I have been overwhelmed with so many emotions since the election. Staying current with what is going on in the world has been something I love to do. I have had a hard time looking at any news because I am continually bombarded with the sickening fact that Donald Trump is going to be the president. Writing about love seems trite right now as I struggle with the myriad of feelings I have in response to the reality of Donald Trump following Barack Obama as president. It seems unreal that someone with such profound integrity and dignity as Barack Obama will be followed by someone who seems to lack any moral goodness at all.
Of course I have been offended by the countless offensive comments Trump has made about Women, Muslims, African-Americans, etc. (there really is no one he leaves out of his childish bullying except his family.) What has offended me tremendously was his infantile bullying of someone with a handicap. He to me is reprehensible, vile and so offensive I have a hard time looking at him at all. I feel sick to my stomach when I see him. It’s a kinesthetic response that I have every time I see a picture of him.
So I’m having trouble feeling peace these days. I’ve been struggling to find answers to why this drive towards separation and fear of the other is happening in our country and various parts of the world. Recently I had a very disturbing dream that I worked through in a Gestalt setting with Mariah Fenton Gladis, my teacher and mentor and came away from the experience realizing it meant something completely different from I originally thought. The work gives me hope, and is my first hope since the election. Here is the dream;
I was in a hotel setting which was in an atrium and my whole family of origin was there off to my right side behind me. They were telling me that it was over, ‘no more’ they would say. ‘You’re not coming back. It’s over’ they kept saying. ‘You can’t be here with us anymore. You’re not welcome anymore. It’s over Melody. Go away. This is not your place anymore.’
In front and to the left of me was Donald Trump. He was just standing there looking at me, waiting for me to move. I felt as if I had no place to go. I couldn’t go back. That option was closed. My only option was forward and Donald Trump was in front of me. Behind him was a door to a hotel room I had to go into. It was so disturbing and frightening and I thought I had to go in there with him. I knew I had to go into that room. There was no option and no other place to go. I was frightened and felt alone and woke up feeling terrible.
Pretty awful isn’t it? I would definitely call that one a nightmare. Luckily, I realized some critical truths the dream was showing me. My family behind me was a place I couldn’t go back to. I have a life that has moved me into a world of my own. That is what my young adult children will do hopefully much sooner than I did. They are now forming their own beliefs and will commit to their own values to live their lives as they design. I don’t fully understand why it took me so long to move past my family’s beliefs and pulls. What I know now, without question, is that I have and I see the world more clearly than I used to.
Donald Trump represents a powerful force that in my waking is destructive and frightening. How I respond to those feelings is up to me. Working through the dream I discovered that he is not preventing me from going into the room. I do not have to give way to his bigotry and fear and low-level functioning. He, and what he represents, is merely something I need to move past in order to go forward. All that is required is to walk past him and open the door to my own power. He wasn’t going into the room unless I allowed him to, which of course I would not.
Donald Trump has awakened in me, and millions of Americans, a sense of urgency and total commitment to act now to protect our future from the forces of hate and fear. It is a force that must be passed. It is not blocking my way, and it is not blocking the majority of American’s way to our future. We must move past fear and hatred and open the door to our own strength. Each of us must do this individually so that we can meet each other together with courage and strength.
There is no question that much is in front of us. Together we must move beyond the forces that divide us and keep us in fear. We need to embody our true power, integrity and dignity as human beings. It may feel that Donald Trump, and what he represents, is blocking us. HE IS NOT. Donald Trump, and those that follow him have no power unless we give it to them. My dream tells me I can not give him the power. He has none if I don’t give it to him.
There is a way, a path. It is forward with strength, commitment and clarity. One step at a time. Each of us must move forward and open up to our own strength and share that with others. We can accomplish anything we want. The past is past. It’s behind us. The future is in front of us waiting for us to open the door. No one can open it for us. Each of us must do it for ourselves.
Reach out, put your hand out and turn the past into a future we can love in and live in with grace, dignity, freedom and love.