It has been a long week. I have felt emotions and feelings this week I have never known. But I have felt, and that is the victory. In a patriarchal society that encourages us not to feel, to lock up our emotions, to medicate our pain away with drugs (prescribed and otherwise), shopping, food, sex, social media and binge T.V. actually allowing yourself to feel is an act of rebellion. And in these times of upheaval and division that is where we must all begin.
Last Wednesday morning I woke up devastated from the results of Tuesday’s election. What to me had seemed unthinkable and impossible had been made possible. I was only prepared for one outcome of the presidential election – a historic one. I WOKE up Wednesday morning. I woke up to the realization that my beliefs and values are radically different than those held by many of my fellow Americans. I woke up and saw a nation divided into red and blue. I woke up to the fear and anger that had made a Trump presidency possible and the fear and anger that rose in myself and others as a result of his election. I woke up to the pervasive presence of racism, sexism, fascism, misogyny and inequality in this country. I woke up and realized we have a long way to go and a lot of work to do. I woke up to the truth.
And for that, I am filled with gratitude.
Here’s the thing about the truth – it is a line drawn in the sand that once crossed there is no going back. I cannot unknow what I know now. There is no going back. There is nothing to go back to. The only option is to move forward into the unknown and to shed the skin that no longer fits and to once again sit in the dark and feel all of my feelings. But I am no longer afraid of the dark. My darkest hours, my heartbreaks, my setbacks and let downs have been the very experiences that have brought forth and kindled my light. In his beautiful letter to his daughter and wife, in response to the election, Aaron Sorkin rightly articulated what I know to be true, “America didn’t stop being America last night and we didn’t stop being Americans and here’s the thing about Americans: Our darkest days have always—always—been followed by our finest hours.”
I had expected that the election of our country’s first female president would be the catalyst for uniting Americans and pave the way for equality, for tolerance, and restore hope and love after a divisive campaign season. Although this election did not result in the election of a female president I do believe that the results of this election will be the catalyst for uniting Americans- just not in the way I had expected. We have work to do. And the first step we must all take is to grant ourselves permission to feel all that we are feeling right now. Allow yourself to fully experience your sadness, your rage, your uncertainty, your hope and your love. Because we all need to show up as our highest selves to do this work. You will be called to rise, to expand and to lead trough love not fear.
Take your time. Take care of yourself so that when you are called on you can take care of others. It all begins with you. You have to feel in order to heal. And you need to be able to declare yourself whole before you set to work on bringing forth a better world. The greatest service you can offer the world is to step into who you truly are. You don’t have to see the bright side just yet. Allow yourself the time you need in the dark and while you heal and face your fears know that you are not alone. When you are ready turn on the light. I believe in us. And I truly believe that in the end love will always win out. If it hasn’t just yet, than it is not the end.
“There can’t be a large scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s gotta to happen inside first.” – Jim Morrison