The duality of life in a post-election world
This article is cross-posted from my weekly newsletter, The Sunday Soother, a newsletter about clarity, intention, and useful tips for creating more meaning in your life that goes out every Sunday morning. Subscribe here. I am also a coach who works with sensitive people so they can stop second-guessing, make decisions confidently and live the life they’ve always dreamed of. You can learn more about working with me here.
The duality of both
Happy Sunday, Soothers. Whew. I’m writing this at 5pm on Saturday, much later than I normally draft the Soother, because how the hell was I going to write anything without knowing the outcome of the U.S. presidential election? And we do. Thank goodness.
My brain was all over the place thinking about possible things to say here. I was driving home this afternoon from a visit to my parents’ backyard and “Crazy in Love” came on my exuberant dance playlist, the song I heard after Obama was inaugurated in 2009 as I sat in a jubilant, packed coffee shop; the song that came on as I rode in a Lyft home knowing neo-Nazi marches were happening in D.C. the next day in 2018; and now, November 2020, the day we officially voted Trump out of office, and I headed home to watch more about it, and celebrate alone, but not quite, with some friends on Zoom, in the midst of a pandemic that’s laid waste to so many lives.
I think back to all versions of myself at those moments, too, mapping moments of my own self-evolution to these larger anchors in time. A wounded but defiant late 20-something, only starting her search for herself in the world, optimistic about politics but having no idea the depths of the oppression and racism that were taking place or the privilege she was benefiting from; a 38-year-old woman, on the cusp of a personal awakening, still lost but becoming more assured, eyes snapping open to dark and terrifying political and societal realities that she had chosen not to look at her whole life; and today, nearing the end of my 40th year, anchored truly in myself and love for who I am and my purpose, and now also deeply aware of the duality of the world, the darkness and the light, the pain and the beauty, the razor’s edge on which we sit in our humanity, always teetering on the brink, and my own responsibility in all of it.
I’m glad we pulled ourselves back from the brink this time, but I’m now aware that the edge is always there, and that is the duality of human nature, as far as I can discern.
I wrote over on Instagram how I went hiking the day after the polls closed and it was clear we hadn’t had a wild repudiation of Trump, striding through the woods, furious, bound both by the beauty of the inevitable decay of autumn on a warm fall day and the frustration and rage I feel towards humans who just don’t seem to get it’s important to care about the well-being of others, this planet, our very souls. I wrote:
As I hiked the trails and meadows of one of my favorite parks, I felt a surge of gratitude and awe, as I always do, when I’m surrounded by all that is constantly unfolding in the natural world. Unbothered birds, speckled as gems, flitting around; wine-red berries in clumps at the base of a tree; the methodical crunch of leaves underfoot, done with their season for now, and at peace with it, returning to the forest floor.
I know with all of my heart and soul that nature is divine perfection and a miracle of design. It is one of my core truths.
Then why is it that humans, who are OF nature, who come out of nature, and therefore should also be divine perfection and miraculous, seem to be AN IDIOT SPECIES WHO ARE CONSTANTLY FUCKING THINGS UP?!?! I don’t know. This was the question I turned over and over in my mind today in my wanders. The closest I got to anything satisfactory is that perhaps we’ve been designed as the first species meant to tangle with our own inherent darkness and devise a way to overcome it. Shrug.
With more reflection, I don’t think, though I am obsessed with understanding, that this is one of the things I’ll ever really know why we are like this, and I must, at some level, work to be at peace with that.
So what next, then? Well, while I’m working to be at peace, I’ll also be working to continue to raise money for progressive political causes. Over 2020 between matches, my own personal contributions and your donations to my events, the Soother community raised nearly $2500 for organizations like Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight, the Biden-Harris campaign, Senate campaigns, and organizations like the Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective. I’d like to continue this streak. I’m tithing 10% of my 2021 income to progressive organizations supporting BIPOC; I’ve made a commitment to work with and hire majority BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ in my business and personal life (I am working with a Black spiritual mentor, a Black business coach, and a queer teacher who I am going to be learning witchcraft from in 2021… guys, yes, witchcraft, I’m going to have SO MUCH TO WRITE ABOUT NEXT YEAR); and I’ll continue to host events like my Journal Circles where I will donate all proceeds to these important causes.
For now, I ask you this: If you’ve ever felt lonely or adrift and the Soother helped you feel seen and not so weird or broken, please donate what you can this week to GASenate.com to help win the two Senate run-off races there, headed by Stacey Abram’s Fair Fight.
And enjoy this moment. Allow yourself to feel joy. I’m going to go pop a single can of champagne I bought from Trader Joe’s and do some more exuberant dancing.
For now, we’re dancing on the brink, not teetering over into it.
So let’s revel.