Ok, I admit it. For the last 18 months, I have been driven by my ego-mind in this election and honestly, kind of loving it. What does that mean? It means being really angry, righteous, critical and judgmental. It means that I’ve been 100% attached to my views and have aligned only with people who agree with them. It means binging on Facebook and sharing as many anti-Trump posts as possible. It means feeling superior to people with different political beliefs and characterizing them as dumb, clueless and other adjectives I will not mention.
And you know what? IT FELT SORT OF SATISFYING. Like the satisfaction that comes from pigging out on junk food or drinking too many cocktails after a long week. It’s the kind of rush that comes from overspending on a pair of jeans because I DO NOT GIVE A F^&%K. It’s a shallow kind of satisfaction that does not last long, but when it’s there…MAN, DOES IT FEEL GOOD!
But, like all behaviors and impulses that come from a short-term ego-driven place, they wear out. The candy stops tasting good and the credit card bill comes at the end of the month.
After the enormous disappointment and reckoning that was November 8, I’m starting to come off my binge to realize that all my ranting and raving is not going to make the change that my ego thinks it will.
Something bigger is starting to speak to me, a voice from a more thoughtful source, and it sounds something like this…”Johanna, I know it is really uncomfortable and painful to lose. Losing hurts, but we all lose at times. There are millions of people out there who disagreed with you, and guess what, many of them are good and caring people. Even if they voted for a different president, they are there to help and be seen. But first, you must let go of your anger.”
Slowly, I’m getting ready to talk less and listen more. But just to be clear: this does not mean being passive. It means I am ready to return to my curiosity, to my desire understand. It means that sharing posts on Facebook is not really taking action. It is time to start thinking about the organizations I want to align with; to start reaching out to people who supported Trump to share my fears and concerns, to listen to theirs, and to try and reach new understanding.
So, as I send out this message, I am officially ending my tantrum and moving into a better place of trust and action. I may slip a little now and then, but I’m going to try and put the candy in another room, spend less time on social media and more time on social justice – to stop binging on the junk food thoughts of my mind and act from a place of clarity and resolve.
HERE IS MY NEW, 8-POINT “NON EGO-DRIVEN” DIET:
1. Cut back on time traveling to a future of doom and gloom. When that happens, return to the present moment and ask myself, “What am I doing right now that can make positive change?”
2. Cut out mean Facebook posts.
3. Increase daily intake of positive news and books that inspire me to do good in the world.
4. Donate time and money to causes that support the solutions I want to see in the world.
5. Accept “what is” rather than spending hours wishing it were different.
6. Trust that there are cracks of light everywhere and that there is a divine order to all of this.
7. Write more, give more, shine my light more.
8. And like any diet, I get one day off to rant, rave, be sad, be mad or be lazy!