It’s a Saturday afternoon. I am watching the MSU-U of M football game. Fans packing the 75,000 capacity stadium are ablaze with emotion. Their chanting is so intense it is a thunderous echo, willing the players to aggressive action. THIS is a signature game of football. It is also a mirror image of politics in our country.
The voices slamming the Spartan Stadium are the same energy that is slamming the country. It is UNSPENT ENERGY and it WILL be heard.
The intense frenzy of football gives fans the opportunity to release emotions that have not been expressed and, more importantly, have not been HEARD. And I wonder if those emotions have not been expressed because there is no one to hear them. I am speaking of emotions that are deep, subterranean, urgent, and personal. Emotions that require the exquisite gift of loving care and compassion from a listener in order to be released. Most of us have not been nurtured to develop this special capacity and so we often fail to provide what is so desperately needed to each other. Ergo, the immense popularity of football and other sporting events, providing an arena for the paroxysm of unreleased emotion in the security of a communal setting.
And, whereas football is a civilized venue for this exposition, what is transpiring in politics (the expression of conspiracy theories; white supremacy; racism; suppression of minorities, the right to vote and the rule of law) is dangerous and threatens the democracy upon which our country was founded.
Is all of this happening because we, the people, have not been listening to each other? Have we failed to be there to offer the gift of recognizing and affirming the concerns of our fellow citizens?
Have we failed to ask each other to “help me understand what makes you feel this way”? Have we failed to teach ourselves what we may not have been taught but what is clearly so important for us to learn?
In the world of politics there is a lot of attention being given to declaring who is wrong and why. There is a lot of attention being given to legislating rules to protect ourselves. But we cannot “legislate” the heart 💗 and that is where our emotions reside.
Everyone needs to be heard. And everyone will find a way to make this happen.
We all need to soften our hearts, to step away from the unyielding place of judgment and, instead, acknowledge the painful emotions of others which are clamoring to be heard. Once they are expressed, the body begins to relax and, eventually, the possibility of a pathway appears, paving the way for co-creation of a resolution.
If we don’t take substantial action on this front, if we don’t move away from this residence of resistance, we will be left with laws to maintain order but no hearts to care about what happens to each other.
On this Saturday afternoon, I can imagine these painful hearts finding some beautiful comfort through the precious gift of understanding and compassion. Can you?
image from pinterest