A Blog post submitted by Fred Van Doren of Lake Ridge

Today is national hug a Republican Day.

As a Democrat, I’m not saying we should hug our Republican friends out of some kind of Kool-Aid induced liberal kumbaya moment.

Nor am I saying this out of some nod toward being a good sportsman. I’m saying this because the country needs for all of us to start treating each other better in order to move forward.

Our Republican friends believed in their candidate as much as we

believed in ours. They fought for their candidate as hard as we fought for ours. And let’s face it, the election was close.

The other day I gave a little pep talk to a couple of our campaign canvassers. I said what do Democrats believe? We believe in justice, equality, fairness, kindness, compassion and love. A few hours later I realized that Republicans believe in these same things but in different ways.

I’ve seen my Republican friends do incredible acts of kindness. Things that brought tears to my eyes. How is it that we got so separated from each other?

We put all our ego-chips on “our belief is right” and “their belief is wrong” gamble. Let me tell you, that gamble is failing badly as well it should.

Our belief systems are just loose cannons cobbled together to make our ship feel secure. No ship is secure when it doesn’t have compassion for another’s views. We don’t have to agree with each other but we do have to keep in mind that we are all in this together.

We’re ALL Americans and as such we need to start acting like adults and putting the silly divisions aside. You cannot tell me that we can’t come to an agreeable solution when the only line in the sand exists as some electrical pulses in our heads. Given our history of the amazing things we’ve done and the even MORE amazing things were going to do, I just simply don’t believe that.

The facts of history tell me that we’ve come together time and again to do great things. I can feel it right now. There’s something in the air that has nothing to do with the elections: America is coming back.

The only question is do we want to celebrate it together or keep sniping at each other. Do you want an America by general consensus or one by a death of a thousand cuts?

The idea of letting go of egoically centered and strongly held positions is a highly personal choice. It’s going to involve some work on our parts to do it. No one else can do it for us. Will we be ridiculed by people who can’t even entertain the idea of compromise? Yes, probably. This shouldn’t stop us in the least because honestly we are doing this for ourselves as much as the other person.

It’s our lives that will be enriched by not believing in the “I’m always correct” syndrome. Look at all the egoic strife that people have gone through with this election.

It’s one thing to be electrified and happy about your candidate. It’s another to do them out of anger. If you do things out of love and compassion, the result is always good even if it’s not seen at the time.

From my own life here’s a piece of advice on how to get away from your own egoic imbalance. I call it the “don’t surround yourself with yourself” move from the classic Yes song “I’ve Seen All Good People”.

If the idea is not to believe in separation any longer but to discover commonality, you will need to stop the programming that keeps the separation in place. Let’s face it, people are easily programmed with ideas. That’s what I’m doing here, trying to reprogram you so that you don’t suffer with your own ego as much.

The simple fact is if you belong to institutions that teach separation or hang out with other people who think like that or listen to news reports that give you a constant diet of anger, hostility and separation from your fellow Americans, you can have no other outcome in your life BUT to have separation and suffering.

If you give your own authority away to other peoples ideas and don’t discover them for yourself, you’ve missed a great opportunity for happiness. In the beginning of this process, it’s going to be difficult.

Friends, family and coworkers probably wont understand your process and I found it’s just easier to be honest and say “I just need some time to sort things out”.

Most people will understand this because it’s the truth. A very odd thing starts to happen as you move through this process. When you talk with people you begin to see exactly where they are coming from. You begin to be compassionate for them because you see how they’ve become mired in delusions just as you were.

It’s really very freeing inside yourself. This freeing feeling radiates from you and people start to pick it up. I’ve seen it work across the room, across the world and even across the Internet. Humans have amazing abilities they don’t even know about.

Simply put, changes happen because you’ve decided to change. Your willingness to let go in the moment of suffering is an acceptance that other circumstances are possible.

Anything is possible in each moment and that’s what being a human being is all about. It can be scary but ultimately it’s exhilarating.

“Oh, the places you’ll go” (and not to diminish Dr. Seuss) ‘you will go there with love”.