Like many during the 2016 election, I was glued to the Presidential Campaign. I took note of the sound bites from Trump rallies that to me reflected a much darker truth than just Trump and his antics.
His most vociferous supporters, the ones who are the most fervent in their belief that only Trump can save America, are the ones who got my attention.
Not because of their stridency, or their often abusive language. Nor was it their denial of Trump’s incendiary language. No, my attention was brought to the voice within them that represent those spaces within us all.
I have parts of myself that want to behave badly and get away with it. I often have judgemental thoughts and biases toward others. I often watch my prejudices and presumptions and find ways to justify them in the short term.
I have often wanted to blame the woes that I couldn’t immediately change through simple hard work and focus, on someone or something else. In the past, I’ve preferred to look outside myself and attack, rather than look within and see what’s really going on.
I spent much of my early years avoiding exploring the belief systems and inner biases that kept me stuck in whatever circumstances I found myself in. So on many levels, I get it.
So, if you’re a typical blue-collar Trump supporter whose wages haven’t risen in line with inflation, then I get that you’re feeling frustrated. If your job prospects are tenuous, then I get that you want someone to blame.
If the ethnic landscape is changing in ways that cause you to feel threatened, you want to lash out, rather than find healthy ways to express your fears of extinction.
You don’t feel you have the power you used to, so attacking those who now seem to have that power, (e.g. foreigners and Mexicans and ‘the gays’ ) feels good to you. I get it. But all of that sounding off is nothing but a mask for what may be really going on.
You’re scared for what you hold dear. You’re also scared that what you hold dear is really unhealthy, and prejudiced and biased and you’d rather not look at that. It makes you too uncomfortable.
On some level, you think that your fears are being exploited by the likes of Trump. We all know on some level, what’s really going on in our lives. Trump isn’t like you.
Here are two questions for you: If manufacturing industries are dying because of technological advancements, are you endlessly going to cling onto a seeming golden age? Or, is it possible for you to embrace technological advancements and see how you can better equip yourself for the new age?
Trust me, I see how it’s much easier to blame a particular group, an ethnic minority, or a particular politician for your woes.
I understand that it’s a lot easier than doing the inner work on yourself that’s needed. I get, that it takes longer and is much scarier to re-train yourself for a new career path.
At Trump rallies where there are a lot of similar people, it feels good. Because you don’t have to feel so alone in your fears for the future.
It’s much safer for you to malign and place the blame on a particular opposing candidate, than it is to deal with the complexity of a new world.
It’s much harder to embrace the truth that you’re dealing with a global economy that can’t easily be manipulated to fit your needs.
When it comes right down to it, you don’t want the world to change. You may want things to remain exactly as they were.
You may want to go back to a time when minorities didn’t have equal rights. You yearn for those bygone days when jobs and pensions were secure for life. You hunger for the time when your lifestyles weren’t threatened by ‘terrorists.’ You much preferred it when the US was the main aggressor.
You want the world to be in awe of America, to agree that it’s the greatest country in the world. Yet not everyone shares that view of America, nor do they have to.
I get it though. We all have some version of those energies within us.
I have a part of me that wants the world to be exactly how I want it to be. I have aspects of me that want people to think exactly as I think. I don’t always want to take into consideration people who have differing needs than my own.
The difference between us, however, is that when those intolerant energies arise in me, I know that they’re simply a desire for control. I see them as a sign that I’m giving my power away to something outside myself.
Those energies alert me to the fact that I’ve fallen into the belief that a Government can save me, a political party can save me, a good job for life, with benefits, can save me. Especially from myself.
Here might be another difference. I know when I’m being unreasonable, intolerant, out of order, judgemental, attacking, passive-aggressive, or defensive. I don’t simply allow that energy free rein. I self-monitor.
I take ownership of my feelings, actions, and reactions. I look at what I want to change in my world and how my inner resources can be the catalyst that allows that change to occur. I then look for outer resources that can support that inner focus.
I don’t give my inner Trump free rein either. I don’t even humour it. I take it seriously and tell it to stop giving its power away, stop trying to prop itself up with outer affirmations. I tell it to own its self-worth and stop trying to prove to everyone that it’s really okay when it isn’t.
I direct it to stop attacking anyone just because they’re different. I teach it to stop looking for love and validation in all the wrong places.
Your inner Trump too should see the world as it is – as an ever-changing and evolving landscape. With new industries rising and old industries falling away. We’re in a time of diverse and divergent global economics that endlessly shifts and changes.
Stop fighting against that natural shift of those who had little power, now gaining more power. Embrace the truth that those who previously had all the power, now have to relinquish some of it -whether they like it or not.
You’re a global citizen now. I know, it’s hard to accept, but accept it you must, if you want to thrive.
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