It’s been one week since the world turned upside down for some of us. What we believed about possibilities, changed, and now we sit with our fears, our disbelief, and discomfort.
Our situation in America now asks us to make a choice:
Do we wait and see?
Do we numb?
Do we use our addictions to help us cope?
Addictions such as food, alcohol, television, or any other device that helps us check out for awhile.
Do we reassure others, “It will be alright?”
Do we pray?
Do we protest?
Do we wear safety pins?
Do we write?
I decided the first day after the election results, that for that one day, I would make a small choice in how I care for myself. I decided that day (don’t laugh) to “deeply hydrate.” I’m not a great water drinker, so I resolved to strive for hydration. And just doing that did make me feel that at least I wasn’t abusing myself, I was attempting to deeply care for the one body I have.
The next day, I chose to start to deeply listen to the commentary of the election. I wanted to understand, I still do, about why people made the choices they did. My listening and understanding on any level is my attempt to inhibit my fear.
Two days later, I heard about wearing the safety pin showing others that not only are you a “safe” person, but that you are an advocate of others if they are being attacked in some way. So I wore a safety pin for two days.
I have spoken to multiple groups and individuals. I have made sure that I stayed connected with others to either garner my own support, or offer support to them. This coming together in our tribes and communities, helps to heal the isolation that one can feel when coping with fear.
I’m cooking healthy delicious foods to keep my body nourished and energized. I continue to hydrate. And I’m trying to make sure I’m keeping my body moving.
I went to my spiritual teacher and talked with him to help me understand not only what was happening, but also to clarify my role in helping myself and others towards understanding.
And now, a week has passed, and I don’t feel very brave. Not beaten, not over, but I just don’t wanna do this.
I don’t want to go through this difficult period in our country. I want it to go away. But guess what? It’s not. And to have the result we did, that Trump was elected, means that many Americans were in a difficult period currently and they told the rest of us, “WAKE UP DAMMIT!” And I hope when we come out of the fog, we start that process.
We have to wake up to the average person who felt that the country wasn’t listening to their plight. We have to wake up and re-evaluate centrist politics because trying to find a compromise only allows the radicals to stomp their feet and refuse to take action. For right now, finding common ground will be difficult to those who don’t choose any compromise.
I encourage you to watch and listen to anyone who can articulate what is happening in America. Learn for yourself. Become knowledgable. One of the painful pieces of this election, if I am honest, is that I was blinded in my bubble in Southern California. Not that I don’t do anything to help my fellow beings, I do, but still, I must admit that I knew things were not right and I didn’t make a step towards helping others in Michigan say, who still don’t have clean water.
I am not going to judge any action taken for the betterment of others. If you choose to wear a safety pin, protest, write letters, we all have to find our way with our own approach. It isn’t helpful to put others down by telling them, “Your way isn’t effective.” Perhaps not, but it’s part of the process of healing and feeling empowered. I’d rather see people take a positive approach to feel empowered then get stuck in the mire of powerlessness.
Lastly, make a choice to work on your words. Words matter. I am trying very hard to watch my words. I want to respond with love and kindness. It doesn’t mean I always do it, but it does mean I always intend to and I PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, my words. I reject meeting hate, judgement and fear with my own hate, judgement and fear.
It doesn’t mean I don’t falter all the time, but my intention, my practice, is to continually catch myself and change.
Speaking the words of love and connectedness? Okay, I wanna do that.