Electionitis - 2016

Along with friends, colleagues and fellow citizens, we have all been inundated with election rhetoric and vitriolic displays of boorish behavior.

Ever since the actual candidates were chosen, it has been a more than mudslinging of base and disrespectful behavior--and in many cases, down right lies. Yet, the media frenzy including Social Media has propagated more than it’s fair share of stories, rumours, accusations and incendiary editorials.    As the months wore on, more and more accusations and slander has risen for each of the two Presidential candidates. 

Throughout this time, I resisted the urge to write or post anything about the election or the candidates.  I longed to offer my personal metaphysical slant to it all but I was being the old-fashioned “good girl” and staying out of it. However, in the last few weeks, so many of my ministerial colleagues have addressed this topic because it is so important to their community members and congregants, that we as supportive spiritual leaders felt compelled to finally offer some insight and hopefully, comfort.

Remember when in the 60s, John Lennon was vilified for saying The Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ? This was a powerful and accurate declaration that created havoc and misunderstanding in the United States. Eventually, Mr. Lennon had to apologize to appease the media and fans.  Yet, now in 2016, candidate Donald Trump gets away with a whole lot more incendiary declarations that that.  I don’t need to list the assessments, accusations or even inferences of misdeed, slander, abuse and even blasphemy that Mr. Trump has been allowed to voice.

Trump has even out-trumped himself with all the verifiable slants as to confirm the unctuous, bombastic and misogynistic person that he is.  Yet we cannot fault him for being to true to himself; we can only cease to inflate the current climate by modifying our responses.

I have consciously chosen to not watch any of the debates— barely escaping the circus by seeing sound bytes shown on the news or on T.V. comedy satires or in other media.

Watching the acerbic and biting Saturday Night Live parodies or the scathing, witty and painfully accurate John Oliver editorials, only to fall on deaf ears because it's all preaching to the proverbial choir. These television shows or the copious Facebook posts that run Trump over the deserved hot coals, are moot because the people who need to truly understand and accurately assess the jeopardy Trump represents, are not watching those programs or reading the desperate pleas for sanity to “make America great again” by dumping Trump.

The people who support and most likely vote for him, are not paying attention to expert opinions or the facts.  Early on, Mr. Trump ignited fierce controversy when he said that his fans would still support him if he shot someone in the streets of NY.  And through all the videos, the unpaid taxes, the confirmation of his lies, the lawsuits, his rude and insulting behavior—not only to other humans but also to our democratic system, he has only gotten more popular.

In my humble opinion, the majority of Trump voters are cheering on his every flaw and narcissistic buffoonery because they want and wish they could also say or do what he does; and not only get away with it, but be elevated and celebrated for it.

It doesn’t get scarier than the facts that we are facing a crisis in our democracy. This recent Halloween, I was reminded of one my favorite comedy films, “Ghostbusters.”  At the critical juncture of the film when good and evil are duking it out, Bill Murray cautions his crew to clear their minds of everything so that they can defeat the evil ghosts.  Whoops. Suddenly around the next building looms The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, larger than life who has emerged to destroy them and  the city New York.  I find the parallels alarming.

Donald Trump is our national Mr. Stay Puft.  The usually benign and ignored popular figure suddenly becomes demonic and YUGE and we find ourselves struggling to escape.  Early in the campaign, many of us practiced classic psychological, childhood-like disassociation: if I close my eyes and ignore him, he will go away.

As horrific as this entire election process has been, it won’t matter who wins or loses on November 8th, our country and its citizens are going to have an uphill process towards integrity and wholeness. Our country, our governance, and our current electoral process has been in need of an overhaul for a long time and I guess we had to hit rock bottom (or lower) to begin to look towards salvation and healing. We must turn to a revamping of our entire election process and begin to heal our inner and outer demons.

On November 4, 2016, in Bloomberg (online edition) Deena Shanker addresses it from the bigger picture perspective:

"Americans unnerved by the 2016 campaign may need help dealing with its consequences.  More than half of Americans are experiencing election-related stress comparable to that often attributed to work, money, or the economy, the American Psychological Association has said. And while the good news is the presidential contest will end next week, the bad news is that because of the ferocity of the campaign, the mental damage may linger. And for some groups, it may get even worse—depending on who wins."  Read the full story

This whole process has been a perfect out-picturing of our collective shadow side.  Here’s a guy who is celebrated for speaking his mind and saying some of the things we feel compelled keep in check. Here is a woman who has finally broken the glass ceiling in government but the populace isn’t sure she is trustworthy or honest, and she’s still part of the elite instead of the change the common folk seek.

For those of us who desire to defeat Donald Trump, the only way to defeat or deflate him – – wait for it – – is to love the hell out of him. Literally. At the risk of sounding oh so New Agey, we need to saturate Trump with as much light and love as we can muster till he has no choice but to dissolve into his own bloated nothingness.  This applies win, lose, or draw.

Otherwise, every character assassination we contribute or endorse about Trump only serves to expand and magnify his monstrous presence ala Mr. Stay Puft. But if the Ghostbusters can neutralize Mr. Stay Puft we can at least neutralize our feelings. Otherwise, it will be too lates. You're fired.

We have the option to ignore The Bully, so that he takes his expensive toys home to pout. Lest you think I'm only applying this approach to just Mr. Trump, may I remind you that if you're someone who can't abide Hillary Clinton, I suggest taking the same neutral approach. Either way, it's imperative to vote. Don't let fear elect a president.

There is one additional option along with actually voting, you can join the Elevate the Vote movement. https://elevatethevote.com/home
Meditation Flash Mob on Nov. 8th at polling places around the country.  3pm PST, 4Pm MST, 5pm CST, 6Pm EST

This is a grassroots group that is creating a cosmic Flash Mob if you will, of people committed to staging a meditation sit-in at local polling stations or other selected locations. The Santa Fe Center for Spiritual Living will be participating on Tuesday, November 8th starting at 4:00 p.m. MST, people will gather and meditate to raise the consciousness of this election and our nation.

All this chaos and angst is not happening for naught. We can’t change the people who are running for office, but we sure as hell can change ourselves. Instead of resisting and fighting against the human representations of our own demons, let’s see if we can be for something instead of against it.

I’d close with this wisdom from my dear friend and colleague, Rev. Bonnie Rose:
We elect the truth:  all healing begins with our willingness to heal.
We elect a world where the strength to lift each other up surpasses the weakness of blowing each other up. We elect fairness, health and wholeness.  A clean environment.  Thriving wildlife.  Abiding sacredness for the earth and other rock-stars.
We elect goodwill, friendship, humility and grace.
We make America fall in love again
We’re with Us.
We elect.
We vote.
We use this privilege as a blessing to the world.
But most of all, we become the candidate we wish to see.  We elect ourselves.  We elect one another.  We elect love.  Namaste.”


Anonymous said…
And now, "someone" has distributed postcards with incorrect information to try and get people to think they are voting and make them think it is for/from Hillary Clinton.
We really need some divine intervention here.

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