From a psychological perspective the recent election has unleashed a torrent of deep emotions which can only be described as Shadow like. It has ripped apart the veneer of cordial social interaction and instead revealed the ugly face of racism, misogyny, homophobia, anti-Semitism and a scapegoating of the disabled, vulnerable members of our population.
Never before has an election seemed so malevolent, malignant and Manichean. It feels like civil war- the battle of the light Jedi against the dark side of the Sith.
Many of us who repudiated Trump’s hyperbole and provocations feel betrayed by those of our family or friends or associates who may have voted forTrump. On the surface we may express disbelief and rage, but I believe that deeper still we feel terrified and helpless. In a word- disempowered.
The old king archetype- the senex- the most brutal form of patriarchy has won. Regressions to the worst impulses seem to hold sway. We feel despair. The matriarchal world of egalitarianism, ecological sanity, maternal safety seems to have been snatched from our fingertips. Despair and hopelessness seem to have won the day.
Ibelieve that it is important to give these feelings a safe space as we say to be expressed and validated. We may feel that the sexual abuser won- the bully of our child or adolescent years has again emerged victorious; the rich, spoiled narcissist born with a silver spoon has fooled or manipulated the crowd who can’t seem to see that the fat emperor is wearing no clothes. We need to accept, express and share these feelings- BUT ONLY TEMPORARILY!
We must pause, breathe and find a waytorestore- empower ourselves. Reb Nachman used to declare that we should not despair. We know from trauma studies that if we take action, we are not as traumatized, that we feel some agency or locus of control. We need acts of protest- to fight and do it for the earth.
Since the election, the contributions to organizations that protect the environment, women’s healthcare, progressive policies, etc, have quadrupled. Like mothers’ or fathers’ whose children are threatened we spring into action. These immersions in political causes are a step towards finding empowerment.
I believe firmly concomitantly, that we need to find our personal sense of grounding, centering and empowerment. We need to protect our clarity and perceptiveness. We need to continue our practices of healing and centering: effective therapy, prayer, meditation, shamanic and environmental principles. Of course there are problems, there are things to be deeply concerned about. In the smaller mind of moach kad’nut, as the Jewish shamans say, there is a sense of terror, helplessness- this is the end. The moach gad’nut, the larger mind or perspective reminds us that there are solutions- we must stay grounded and connect with the source. We must remain steadfast and connect, contribute and create.
I am beginning a beneficial group where we can share, express and co-create a rebirth of the phoenix from the ashes of the fire. This will be on my calendar of events. Please let me know if you have an interest.