Whether or not we like it or not, our current President of the United States is Donald Trump. It does not really matter how he became President, the fact is, he is now, and is wasting no time in doing things that have an impact on this country. Note I used neutral words there. I have been noticing various sentiments that have the gist of not even using President Trump's name, and instead use every other method to reference the position he is in. I decided to ask a friend of mine about it, and understood that people feel that by using his name, it would legitimize his Presidency. Two things bubbled up for me: - Voldemort in the Harry Potter series of novels, where the magic citizenry lived in fear, and in doing so, Voldemort's name would not be said. -That has got to be one obvious expression of denial if I ever saw one. I remember in the past that treating another person as less than human would be a coping skill of sorts when dealing with people or situations that bring up difficulty. I have seen it all the time, when we take relationships for granted; when we slaughter animals in inhumane ways; industrial processes for eggs or wool; or people referring to each other in dismissive ways. I am sure that many of us; including myself have done this too. It is a human thing to do, but this asks for a conscious responsibility when used. President Trump represents who we are acting - many of us are walking around living life and interacting with each other in a very fragmented fashion. We as a society have enforced both spoken and unspoken standards on what behaviours are and are not acceptable, what attitudes are and are not acceptable; what appearances are and are not acceptable; and what topics / speech is and is not acceptable. This is enforced in so many ways, from the very obvious to the very subtle. Most of the time, we are not even conscious that we are enforcing such societal restraints! The result is that we have fragmented ourselves where there is tension on the barrier where we have "shoved our shadows" behind that threatens to burst out every so often and people feel that they have to keep a rein on it out of consideration for the other, or for society or proprietary. I have jealousy issues that go way back into my childhood; but I found that it makes people really uncomfortable if I ever express it. A friend who lives in the same area as I do came up to me to share about his frustrations about being looked down upon because of his appearance, and that he does frequent, but not consistent obvious "support work" around the area. How many times has everyone felt something, but had to find a tactful way to express it or "deal with it" out of a desire or pressure not to make a scene? Notice what processes you went through to figure out that tactful way, or how others clued you in on the proper tactful way to deal with something. From my perspective, and I could be wrong, that sounds like a pretty prevalent case of creating and squelching our shadows! It seems to be becoming more and more intense too, and the fact that President Trump is where he is, and being precisely who he is seems to be affirmation of my perspective. What you resist, persists. The outer world is a reflection of your inner world. This is what I see all the time, sometimes much to my chagrin... :-) President Trump seems to be so much of what people do not want to see in public - narcissist, egotistical, a bully - I have not kept up with all the news, so I am probably missing a few more characterizations that people are attributing to him Those seem like the kinds of adjectives to behaviours that we deem to be unacceptable in society. It is as if all the skeletons that we all stuffed into the closet have come together and chose him as their champion. Is it any coincidence that every so often we see the rise of people we do not approve of come into a leadership position somewhere in the world? I mean, it seems to be no wonder that this happens if we are endlessly stuffing our shadows into the close of the unknown! So, while his becoming President of the United States has sparked something of a mass resistance from all corners of the country; take a look of what we all are expressing - fear, anger, anxiety, hate, judgement. That does not seem to to be so different from what we have portrayed various "monsters" expressing themselves to oppress or repress US. One day last autumn, yet another friend shared with me that she was walking to her vehicle to go home from somewhere and there was two throngs of people separated by a fence, and she had to pass through them to get to her vehicle in downtown Albuquerque. As she walked down the fence, a few people yelled at her, and one said that she was walking down the wrong side of the fence. It turns out that it was Trump supporters versus non-supporters,and she was talking down the side of the Trump supporters. The vitriol and hate she experienced as she walked down towards her vehicle was impactful on her. So, while all our Resistance efforts are great at getting us to all become conscious; also consider taking a look on the inside, to our inner world and see how much of the outer world is reflected; and also consider how you can reform your inner world so that you may see some changes get reflected in the outer world?? That is the direction I am intending to go; and it seems simpler to effect change on myself, and work on myself than to try to change so much of the world around me.
