A LOT of feelings came up for me Tuesday night. After teaching meditation, I turned on my phone to see a text from my girlfriend reading, “I’m pretty freaked out right now.” I noted it as I walked to my car, unsure then (around 9pm MST) of what was going on exactly in the election.
When I got home it was a clear, crisp night. I took a deep breath outside of my car. I looked at all of the stars I could see. So many brilliant bits of light sent to us from the distant past.
A shooting star passed overhead.
Yesterday was a day of grieving for me and millions of others in America and around the world. And that grief will go on, in ways large and small, indefinitely.But for now there is work to do. In fact, that is one of my mantras for the time being:
“We have work to do.” As one friend put it, “we’ve got DEEP and LONG-TERM work to do to change.”
We need solidarity. Foremost with those who will suffer in the case of emboldened racists and misogynists. As I shared on Facebook:
Meanwhile, my heart truly goes out to the next Black person who is murdered or whose church is firebombed, the next Brown person who is beaten or killed for looking or being Muslim or Mexican, the next woman who is raped or sexually assaulted because some guy thought he could get away with it.
This is where I’m hit in the gut.
Already, so much of my heart is at Standing Rock. Now? Everywhere it is needed.
I also wrote of my gratitude to meditation. In particular, Tuesday night I led a group through a practice of non-identification with whatever thoughts or disturbances are arising in meditation. To be certain, this practice needs to be done in the context of having developed states of calm as well as understanding the ways we create and cling to fixed or rigid ideas. It is also, in my teaching, done in the context of living an ethical life, bringing ever more awareness to our states of anger and/or desire that lie at the root of much of the conflict and harm in our lives.
We have work to do, friends. A lot of work.
Lastly, I wrote:
Remember the stages of grief, my liberal friends. Be kind first to yourself and those near and dear to you.
Anger is appropriate, and part of being human in a time of loss. Be kind with that feeling and with the world around you.
There is a long road ahead. We will be needed, perhaps more than ever. We need to be ready to help, to serve, to be kind.
Even if it is only a tiny bit of kindness, show it today. We have work to do.
To my conservative friends, congratulations. The country is, politically at the federal level, in your hands. There is also work to do here, to ensure that this period leads to the most good for America that it can.
Some of us aren’t done grieving.
Some are still bargaining. Maybe we can convince the Electoral College to vote for Clinton on Dec 19. Maybe we can impeach Trump.
Some are angry. That is okay. Be kind with yourself and your anger; be kind to others, they need it too. Kindness doesn’t mean denying anger in yourself or others. It’s not our job to magically stop being angry or to ask that of others.
This process is going to be different for everyone.
Healing the great rifts that have developed in the election season isn’t the job of just the winners or losers, it’s a job for all of us.
And today is day one.