What’s happening in our country right now seems like upheaval. Chaos. An ending of something that seemed so wonderful — but was it, really? — and the beginning of something that’s unknown and scary.
So what can we do about it? Well, as Buddhist teachers or those of any mystical branch of world religions might say, we can search for compassion and forgiveness deep within ourselves. We dig for love. Yes, that’s right, love.
Love is the cure.
Now, you may be thinking, love is great, but here we are stuck in this horrible situation. Didn’t we already overcome racism, sexism, xenophobia, climate-change-denying and basically every other “-ism” that Donald Trump and his cronies seem to represent? How can I find love with all this hate surrounding us? Why are we being pushed back into the past?
Well, we have come so far as a society and as a mass consciousness. This is just the flaring of the candle before it is extinguished. The last hurrah of the old, broken, and dying system of greed, corporate control, and unchecked capitalism.
Same-sex marriage is legal. Soon it will become widely accepted for people who were born as one gender to become another. And we have transformed — mostly — our views on race. Millennials are more open-minded than earlier generations. Young children today are here to help us heal. They will grow up surrounded by humans who are, for the most part, accepting of and compassionate toward others, who know about meditation, and who lead the movement, as the Natives of our country have taught us for so long, to re-establish our connection with the Earth.
But that leaves us still unsure of how to get there. How do we find love when our adversaries seem rooted in so much hate? How do we find compassion for them?
We can start with gratitude. And by this I mean actually thanking those with whom we don’t agree for showing us how much work there still is to do and how much further we have to go.
Trump’s election is our dowsing of cold water, our unpleasant awakening from our slumber. It is our call to action. As the wise elder Joanna Macy, the visionary behind the movement called The Great Turning, teaches, we must do things differently this time. There is a shift in consciousness occurring. The knee-jerk responses of angrily shouting about what we don’t like are not enough anymore. So we must pro-actively take action toward creating the kind of a world we want. And then do whatever we can to make that world a reality.
The good news here? We have control. Energetically, the masses have a power more potent than any corporation to uplift society. We are strong as consumers, and we can refuse to buy from companies that harm the Earth, other humans or animals, instead choosing socially and environmentally-conscious companies.
And then we allow this to unfold as free from anxiety as possible and trust that this is happening for a reason.
This doesn’t mean just “focusing on the positive” all the time. No. Even though our happy thoughts can help us, sometimes just allowing ourselves to feel the pain freely and deeply gives us a chance to and to dig into its origin.
We can process the anger and the fear by letting it out — crying, yelling, or literally just moving the energy out of your body — and then try to move on to a place of hope. Living in these negative emotions for too long isn’t going to help move us forward.
These changes we’re making internally must go deeper than a “well, that would be a good thing to do” thing anymore. Our ability to find compassion for those with whom we disagree — and that includes our friends and neighbors! — is imperative for our survival as a human race, and for the Earth.
It is my hope that our shared love can bring about a world that we are proud to pass on to our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We care for them too much to allow this to go on any longer.
In the words of that incredible visionary and spiritual leader Martin Luther King Jr.: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Rachel Horton White is a spiritual practitioner, teacher of metaphysics and professional life coach. She is the founder of Soulful Work Intuitive Consulting in Portland.