Patriotism Redefined

IMG_8265Well this is a topic that has paid a visit to my own mind and heart for years. It’s one that many of us, I think (myself included), choose to shy away from discussing for fear of being called a traitor. Well, fear, nice knowing you, ‘cuz this Patriot has had enough.

Personal, public and unjustified attacks against me–along with the very public story around Colin Kaepernick’s courage and genuine love of country and all its people–have caused this American to want to freely express these words from our red, white and blue rooftops:

“Let’s talk about what loving, supporting and defending our country really means!!!”

Yes, let’s do.

From where I sit, loving, supporting and defending looks a lot like this:

When I love someone, I am courageous enough to respectfully express how she might be hurting herself and those around her. When I love someone, I refuse to turn my head as she chooses, over and over again, to make decisions that are causing harm to her overall Life. When I love someone, I talk with her about healthier options, ones that lend themselves to Aliveness for herself and those around her. When I love someone I encourage her, through her own actions and choices, to be a shining, loving example for all. Too, when I love someone, I allow her the freedom to choose what she will, rather than attempt to force her to believe and act a certain way: yes, when I love someone, I will certainly do what I can but I will know when to let go and allow her the rock bottom she may need.

When I support someone, I listen to her concerns and I validate them. At the same time, I refuse to allow her to tell the same story countless times so as to perpetuate the harmful drama she is attempting to keep alive. When I support someone, I let her know what I think she is doing right: I wouldn’t dare sabotage her efforts so as to win or so that I can hold on to my pride. When I support someone, I accept the things I cannot change and work to change the things I can. When I support someone I set boundaries and hold them accountable. When I support someone I refuse to enable their continued abuse, manipulation and using of themselves, me and all those around them for selfish means, and I take action where I see that it is necessary.

When I defend someone, I do so with honor and with pure and genuine intentions. I can sleep at night knowing that I am protecting one whose ultimate goal is one that serves the highest and greatest good of themselves and of all others. When I defend someone I am sure to alert them when enemies are approaching, particularly enemies within and without who have disguised themselves as friends. When I defend someone I am willing to stand on the front lines, under fire, because the Life of the greater whole is what matters.

We’re all on the battlefield, folks. But what exactly is it that we’re fighting for? Until we get really–and I mean crystal–clear about that, we need to put our weapons down . . . cuz ain’t nobody winning that war. The real enemy lies within, and he is no match for one who purely loves, purely supports and purely defends–a patriot in the truest sense.

So when a football player peacefully sits in protest so as to take a stand where injustice is concerned . . . and when a writer respectfully shares about inequality and racism and greed . . . and when myriad others speak up about the ways in which we can become better, for ourselves and for each other, don’t tell us we don’t love our country.

Realize instead that one can only do these things because of a fullness of love beyond measure. Realize that we love our country so much that we refuse to sit by and watch it self-destruct. Realize that we are on your side.

Patriotism–Devoted love, support and defense of one’s country

Dictionary.com

So the title of this blog post, “Patriotism Redefined” probably isn’t as fitting as “The True Meaning of Patriotism” would be. I love our country, our world, our planet and this entire Cosmos with every ounce of my being, and I will continue to use my voice in all kinds of glorious ways in order to say so. Soooooooo, from my red, white and blue rooftop to yours, may I joyously exclaim,

“Let’s Make America Great for Everybody!”

For me, that’s as patriotic as it gets.

America the Beautiful

by Katharine Lee Gates

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

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