Okay. He's president. Now the real work starts. But first there needs to be some fast healing.
One of the best ways to defuse the pain of this particular POTUS change is to recognize how much of ourselves we invest in political figures. It wasn't Donald Trump or Hilary or Bernie who won and lost. In a very real sense it was us.
The ego is our sense of self. It's our personal story. And all our hopes and dreams and fears, our values, our interests and concerns are contained in that story. If you're deeply environmentally aware ... if women's rights and ethnic minority rights are important to you ... if you value honor and reliability, honesty and integrity ... and you just watched the Inauguration of Donald J. Trump, then your ego--hell, your whole world--has just taken an enormous hit.
POTUS is more than our representative in government.
We depend upon our president to stand up for us, defend our values and do what we would do, protect what we would protect. And if we are NOT hopeful he will do this-- if we DON'T identify with our President--if he worries or downright terrifies us and we want to get past this and be more grounded and sane as the days, weeks and years of his presidency unfold here's what we've got to do.
We've got to recognize our projection, take responsibility for our emotions and dial them down a notch or two (or ten).
And one of things that helps us do this is to stop making the election about winning and losing--which is tough because winning is everything to the ego. It's everything to our new POTUS. And if Trump is your guy YOU WON. You're on top of the world with him right now. And if your gal was defeated, you're sitting in the back of the bus with her, taking the heat as others around you gloat.
And Trump followers are gloating. I hear the stories. A graphic artist friend of mine is constantly being hammered by a Trump co-worker. "Every time there's an issue at work - if he picks up the phone ahead of me or gets picked to do a job instead of me, he smirks and says, 'I won I won - and my guy won and you lost!'
"He's making my work life hell," she says. "And I don't know what to do."
Yes, she's aware she must continue to take the high ground and be emotionally mature--just like during the elections. But she also feels powerless. A lot of us do.
To shift that powerlessness we've got do more than maintain emotional equilibrium. We've got to take action.
Frankly, it's time to stop looking to representatives to speak for us and vote for us. It's time for politicians to stop representing us and time for us to start representing ourselves.
It's time to join hands and do more than protest. Yes, protest is great if that's what you feel called to do. But after the marching and banner waving, get pro-active and start working to create a better world than the one our new president apparently stands for.
If the threats of environmental roll backs under his administration are freaking you out, go join an environmental organization and volunteer. If threats to women's rights disturb you most, do the same thing. Same thing working for LBGT rights and ethnic minorities.
Join hands with people of like mind and values and start building from the ground up. Grass roots movements are the most powerful agents of positive change in the world. Work FOR what you value, not against what you hate or fear. Seek middle ground. Broaden your viewpoints and open your mind to other opinions and possibilities. Frightened egos build walls. Set your fears aside and reach across them.
Create coalitions. Offer your best self to the world, share your best ideas. Encourage others to do the same.
Right now we have the opportunity to stand for unity and brother/sisterhood and humble greatness--for solid ethics and love in action--not ego pomp and bluster, angry tweets and division.
Now is the time, like never before, to hitch up our Big Girl and Big Boy pants and step forward, taking responsibility for leadership and love and progress for all ... for deep values and worthy action ... starting with ourselves and taking the example forward from there.