I’ve been a mental health therapist and spiritual counselor for almost 12 years, and I haven’t seen anything like I did starting in November 2016. My field called it “Trump Anxiety Syndrome”, and it started the night he was elected President of the United States.
I have listened to friends, family members, clients, and strangers all expressing fear about what was happening in our country. I have felt it myself. Most days, actually.
As a person who has been trained at depth to look at the bigger picture, I started asking myself, “What do we need to do to heal this fracture that has become US?”
This is a problem for all of us—not one of us is left out of this gaping wound.
The common denominator—and I don’t care what “side” you are on—is that Trump is a predator, a perpetrator; and you are either on the victim side of that, or the enabling side of that. And your choice is based on emotions from your past.
As I listened to all of these people in my life, their thoughts, opinions, emotions, the common thread was that Trump is triggering for each of us all of the times we have ever been on the receiving end of a perpetration of any size. He’s a bully, a violent asshole. Who hasn’t experienced either of those in some shape or form?
Power. Safety. Survival. These are the buttons he pushes in you, no matter what, no matter who you care to vote for in any election.
If you are afraid of him, look into your history and see where you have ever been a victim of bullying behavior, by a parent, classmate, authority figure, or peer of any kind.
He punches you right in that tender, unprocessed place in your body where all that hurt is stored. He reminds you of nearly everything you hate about the darkness of which humans are capable.
If you are sympathetic with him to any extent whatsoever, the same is true for you. He gives you safety from a false sense of threat. He lies and says that you aren’t safe unless you believe his every word and back him up. It’s better to side with the bully than to be the victim, isn’t it?
And he’s right. If you don’t buy into what he’s doing, he’ll throw you aside like he does with all of his nay-sayers.
Just like a bully does.
Just like an abuser does.
Just like a predator does.
Ok, take a deep, belly breath.
What can we do?
Not only does he remind us of our violated places in our own history, he is actively perpetrating against humanity on a regular basis. How can we do anything about that?
Forgive. And forgive like crazy.
Forgive all of those past hurts of all the bullies you have ever encountered because that emotion is coloring your ability to proceed clearly, calmly, wisely.
If you identify with either of the following statements, this work belongs to you:
“I’ve been hurt and I want to hurt you back, so I will attack the bully.” (As tempting as this is, it’s not healing or solution-oriented.)
“I’ve been hurt and taken from, and I’m scared for my safety, so I’m siding with the bully because he’ll keep me safe.”
You can mix and match those and they still fit, don’t they?
Forgive, because while he is still perpetrating, your past hurt makes you lash out in more hurt and anger, and fuels the bully and all of his cohorts.
There is no winning, no healing, no moving forward with past hurt as the powerful fuel feeding today’s fire. We are being shown in full color how being run by emotions ends badly. For everyone.
Forgive because we need your voice! Clear, strong, unrelenting, rational, persistent.
And when you engage in emotional force that results in insults, more hurt, division, separation, you are fueling the perpetrator. You are giving him fodder for his damaging behavior, fodder for his fear-based rhetoric that is Pablum for his supporters.
And if you do support him, or are even mildly sympathetic, forgive. Forgive those you fear. Fear always lies. Forgive those you are afraid will take something that belongs to you. Forgive those who you are are afraid will hurt you. Forgive those you feel misunderstand you. Only then will you see clearly what is real.
Hopefully you also reflect on why you are so fearful; but if all you do is forgive those you feel threaten your safety, you will help us all be a step ahead of where we are now.
It may not seem like much, but nothing will change without each of us taking this step.
The only way we will make it through this is to clear our own past hurts and threats and fears and anger. Then we can see how to stand, how to communicate, how to embrace, how to heal, how to evolve.
Please. Forgive. Today and tomorrow and the next day. Whatever it takes. Heal and rise above the hurt so that you can be part of a greater America. A greater World.