How I’m Coping With the Election Results

If you don’t know me personally, you probably don’t know that I am a Hillary supporter. Just kidding. If you’re on this website, then you know that I am a Reiki master and Yoga teacher who lived in Philadelphia for 13 years, which means I’m exactly the sort of person who would be a Hillary supporter. I still am. No one said you have to stop sending love and good vibes to someone just because she’s not running for office anymore.

I would like to talk a little bit about how I’ve been coping with the results of the election. This is not meant to be prescriptive or informative. It’s merely me saying what I’ve been thinking.

I realized that I’ve been living in my own optimistic, inclusive, “things are getting better” bubble. For most of my time in Philadelphia, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by good people almost all of the time.

Yes, I experienced a lot of anger and frustration from Philadelphians, too, but the people that I call my friends from Philadelphia, the people that I really know, are wonderful people. They are more than wonderful. They are the kind of people most people wished that they knew.

I thought the world was becoming a better place. So, to me, the election results felt like a bucket of ice water—that somehow also included fire-balls—mixed with shards of glass, and poison.

This has been so traumatic for me that I am not sure that I have even reached the point of acceptance, yet.

I am also the kind of person who sees anger as cover emotion for fear. We’ve long been a brutal country.  “America” has been a brutal place even before we were officially a country. The fear of our own brutality has us in a deep panic. Whether you’re scared of white people, Christians, non-Christians, brown people, women, LGBTQ people, or merely that someone might take a bite from your slice of pie, there’s plenty of fear to go around.

So, we’re now in a Catch-22. Even if by some miracle we decide to honor the popular choice and put Hillary in the white house, the backlash would be just as bad as what we’re seeing now. There is no solution that would not result in more anger and violence.

Clearly, it was impossible for us to heal the brutality of our own history without this. I believe that if we could have, we would have.  We simply didn’t have enough flowers in the ’60s to convincingly cover up our history.  Instead of moving ahead in solidarity, we tried to drag ourselves ahead while a whole bunch of people clung to our ankles and said, “No!  I am too scared to change!”

After that, the fear went underground.  Since then, we’ve had a big, deeply rooted, infectious boil.  That boil has finally been lanced and we have to let it drain.  Seeing the inevitability of where we are now puts me one step closer to accepting it.  God circled the spot where we’re standing, etc. and all of that.¹

Now we need to heal.

For me, healing has always meant honesty and vulnerability.  Going forward, those things will be my goal.

Right now, I feel like I’m just barely getting back into my body after having been flung far from myself.  I’m moving forward the best I can.


¹The Place Where You Are Now
by Hafiz

This place where you are right now
God circled on a map for you.

Wherever your eyes and arms and heart can move
Against the earth and the sky,
The Beloved has bowed there –

Our Beloved has bowed there knowing
You were coming.

I could tell you a priceless secret about
Your real worth, dear pilgrim,

But any unkindness to yourself,
Any confusion about others,

Will keep one
From accepting the grace, the love,

The sublime freedom
Divine knowledge always offers to you.

Never mind, Hafiz, about
The great requirements this path demands
Of the wayfarers,

For your soul is too full of wine tonight
To withhold the wondrous Truth from this world.

But because I am so clever and generous,
I have already clearly woven a resplendent lock
Of his tresses

As a remarkable truth and gift
In this poem for you.


Translation by Daniel Ladinsky, The Subject Tonight Is Love

I copied this from Operation Meaning.