Beliefnet
The Bliss Blog

In the aftermath of the most contentious election in my memory banks, my friends and I  are reeling. We are not alone. The majority of  them have a liberal world view and had intended a different outcome. For some, Wednesday was the beginning of a mourning process that may take awhile to assimilate. It was when I noticed that leaders in my social circles, spiritual centers and professional community who I saw (like myself) as rocks, were crumbling, that gave me permission to mourn as well before regrouping to take inspired action. I cried, I hunkered down in bed, I went to the gym and sweated it out, I spent time in nature and with friends, I wrote and wrote and wrote. I let in all the feelz. I let out all the feelz.

It isn’t merely that the other candidate won the electoral college (but not the popular) vote that opened the door to the Oval Office. It is the attitude of hatred and fear mongering that moves with him. Not propaganda, nor media slant, but words from his own mouth. There is no ventriloquest or voice over actor speaking through him.  Words that express his personal attitude. Words that give blatant permission and set an example for violence in verbiage and action. I have been reluctant to write this here, since there may be some readers who voted for him, for their own reasons. Each adult American has the right to vote their conscience.  I keep in mind that this is an interfaith website with writers and readers of all spiritual traditions who may now be in fear because of the way they worship, or people whose gender identity, sexual preference, immigrant stock or skin color makes them targets.

I have a few people in my life who did cast their vote that way. With one exception; a man who voices the same Islamophobia, they are not sexist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic or ridiculing of those with handicaps. They are open minded and open hearted people. Most understand that this was not a big win for anyone. None of them are gloating. All of them are supportive of those of us who are disappointed.  None of them would commit hate crimes that have already started. Swaztikas painted on walls, women harrassed and assaulted in greater numbers than prior to the election. People whose ancestors came from other countries, even if they themselves were born here, being told to get out or bear the consequences. School children parroting what they may have heard the adults in their life say, emboldened by campaign rhetoric, as they threaten classmates. He speaks of keeping terrorists out, while his words are terrorizing.

It occurred to me that Jesus, who many of the supporters of our country’s new leader claim as their spiritual guide, would not stand in solidarity with those beliefs.

I wrote an article entitled Doubling Down on Love, that voiced my concerns and encouraged reaching across political lines. In it, I called for cooperation and not competition, love and not fear, understanding and not distancing, peacemaking and not war mongering. Not sugar sweet and idealistic, “I’d Like To Teach the World To Sing,” kind of love, although that has its place, but concrete, peaceful actions that call Mama Bear protective love to the fore. The kind that reaches out to help when injustice is done. The kind that shows up, stands up and speaks out, rather than thinking someone else will do it. The kind that won’t abandon hope.

Today when I went to the supermarket,  I felt a sense of tenderness toward my fellow shoppers. I had no clue how anyone voted. I took note of the potpourri of people in the aisles, whose families hailed from all different countries. It seemed as if people were being kinder to each other, much like they had following 9/11.  When I got to the check out line, one of the employees who knew me, hugged me. She had shown up at a FREE Hugs event I orchestrated on Election Day in our town. When I told the woman at my register what it was about, she reached over the conveyer belt and hugged me too. Had there been more time, I might have started a hug chain.

On Friday, November 18th, I am offering another event called Hugging America From the Heart of Bucks County. Since hugs are non-sectarian, apolitical and by consent, it is intended to bring people together in the spirit of co-existence and healing.

In the past few days, I have felt a need for sanctuary and to be that presence for others. Time with kindred spirits has been a healing balm for me.

It is in the shelter of each other that people live. -Irish Proverb

 

 

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