How could I possibly write about politics when this site is dedicated to play, kairos and celebrating wonder?

Go figure.

In the last while I have felt a new kind of restlessness and search for meaningful dialogue about citizenship, governing and hope. I am searching for a community that wants to talk deeply and to heart about the dilemmas we face, politics and progress for our country. I have been looking for a circle of friends who can speak beyond slogans and partisan positions – who might seek platforms that better respect differences of opinion.

While these dark times of extreme gridlocked partisanship can feel overwhelming to me, somehow I need and want to transform my energies into something positive. I want to participate in the effort to speak compassionately for healing – not only with a goal of being heard but also with a commitment to listen.

I hold strong and passionate opinions about certain issues and politicians – but I am finding that slugging these opinions at others who disagree or hold opposite beliefs does not accomplish very much nor does it feel very congruent for who I see myself to be.

So I have decided to try to center myself and my conversations with others in a place of identifying common ground and values. I am already learning a lot more about what happens when folks feel disenfranchised. A purposeful choice to approach description of how we might educate ourselves about governing processes, candidates, issues is freeing up a lot of negativity for me.

This is a fairly new direction for me and I deal constantly with my own knee jerk reactions – habits of “hit back”. This in itself is a guide to me on how to take responsibility for how and what I say. I am finding myself explaining much more why I hold a certain political opinion – my reasons, where my judgements come from, what I am learning. By being vulnerable in this honesty I am finding others more willing to engage in this tone and I have an increasing interest in listening to their truths.

Sometimes the disconnect in world view seems way too big to bridge but I feel better about myself in trying. I also worry that I am sometimes diluting my convictions. But after deeper consideration, I see that I am arriving at more effectiveness.

This is one of the harder choices I have made and it is curious to me how folks want to quickly pull me off this centered approach. I expect it would be easier to categorize me that way. Rather than say some politician or behavior is unethical I am trying to explore out loud what ethics mean to me, how it would be demonstrated. I try to identify some resources to learn more. I am searching out other views about the topic.

A dear friend of mine died this week. She was a powerful personal force, a compassionate voice for fairness, a strong advocate for the disenfranchised. She taught me to show up, to speak my truth and to celebrate love and acceptance. I will dedicate this post to Linda Michal. I know she would be pleased with my new direction and thoughts on building community as a political expression.