I’m a staunch Hillary supporter. We still have our “Hillary 2008” bumper sticker displayed in our garage. We wore hats and t-shirts, drove around with our magnetized stickers, wore our pantsuits Tuesday. Shook with disbelief during a sleepless post-election night; cried and raged the next day.
And then I wondered: How is it perfect that Hillary lost?
What a provocative, even mean-spirited question. If I imply there’s perfection in this, aren’t I minimizing our collective suffering, just to bring some new-agey bulls**t into a very painful experience?
Perhaps. And yet, when I finally stare that question in the face, “how is this exact thing that’s happening right this moment—perfect?” I get some fascinating answers.
Wondering about this is actually based on some fundamental premises, that:
- All of nature follows intricate, complementary, and perfect patterns.
- Humans are an inextricable part of this patterning.
- Thus, all that unfolds is the perfect expression of what is.
So, how in the world is it perfect that Hillary lost? Now that I’ve moved through most of my reactivity about the election, here are some of my realizations:
This is perfect because:
- Now Hillary doesn’t have to deal with four years of stalemate.
The Senate and House are Republican. They blocked every possible Obama policy they could. Of course they’d spend Hillary’s tenure doing everything they can to make governing impossible, then blame it on her (and on her being a woman). They’d try to make mincemeat out of her.
- She doesn’t have to deal with the poisonous vitriol of (what would have been) half of the populace that views her at least as corrupt, and at most, Satan’s daughter, someone who deserves to be imprisoned, maybe even killed. Hillary is 69 years old. She’s been the target of malice for decades. Let her get off center stage and have a life, be the person she really is instead of a projective device for the masses.
- Hillary can let down her guard.
I was moved to watch Hillary actually tear up twice during her concession speech. As a woman, there’s been no way she could afford to show such “weak” emotions up to now. As a result, the public viewed her as cold and callous, while her friends kept trying to tell us how warm and caring she actually is. Finally, she can take off her armor. The war is over.
- My denial has been ripped away.
I didn’t see it, ok? I was wrapped up in the idea of the first woman president. I didn’t see the depths of what’s been going on all along. So when Zeba Blay points out “Don’t be surprised. This is the America you’ve always lived in,” I stopped and tried to look out through my own pain. She described the racism that is inescapable in these election results (and that minorities have been experiencing throughout American history). It wasn’t just “uneducated whites” who voted Trump in. It was educated women, whites across income lines. Our—my—racism is glaring, and perhaps, now, unavoidably apparent.
Then I read this from Michael Moore:
“Everyone must stop saying they are ‘stunned’ and ‘shocked.’ What you mean to say is that you were in a bubble and weren’t paying attention to your fellow Americans and their despair. YEARS of being neglected by both parties, the anger and the need for revenge against the system only grew”.
As one of the shocked ones, I’ve been wondering where I’ve been. I did blog about the alarming statistic of increasing mortality in poorly educated white, middle-aged Americans due to sky-rocketing rates of suicide, opioid addiction, and alcohol abuse; how this is a population steeped in Reactive Brain and paying the price. But I haven’t sat with how half the populace of my country is so stressed, pressured and angry that it is willing to do anything for a change. Instead, I let my classism tell me that “these people just don’t get it.” That they’re different from me, don’t understand. Now I’m facing into what has also been there all along: huge numbers of fellow Americans suffering to the point of desperation.
- Now I see a path to action.
I see waves of creativity surfacing all around me post-election, as people’s reactivity is transmuting to creativity. Here’s my list of steps I’m taking:
- Continue to galvanize the movement towards a paradigm of evolutionary power.
We’re still in hierarchy. I looked to Hillary to be the hero, to take women’s rights to the next level. That was never up to her. It’s up to me and you and all of us. And it was never about women; it’s been about racism and classism, those ways that we insist on viewing each other as different and less-than. I know that: I just let myself drift back to what I recognize: hierarchy, power-over, trying to win at someone else’s cost. I know better. I recommit to living from Power With, and to doing whatever I can to support every being’s right fully express who they really are.
- Be an ally.
I commit to using my white privilege to do what I can to shift myself and those I influence out of the clutches of racism. To use my voice to end mass incarceration. And—I commit to using my class and educational privilege to listen better, to deeply understand what Trump supporters have been trying to express. To move our country towards the healing made from compassion and connection and understanding.
- Choose love.
I understand Reactive Brain. Criticizing and attacking others who are in Reactive Brain doesn’t help. At all. EVER. When I do that, I pour gas on the fire. I have the tools to step back and shift over and over and over, to notice my own reactivity and breathe, move, express until I can once again inhabit the open field of Creative Brain. From that place, I can once again discover possibilities, and know that every human–every single one of us!–is doing the best we can.
I’m just beginning to glean the lessons from this election. I’m happy to feel my own power again—not the “making others wrong” that masquerades as power, but the real power that comes from knowing I’m on my own path and that energizes me to see and take my next steps. I invite you to do the same. Together, let’s face the truths of what has been exposed, so that we can take the actions to knit ourselves back together as a people.
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