Everyone tries to go up but that never works.
And once you step sideways off the road where everyone else is rushing to insanity, at an insane pace, you are at peace to go wherever you want at your own pace without getting caught up in collective madness. And then you can't get infected by the madness and your inner self is safe and protected.
Of course our lives are made up of many pathways rolled into one life so we might have to do some sideways stepping out of some paths, and stay on others.
So many people are at unprecedented levels of anxiety, depression, etc over the election and aftermath...I keep encountering them. No matter what a person's inclinations are, it seems like some kind of contagious mental/emotional disease went around making people either completely rabid or emotionally distraught. Whichever way, it is a widespread effect.
It hit me really badly too, and I couldn't make it go away- it was absolutely horrendous. I have to basically stay away from all of it, I can't be on facebook anymore- there is too much rabid irrational insanity from EVERYONE. And I'm not a politically inclined person at all--- there's something about the current atmosphere that is spewing all sorts of negativity that attaches itself to everyone and hurts them. So I'm in quarantine, so to speak! And it works. It is the detachment that Buddhism teaches.
My coworker came into the office yesterday morning and said to me, "I saw someone with a make America great again hat on the street and my day is ruined." WHAT? I mean come on seriously. How absolutely absurd.
Seeing a hat ruined her day. It didn't really but even needing to say that is crazy.
And she's a really stable, sane, intelligent person!
That's the level of complete and total contagion and people are just swallowing it.
You don't have to swallow it or get caught up in it.
The truth is that all through history there has been upset, imbalance, and unrest.
This is not the first time, nor will it be the last.
It is a very human-collective thing though, and if it is hurting you, or is impacting you negatively, step sideways out of it, stand in your own space and make your own reality instead of following a dictated collective reality.
In times like this history is really important so we can remember and know what others went through- that it isn't just us in this place and time.
It's like when Daya at age 11 doesn't believe me when she is going through a strong emotion or a problem- she doesn't believe that I, too, experienced the exact same thing To her, that experience is unique to her and no one else can ever understand it because she doesn't really accept that it is a universal experience. As a parent I just shake my head and keep encouraging her, knowing that one day she'll get it.
Collectively humans do exactly the same thing.
But it IS a choice to participate.
If you want to, great- do it. The world needs people like that.
But if you are in a collective flow and it is hurting you, step out.
Sideways. That choice is always available.
I did it SIDEWAYS!