I’ve been fascinated recently by the furor over “alternative facts,” an expression that was uttered by a spokesperson for Donald Trump as a way of justifying lies. At first I found it outrageously absurd and almost funny, and then I started thinking about it.
I started thinking about how I am always seeing the universe the way I want to see it. Very often, I don’t see things the same way as a person standing right next to me sees them. I am completely convinced that the way I am seeing things is RIGHT and factual. I use what I am seeing as evidence that the way I see the universe is indeed factual, and that fact becomes part of the bricks and mortar that I use in the creation of the universe. And yet it is an alternative version of the same event that the person standing next to me witnessed.
I believe we are in a sacred dance in our relationship with the universe. The first half of the cycle of that dance is “I create my universe.” In this part of the cycle, we are aware that our thoughts, prayers, words and deeds actually are involved in creating our reality. This first half of this sacred dance has often been associated with the New Age movement and the world of “woo woo” by fatalistic cynics.
The other half of this sacred dance is “I am created by my universe.” The circumstances that come at me create my reality, and I ultimately have no power over, around and through those circumstances. They are just true, they are the facts, and nothing else exists. I am a result of the circumstances of my birth, my upbringing, my education and what I find myself doing at any given moment. There is a destiny for me, and I am fated to turn out the way the universe intends, and I have no say in it. This is the fatalism that has dominated our reality for millennia.
When we ascribe only to the first half of the dance and we are disconnected from each other and what the universe is throwing at us, we have to force our “facts” on others and then be disappointed or disgusted when they don’t get it. We slip into an ego-based “superior mind” form of judgment where we are “superior” and everyone else just doesn’t get it. We either marginalize ourselves from everybody else or try to control them in some way to get them in line with our world view.
When we ascribe only to the second half of the dance and we are disconnected from our own power to choose and create, we become victims of fate. We will slip into a powerless reactive state that has us counting the days until something happens that will force us into some other direction or life. We go along to get along because we don’t really have any say about it. We fight because we are told to, and we cower in fear because, well, that’s what victims do. Fate wins.
When we dance the whole dance, when we are aware that we are both responsible for creating our universe and respond-able to whatever the universe throws our way, all sorts of things open up. We can now sit in a place of personal power where we do have a say in the reality that gets created around us, and we are connected and in relationship with each other and our world so that we can respond and change course if needed.
In the past, the liberal lefties and woo woo spiritual folks have laid claim to the first half of the dance: we have all read The Secret and discovered the “laws of attraction,” meditated, visualized and taken hallucinogens as ways of creating alternate realities. In that same past, the conservative right-wingers and reactionaries along with the fundamentalist religious movements have laid claim to “it must be right; if it were not right, God or the universe would stop us. So we should basically do what we always have done, and if it’s wrong, fate will intervene.”
What we are seeing now is a remarkable flip. The conservatives are going “woo woo,” creating the world through “alternative facts,” and the liberals are in danger of going reactionary and getting ready to become victims of the circumstances.
I have some recommendations:
First, become conscious of yourself in this sacred dance. What is the reality you are creating and how available are you to powerfully respond to what is being thrown at you? What is your “stand” and how present are you to those who don’t share your stand?
Second, look around you and see who else is in the same full, sacred dance. It is not important that they agree with you or are even aligned with you. It is important that they are taking a powerful stand and not so attached that they lose the ability to be in relationship with you, that they are able to be present with you, and you with them.
And finally, Lead. Lead from Within: what is needed to fully accept yourself and to step into powerfully choosing from your self-authority? Lead from the Front: find the courage to take a stand for your vision, open your heart, and connect with others who you want to take to your vision. Lead from Behind: look for a vision, a person, a dream that you want to serve and then believe in it and support it with all your heart. Lead from Beside: find a partner, a collaborator, someone you share a common vision with, and have each other’s back so you can risk in unimaginable ways knowing someone is there to keep you on track. Lead from the Field: slow down and get above it all, look down into the chaos that is all around, find the patterns and the truths that aren’t being seen, and shout them out until others begin seeing them too.