This morning I saw something by a friend who expressed her feelings about today, and I felt for her. There were many years that I felt the same, though it was not as intense. During those years, I had never had a relationship, and so my sadness was that I could not connect with people. At that time too, I have grown up with what I see now as cultural distortions, and witnessed as year after year, the "hype" surrounding love, romance, sex built up. Part of that hype also included pornography, which would give a vague implication of what intimacy might be in very scant bits and pieces, even more scant than your average can of totally processed soups that promote big pieces or X amount of some ingredient, mostly meat. So, this hype, along with not being able to connect with people framed the sadness and loneliness I felt around Valentine's day - in my perception, love was scarce. I wonder how different things would turn out to be if I knew back then, what I know now... After a special encounter with a very special woman nearly three years ago; an intense relationship that lasted a short time; an interesting journey in a dating skills group that resulted in a series of self discoveries; and a couple of brief encounters; I have learned that all that stuff I grew up with was indeed hype, distortion, and a lot of my own doing because I bought into those things; and that love is sorely overrated in many ways; and also very underrated in other ways that I have found to be far more important. I am betting that that said friend is feeling the way she feels because she has experienced love in those important ways before, or at least some aspect of true intimacy and connection; and is missing it on this day. If that is true, man, that must really hurt, and it is intense enough that ANY way to cope with it would be preferrable to suffering that hurt. What have I found? Love is truly abundant and surrounds us in many ways, contrary to what people, mainstream culture, and society would have us believe. Love exists in friendships, with animals, with the everyday beauty of life, and within each of us. I found that WE are the only ones capable of blocking it off, restricting it, and otherwise making love scarce. I found that all the stuff I grew up with was indeed hugely overrated - the vague innuendos of how intimacy is supposed to work; the sensations that supposedly brings out certain noises and certain tones from people; and the quality and nature of "happily ever after" were all illusions, lies, fantasies that only caused suffering of separation; and divisions between people. I also found that at the same time, love was actually much richer, and more abundant in other ways. I found that what I really want is intimacy in connecting with others, a kind of intimacy that one can experience in a single but not ultra short kiss on the lips. The hundreds of points of connection between two people that is so vast that there is plenty of room and time to explore. An intimacy where one discovers mirrors of themselves in each other and are able to unconditionally accept and love and grow from, no matter how long, or how short that connection exists and feel that one has truly benefitted from. I've experienced the above and I am Grateful for those experiences because I no longer suffer the way I did back then when Valentine's day rolls around. Instead, I have a barometer of where I am at whenever I think about this desire for intimacy; and the realization that Valentine's Day need not to be a vehicle to further separate, divide, and isolate people because of a prevalent narrative that surrounds it. Really, how much do you want to bet that so many women out there have turned themselves away from romantic love because of the legions of men who, in seeking a certain brand of love, bombard them with messages, requests, and other social interactions that are heavily dripping with this desire and intent that none of them can ever hope to fulfill or enjoy? Really, how much do you want to bet that as a result of these interactions with women, those very same men only have a moe intensifying experience in their desires, hunger, and increased hype of whatever they are looking for, which only worsens the underlying symptoms and root causes in the first place, which only results in more separation between people and between themselves. What a vicious cycle, really! I still quickly look away, sometimes walk away and do something else, or talk about something else whenever I witness others engaged in various acts of connection or intimacy; but this is a huge improvement over where I was before. I also no longer use various coping skills when Valentine's Day rolls around, for which I am glad - my separation from others is less, at least. So, the quest to increase what little self love I have continues, and I know that the only place and person I can do this with, is myself. How I feel about witnessing others, and how I feel about Valentine's Day is my own doing as my own choice, which means that in the future, there is a real possibility that I will join the legions of people that celebrate their love for each other EVERYDAY. Like other holidays, it is a reminder of what we could do on an everyday basis, and even at every moment: to cherish each other, to cherish the love we have for one another, and that the most important thing we have that makes every story, every circumstances, every travesty we witness in this existence rather irrelevant. Happy Valentine's Day, Everyone. No matter where you are at today, physically, spiritually, emotionally, or as a person - I love you all.
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