Feeling All The Feelings - The Day After The U.S. Election
Today, like many of you, I’m feeling all the feelings. Usually, words come easy to me, at least the ones I write down, but today the feelings are coming fast and furious and leaving little room for the words. Today, the day after the U.S. election, the day after the majority (well, not REALLY the majority) of our closest neighbours chose to elect Donald Trump to lead their country, I can’t stop feeling all the feelings. I know eventually, this too shall pass because it always does, and so today, all I can do, is feel all the feelings.
I feel dumbstruck. Shocked to the point of struggling for words, but I'll try anyway, even if they come out sloppily. Even if they're misunderstood.
I feel bewildered. My mind is in a confused, disoriented fog. How can this be happening? Did this really happen? Are we in the Twilight zone, or as one friend put it, ‘are we being punk’d?’
I feel uncertain. What do I tell my children? How do I react to the backlash? What do I say or not say to the people I encounter in person or online who see things differently than I do?
I feel afraid of what this decision might mean for all of us. And by ‘us’ I don’t mean in a vs. ‘them’ kind of way. I mean it in an ‘us humans, us global citizens’ kind of way - regardless of our nationality, political affiliation, gender identification, religious denomination, spiritual belief system, or any of the other false constructs used to divide ‘us and them’.
I feel angry. Even outraged. How could people be this ignorant? This blind? This terrified and unconscious? How did so many people choose fear? How did it come to this?
I feel understanding. For those people, their frustrations and their fears. I understand the sense of ‘I’ve had enough and something’s gotta give.’ God knows, I’ve been there, done that, but never with such far reaching consequences.
I also feel compassion. Compassion for the desperation that led to such a choice, compassion for those who may now be regretting their choice, or lack thereof, compassion for all who must live with the consequences of their own, or other people’s actions. I feel compassion for the whole damn world, who are now sitting on the edge of our seats, wondering what will happen next.
I feel sad that our world appears so broken and that healing seems like a near impossible task in this moment. I feel sad for Bernie too. Bernie was my favourite. I made no attempt to hide that. Bernie 'got it'. He saw and understood too. I feel sad that we may never know what could have been, if Bernie had been given the chance to lead.
I feel vindicated, but ashamed of it. On some level, I knew this outcome was a very real possibility. I spoke those words to my husband several times. I understood that people wanted change, and would go to any lengths to get it. From way up here in Canada, I sensed that there were far more people who intended to flip the ‘establishment’ the bird, than the polls or pundits indicated. I felt that Hilary was not as popular with women as we wanted to believe. And now, I feel a gross, nauseating sense of, I told you so… and I hate feeling that.
I feel helpless. What the hell could I have done about it? Who the hell am I to think I could do anything about it? What CAN I do about it? I feel like I should be doing something about it, but I don’t’ know what that is!
I feel hope. Hope that the majority of Americans (the actual majority) will take this as an opportunity to regroup, to realize that maybe the rift in their country is bigger than they thought, and maybe they need to start really listening to what their fellow citizens are trying to tell them. I hope that more of them start talking about what matters and how to fix it. I hope that enough of them can look past the hate, anger, rhetoric and defensiveness, to see that we all just want to be loved, accepted, and to feel like we matter. No exceptions. I hope that compassion, humanness, and mutual respect will eventually prevail.
Feeling ALL the feelings over here.
“In all things, it is better to hope than to despair.” ~Johann Wolfgang van Goethe