Praying for what we don’t want

Worry has been defined as praying for what we don’t want. Thinking about that, this morning, it struck me that we all – Republicans, Democrats, liberals, conservatives, independents, libertarians, grumpy old men, members of the lunatic fringe, and those who can only be called Untitled But Disgusted – are going about this election business the wrong way, and it’s no wonder nobody is happy.
Ask anybody – ask yourself – what you want for the country – and I’ll make a small bet that the answer will come back couched in negatives.
“I want the government to stop doing [x and such].”
“I want to free us from the power of [the devil du jour].”
“I want us to stop doing [name it], which is ruining [name this too].”
There is one small problem with this! Two small problems.
1) We create our reality – as a society no less than as individuals – by what we magnetize ourselves to. The more you fixate on something, the more of it you get in your life. So what do you suppose happens when we fixate on the national debt, or illegal immigration, or economic domination by an oligarchy, or the lies and crimes of governments and corporations? More of the same.
2) The unconscious mind does not recognize negation. Tell it, “I don’t want more pain,” it hears, “more pain, please.” Tell it, “I can’t stand having X in power,” it says, “I’ll do what I can to be sure X is in power. Anything to oblige.”
And this is exactly what we’re all doing. Just look at any issue- or politics- or ideology-centered posting on facebook. “It’s us against them, and this year they’re better financed and organized than ever. If you don’t want to see X, Y, and Z, you have to join us to fight them, by [fill in your panacea of choice here].”
So what’s the answer? Throw up our hands in despair? Redouble our efforts even though we know they are going to bring us more of what we don’t want most?
No, oddly enough, the answer is simple. What’s more, I’ll bet that in the other parts of your life you do it already. Stop defining your America by what you don’t want it to be, or fear it is becoming. Stop hoping for a future in which the people you disagree with are less prominent, less successful. Instead, HOLD YOUR BEST VISION OF WHAT AMERICA COULD BE.
It’s what I call our “Star Trek” future.
Take a few minutes to formulate what that future will look like – using no negatives. It you find that you can’t do it very easily, you will already have learned something.
What is the America you would like to see?

4 thoughts on “Praying for what we don’t want

  1. HOLD YOUR BEST VISION OF WHAT AMERICA COULD BE.

    –Or, anything else that’s worthwhile for that matter.

    Great advice, Frank.

    John

  2. The popularity of “The Secret” some years ago re manifesting how one wanted a life to look was hugely successful. I am not sure that it is considered when in unpleasant situations.

    Sometimes it is hard to hear one’s own self-talk and thoughts. Very easy to blame the external.

    Nancy

  3. Frank,
    I know there to be a lot of subtlety behind your post … far more meaningful and important than many realize.

    If you’re at A and just want to get away, you can go in any direction; most of us know (through experience) that some of those directions are ‘not so good’ … often leading to something worse than A.

    My experience says it’s far better to put in the work (as you suggest) to build a vision of what you want (call it B); then as you ‘leave’ A you’re far more likely to move in the general direction of B. Further ‘course corrections’ might be needed, but at least you’re moving in the right general direction!
    Jim

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