It’s 3am and I’m up. 2 parts of me tearing at each other. The first: my rational self, go to bed, it’s late, you can check the results in the morning. The other: my emotional self, begging to know now because all it would take is a glance at my phone to find out who is the next president elect of the United States. I could put myself at ease right now because a reality where a man accused of sexual assault and who has mistreated women on camera takes the highest office in our country isn’t possible. (If you support Donald Trump and your values differ from mine, please keep reading this.) “It’ll be her and I can go back to sleep” I reason. My system is dysregulated and I make the choice to check, hoping I find, what feels like to me, safety in the outcome.
Only, of course we all know, it’s not her. The reality that I couldn’t for a minute consider was one I was facing at 3am. I cried, hard. A few times and let myself ride the waves through the tears. I loved the strength I found in my tears and by 4am I decided that I was strong enough to act. I felt powerful and ready to help. I planned the words I would say to my daughter, I began to gather resources for my work day and meditated to connect to myself and my light.
I know my story. As a survivor of childhood abuse and neglect who has fallen to plenty of bullies throughout my life, someone who has felt victimized in many ways, and a Latina woman, the election results created a very strong terror response that flowed through me. Will I be safe? Can I protect my daughter? Will my family and friends of other minority groups suffer and lose rights? The old “get really really small and hide” defense crept in, but I was bigger. I chose to feel the terror and old patterns and stand tall in myself. This has come from years of working through my trauma, re-patterning my responses and counseling survivors of trauma.
But please, let’s listen to one another.
If you don’t share my beliefs, you don’t understand why I and others feel the way we do and want change, and you’re seeking to develop understanding and compassion, I will lovingly and gratefully hear and support you too.
I am not happy with this outcome. I feel angry, hurt and disappointed. It doesn’t feel “right” that we have to experience this level of collective trauma and division to move forward AND I have faith. If this had happened 4 years ago, I would’ve felt terrified and victimized. I would’ve run. I understand why some of you may be shrinking in fear (or growing in a sense of righteousness) and I want you to know that you’re not alone! Your response makes sense to me, no matter what it is, happy, sad or terrified. Your system is wired to respond that way and you’ve potentially faced very real threat before. We can be bigger than our wiring, we can be responsible and we can come together.
AND you can use this election related stress response as an opportunity to face what’s going through you to be more personally responsible by owning your story and re-patterning your responses… to stand with me, and rise from the ashes of your false self.
Some facts about trauma re-experiencing and the energy of the collective that really help my left/right brains integrate and regulate my system lovingly:
During re-experiencing you can almost always count on our fear of potential threat being disproportionate to reality. Our amygdalas will respond to the threat we feel and kick us into a threat response like fight, flight or freeze. I have to choose to name my experience, not freeze into the auto-response and regulate back to a non-reactive state.
Please know before a behavior, like bullying, is extinguished we will see a rise in the behavior. It often gets worse before it gets better. http://www.iloveaba.com/2011/12/extinction-procedures.html
Our country is ready to face discrimination and all of the isms. I will be here on the ground now to support those who are re-experiencing or may very well face threats because of the election results. This is not over. No one gets to tell us who we are or what our worth is. No one gets to take away our power. Unfortunately not everyone feels that way so I get to care for, inspire and support those of you who feel lost and scared. I will not get small, run or hide. You are not alone. We will face this together and use it as an opportunity to learn to stand in our individual and collective power.
Contact Mindful Springs to book an appt for counseling or reserve a spot in our weekly meditation group. We are prepared to support you. (719) 357-8957