Many of you know that political activist, moral and spiritual ‘awakener’ (*1) Marianne Williamson is running for the 2020 US presidential election. She announced her candidacy last week and started campaigning right away. I was reading her Story yesterday and would encourage you to do the same if you’d like to learn about her unusual career and beautiful life aspirations.
I applaud the courage of such a brilliant person, yet would question, with my limited knowledge of her situation (*2), her decision to run within the ‘boundaries’ of a political party—the Democratic party.
Running within such an established institution is meant, in the end, to limit her ‘freedom of being,’ especially if she goes past the Democratic primary and moves on to take part in the final stretch in the fall of 2020.
Yet, her decision to run within the ‘established’ made me reflect on the many ways in which we indeed restrict our ‘freedom of being’ by belonging, consciously or not so consciously, to various organizations (or group of people). And sometimes, sticking with them, despite adverse winds.
This ‘restriction of our beingness’ (often, for the sake of the collective) is both understandable and inevitable as rules, regulations, directives, emotional attachments and so on are meant to make us conform to the mainstream that each of these organizations sets as a prerequisite to belonging.
For instance, I was reflecting on the school our son attends, with its many such rules, regulations and decisions, and the limited voice we, parents, have in setting them up.
First and foremost, it is a question of what is it that we are willing to accept (again, for the sake of the collective, or for a specific outcome) and at what price. It is also a question of boundaries and where we set the limits. When is it that too much conformity becomes a burden, an unbearable burden?
So, for this week, my question is,
How do we maintain our freedom of being in the face of the many ‘restrictions’ we may encounter in the course of our lives?
Starting, of course, with the families we grow up with, the countries in which we reside and their so-called ‘systems.’
This is, above all, not a call to let go of these ‘affiliations;’ it is a call to be aware, and a call to live with that awareness in front of us.
*1: The last few words of Marianne’s story and ‘why she is running’:
“We need to address the deep emotional and psychological dynamics within the average citizen that have led to the erosion of our political system. In order to have a moral and spiritual awakening in America, we need a leader who is a moral and spiritual awakener. I believe I am that person.”
*2: Marianne Williamson ran for Congress in 2014, as an independent, and lost. Perhaps this lesson influenced her decision to now run under the Democratic party banner.