The Election of Donald Trump: Anger, Divisiveness, Compassion and Healing

Since the election of Donald Trump I vacillate between anger, shut down, action and sadness. 

The day after the election I went in action mode and taught a post-election yoga nidra class that helped me get back into my body. Here is the recording if you would like to check it out. If you feel inclined to donate all proceeds raised go to Standing Rock. Plus for the month of December I will be collecting donations to send to camp. Here are the current needs:
Milk of Magnesia
Wool socks
Wool blankets
Space blankets
Hand warmers
Trauma kits (portable)
Suturing kits
Straw bales
Donations for legal defense

In the last year or so I experienced a lot of anger and divisiveness within my family, friends and community, and the election of Donald Trump magnified some of that divisiveness. I have fought hard for what I believe to be “right,” and my rightness has caused strain in my relationships and vulnerability hangovers within myself.

I sat with one of my teachers, Richard Miller, last week and he asked me to notice where I feel the fight in me. I got the image of my right arm holding a hammer and hitting people over the head with it. It was a violent image.

As I sat with the image my heart started to ache. I have been meeting hatred and injustice with aggression. Yet, I am also learning to allow my anger to be a part of me. In the last year I have come to love my anger. Anger does not equate aggression and violence though, and I am working towards integrating my anger with love and compassion. Sometimes anger and compassion feel at odds, but I believe and have seen them be amazing partners. 

I recently listened to a brilliant woman, Sandra Kim, from Compassionate Activism talk about one of the ways that toxic whiteness hurts white people is by white folks dehumanizing other white people. When I saw that 53% of white women and 63% of white men I was angry at white people. Anger does not fix the problems of white supremacy though, and it does not build bridges. Anger DOES mobilize and impassion people, and it has mobilized and impassioned me. 

Integration and healing are long, complicated and slow processes, and as I continue to commit to waking up, fighting for justice, loving everyone and allowing my anger to push me forward. I am moving towards loving the part of me that wants to aggressively change the challenges of our country because that aggression is driven from love and desire for justice. I also challenge myself to hold that aggression with love, but to act from a place of compassion for myself and for others. I know that I will fail and stumble along this path, and I also challenge myself to hold myself kindly when I act in an aggressive way, when I say something unskillfully and when I do not do it perfectly.

In the Rainier Beach Yoga newletter I created a list of self-care and community-care resources. Feel free to check it out here