As I read an op-ed piece in today’s New York times about how our politicians keep creating these doomsday scenarios — debt ceiling, payroll tax, Greece & the Euro, healthcare act is evil — and all we end up doing is jumping from one cliff to the next. All of our politicians have defaulted to this emergency mode, causing that fear and instability to seep down into the collective psyche of the American people. It’s like they all get together and say , “Let’s take this to the brink” on every single idea presented. And for what? To scare the shit out of us in hopes that we will vote for them.
You can wave it away with a broad brush and call it “politics” but why are we allowing our elected officials to behave this way? Most of us don’t let everything go until the very last minute, only to act in the 11th hour. We don’t put on blinders when we face tough situations. We don’t let every challenge crumble into urgency.
Instead we live in the space between the cliffs. We may fret and worry and even admit to occasional fear in this space. But we don’t push ourselves to the edge each time. In this space, we have the ability to choose whether we have fear, to choose how we will react in our circumstances.
As I read this article, it occurred to me that I have created my own set of cliffs in my life lately. Nothing as catastrophic as the financial collapse of Europe or the incompetence of our elected leaders as they ignore everything in hopes of WINNING! (think Charlie Sheen when you read that because our leaders, while not suffering from psychosis, are just as obsessed with it). But really, are things as bad as they sometimes feel for me? Is not having a real job right now going to kill me? Is facing all that chronic stress going to hold me back forever? Is it going to ruin me?
No. Because I can choose to stay off the cliffs. I can live in the space between them, where confidence, hope, joy, and reflection exist in spite of the fear. I’m backing away and staying put.