This week I’m offering an audio version. Let me know if you prefer this. Enjoy!

From a very young age I have always chosen my own path. And when I was young, that meant listening to my own intuition of what was right or wrong. I had help from scriptures, ancient texts, nature. I reverberated truth always. Truth always spoke the loudest in my ear and in my body, and I stood for truth always. I can count on one hand the amount of times I lied in life and it didn’t feel good.

In becoming an adult, I continued to reverberate truth which is quite inconvenient for most. Seriously. At the end of the day, it is more convenient for others to go along with what we are doing. It’s easier for us. In personal relationships, it would be easy for people to do what I say, especially since my moral compass has always pointed north. And yet, my right isn’t always convenient. Often the path of truth is inconvenient.

When living with others, I wanted roommates and spouses to do the dishes like I did dishes because it was water-saving, time-saving and the dishes dried quickly. But, my way of doing dishes isn’t the only way. There are hundreds of ways to do dishes. And we see this in leadership as well. There are hundreds, thousands, millions of ways to lead a group of people. Not all are beneficial for the people, but it’s still possible. What’s killing me, is that when we step back and examine our history, many of our leaders have led in selfish interests. And yet, we continue to choose the same types of leaders. So, it begs to question, who is the guilty party? The selfish leader or the people who elected him (this same character or archetype) over and over?

For me, leadership has always been an individual and often lonely path. I haven’t often subscribed to what others said was right. I grew up being taught that all good women grow up, go to college, find a husband, have kids, and serve in the church. I tried it. It didn’t feel right. I felt more and more guilt doing that.  When I met my ex-husband, I was at a place where I knew how do things well and maintain a house in an easy flow. I expected that when I got married, my husband would eat what I cooked, would workout with me, we would enjoy each other’s company, and all would be good. But that’s not what happened. It brought on more guilt because he didn’t subscribe to the same ideas of relationship that I subscribed to. I thought that if I checked all the boxes I was told to check, I would have a happy life. Conforming was the deepest misery for me. As a visionary, someone who paves my own path, it didn’t fit.

I understand our American systems, all that I have studied anyway, and how they intersect. Now there will always be pieces of the puzzle that no leader can fully understand until they are in a situation. Certainly in American politics, most of the decisions are made behind closed doors, in secret. And yet, we expect politicians to subscribe in a specific way so that we can decide how we feel about them. We want to check those boxes. As if a politician would even make decisions based on the answers! Unfortunately for our past, leaders have made decisions based on who was in the room at the time, based on their core values. What do they stand for? Who do they stand for?

We’ve been convinced that politics is a zero-sum game with a winner and a loser. And this is how politicians operate in Congress and the White House today. This is the truth of how politics works currently. But, just like those dishes, its not the only way to operate. We can choose to do things differently. There does not have to be a winner and loser. Our leaders could have the needs of every American in mind when making decisions.

This non-zero-sum game where there are winners all around hasn’t been seen in politics in my lifetime, and not in America at all. But there have been examples of great leaders throughout history who are thoughtful, compassionate, no-nonsense to ensure that their people are always taken care of. I would argue that we cannot continue forward without a visionary leader today. If we continue to choose a Democrat or Republican who decides that their party politics as usual is just fine, we will continue the path we’ve already paved, with the same dead-end results for one group of Americans or another.

The way forward is not the way we are doing things. And yet, we all want to hear simple stances, simple yes or no votes on an issue. What’s my stance on abortion, on vaccinations, on war? I would ask, what is best for all Americans? Of course, every person in America right now just wants their issue heard because there is no stability. We are used to leaders serving selfishly so we fight among one another for a sliver of support from our elected leaders. A visionary leader doesn’t have all of the answers, but she engages with each issue, with each deep-rooted problem intelligently and with presence of mind. She brings experts to the table to examine the whole of an object before making decisions. She isn’t interested in party politics, she is interested in solving problems for the American people of whom she is sworn to serve and protect.

And while this may seem scary to step in a direction that leaves behind the corruption and self-serving party politics, it’s the only way we will survive as a nation. Different is good and different is the only path that will bring us different results. We complain; we argue; we cry; some are violent because this corrupted way of politicking is hurting the very essence of who we are as humans.

We have lost the art of conversation, of community, of valuing humanity in the name of fighting for our individual security. As a visionary, I know that individual efforts have gotten us nowhere. We must come together as a nation, trust that our leader is valuing every American, and we must individually take actions that support the United States of America. This path forward recognizes that not one cause will solve our issues. Not one piece of legislation will solve our deep-rooted issues in this country. This path forward requires all of us to link arms and to walk the path forward together.

My lonely path of leadership has been one of choice and sometimes necessity. To travel our 48 continental states, I couldn’t be held to another. To value education above all, I couldn’t stay tied to one location. To learn all the qualities necessary of a visionary and conscious leader, I couldn’t remain in one community. Yet, through it all, the time for loneliness and solitude has passed. The time to lock arms and ask others to walk forward with me has come. I am a woman who stands on my pillars of truth, justice, responsibility to the people. As you get to know me, you will find that I am one to trust, one to lock arms with.

For those other visionaries, those out doing the work in our communities, I am here to lock arms and lift you up. Reach out and let’s talk. I want to learn from you about the very specific issues you are solving. Remember, a great leader of all 330 million Americans cannot be an expert in one specific cause. She must be a leader that recognizes the necessity of all causes. Teach me, walk with me. Let’s lift one another up.

And for those living the American life and struggling for security in your home, at your job, and in your mind, I am asking you to believe. Believe that different is possible. Believe that your choices, your conformity also maintain the direction we are heading. Believe in the desires of one woman who wants the best for all Americans. Say yes to be my friend. Say yes to curiosity. Say yes to pondering your part in paving a new path that values you and your family. Because what we are experiencing currently is not it. It will always be, “Just the way it is.” until we decide that we want something different and act on it. The beauty of the foundation of our country, is that we have the choice to choose the path forward. Find a vision for yourself and believe its possible. Why do you matter? Why do your children matter? Why does the United States matter to you?

Raising a glass to our collective rising as a United States of America. I will continue to hold my vision of our greatest angels within and I will continue to do the work daily to embody my vision for us all. Will you join me?

Send me a line and let me know you hear me.

Love from your sister,

Crystal Bergfield