A friend of mine once said, “Don’t tell me to breathe when I’m anxious, it only makes me mad.” I won’t suggest you breathe this week although I know many of us have lots of feelings about tomorrow’s election and taking a few deep breaths might be helpful. No matter what the polls, prognosticators and pundits say, there will be surprises, victories and defeats that we could not have predicted today. One thing we know for sure is that Unitarian Universalist values are being assailed. It’s not like this is something new. We have seen it throughout history and, unfortunately, have at times sided with the assailants.
I admit, through all the attacks on UU values in my lifetime, this feels different. It feels more threatening, more ominous and frankly more coordinated. It can feel like saying the scary part out loud overtakes everything, but frankly, it doesn’t, won’t and can’t, no matter how hard it tries. The long arc of history, which can feel like a very long arc, does seem to bend toward Unitarian Universalist ideals and values.
We are going through a time in history where we need to be vigilant about the practice of this faith. It is a time not to give in but rather to gather up. Gather up friends. Gather up community connections. Gather up beauty and love and joy. Gather your spiritual sustenance to help ground you and bolster your spirit. We have enormous power in our ability to come together. We have enormous strength when we link hearts. We have enormous sustenance when we go deeper and broader in the connective tissue of community.
I cannot predict the results of tomorrow’s election; I can predict what will happen if we stop breathing deeply together. As Rev. Christin Green quoted adrienne maree brown in her sermon yesterday, we must be like water. Here is the full quote:
Remember you are water. Of course you leave salt trails. Of course you are crying. Flow. P.S. If there happens to be a multitude of griefs upon you, individual and collective, or fast and slow, or small and large, add equal parts of these considerations: that the broken heart can cover more territory. that perhaps love can only be as large as grief demands. that grief is the growing up of the heart that bursts boundaries like an old skin or a finished life. that grief is gratitude. that water seeks scale, that even your tears seek the recognition of community. that the heart is a front line and the fight is to feel in a world of distraction.