by guest blogger Leslea Linebarger /
Today is Election Day, midterms 2022. So much of what we see in the media focuses on the divisions between us as a nation. But are we truly as divided as they say? On the surface it does seem true that there is a lot of violence swirling around us. Violence of thoughts, of attitudes, of words that fracture rather than bringing hope of change. On top of this, we are asked to choose between one of two parties, this politician or that one, judging one to be right and the other wrong. This invites us into dualistic thinking, of “either/or” simplistic reactions rather than entertaining notions of nuance and complexity of issues. Might there be another way of being in all of this? Are there contemplative practices that could re-center us and allow us to be instruments of healing and wholeness in our unique corners of the world as we vote our consciences? Is the Spirit speaking within in a voice we will only hear if we are still? Richard Rohr writes that “When we lose our contemplative mind, or non-dualistic consciousness, we invariably create violent people. What a waste of good God-energy while the world suffers and declines.” He says that contemplative prayer allows us to nip those attitudes and thoughts in the bud like nothing else can. Our stillness invites us to hear the Spirit speaking within in a gentle, small voice that may sound somewhat like our own and beckons us to follow where that leads.
I’m hopeful that enough of us will take time to pause, be centered and listen to the Spirit within as we go to the polling booths today. And that the Spirit will lead us to follow the path of compassion.
Leslea Linebarger lives in Southborough, MA. She offers spiritual direction virtually and at St. Mark's Episcopal Church where she leads a weekly women's discussion group. She is a member of the eNE Guidance Team and enjoys the outdoors, cooking and spending time with her children and two grandchildren.