Let's talk about the US election: #imwithher
I didn't post Wednesday and I almost didn't post today. Cause, well, I've been down and discouraged.
I've always had the ability to step back, see the bigger picture, and stay level-headed and diplomatic when faced with challenging times, but all of this went out the window when the President-Elect made his speech Wednesday morning.
Neither candidate was perfect (by ANY means) but as a woman who works hard to fight for the rights of the marginalized and oppressed, there was a clear choice in who I believed should lead America.
And I know I'm not alone in this.
Over the past few days I've felt my power leaving my body. The things I stand for, fight for, give my days for, gone within a span of a couple hours. But I didn't become a social worker for things to be easy, I became a social worker for times like this, to empower others to remember their power when they feel most powerless. If you felt what I felt as the election results poured in, this post is for you. This is the beginning, not the end, and how things progress from here depends entirely on you maintaining your power and stepping into your part.
Here are some of my thoughts surrounding the results of the election. Take what you need and leave the rest.
All change is preceded by chaos.
Discomfort is a powerful motivator. For light to rise up, we need to heal the dark, and we can only heal the dark by acknowledging it's there. Throughout the election many people (me included) spoke about Trump's racism, sexism, ableism, and sexual assault allegations. While it seemed outlandish that someone could stand in front of the world and act that way, it wasn't as far fetched as the media made it out to be. Trump was reflecting the discriminatory nature of us all. No, I'm not saying we are all overtly discriminatory; most of us have challenged our understanding of the world and learned that way of being is wrong. But we do all participate in small acts of covert discrimination every day; through the language we use, what area of town we choose to visit, and so much more. It's never comfortable to confront our own shadows, but that is what is happening. Trump showed up to say racism is real, sexism is real, ableism is real, sexual assaults are common, and all of us play a part in this. Again, not necessarily overtly, but in the subtle things we do each and every day.
Even the most peaceful of people have felt rage following the election results, and some of the people who chose to support Clinton because of Trump's behaviour are now insulting him and his supporters. The hate is the same, it's just packaged differently. All of this - the discrimination and the hate - needs to surface before it can be healed. It's uncomfortable but it will move us ahead faster, because discomfort motivates.
The inner world is a reflection of the outer world.
I'm not sure if I know anyone who can say the past few years have been easy. We've been dealing with some heavy stuff. Personally, I've hit rock bottom and had to rebuild my entire life, not once but twice. Chances are, you've experienced something similar, too. So many of us are healing, cause we had no choice but to heal, and waking up to the realities of the world with the intention to crumble hierarchies and unite the world's people. But here's the thing: manifestations take time and there is always a lag between wanting something and having it manifest in the physical world. What we are experiencing isn't so much a step backwards as it is a lag. A lag between wanting change and actually experiencing change. Right now we are experiencing the in-between - the messy bits - required for true change to take form.
No one can take your power.
No matter the circumstances, you get to decide the condition of your inner world. You get to decide how you feel. This is mindfulness; understanding we are all in charge of how we experience and react to the world. In any moment you can decide to take a deep breath and change your view of things. The election results did not go as some of us hoped, yet, I'm still smiling. That is a choice. I could be curled up in bed and defeated, or spewing anger on the internet, but I'm here writing this post to empower you (and me... as writing is how I heal). Choose to see this situation as an opportunity to practice your inner strength, to stand firm in your power. The next few years are going to bring great change, and we all need to be independently strong to build a strong collective. Yes things are scary, but you don't have to succumb to it. Every time you don't succumb, you build up your inner world stronger than before. And what happens then? Back to my second point: our outer world gets stronger and more resilient because we worked on the inner stuff.
Remember, nature heals.
A lot of us are hurting right now, and if there is one piece of advice I like to give to anyone and everyone going through hardship, it's this: get outside. Nature is a natural restorer (I've talked about that here and here) and its frequencies will bring your energy back into alignment. You might not sense this energetically - but you will feel it mentally and physically. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the results of the election or scared by the current protests and harmful behaviour going on, bundle up and walk to the local cafe for a warm tea. Somewhere along the way stop and stand with both feet firmly placed on the ground. Imagine all the negative energy running through your body and out the bottom of your feet for the ground to transmute it. Then imagine bright white light pouring into the top of your head replacing all the negativity that was just released. This always seems to help me rebalance my energy and my mindset, and through that regain my power and control.
My final thoughts:
I didn't think I would comment on the election on my blog. I'm all for controversy but there is still a small voice in my head that says religion and politics are not meant to be discussed. Unfortunately though, the more we don't talk about religion and politics, the more power religious and political leaders have over our lives. The more we talk about our beliefs, the more we realize we have in common... and the smaller the divide gets.
There is meaning behind the statement, "divide and conquer" - power is maintained by division of peoples. If we are busy fighting each other, we don't have time to think about the bigger things and fight the system. I'm convinced that having honest conversations about the state of our world (religion and politics included!) is how we will come together, create connections, and ultimately save our world.
Though it's clear #imwithher, I'm not against him. I'm not against anyone who supports him, either; there are kind and unkind people on both sides of the argument and making a blanket statement about a group of people based on a candidate and their actions is the same ignorance that made me sway away from Trump in the first place. With that said - Trump said and did things I am against, but a person is not their actions, and though I wish it was Clinton preparing to take office, Trump deserves respect as a human being.
Things are messy, the world is chaotic, and a lot of us are scared, even if we don't realize it. Things will look up as long as we don't lose our power.
Tell me, what have you been doing since the election? Do you feel powerful or powerless? And how have you been looking after yourself during these challenging times? My inbox is always open for these kinds of conversations.