Be A Light

The Buddha said, “make yourself the light.” And boy would I love to, but I’m having a hard time. I’m feeling a little fragile these days, more than a little, I guess. The U.S. election was this week, and I’m gutted, flattened… devastated. I’m anxious about the future. I’m worried about those most vulnerable, the poor, the sick, the oppressed, and the planet, the trees, the great national parks, all the animals and plants endangered daily, fighting for survival. It seems as if things are about to get a whole lot worse. I can’t sleep – and that’s one of my big talents! – and I don’t have much of an appetite, another talent! When I meditate, it’s a joke. Just a whirling dervish mind going over and over the fears for now and the future. I’m shocked and shaken by the hatred coming from the side that won, Facebook “friends” railing at me and my fellow liberals. And, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. I am hopeless. Maybe for the first time ever.

be a light

I love America. I love this country. And, I enjoy politics. It’s a great show. I care about elections. I love voting. I like following EVERYTHING on twitter and reading all the newspapers. I’m into it. I love this big, jumbled, founded-by-immigrants country. We are imperfect, angry, crazy, stupid, smart, creative, loud, gorgeous, ugly, annoying, graceful, amazing people. We are America. And, right now, I’m scared we’re fucked. I know some of you may disagree with my politics, and I’m not writing to tell you that if you voted for Trump you’re wrong. I think you are, but I could be wrong too. I don’t want to live in my own bubble. I want to live in the world with all of you. As Michael Moore said, “it’s a large country with lots of different kinds of people. And you can choose to live in the country, or live in your bubble.”

I’m scared. But, I want to feel something else. I’ve gone done the rabbit hole of fear and depression. I’ve pulled my hair out. Literally. And now, I want to try something else. I’m writing this and I’m crying. But I’m writing. And, it’s because of you. All of you big-spirited people. You inspire me. I hope I can do the same for you, regardless of where you fall on the idealogical map. Because we’re in this together. You’re everything. Just as I am. We’re everything, the good, bad, ugly, and beautiful. We are the darkness and the light. We are the bitter and the sweet. We are the Universe. You, me, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump… 

What can we do? Yesterday, weepy and shaky from the vitriol coming from some of the men and women who voted from Trump (hey, relax, I know liberals are vitriolic too, but they’re not aiming it my way… yet), I jumped on my bike and headed out to a barre class. I felt bleak. I was in darkness. And, I thought as I biked through the park, sun shining, water sparkling, people enjoying a warm day, that if anyone was even slightly rude to me today I’d break. I’d shatter and not be able to pick myself up. As I thought this, some dude with his dog wouldn’t move out of the bike path, and I muttered to myself, “move, moron.” Realization: I was the rude one. I was the mean one. I was my problem. Not Trump. Not those who supported him. I was making me smaller, meaner, tighter. I was the one who had let the darkness overwhelm the light. I thought, what do I want right now? I want light. I craved sweetness. I needed kindness. And, I got it, from everyone I spoke with yesterday.

Realization #2: I knew the only way – THE ONLY WAY – we get out of here alive is through compassion. That is our power. Doesn’t mean I won’t be volunteering for the next candidate, Planned Parenthood, and the Sierra Club, and it doesn’t mean I won’t be donating to ACLU on the regular. And, it doesn’t mean I’m going to whitewash everything with a wave of my airy fairy wand. Compassion isn’t for wimps. No, I see you. I see me. I see our flaws. And, I have deep compassion for them… for us. Nobody has it easy. I’m still with her; I’m still a feminist. I’m a supporter of the movement Black Lives Matter. I believe climate change is happening, and it’s man-made. AND, not but, I’m also with you, even if you’re with the “enemy.” Because we’re the same. We’re multitudes. Beautiful, ugly, strong, weak, scared, and brave.

I want to be kind. I want to be strong, and I want to be compassionate. I want clarity. And, I want magic. I may waffle but my core feelings are love and compassion. 

“Compassion, my beloveds, is the most revolutionary power on earth — not simpering and weak, but magical, powerful, the very force of Creation. Our darkest corners are being shoved into our attention, our deepest fears made manifest. That gives us the opportunity to clear them, deeply and permanently.” Martha Beck