I have been seething lately. Like screaming at news radio in my car crazy pissed seething. I keep telling myself not to watch the news. Not to listen to it in my car. Or at least take a break. Gather enough information to be informed, but stop at the point where I’m just doing it to fan the flames of my hatred. But I’m like a moth to a flame with it. It’s like House of Cards playing out in real time but with our actual lives at stake. It’s as if I feel like without my fully committed outrage, I am somehow disengaged. I am afraid of this ever feeling normal.
Have you been feeling this way too? Beyond outraged? Anxious? Depressed? And, somehow, these feeble words barely scratch the surface of the assaultive nature of what feels like an enduring day after day trauma. For many of us, the presidency of he-who-shall-not-be-named has turned our entire belief system upside down and on its head. All the lessons we have been teaching our kids about kindness and how the bully will never win in the end were just given the middle finger. Basic notions of “good will prevail” seem fairy tale at best. I know that I cannot sustain this level of outrage, this deep, searing resentment at this so-called (to use his words) president and his appointments who blatantly mock social justice, compassion and kindness.
I need a tool. I need to process. Otherwise I am doomed. Truly. I cannot afford to mire in this.
Yes, outrage and anger is important. Motivating. Sparks change. But for those of us who are deeply feeling (and isn’t that most of us?) creatures, we cannot linger in the resentment for too long.
And let’s call it what it is. HATE.
I am feeling SO MUCH HATRED. More than I think I have ever felt in my life. I will never, ever give this bigot and his posse of heinousness a chance. I will not give a man who casually feels entitled to assault women and demean people for their differences the benefit of the doubt. I listened to Maya Angelou when she told us, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” I am a teacher of yoga, mindfulness, ultimately compassion, but I am consumed with the most non-yogic like thoughts about the assembly of bigots in the White House.
In my former career as a criminal defense attorney, I zealously defended the indefensible at times, feeling deep compassion for them and the reasons and circumstances behind their choices, and, yet, now I have zero compassion for this crew of backasswardness in Washington. I can try feel compassion for the spoiled, entitled little boy who was never properly loved or taught to love himself and others. But he does NOT GET TO BE MY PRESIDENT.
I cannot afford this hate. I am an addict. Clean and sober nearly twenty years. And this hatred feels as dooming as a lethal dose.
I must choose love. LOVE. Even the word feels like a sigh of relief.
By processing these resentments, writing about them, asking for them to be removed, and finding a spiritual solution. That’s how.
A solution. While miring in what feels like fairly justified pissed-offedness can be comfortable, it’s unsustainable and toxic. I am so uncomfortable carrying this load of hatred.
Sound complicated? It’s not. There’s a formula, and it goes like this.
1. Write the fears (or hatred, resentments) down. All of them. Don’t make it pretty or publishable or anything. Just do it.
2. Then write the following: “Dear God (or Universe, Mother Earth, Anyone, or simply ask Please). May these fears be removed, so that I can move with love and faith and be of the greatest service to myself and others.
3. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. And say, “Thank you.”
It will look something like this.
1. I f-ing hate DJT so much. I hate his cabinet. I hate his bigotry and entitlement. I hate his orange face. I hate that his ex-wives are muzzled and won’t speak up with what I can only imagine would be the most damning of evidence. I am scared he is going to start a world war and millions of innocent lives will be lost, including my daughters and my friends and family and everyone I have ever cared about. I am so scared and sad at the families who are being torn apart right at this very moment by his selfishness and idiocy. I am scared we are going to have the most heinous Supreme Court that will strip us of the rights that were so long fought. I’m scared he is somehow going to repeal the Constitution. I am scared the hatred I feel is making me the crankiest mom in the world and that I am poisoning my kids with my bitchy moods. I am scared that teaching yoga is not enough and that my calling is greater and that I am not sure anymore exactly what it is but I need to figure it out because I’m not getting any younger and speaking of that, I scared my mom’s health is getting worse… and so on.
See? Go big. Go small. Get it all out.
2. God, or whoever, I ask that these fears and resentments be removed so that I can be of greatest service to myself and others, so that I can walk with love.
3. Closed eyes. Deep breath. Thank you.
Do it. Every morning perhaps. Or at a pivotal moment. You can write it. You can think it. Just put it to words. Then meet a friend. TURN OFF THE NEWS. Do yoga. Go outside. Join some action efforts. Make political phone calls. Take a hike. Hug your people. And then choose love.
Over and over and over. Choose love.
(and then get out there and kick ass at exactly what you want to do)