By Donna Lancaster
As the world is reeling from the shock of Donald Trump winning the U.S. presidential elections, now more than ever we are being handed an opportunity to do things differently. The whole experience allows us, individually and collectively, to expand or contract our hearts accordingly. And this I believe will determine the true outcome of these challenging times. More love or more hate, more taking or more giving, more blame or more responsibility, to wake up or to stay asleep.
As I see it , we have two options before us:
To close down our hearts, reject any of the ‘softer’ emotions and immerse ourselves fully in the role of victim. Blame this ‘nasty man’ and his followers for all that is wrong in our world. Just like in intimate relationships, when couples are often desperate for all the wrongs and hurts to be about ‘the other’. If only they were kinder, more considerate, listened to me, loved me and so on. But, it is never really ‘the other person’. It is ultimately about us. What mirror are they holding up to us that we refuse to look into? What aspects of ourselves are they highlighting to us that we want to deny, reject and project?
Yet it’s much easier to take the superior position of blame. To deflect rather than to fully feel the uncomfortable and painful range of feelings that are part of the grieving process accompanying such distressing times. How are we not all out in the streets collectively wailing?! Not just shouting with rage at demonstrations and rallies (although this of course has its place) but also wailing with grief….with the sadness, fear, hopelessness and despair of it all. How are we not all running through the streets together, faces contorted, in floods of tears and snot, arms raised in distress, screaming to the heavens ‘WHHHHHYYYYY?!’. The main reason I believe, is that we simply don’t know how. Generally, we are not taught to honestly and brutally grieve so that we can truly heal. Instead, we consciously or unconsciously shut down our hearts, buy stuff, snort stuff, eat and drink stuff, to stay asleep and to BLAME.
And surely if we hate, judge, violently ridicule and verbally attack and belittle Trump then we really are no different from him and his ‘collective’? Doesn’t it then make us all the same? A bunch of hurt, angry, closed-hearted people wanting revenge for imagined and real injustices? Whether sitting at a dinner party or attending a Trump rally, aren’t we just all singing the same bitter song?! Regardless of how you dress it up, doesn’t it all just boil down to a bunch of victims collectively wanting to blame, vilify and hurt ‘the other’?
To keep our hearts open and allow ourselves to feel the whole range of our difficult and distressing feelings. To create time and space in the bustle of life to fully process the impact of the U.S. Elections and what this means for our world. Not just on an intellectual level but on a deeper emotional, physical and spiritual level.
To make less definite statements and ask more questions.
And, perhaps most importantly, to reflect upon our part in it all, asking ‘What do I need to change? What can I do? How can I help?’ – actually considering the bigger meaning of it and take full and loving responsibility for your part in the collective madness and collective healing.
This is not about denial. Those that deny their shadow by basking only in the ‘light’, help more forcefully create the ‘shadow monster’. For just as there is dark, there is light. We need both. We are both.
As a wise man once told me, ‘if Hitler is in hell you want to hope that his mother is there holding him.’ I believe the only way to conquer this culture of hate and bitterness is to recognise it for what it is: unprocessed pain. I wonder as I look at the dead eyes of Trump what unowned vulnerabilities sit just below the surface. I wonder how different a character he might be if he had been loved and held more. Or told he was good enough. Or received with validation and understanding. For as Richard Rohr states so eloquently ‘If we do not transform our pain we will ALWAYS transmit it’.
Option two is really the only choice for me. To allow all my feelings to flow (not just the rage). To look for and see the good in myself and others (yes even in him). To rise up in this Consciousness Revolution, take responsibility and do my bit. To show kindness wherever I can, especially to myself. To give more, to live more, to be more.
For sometimes, angels come with dark wings and maybe Trump is just such a one. And his non-evident mission is to reveal to us all that we do not want- our collective darkness and all that we are in danger of becoming.