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Can We Be Political and Spiritual at the Same Time?

Photo: Micky Aldridge on flickr

Photo: Micky Aldridge on flickr

Dear Meli,

One of my best friends is really into the Black Lives Matter movement. She considers herself spiritual and is always telling me that spirituality should include social justice. I’m not so sure. Sometimes it seems like people who are really political are angry all the time. It doesn’t seem all that spiritual to me. What are your thoughts on this?

Skeptical on the Sidelines

Dear Skeptical,

While I have also met many an angry political person, I agree with your friend. If we are about love, then we care about other humans, and sentient beings. Part of caring includes taking responsibility. Doing our part to make the world a better place for everyone is a spiritual practice! And I believe it is ours to do.

For one thing, it is a luxury to live a life that allows us to focus on our spiritual growth. Those of us who live such lives are better off than most of the humans on the planet who are focusing on the stuff of survival.

A world that works for everyone is a beautiful vision. It will be a better place for all sentient beings!

In the meantime, it is our responsibility to do what we can – from a place of love – to support the lives of others. There are many people far less fortunate than you and me. I feel I can safely say this because you sent me an email, so pardon the underlying assumptions of that comment.

Those with less – less freedom, fewer rights and privileges – are no less deserving than anyone else. Spirit is not more fully present or available in some than others.

Whether it is racism, sexual discrimination, homophobia, or any other kind of judgment of anyone as less worthy, it is based on a lie. Any structure – or human habit, or culture, or law – that is based on hatred is based on a lie. I believe these structures are simply awaiting the evolution of consciousness that will allow for their transformation.

As a being on a spiritual path, we are able to be a part of the transformation. When we take action toward a world that expresses more justice, we are supporting greater love. It IS possible to do this – to take such action while staying in our heart. I’m not saying it’s always easy to do so. But it is possible.

This is our opportunity. This is our responsibility. This is our honor. And this is our blessing.

Wishing you all the best as you love more fully in all that you do,


What is your experience with maintaining your spiritual practices during this time of political turmoil? Share your comments below!

Have a question for Meli? Interested in a private session (in person or Skype)? Contact her at meli@ohmygodlife.com

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8 Responses to Can We Be Political and Spiritual at the Same Time?

  1. Linda Robinett December 13, 2016 at 7:12 am #

    In the example of Black Lives Matter, working out of love and compassion for your fellow human beings rather than anger at the system of the police would be the way to go. I remember a so-called peace protester when I was in college. He was filled with anger and hatrid towards Nixon. I had just started a spiritual path so I was more aware than normal. I said “You cannot have peace in the world until you have peace in your heart.”

    • Melissa Phillippe December 16, 2016 at 1:08 pm #

      OOH! Nice quote! And so true, too! …kind of the good news, and the challenging news, right? 😉
      SO important. Such a deep path to walk…and the rewards and endless…for ourselves and every life we touch.

      Thank you so much for this comment!

  2. julane jazzique December 13, 2016 at 8:23 am #

    Another beautiful answer .
    I’ve referenced MLKjr his way of bringing a message compared to what I’ve seen/heard w BLM.
    I personally see more divisiveness w BLM which is creating more of what they are protesting about, MLK jr brought a more unifying vibe to his message.
    I’d say from personal struggles, self righteousness is way too easy to fall over into, removing my heart from the situation.
    Finding that balance of head and heart… the journey continues.

    Thank you both for your fantastic blogs ❤️❤️❤️

    • Melissa Phillippe December 16, 2016 at 1:11 pm #

      Aww, shucks. 😉 Thank you, Julane!
      I certainly have empathy for the anger, too. I personally have plenty of it when I think of how we, as a nation, treat people of color. It is a powerful walk to do my best not to lead with that when in conversation, or in action, to do my part in making a difference. I falter, and get back up, over and again. I think THAT is the spiritual journey…the getting back up. :-) And that very thing you mention, staying present with our heart in the conversation…and continuing onward.
      Thank YOU for being in our on-line community. Hugs.

  3. Chloe December 13, 2016 at 8:39 pm #

    @ Linda: that person had every right to feel anger toward Nixon.
    An emotion does not make you any “less” spiritual than another person, as much as feeling lack of that emotion.

    • Melissa Phillippe December 16, 2016 at 1:20 pm #

      Ha – I had JUST replied about this in my comment to Julane, and then saw your note. I am grateful for the reminder that anger is not out of the realm of spirituality.

      That said, in our intention to make a difference in a conversation where we are confronting some “wrong-doing,” I agree with Linda in this way – anger has a place…the diligence is called for in knowing where it will be best expressed, though. What I mean is that in many situations (maybe most situations) leading with anger will mean that wherever we speak, we are not able to be heard. And not because “they” don’t want to hear. Just because it’s a human protective mechanism to go to defending in the face of anger. Again, not that it is not possible to stay in love and peace in the face of anger, just another, deeper level of the Presence of Mind in order to do so.

      Thank you for continuing the conversation! <3

  4. K Whitefire December 16, 2016 at 10:06 am #

    Hi Chloe. Yes, feel the emotion. And…a negative emotion we hang onto puts blinders on us and makes the power of love invisible to us, the change agents. In the midst of life events I check in and remember to look and act toward my goal. True peace, love, joy INCLUDE justice. It just gets there in a softer, easier and more powerful way.

  5. Linda Robinett December 16, 2016 at 3:27 pm #

    His anger was hatrid. This is quite different than righteous anger.

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