I have been following the wise words of someone I refer to as a ‘fellow clergy-dude’. His name is John Pavlovitz, a pastor in North Carolina. His blog called Stuff That Needs To Be Said is bold and brazen; just the kind of talk that I imagine Jesus would have given two thumbs up to. At the risk of offending his fellow faith folks, he takes on hypocrisy and hatred with a daring that, if they paid attention, might have them reconsidering their political positions. If the opportunity arose to sit face to face, I would consider it an honor. He holds accountable his brethren who voted in the current administration for supporting someone whose values are the polar opposite of the One they claim to follow. I applaud him wholeheartedly.
Pavlovitz used the term ‘holy discontent’ in a recent blog post– and I echo it vehemently. Being spiritual doesn’t mean accepting the ‘it is what it is’ mentality and relinquishing personal accountability for standing up to hatred and harm hurled at others. It is my belief that we were born with free will and the right and responsibility to use it wisely. It seems to me that we are called on to act in concert and partnership with the Divine as we practice Tikkun Olam (Repair of the World in Hebrew)
Since the unfolding drama and trauma post-election, each day brings with it questions for me to answer: can I any longer live lightly and loosely and act as if only in- the- moment happiness matters, or do I need to have as my more solid purpose to take positive action as part of a ‘resistance’ and a corollary to the Serenity Prayer and change what I can’t accept? It is not a move on, get over it, business as usual kinda thing. If this current state of affairs has had an upside, it is that formerly complacent people (and I include myself in that group, sadly) have become better educated about what is going on, and have been more courageous in stepping forward and speaking up.
I don’t want to get mired in depression and anxiety as I had initially. In my work as a therapist, I have seen clients who were experiencing those states and I did my best to shepherd them through it. As I was encouraging them, so too was I cheerleading myself. As I held space for their fears, so too did I offer inner compassion.
I feel empowered by taking inspired action. I engage in sacred activism.
I do it through writing, speaking and hugging. How do you express holy discontent?