What Now - A Reflection

Rev. Charles P. Gibbs

I spent the campaign season refusing to believe that the American people would elect as president someone as evidently unqualified and potentially destructive as Donald Trump. I was in rural Sierra Leone celebrating the leadership of women peacebuilders when I learned about the results of the election.

My heart shattered. For several nights I had trouble sleeping as I was possessed by nightmares of the catastrophic consequences in the US and around the world of a Trump presidency.

Finally, feeling closer to a panic attack than I’ve ever been in my life, I was rescued by a breath prayer that presented itself – May light and love / pervade and prevail. Breathing that prayer silently over and over filled and surrounded me with light that cast out the demonic shadows and bathed me in a profound peace. Then the light expanded out into the world.

Now, nearly three months later, I see some of my nightmares beginning to manifest in the shock and awe blizzard of edicts and actions by the president and his minions/masters; and I find myself on a dizzying, daily rollercoaster of light and shadow, of despair and hope. And I live with the question: So, now, what am I to be and do?

Once again, I am rescued by a voice of deep knowing. First, keep breathing. Keep praying. May light and love / pervade and prevail. Experience and abide in that deep, still center, outside of time and space, where all is one. All is one. All is one. There are no “others.” We are all one.

Then, from the deep center, I realize that in this material realm bounded by space and time, we often are separate. That separateness is manifesting itself in a hateful, fearful and potentially cataclysmic way in the United States these days. And, to be honest, it is manifesting itself in many parts of the world.

So, for me the invitation each day is to abide in that deep center where all is one, and then journey out into our divided, deeply wounded world with an unshakeable commitment to embody our essential unity, to use every ounce of creativity and imagination I have to help heal divisions and help our essential unity manifest in the world; and to use every ounce of creativity and imagination I have to find the appropriate, life-giving and effective ways to resist the shadowy forces that divide.

As I often say, no one has to do everything, but everyone should do something. What is it, I wonder, that you wish to be and do to bring more light into your being and through you into the world to grow the light and shine away the shadow? And I wonder what this growing circle of we will be and do, for only together will we shine a light bright enough to illuminate our fundamental oneness in ways that all may see it and be changed. I invite your reflections. May light and love / pervade and prevail.

Charles - I share your pain and fear, and your post brings to mind the reason I recently decided to become a member of Garden of Light - namely, with hopes of finding a community with whom to join in prayer and/or sending positive thoughts into the universe over shared global concerns. From my point of view, the leadership of the U.S. Government is definitely a global concern, and even our thoughts can worsen or improve divisiveness and separation. But how to pray? I think we can start by being thankful that the creator of the universe works all things together for good - even if it's a difficult road en-route to good. And then as hard as it may be, we can pray for - and think positive thoughts about - our leader(s), that their eyes and understanding may be opened to truth, not as we define it, but as God is.