As the political season again heats up, once again we see men and women falling into the ugly ego trap of lowering themselves to the level of attack and defense. Voters do not like it.

With regard to attack, it's easy to say, "Well, I'm above that. I'm not going to resort to attack." But how many of us understand how self-sabotaging defensiveness is? The question is: what kind of mentality do I reduce myself to if I become defensive or start defending myself?

If I perceive myself as attacked, I need to look very carefully to see if sticks and stones can break my bones, while any other kind of attack can really hurt me.

Like worry, defensiveness works against me. If I am defensive, I am not anchored in my spirit. If I am not anchored in my spirit, I am coming from weakness. If I am coming from weakness, how much more am I likely to be attacked and how much less am I likely to be supported?

Operating in the realm of politics, if I am never attacked … so much the better. On the other hand, is there a way I can see things which keeps me out of defensiveness?

What if my joy actually remains intact despite the appearance that I am being attacked? What if in reality I can only attack myself by believing that the seeming attack of others is really about me and can hurt me? What if in truth any apparent attack is not about me at all and hurts nobody but the attacker?

With this week's lesson, I dedicate myself to learning that I never have to be defensive and that defensiveness always works against me. This week I train myself to experience my safety not in defensiveness, but in joy.

My morning meditations this week will be dedicated to imagining situations which could come up during the day to which I would react with defensiveness. With each situation that comes to mind I visualize myself consciously choosing to access my joy and feel my joy instead of lapsing into defensiveness. While visualizing myself avoiding defensiveness and holding my joy in each situation, I tell myself the statement of this week's lesson:

"My safety lies not in defensiveness, but in joy."

Then each hour during the day I stop whatever I am doing and take a few minutes to think of situations where I did or could become defensive and declare about each:

"In this situation involving (someone's name or other specifics) my safety lies not in defensiveness, but in joy."

Finally as I retire each day I review my progress, not worrying about the times I forgot to substitute my joy for defensive tendencies; and feeling very, very good about the times when instead of becoming defensive I was able to stay with my spirit in joy.

To really understand the evil psychology of modern "liberal progressives," read Ayn Rand's entire novel "Atlas Shrugged"

"God's laws will keep your minds at peace, because peace IS His Will, and His laws are established to uphold it. His are the laws of freedom, but yours are the laws of bondage. Since freedom and bondage are irreconcilable, their laws CANNOT BE UNDERSTOOD TOGETHER. The laws of God work only for your good, and there ARE no other laws beside His. Everything else is merely lawLESS, and therefore chaotic." -Jesus Christ in A Course in Miracles