You Aren't Mad at Trump, You're Mad at Your Neighbor

We aren't mad at Trump. He announced his candidacy for president in June of 2015 and for the last 17 months we've moved through space and time and watched the story unfold. 

We've listened to his remarks about sexually abusing women and we've told ourselves - "no way" will he be in office. We said this because we are women, we know women, we love women and as a collective we want better for women.

We've listened to numerous racial slurs pour out of his mouth and told ourselves - "no way" will he be in office.  We said this because in our heart of hearts we know that the leader of the free world shouldn't say things like that. We are minorities, we know minorities, we love minorities and as a collective we want better for minorities. 

We've listened to crude, sexist and misogynistic remarks that found a landing area in our living rooms and timelines and told ourselves - "no way" will he be in office. We said this because we've been treated cruelly, we've been put in the boxes constructed by stereotypes, we've been the target of prejudice and as a collective we want better for humanity. 

At some point the blow from Trumps comments started stockpiling and our mantra of "no way" gained strength and the shock from future remarks subsided and moved into a category of  "that's just another ridiculous thing that Trump said."  We collectively decided that we didn't want him for our president while we watched red states outnumber blue states on our TV screens as the results came in on November 8th.

Then something major happened. The illumination of the last red state turned our "no ways" inside out and it hurt. Bad. It hurt because it meant that there are people in our daily life that we pass on the street, work with, go to church with (maybe even live with) and we heard their vote say:

My better for women is not the same as your better for women. Your experience as a minority is not my problem. Your idea of restoring and healing the world is different than my idea of restoring and healing the world.

It hurts because we are all connected. 

It's a hurt that can not be swept away with a mantra or a meme. It is popping up as protests in our streets, it's being used as permission slips by some to be bold with their hate and it's opening our eyes to unknown deeply rooted contradicting beliefs held by people we call our friends - our neighbors. 

We aren't mad at Trump. We've known who he is and what he stands for from the beginning. We're mad at our neighbors because they don't know us...and we don't know them. 

We ended up with two candidates that pulled us in opposite directions. The thing about polar opposites is they create tension and tension creates an environment that will either snap, collapse or it will find balance. Maybe instead of being with candidates this is a time to be with each other. 

Be angry, sad, shocked, disgusted, confused, scared, hurt, nervous, worried. Allow space for yourself and those around you to experience whatever emotion needs to be experienced. Stand with others in their emotions if needed but be careful not to let these types of feelings form the foundation from which you operate.

The same space that is holding the hurt also holds a place that we can live from that is much more effective than any fear. Once the emotions settle consider making a choice to operate boldly from your unique power, love and self-discipline. Forgive as many times as it takes. Be wise. 

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity but of power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
Don't you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the spirit of God lives in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16


May your days be filled with compassion, your faith remain strong and may growth be your compass.