Like so many progressives, I’ve been horrified that we elected Donald Trump as President. Against my instincts I watched his inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017 and was aware of my emotions swinging from negative judgement to a desire to bring peace, kindness, and understanding. I realized I really do want to speak up and out in a way that will help, not add to the hate and fear.
The following day, after deciding not to go, I joined a friend and took a bus to the Women’s March in San Diego. We had been expecting maybe 10,000 – which in San Diego is a pretty good crowd. Instead we had more than 30,000!
It was a magnificent experience. Contrary to most news reports I saw, it was not a protest against Trump, although there was some of that. Mostly it was a march for equality and justice for all, for peace, and for the environment.
How I’m finding my way
I’ve been working at understanding how Trump could win. Of course, he was wise in focusing his campaign in a way that would win him the Electoral College. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg talked about why it’s time to let that go here. She’s a pistol!
What I’m dimly coming to realize is that many of the women who voted for Trump and I, while having many things in common, have some areas of experience that are quite different. For example, I’ve never managed a long-term relationship mostly because I wouldn’t put up with any nonsense. I haven’t had to put up with locker room talk – I’ve walked away from it. Of course that means I don’t even know what a long term relationship is. Nor have I had a husband who lost a job and was unable to find decent or any employment.
I’ve come to have a bit less confusion about why those who voted for Trump did so, particularly the women. And I’m ashamed at how I’ve ignored them for so long.
Getting out of my bubble
In other words, I’ve been working to get out of my political bubble. I’ve done this by reading conservative websites and by thinking back and realizing I have known people who probably voted for the Republican side of the ticket.
I limit my political reading and responding to about an hour a day. That’s about all I can take and stay in the moment and not go down the dark tunnel of despair.
Despair won’t help
Falling into despair, while tempting, does nothing really to help. It’s a luxury if you will I don’t feel I can afford.
I’ve found these articles helpful:
Strategies for Hope – spoken the night before the inauguration I find it even more helpful now.
I call, and write, and sign petitions and believe you should too. I’m finding making those actions a part of my day help keep me what, calm? Rationally concerned? Feeling like I’m making my contribution? All of these and I notice those are mostly about me. Except mental pictures of my grand kids keep popping up.
I’m also back to my practice of gratitude daily – counting what I’m grateful for using a rosary.
I get out early every morning to unlock some buildings where I live and often remember to look up and experience the sunrise.
No, our world hasn’t ended. Are we in trouble? Well, yes, and I don’t know how much – nor does anyone really. Staying conscious, and as present as I can be really is all I know to reach for even when I’m protesting or not.
Does any of this resonate with you? I’d love to hear from you here in comments.
Love, blessings and abundance,