The temperature of nationalism has been on the rise in Europe since the beginning of this century. This week it came roaring it’s way over the threshold of the UK parliament seating itself firmly in the chambers of power. The middle ground is being pulled to the outer edges of fear and grievance.
At best nationalism is an invitation for the unwelcome guest to return home; at worst the exorcism of an unwanted presence in our homeland. We struggle to let go of the way we have decided to tell our story, embellished by time and enmeshed with grievance it provides us with a sense of belonging. Nebulous and lacking definition it longs for incarnation and roams with intent, seeking the portal of increasing support through which it can transmute and manifest. At the same time we are not quite knowing or recognizing the form of our intention. We explore the streets of our political landscape looking for firm ground but finding only rough terrain which keeps us off balance and unsure.
Instead of choosing to let go of the foundational memory of those we were wronged by, a false sense of self enables a collective pain to thrive and breeds fresh fear of a contemporary but false enemy. We cease to be afraid of our neighbours when we cease to carry the collective fear and injustice of our past, choosing instead to make friends with those we previously challenged with a beckoning hand to our future. To let go is to enable ourselves – our nation – to see our place in the world more elementally and clearly. It is to unburden ourselves from carrying the past and lighten the load, sweeping away the black cloud of history which was passed down to us and – without such bravery – we will inevitably pass to our children.
Withdrawal from the front line of demand and grievance enables us to realign and find a fresh perspective, viewed through a contemporary wide angle lens rather than the myopic glass of selective and painful memory. It is only from here we will find solid ground from which to step forward in friendship and have our voice heard in a different, clear fresh and powerful way.
You may also be interested in an earlier post A Sense of Un-Belonging.