames of fear were fanned by national leadership; but if the populace wasn’t willing to indulge in fear, there would be nothing to fan.

Therefore, the best way an individual could make a difference would be to clean up her own fear-based thinking.

By cleaning up my own thinking, I wouldn’t be contributing to the mass hysteria.  Instead, I could approach my world – personally, professionally, and politically – from a place of levelheaded problem solving, or even visionary thinking, rather than reaction.  Living that life would make me happier and would affect other people positively enough that they might want to try the same thing.  If enough of us began thinking and living this way, the larger system would begin to sort itself out accordingly.

I TOTALLY look this cool when I’m mopping.

By the time our conversation was done, I was convinced.  I had my mission – clean up my own house first.

Over the past seven years, I have taken this philosophy to heart.  I spend my days working on projects to bring more joy and light into the world.  I am diligent about watching my own thoughts so I can clean out fear-based thinking when it shows up.  I am careful to not get caught up in debates that stem from anger or paranoia.

As far as I can tell, it’s working.  People now look to me for mentorship and inspiration because they see a certain light in my eyes that they aren’t seeing in other places.

I still care about politics, but I’m much more detached now.  I am concerned about a woman’s right to choose, proper funding for education, and gay rights.  I think the most important issue in any presidential election is how the balance of the Supreme Court will be affected.

Beyond that, I stay out of it.  It no longer rises to the level of life-and-death for me. I’ve got more important things to do at home.

***

Today’s miracle: A few words from a dear friend eight years ago have made a dramatic change in my world and how I live my life.  Thank goodness!

Images found here and here.

About the author

Leah Carey

Leah Carey is the Chief Miracle Officer of The Miracle Journal, where she writes about the large and small miracles that happen in her life every day. She is a life coach, speaker, journalist, freelance writer, and lover of life. In all of those pursuits, she works with people to identify what’s already right in your life so you can build an even more joyful and fulfilling daily experience from that foundation. You can find her on Facebook, , Twitter, and YouTube.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.themiraclejournal.com/2012/11/04/voting-for-a-clean-mind/

4 comments

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  1. naked girl in a dress

    This is a great message. I used to be too caught up in politics, but now it’s rare I watch the news. I am happier, more at peace, and have gained that time I would devote to news/politics for more productive activities.
    naked girl in a dress recently posted at their blog…Be the Change

    1. Leah Carey

      That’s exactly how I feel, Naked Girl. :-)

  2. Mary Northrop

    Love the message, Leah. As a bleeding heart myself, I also agree with you politically. I’ve been pretty successful at keeping fear at bay and my days are happier because of it. I did recently read “Game Change” about the 2008 election and all the players in it. I came away with the belief that even if one does pay attention to the news and all the other political information we’re bombarded with, it’s often lies or very heavily stretched truth anyway. I rarely watch the news now. But I do vote.

    1. Leah Carey

      I read Game Change a while back, Mary, and was disturbed to realize how easily I had been manipulated. It made me even less inclined to pay too much attention to the rigamerole! :-)

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