Trumping Post Traumatic Election Disorder: A Call to Consciousness in a Time of Shock
By Leslie Sheridan ©11–2016
As all conscious human beings on our planet are feeling the morning after the shock of seeing Donald Trump win the Presidency, due to our archaic electoral college overriding the popular vote, I can now relate viscerally to the term shell-shocked. Like those who have witnessed violent death firsthand, some of us are feeling as if we have witnessed the death of any semblance of a democracy which might have existed.
While watching the deeply disturbing results play out last night, nausea rose up in my stomach while tears came to my eyes. How could it be that a country like ours could elect a hate-filled, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, misogynistic, mad man like Trump? Though this question undoubtedly has many answers, a few quickly rise to the top of the heap of the electoral dung which has been handed to us:
1) There are a plethora of U.S. citizens who choose hate over love and divisiveness over unity and inclusion. To say that this is deeply disturbing, as well as terrifying is an understatement.
2) Our major media, owned by six corporations, provided Trump with oodles of free air time, during which he could broadcast his paradigm of hate.
3) Those in our country who did not vote, throwing away one of our great democratic rights.
Though it has gotten the result it richly deserves from the unconscious choice it has made, shame on America! And shame on every person in this country who deems the major media to be a harbinger of truth and real news! It’s time for us to wake up and demand that major media gets some integrity and practices responsible, truly fair and balanced journalism! Until then, we can count on them feeding us more manure! And until then, it is more important than ever to seek out truly, independent and trustworthy news sources!
Now, the question for those who did not support Trump: after the shock and disappointment wear off, where do we go from here? Here, we are presented with some choices, including, but not limited to:
Anger — Though some may feel like lighting fires in the streets, and this is an understandable human reaction, it is an emotion which we must work through, but in healthy ways. As Buddha expressed, “You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.”
In the spirit of democracy and free speech, by all means go out and protest, but do so peacefully. We must sit with our anger, and turn it inside out, into positive action and peaceful resistance. We must light a fire in our hearts by using our anger as fuel to a revolution in which love trumps hate and good triumphs over evil. To remain camped out in anger not only hurts us but restricts our possibilities . . . individually, as a country, and as a planet.
Cynicism — Though it is tempting to turn to cynicism and say that people like Trump always win, and that greed always defeats collaboration for the greater good, we must not go there. As Chris Wooding said in his book Poison, “Cynicism was a one-way path, and once taken the way back was lost forever.”
We must remember that though the universal balance can appear to shift a certain direction, eventually a divine leveling always seems to come about when that which is good and right is up against that which is sinister and wrong. As the famous sayings go, “karma is a bitch,” and “the chickens always come home to roost!”
Depression — The election result is a huge disappointment for conscious human beings on our planet, and one which could easily take us into a depression. As it may be beneficial to experience this, we must find a way to work through it, lest it paralyze us. We might be encouraged on by the words of a great leader, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said: “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
Fear — Though a very valid reaction, given the outrageous and unbelievable things Trump stands for and has said he will do, to remain in fear is to paralyze ourselves and our country. Instead, we must rise up and exercise our power of the people muscle the likes of which surpass even our prior victories. As Margaret Mead wisely opined: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Understanding that the kind of “power” the Trumps of this world display is far from the truth of what real power is about, we must dig deep into the divinity of our souls and unearth the kind of real power which has unseated dictators and despots for centuries.
Hope — In times like these, this is the hardest choice of all, though seemingly naïve, is one that deserves credence and embrace. Since anger and cynicism often yield violence and despair, hope is our best option. As Desmond Tutu said, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”
Yes, in the face of the frightening choice of a President which is staring us in the face, this is a challenge of a lifetime. However, we must never stop believing in the power of humanity’s best attributes to win out against its worst.
Though the times ahead of us are terrifying to say the least, we must not give up by succumbing to anger, cynicism, depression, or fear, as there is far too much at stake . . . individually, as a country, as a planet, and as the human race expressing itself at this unique moment in our existence. As we move on in the undoubtedly daunting times which lie ahead, let’s hold the thought/prayer similar to that of President Abraham Lincoln: “My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth.”
(Leslie Sheridan is an activist, catalytic coach, citizen journalist, consultant, and published author and poet. She has published an international, online peace and justice newsletter, The Carpe Diem Voice, since 2003, and her poetry has been featured in The Huffington Post. Her business profile can be found at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lesliemsheridan. She can be found on Facebook at Leslie M Sheridan.)