I’m not normally into the political realm of things. I sort of got into things during the last Presidential election — but quickly burned out on the non-stop pulling and tugging that both extremes of the political spectrum did — and continue to do. Its not that either side has a huge majority in things — its merely that they are the loudest in the argument.
However, a lot of people that I know get hip-deep in their politics and uber-passionate about their causes. I completely grok all that. Not my cup of $drink, but I do grok the perspective(s). However, there are a few friends that I have that go a little overboard. One friend of mine wallows in her hatred of President Obama and everything that is left-leaning in politics. Every conversation I’ve attempted to have with her over the past three-plus years has been slowly turned into a rant against the President or the Liberals or into some conspiracy to overturn the “Christian principles” of the United States. I can grok the perspective of not liking the President. But to find a “consiracy” under every rock, every piece of legislation that runs to undermining Christianity? Sorry — that just doesn’t correlate with my own personal experiences in the real world.
I’ve been a Pagan now since 1987. Nearly twenty-five years of my life. I’ve experienced my fair share of taunts and misunderstandings in my places of employment over my beliefs. In the very beginnings of my time on this Path – I saw conspiracies to suppress Paganism in every single one of the insults hurled my way. I even got bold enough to confront my verbal attackers — only to fuel their vitriol even further. In all those insults, I found an anger and resentment that provided strength to my daily existence. I feed off the flames brought about by those emotions – and continued on my Path.
After a few years of this, those fiery emotions that helped keep me warm through the cold of those insults begin to eat through the fabric of who I was. To be a little more blunt about it — I started to lose the balance that I needed to be myself. When I realized that things were not “right” with myself – I took the time for self-examination – and realized where I had tilted off my own axis. My first High Priestess (during my times of being within Wicca) had explained to me the need for the exercise she called “Positive/Negative Mirror”. Its a three-part exercise, where I first spend time listing fifty things I found positive about myself. Then, on a separate piece of paper, I would list fifty things I found negative about myself. Once I had these two lists, I wrote another paper which compared and contrasted the two lists. What I have found (and I have done this exercise numerous times over my Path – its a very refreshing exercise to come back to) is that the Positive and Negative papers nearly mirror one another. Things that I can find to be positive about myself can also be negatives. But more importantly. I found that it was MUCH easier to write the negative paper than it was to write the positive.
In much the same vein as the “Positive/Negative Mirror” – I look at my friend. She finds it so much easier to see the negative in the current Administration. Whatever her reasons for it. And where the Administration has managed to do things “correctly” — its only done so to “fuel the conspiracy” that waits insidiously in the shadows. I remember the way she was back in the early part of the decade when I first met her. She was a much nicer, sweeter individual than she is now. Her interests were much further ranging than they are now. Her comments on various topics didn’t draw the conversation back to a single point of hatred and anger towards a government. Nor did she shy away from being close friends with people whose political ideology were different than her own – as she does today. From MY perspective, she’s fallen off that point of balance and has embraced the negative perspective so tightly that its transformed her into someone else…at least from where I sit and observe. After all, that’s her Path to walk — and while its not a direction I would walk, that’s not my Path to walk.
Its that degree of balance that I seek. Not just in politics. The above is meant to be an example – not the point. For me, embracing an extreme perspective loses balance in my Life. An opposing example would be the “fluffy bunny” or “white-light” crowd within the Pagan community. Too much of farting rainbows and unicorns will also force a loss of balance. A tipping of the scale in the opposite direction, so to speak. Don’t get me wrong — there are times that those extreme perspectives will need to be embraced…but in my experience, you can’t just setup camp there and stay. Sooner or later, you’ve got to bring it back to the Middle…
Just my opinion….your mileage can and will vary…