Trump? Villain or…?

I’ve been transfixed by the election cycle this time around—have you? Participating in the Bernie/Hillary debate (and having some friendships spinning around our differences); watching in awe as the First Woman in History accepted the presidential nomination (let’s go back and savor that moment again……… And then. The immersion into Trumpdom.

I admit it, social media has been a quick fix for me. Just looking at the headlines on Huffington Post gave me an adrenaline buzz. Immersing myself into my FaceBook feed was more like mainlining, as I read article after article, post after post of outrage, line-drawing, position-taking. Righteousness. The clarity of the high moral ground. No, we’re not going to let a fascist demagogue take over. Our history has proven it: It’s a slippery slope when we let fear-mongering take over. I was born twelve years after the end of World War II and I feel the terror, the destruction of millions upon millions of lives in my very cells. Never again.

I tried to imagine what to do if this cancer grew. Would I demonstrate against Trump? Carry signs, chant, lend my voice to others’ so that we’d stop him? I wasn’t sure. I still am not.

But as I cast around, my survival brain finding the next details in the next messaging, I came upon this tweet. It stopped me short:

“It is time for us to drive him and his kind out.”

I can’t find the author of this. It’s out there somewhere, but I think I instantly went into some frozen dumb brain place so I lost track of his name. I know I stopped breathing and quickly closed my phone. I recognized this.

The serpent had begun to swallow its own tail. Our collective outrage had morphed into the very thing we (apparently) were abhorring: Villainizing another human being.


I’m familiar with villainizing. I understand that it’s part of the powerful Drama Triangle that Stephen Karpman thought up back in 1968. I teach that triangle every day. I know the ins and outs of it, how it the Villain position operates with the Victim and Hero* to create a vortex of energy that pulls peoples’ energy down, down down into a vortex of negativity. A tremendous amount of energy can get sucked away as people spin through anger, fear, despair, shame, pride; they alternately become mobilized and immobilized, as they desperately search for a way out of this spiral of darkness.

My image of my own activism was really just one step away from carrying a pitchfork as part of a mob, um, some collective action. Very sobering, to watch my own fear take me to become what I most feared.

Do you recognize any of this in yourself? Are you, too, addicted to the adrenaline that is part and parcel of villainizing another human? I’m hoping that my process will help you get unhooked. Here’s how I did it:

Once I recognized what I was doing, I was able to step myself back from it by using what I know, the “Shift and Anchor Process” (I’ll be talking about that process more here in the next few blog posts).

  1. Breathe.
  2. Step away from the adrenalizing substance (Huffington Post: Delete. Facebook: Not right now.)
  3. Move around.
  4. Notice my trance that has me anchored at a pretty low level of consciousness. Which level? Fear. The story? “This maniac is going to be another Hitler. He must be stopped.” (Wow—I didn’t even know that’s what I was thinking.)
  5. Breathe and feel my fear. Let it move through my body. Ohhhh–that’s better. I really was feeling sick from it all.
  6. Decide at what level of consciousness I’d like to be anchored. How about, hmmm, Acceptance, Appreciation, Love. Joy. Peace. OK, that’s better.
  7. Create and tell myself some new stories from those levels of consciousness: I accept that this is the process. I appreciate our country and all the wise folks in it for creating a democratic path to the presidency. I love being part of this process and this country. I feel Joy in our freedom, in our collective courage and evolving path forward. I find Peace in knowing there are other, more powerful forces for good at work.
  8. Re-anchor here, in these much higher levels of consciousness, where Power is immediately possible and energy moves easily (versus in contraction, where Force is the way, leading to resistance and a tremendous drain of energy. See David Hawkins’ Power vs Force for more information.)

OK, I can breathe again. I’m noticing nature and life and possibility. That happens every time I move out of Reactive Brain and into Creative Brain (and, just about every time, my Reactive Brain’s survivalist tendencies try to talk me out of such a crazy step).

It’s a long time between now and November. Let’s support each other to find the power and potential of living in high levels of consciousness. Let’s do what America does best: Evolve.


*Karpman’s original roles were Persecutor/Victim/Rescuer

8 thoughts on “Trump? Villain or…?”

  1. Hi Julie,
    Gosh, so good to see you and I am loving your space for the brain spotting training (which I love). Anyhow, I looked you up on google (still can’t say I “googled you” for a variety of reasons that I’m not going into right now) and found your blog and this post. Very informative and you used the triangle which I use all the time with my clients…anyhow, so good to see you and briefly reconnect. I’ve always been grateful for you offering me the position at Summit. That work, your supervision was formative and grounding as a therapist today. I’m so happy for you and Kathy. I know you talked about a concept for BC3 many years ago and I’m glad you created it! I smiled when I read your mission statement goals. I hope to run into you again and I will remember to “shift and anchor”.

    With gratitude and fondness, Rhonda
    P.S. GO HILLARY!!!

    1. So wonderful to see you again, dear Rhonda! Very cool that you’re now Brainspotting. I’m glad that you’re out there doing the good work–still!



  2. Julie,
    was just cleaning out emails and came across one from Tracy Markle with attachments from (secrets to dissolving conflict in relationships) from years ago, re-read and went to your site, an saw this post. identified, and thanks for sharing a simple, good sense way to look at how we get hooked and how to manage!

    1. Hi Jan,

      Wow–not only did you clean out emails, you actually read attachments!! Thanks for reading this and letting me know its impact.



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