Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Donald Trump in Me

"It is not the monsters of the world who make such chaos, but the collective shadow to which every one of us contribute."
-Robert A. Johnson, Owning Your Own Shadow
You guys.  This guy.
The Donald.  The Don.  The Trumpster. 
Chances are if you're reading this you have an opinion one way or another.  It's even more likely that your opinion is fierce, no matter which side you stand on. 
The media absolutely loves to hate this man.  He gives some pretty fierce one-liners.  He makes it pretty easy for them.  Donald Trump gives his opinion freely- no matter how much backlash it may cause.  He appears to have little care for how he is viewed by the media, or anyone who may disagree with him, for that matter.
Trump's supporters are often portrayed as equally fierce and mean.  I've read articles about the less than ideal behavior from some Trump's supporters at various rallies.
Recently, I watched a video entitled, Make America LOVE Again.  In the video a man is at a Trump rally in Wisconsin offering to give Free Hugs.  There is a lot of ugly shown in this part of the video.  People say some harsh things, and are downright rude to the Free Hugs Man. At one point a Trump supporter tells Free Hugs Man,
"There is no love in this world."
Free Hugs Man is not having that.  He says, "But I don't know you!"  and the argument ensues as to who is right about this love issue. The video allows you to see both Non-Lover and Free Hugs Man in a moment of heightened tension, and then it moves on.  We do not get to see any resolve from this debacle.
You guys.  I have all the feels about this. 
Let me take the time right now to state that this essay is not about how I am a Donald Trump supporter.  I am not, but I feel like the video just described is a perfect example of why we are so nearly war-torn in this country.  The ideal moment of illustration of this, for me, is the moment when the Trump supporter states that he does not believe there to be any love in the world, and Free Hugs Man feels the need to argue with said Trump supporter.  Free Hugs Man was the one to state that he was there to love, yet he did anything but love in that moment.  It was as if he was saying,
"I am here to hug you, and you don't think that I love?  Ugh.  Get a grip.  I'm the loving-est with my hugs, man!"
Which, you guys, is the opposite of love.
That moment was just a battle of the egos.  Non-Lover and Free Hugs Man loose in the ring.  Their opposing, yet equally rivaled, opinions flying around one another in a torrid fury.
  In that moment, neither proved their point.  No one won.  No resolution occurred.  Nothing happened but more grit and nasty and ugly.
But what if Free Hugs Man had put his loving ego aside for a moment?  What if he had simply asked the question of Non-Lover,
"So, why do you feel that way?  I do not feel that way, and I would like to know your perspective."
What if Free Hugs Man had allowed room for Non-Lover to be Non-Lover?
How differently would this scene have played out? 
Maybe not that differently.  Maybe Non-Lover would have said really, really nasty, gross, ugly things.  Maybe Non-Lover would have threatened Free Hugs Man.
Maybe all that would've happened, but maybe Non-Lover would have been allowed some room where there is normally opposition.  Maybe that would have meant something to Non-Lover.  Maybe he would have felt heard.  Maybe he would have felt seen.
Maybe he would have felt loved.
Can I be honest? 
I can't help but feel this kind of tension within myself.  I feel like I work so hard to keep my ugly, my selfish, my gross at bay that I do not allow room for it.  I try to put it in the corner; to punish it into submission.  The good, well-dressed, Pintrestable,  Free Hugs, well-kept Laura on my right shoulder has her shit together, and she has little time for the sloppy-state, yoga pants wearing, Non-Loving, no makeup baring Laura on the left shoulder.  These two war at each other within my head and heart.  They each give their case as to who is better; who should win.  Right shoulder is the one who everyone says should win, but left shoulder feels so much more authentic in some moments.  They fight some more.  They combat it out, but if I'm truly authentic with the tension they create I usually find they're both right.
They both win.
They both need room to breathe.
They both need room to hear one another.
Friends, I wholeheartedly believe the depravity we see within our country right now is the depravity we see within ourselves.  How often we come to the arena with our egos ready to battle to the death.  We are so puffed with pride that when we receive a blow we jeer and mock our fellow man until they, too, taste their own blood. 
We are harried.  We are relentless.  We are weak.
It is different, hard, and brave work to actually listen to someone who disagrees with you.
It feels opposite of natural to our human species.
It feels opposite of natural to our country.
It feels opposite of natural within our own hearts.
So, what do we do?  How do we change this giant, horrible opposition?
We listen.
We start by listening to ourselves.
We sit with the tension of the supposed right and supposed wrong living inside of us.
We put an ear down, as close as we can, to the bottom floor of our hearts, and we attempt to take in every beat given to us.
Because it is not always the monsters outside of our doors that keep us up at night.
It is, sometimes, the creatures that rage in our deepest, darkest corners.
You guys, I don't even know what is down there.
But every time I go down a little deeper I find the depths, and its giants, are much warmer and friendlier than they were rumored to be.  Once we get to know one another they usually come along with me on the journey.
That's less lonely.
That's less scary.
That feels more like home.
So, let's go.
Let's get out of here, and dive into our unknown.
Let's learn to love ourselves.
All of ourselves.

1 comment:

  1. What a great perspective. I'm not a Trump supporter either but his supporters are really angry and want to be heard. Just tonight my husband and I were talking about how crazy this is all getting and wondered if it would be so bad if we all just took a step back and actually listened, w/o reacting, to why the other side is so upset.