The Trump Administration: What Would Spirit Do?
I’ve been looking for spiritual guidance on how to emotionally cope with the Trump Administration but it has been mostly crickets from the personal empowerment authors. So I guess I have to work this one out for myself.
I do not hate President Trump but I am afraid of what is becoming of our country because of his administration. Emboldened racism, media manipulation and the proliferation of lies, the loss of civil liberties, executive overreach, foreign manipulation by Russia…to name just a few things that cause me sleeplessness.
But here is what I know from my enlightenment studies: fear leads to powerlessness and powerlessness leads to anger and anger is a low-frequency emotion that does not lead to progress. So clearly I cannot exist for four years in a perpetual state of fear and anger.
Here is what else I know from my studies: we are ALL connected on a divine level. Your soul is connected to my soul and we were ALL put here to raise up one another. All of us! That includes me and that includes Donald Trump and that even includes Darth Bannon. As unlikely as it feels, I am spiritually connected to them too and I have to see them as the side of my own soul that is ruled by fear and must therefore exert control over others to assuage that fear.
Fear of what, you may ask? Fear of change. Fear of others. Fear that equality for people that are not like them means that they won’t get theirs. Fear of discomfort. Fear that if they show remorse, humility, or a genuine connection with other people, they will lose the power to control them.
This administration is making policy out of all of the above fears. And that in turn makes me afraid because I do not want to live in a country like that.
But I do live in a country like that now. So what do I do about it?
Well I can do a lot of furious news consumption and screaming at my husband about my derisions. I’ve tried that. It doesn’t get me very far.
I can ignore it and try to focus only on what I can change and control like raising my family with shared values and universal respect. I’ve tried that too and while it is better, I do not live in a vacuum so I still have to have an emotional response at the ready for news that scares me. This post is my attempt to do just that.
What I have learned from teachers like Eckhart Tolle and Gary Zukav and Byron Katie is that we are all here to learn something in this lifetime. The lesson is different for every person but our souls are in cahoots to help one another learn and grow. Sometimes the lesson can seem undesirable but it is all part of a plan that gives us opportunities to face our challenges and grow closer to the divine because of it.
So I choose to see the Trump Administration as part of my plan — everyone’s plan. As uncomfortable as it is, I can grow from it too. But how? Am I to learn how to cope with anger and fear? Am I to speak and write? Am I to unite? Am I to be incited to use my voice?
I don’t want to argue with Trump supporters on the Internet or yell down a Liberal ecochamber about outrage. I want to help understand the souls that stand behind this president and try to unite with them since we are all part of this Divine Matrix. And then I want to learn not to judge every terrifying news as apocalyptic. And then I want to use my voice when it can be helpful.
What do you think you can do in the same spirit of using your political discomfort in order to serve your highest and best purpose as a soul?
As what I have resisted unfolds before me, I have been meditating daily on an old Chinese tale called The Old Man and His Horse. The lesson is that you cannot judge what happens as good or bad for it all serves a purpose. I have been thinking about this as I try to digest terrifying news alerts with objectivity. So in that spirit I will leave you with the proverb in the hopes that it can help you too. I’d love your response to this if you have one.
The Old Man and His Horse (Sai Weng Shi Ma)
Once there was an old man who lived in a tiny village. Although poor, he was envied by all, for he owned a beautiful white horse. Even the king coveted his treasure. A horse like this had never been seen before — such was its splendor, its majesty, its strength. People offered fabulous prices for the steed, but the old man always refused.
“This horse is not a horse to me,” he would tell them. “It is a person. How could you sell a person? He is a friend, not a possession. How could you sell a friend.”
The man was poor and the temptation was great. But he never sold the horse.
One morning he found that the horse was not in his stable. All the village came to see him.
“You old fool,” they scoffed, “we told you that someone would steal your horse. We warned you that you would be robbed. You are so poor. How could you ever protect such a valuable animal? It would have been better to have sold him. You could have gotten whatever price you wanted. No amount would have been too high. Now the horse is gone and you’ve been cursed with misfortune.”
The old man responded, “Don’t speak too quickly. Say only that the horse is not in the stable. That is all we know; the rest is judgment. If I’ve been cursed or not, how can you know? How can you judge?”
The people contested, “Don’t make us out to be fools! We may not be philosophers, but great philosophy is not needed. The simple fact that your horse is gone is a curse.”
The old man spoke again. “All I know is that the stable is empty, and the horse is gone. The rest I don’t know. Whether it be a curse or a blessing, I can’t say. All we can see is a fragment. Who can say what will come next?”
The people of the village laughed. They thought that the man was crazy. They had always thought he was a fool; if he wasn’t, he would have sold the horse and lived off the money. But instead, he was a poor woodcutter, and old man still cutting firewood and dragging it out of the forest and selling it. He lived hand to mouth in the misery of poverty. Now he had proven that he was, indeed, a fool.
After fifteen days, the horse returned. He hadn’t been stolen; he had run away into the forest. Not only had he returned, he had brought a dozen wild horses with him.
Once again, the village people gathered around the woodcutter and spoke. “Old man, you were right and we were wrong. What we thought was a curse was a blessing. Please forgive us.”
The man responded, “Once again, you go too far. Say only that the horse is back. State only that a dozen horses returned with him, but don’t judge. How do you know if this is a blessing or not? You see only a fragment. Unless you know the whole story, how can you judge? You read only one page of a book. Can you judge the whole book? You read only one word of one phrase. Can you understand the entire phrase?”
“Life is so vast, yet you judge all of life with one page or one word. All you have is one fragment! Don’t say that this is a blessing. No one knows. I am content with what I know. I am not perturbed by what I don’t.”
“Maybe the old man is right,” they said to one another. So they said little. But down deep, they knew he was wrong. They knew it was a blessing. Twelve wild horses had returned. With a little work, the animals could be broken and trained and sold for much money.
The old man had a son, an only son. The young man began to break the wild horses. After a few days, he fell from one of the horses and broke both legs. Once again the villagers gathered around the old man and cast their judgments.
“You were right,” they said. “You proved you were right. The dozen horses were not a blessing. They were a curse. Your only son has broken both his legs, and now in your old age you have no one to help you. Now you are poorer than ever.”
The old man spoke again. “You people are obsessed with judging. Don’t go so far. Say only that my son broke his legs. Who knows if it is a blessing or a curse? No one knows. We only have a fragment. Life comes in fragments.”
It so happened that a few weeks later the country engaged in war against a neighboring country. All the young men of the village were required to join the army. Only the son of the old man was excluded, because he was injured. Once again the people gathered around the old man, crying and screaming because their sons had been taken. There was little chance that they would return. The enemy was strong, and the war would be a losing struggle. They would never see their sons again.
“You were right, old man,” They wept. “God knows you were right. This proves it. Your son’s accident was a blessing. His legs may be broken, but at least he is with you. Our sons are gone forever.”
The old man spoke again. “It is impossible to talk with you. You always draw conclusions. No one knows. Say only this. Your sons had to go to war, and mine did not. No one knows if it is a blessing or a curse. No one is wise enough to know. Only God knows.”