Something on another blog about the present political campaign made me think about the way we often vote our fears rather than our dreams. Instead of taking a risk so that something wonderful can happen, we turn in upon ourselves and hug the pain we create by imagining horrible things coming upon us. Thus in elections, we vote for candidates who do not challenge us to be powerful for good but who confirm us in our sense of powerlessness in the face of challenges. And the world continues to suffer.
I realize that we (I use the first person because I am in the midst of this) do this with lots of life decisions, too, not just when we go to the polling booth. We are afraid to take chances, afraid to live more fully, just afraid.
About a decade ago, I went through a process of self-reflection that included taking note of how often I had caused pain to myself and to others, and how often fear had been part of the picture.
I was shocked at how much fear had run my life. I thought of myself as pretty fearless and open. And when I was fearless and open, that worked pretty well. I didn't hurt myself or others much.
It was when I was fearful and closed that I did the damage.
It is a lesson I am still trying to put into practice ten years later.