In the Sunday Review section of The New York Times recently, a headline asked:
Will Sanders Supporters Come Around?
My response, out loud, to my apartment walls — Who gives a fuck?
This is when I knew something in me had shifted after two weeks of political conventions and the ensuing shit-storm on social media and television. Because prior to that I was in the strategic place, hoping the math was there for a Hillary win in November.
Now? Who knows?
Who am I? Where am I in all of this?
Next to me the Bible is open to Isaiah chapter 58. It’s been on my desk like that since yesterday when I tuned in to a livestream of Marianne Williamson at a church in Manhattan. I’ve seen her speak in person a handful of times, but this was more impassioned than I’ve ever seen her.
After the minister on the pulpit prior to Williamson read Isaiah beginning with verse 6 and spoke of being the “repairer of the breach” in these stormy political times, Williamson came to the microphone and said she’d like to go back to verse 1:
Shout out, do not hold back!
Lift up your voice like a trumpet!
Williamson railed about complacency. She spoke of how other nations were asking, “What are Americans thinking?” and then said forcefully, “It ain’t midnight yet.” We still have time to right this. “When we do, we slam it like nobody’s business.” And finally a clarion call, “Come on, America, wake up.”
Back on Facebook I’m marveling at the seemingly smart people in my acquaintance lamenting why so many are supporting Hillary just because she’s a woman. It’s bullshit. A party line. And hey, regarding the three women in the country who might be that shallow, we’ll take those three votes. Especially if they’re in swing states.
I want to rise above, lift up my country energetically, be at peace with whatever happens in the election. This is why I go back to the livestream.
Now the church service is over and Marianne Williamson is part of a discussion about our fiery American discourse. She likens what’s happening nationwide to therapy, explaining that if you learn in therapy that a parent’s specific behavior has caused you great pain you may want to stop it with your generation instead of perpetuating it. Learning what you want to “keep” and “stop” is essential to the healing and growing process.
“We have to do that with our country, too,” she said.
She quotes Michelle Obama’s speech from the Democratic National Convention. In a nutshell, ‘they go low, we go high.’
“Our conversations now need to be nuanced and sophisticated,” Williamson said.
Yes! This resonates with me. But I am hung up in the ‘how’ of it. What is my role?
I feel caught between jumping into the madness and falling into complacency. Can I afford the latter? Can the country afford it? Won’t collective complacency be our downfall?
Donald Trump has begun a feud with the father and then the mother of a Muslim soldier killed in Iraq. He didn’t misspeak. He never misspeaks. He speaks his mind. Doesn’t feel the need to be politically correct. That’s his selling point. They love that he isn’t afraid to speak without a filter. It’s just going on and on and on.
And the memes about how great he’ll make the country continue. He’s going to put an end to political correctness.
Whew. I was losing sleep over that, the most pressing issue of our time.
I go back to The Times and read a piece called “A Woman-Child in Jamaica” by Nicole Dennis-Benn. She writes about being a 10-year-old and reaching that point where her body begins to develop. Her mother and grandmother took her aside.
“She told me she never again wanted to see me dancing and playing in public as I had been that morning,” Dennis-Benn writes of her mother. “I was confused. I did not know that practicing my cartwheels and splits on the long veranda warranted such reprimand.”
The elders explained that she would be getting a different kind of attention from males now.
“I felt betrayed by my body because it dared to bloom under the eyes of predators that waited outside the schoolyard and in my community,” she writes. “I would crouch between the pages of books to escape …”
Not only did she speak of reading, such an escape in my youth, but she described her school uniform. It brought to mind the absolute discomfort I felt when I developed early and stood out in my navy blue plaid jumper at St. Gregory the Great grammar school.
I reached out to Dennis-Benn on Twitter, not just because I wanted to give her feedback, but because it would act as a balance in my social media experience. This is what is so magical about technology. A moment of connection with a fellow writer whose work spoke to me.
Vox has posted a story showing campaign buttons that say, “Life’s a bitch. Don’t vote for one.”
Yeeha for spacious skies and amber waves of grain and all that.
A friend has posted a video of a police officer pulling over an African-American woman and giving her an ice cream cone, prompting her to laugh uproariously.
More of that, please.
A list of reasons, appearing on my feed for the 800th time, why Hillary is not trustworthy or fit to be President of the United States. The usual laundry list, followed by the plaintive question, “How can anyone vote for her?”
OK, let’s say that whole list is valid, filled with genius.
Why oh why are you acting like she’s running against St. Francis of Assissi? Look, here’s your clear choice: a she-devil or the man who wants to be an instrument of peace, who wants to sow love where there’s hatred and hope where there’s despair. Uh huh. Yup. Those are your choices. Our guy has birds flocking around him, flitting in pure joy. If you let birds loose around your broad, they’d be dive bombing her like she’s Tippi Hedren.
Yep. The sinner or the saint.
How can you cast your ballot for the sinner?
I’m helping people tap into their best selves in my coaching and it’s so satisfying. The hit of adrenaline off that on a given day puts me right back in that elevated spiritual place. Let’s focus on being better people for ourselves and each other. Happy, fulfilled people make better friends, parents, spouses, co-workers, and neighbors.
That is what raises the collective consciousness. Focus on that. Stay with it.
There is no complacency in that.
If Trump is meant to win in November, he will. My higher self needs to make peace with that. It’s what the great spiritual teachings say.
Are you fucking kidding me?
Counting the days until November.