I woke at 4:00 a.m. today and lay in bed paralyzed, unable to face a new reality, unable to will myself back to the comforts of the dream world.
I’ve bounced between text messages, Facebook posts and news reports hoping for some light to alleviate this unfathomable outcome, some comforting word to assure me that Trump really can’t inflict the damage of which he appears so capable.
The end of Roe vs Wade?
The end of marriage equality?
The end of Obamacare?
The end of climate acknowledgment?
The end of Freedom of the Press?
The end of equal rights for Muslims?
Surely, there must be some check, some balance, some other body who’s really pulling the strings? We will not regress into some good ol’ boy nation where the haves keep having regardless of the effects on people and planet. But with a Senate and House Republican majority, I have little hope in the powers that be and the course they will set.
I am shocked. The world is shocked.
How easy it is to find comfort in taking sides; to malign all Trump supporters as uneducated, misogynistic, racists who let rhetoric foolishly sway them to elect a man who will engender chaos, suffering and hatred and do little to alleviate their pain.
But, as I sit with this sadness, feel my beating heart, I see this is not the answer.
In Berkeley right now there are helicopters overhead. They’ve been flying all night covering protests around the city. People are chanting, “Not My President!” I find their efforts comforting, not for the zeal in which they deny our new reality, but because these are people, young, old, mostly young, black, white and all shades between joining in the streets. They are coming together and have been since last night.
In my disbelief and heartache, I feel that my ability to open has been pried even further. I see how I too cannot hold this pain alone. We must have community, we must have connection, we must have love, because it’s the only way to address the tension, anxiety and fear that we’ve all been carrying alone or in small pockets for far too long.
We thought voting would be enough. We thought sanity would prevail. Now we must unite with neighbors and strangers.
I don’t know anyone who voted for Trump, but I want to know these people. I want to listen openly and try to understand. Their hardships are my hardships. I take them on fully. With this result, I see how fiercely and actively I must step in, suit up and call upon my resources as a servant for understanding. I believe that if humanity is to prevail, we all must mount this effort. We must come together for truth. We must cautiously sidestep the easy traps of blame, hate and prejudice across our borders, classes and political parties. This is the only way.
I am up to this challenge in mind, body and tender heart.