To soothe today's wounded warriors, I share "The Basement Stairs," a personal story.
I had such a strange feeling this morning as I began to wake up. Having voted for Hillary which was mainly about voting against Trump, I believed I was supposed to be upset, even terrified as I have found myself actually despising this man. Even though I also hold that “hate” does not have an acceptable place in my life; actually seeing it as the most extreme expression of my Dark Side, this is what I have felt and cannot yet imagine feeling otherwise.
(Update: Friday, November 11 (Veteran's Day, to boot -- the day I conceived my daughter, many years ago), I don't "hate" Donald Trump anymore and am still relieved to not have the Clintons moving back into the White House.
Today I am thinking of how much I detest the Washington D.C. power game and the endless collusions and conspiracies they give rise to. I wish we could look forward to a hoped for whitewash of it all; the lobbyists, politicians and many others who feed off of them. But this man, Trump, while I am letting go of my "hate," my concerns remain. I am concerned too about how the media may have played all of us (and we enabled them) -- and -- more than anything else contemplating a need to embrace compassion for the "white privelege" I have enjoyed, possibly at the expense of those, also white, who may have been more disadvantaged.)
Still I could not ignore that I also felt relief at Hillary losing the election while I, also, knew myself to be far from happy that Trump has won. I do not yet understand why I am feeling these various thimgs. So I contemplated and pondered this as is my wont to do each morning, blessed as I am to be my own boss; Executive Director does carry some privilege with it.
I am a far way away from understanding this reaction in me. Thus I am really looking forward to New Horizons’ forthcoming “Overcoming The Polarization of Politics” Coffee House Conversation. I see that as a potential way to sort myself out in a communal setting where I am trusting I will listen and learn from others also trying to sort themselves out too.
However, that event is ten days off and I must still live with myself between now and then. So I must gain some degree of settled within myself in order to maximize each day that I go on living my life between now and then; community conversation is not always enough!
I haven’t yet found my balance point. However, this seems as if this might be a stretch as it is only a bit after noon. And Donald Trump’s startling election upset will certainly need to grow on all of us who absolutely abhor the idea of this man as our presidential leader (As I write this I feel my stomach tense with the very notion of what might lie ahead for those such as myself who are today feeling similarly.)
Nonetheless, what keeps repeating in my mind this morning that seems as if it explains some of my reaction to this staggering upheaval is a story I wrote back in August, 2012 titled –
The Basement Stairs
I reprint it here that it may sooth some of your distress today, if you voted for Hillary, or against Donald Trump. I hope you may find solace in my childhood expressions that seem so much beyond politics. And if you are troubled today, or if you simply just want to be a heart of the healing, maybe you will come and join New Horizons and myself next week on November 19.
As for me, the Super Sleuth part of me is now setting herself to investigating the inner workings of my mind and my heart, hoping to better understand my neighbors who will have now put Donald Trump in the White House and why I am not any more upset about the election outcome than I am.
I am five years old, sitting on the basement steps, wondering. My mommy and daddy are right before me arguing while I sit there—on the basement stairs, second or third from the bottom. I don’t recall ever having seen arguing before, upset, conflict, division, chaos, upheaval.
Mine is a world of order, unity, practical day-to-day doings, comings and goings; family, community, participation in life, mostly lively and happy. A few tears now and then, nothing very big as I think back on it now.
But now in this moment, something different, bringing confusion to my child mind, just as I am entering an age and stage where I am beginning to wonder, am called to consider, as I sit here on the basement stairs, the meaning of things. So I ask myself, “What am I to do with what I am watching here?”
After all, we had only come down here to the basement to work on mommy’s canning closet. A brief family time of seeing the pears and the peaches on the shelves daddy built. And, of course, the pickles, bread and butter pickles, and always lots of kosher ones with dill.
I watch now – mommy and daddy – upset, arguing, angry. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anger before. Certainly not between mommy and daddy, maybe once or twice at me but I forget. This I will remember.
Who am I that is sitting here watching this upset?
Who are they? Still mommy and daddy?
And, of course, almost biggest for me – what am I supposed to do here?
Later I will know. And what I know will become New Horizons’ Small Zones of Peace” Project and the Possible Human, Possible Society Study.
At least as far as I can figure it out for now.