I have always enjoyed reading letters sent from family and friends as their year in review and all the (mostly) way cool things they have done. Call it a vicarious ride. I can imagine the pride felt with graduations and performances. I can visualize the places they have been while on the road. I […]
A month ago, much of the adult population of the United States exercised their right as citizens to cast their vote for the candidate they felt would best match their beliefs and serve their needs as president. As the polls closed and the votes were tallied, what many thought would never occur, came to pass. The reactions in some circles, ranged from shock and disbelief, to anger and disgust, to depression and an overwhelming sense of fear about what this would mean for the world as we know it. Harkening back to the Holocaust and the insidious disease that spread worldwide in the form of Nazism, some who lived through those horrific times and note that the same patterns are developing, began to tell cautionary tales. In my own inner circle, I have a friend who was ferried on the Kindertransport during the Blitzkrieg in London and now in her 80’s, still has PTSD symptoms.
Other friends are part of the LGBTQ community and fear that their safety and right to exist are in question and that their legally sanctioned marriages hang in the balance. Still others are from immigrant stock and even if they and their families came to this country through governmentally approved means, they are looked at askance and threatened with deportation from those emboldened by the hate speach being spewed. Muslim friends wonder whether they, like Jews in Europe, Japanese Americans and Native Americans in this country were in decades past, will be sequestered. Those too were dark times, that many see reoccurring.
Even as someone who is characteristically positive, forward thinking, on an emotional even keel, I have had my moments of immersing in despair. Fortunately short-lived, I have been able to haul myself out of the muck and mire by engaging in practices that I offer to you, as well. I refer to what many have been experiencing as PEST (Post Electoral Stress and Trauma)
- Time with kindred spirits whose beliefs are in alignment with my own
- More sleep at night and naps when needed during the day
- Workouts at the gym
- Writing copious amounts about the election and the aftermath for various venues
- Getting involved with pro-social activism
- Wearing the safety pin to be a visible sign of support for those marginalized by the hateful environment reinforced
- Making my Facebook page a safe space to talk about feelings, with the caveat that vitriol, homophobia, sexism, racism, xenophobia, transphobia and homophobia have no place there
- Singing, dancing, art and drumming as ways of expelling energy
- Prayer and meditation
- Crying when needed
- Taking a news fast from time to time
- Going to the gym to ‘sweat my prayers,’ as well as my anger
- Huddling under the covers if need be
- Organizing FREE Hugs Events
Was sharing with my friend Mare Cromwell, who is a peace and social justice activist and author of The Great Mother Bible: or, I’d rather be gardening…. , Messages from Mother…. Earth Mother and If I gave you God’s phone number…. Searching for Spirituality in America, just now, that my ‘God-versations’ (as I commune with Spirit about the election, begin with “WTF?” and end with, “Okay, now what?”) my incapacity to predict outcome contributes to roller coaster ride anxety. As much as I would like to know and not simply believe that all is working out for the Highest Good, I, like many, are living in uncertainty.
Earlier in the day, I went to the gym with my friend Greg Bullough, who is a politcal ally, and then we went to lunch in our suburban Bucks County, PA town of Doylestown.
Afterward, ran into Isabel Girona at the Zen Den and she told us about her experience at Standing Rock. This 20-something young woman courageously went cross country to represent and support. She spoke poignantly about the ways people there shared everything and demonstrated lovingkindness. We need more of that. She and her peers give me hope and it is for them and the next seven generations that I show up, stand up and speak out.