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Love More: Trump and the Country We Know

Posted November 9, 2016 by Marg Herder

Sad love heart symbol back ground by robsonphoto

The first thing I want to say is that it’s okay to be horrified and scared and to feel sick. It’s okay because those are real feelings that are called for by this situation.

Our fellow Americans just elected a narcissistic, misogynist bully to be the president of the United States. That’s a very hard pill to swallow.

That’s a very hard thing to try to explain to your children. That’s a very hard thing to confront for those of us who have been bullied and marginalized.

The first thing I am saying is that it’s important to feel and honor your feelings and not let anyone tell you they are not real. Don’t let anyone imply it’s not okay to experience them. Don’t let anyone, especially your own self, convince you to hide them.

And that leads me to the next thing I want to say. It’s okay to cry and be upset, to rage, or to just sit on the couch bewildered about what just happened. My friends, in the next days and weeks, and maybe even months, we will grieve. We will grieve the America we thought was slowly but steadily being built. We will grieve for the distance we feel between ourselves and friends and family members who don’t see the potential of the country the same way we do. We will grieve for the loss of the compassionate and welcoming society we thought was blooming forth. And we will grieve because our illusions of equality have fallen away and we know better than ever that the strong master, patriarchy, still owns us all.

But now I want to tell you something else.

These election results mean we need to love more.

We need to love all the people who have been made to feel less than welcome in the United States. We need to love the people who have been scared by the hateful rhetoric of the Trump campaign, by the confederate flags with “Trump” pasted on them, by the idea that they may lose their health insurance, their fragile new right to get married, their right to say no. We need, especially, to love the people who now have to live with the fear that their loved ones, parents, spouses, friends, or relatives might be deported.

But we also need to search ourselves and find a way to love those people who honestly thought they were doing the right thing when they cast their vote for this man. They are not our enemy. Their fear, confusion, feelings of disenfranchisement, and willingness to overlook the lies, bullying, and misogyny of the president elect can and will be interpreted in a hundred different ways by a hundred different people over the coming days.

There are as many reasons for voting for this man as there are people who voted for him.

So leave the “figuring it out” to the people who get paid to do that.

All we need to know is one thing. And, surprisingly, it was a campaign slogan.

Love trumps hate.

We can react by demonizing those who brought the next four years upon our country. We can judge them and denigrate them and turn on them. And in doing so, we will perpetuate the very situation that led us all to this point.

Or we can try to figure out how to love more and love better. We can work to open ourselves up and allow Her love to move through each of us in a way that will dampen the resurgence of violence and fear that we are feeling in our country.

And we need to make sure our love is known and felt, not just here but across national borders and around the world.

Perhaps, confronted with today’s reality, you think these words are naïve. Perhaps you feel this situation calls for a different kind of action than you feel love allows.

But love allows many different types of actions. Love allows fearless responses. Love allows calling out injustice. Love allows demonstrating, civil disobedience, and speaking truth to power. Love even allows righteous anger.

But love only allows these things if they are rooted in a naked compassion for all participants in this dance of life.

So I ask each of you, my friends, to honor the feelings moving through you, because experiencing our feelings is the only way to know and find compassion for ourselves.

I ask each of you to welcome your grief, because on the other side of grief is the illumination of truth.

And I ask each of you to join me in learning a different and better way to love.

 

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