By Mary Summerbell
What happened? That’s the great, unanswerable question. We are shocked – not just the United States, but the whole world – by Donald Trump winning our presidential election. Of many possible verbal reactions, the Brits have a word I think expresses it best – “gobsmacked.” We are gobsmacked by this unexpected event.
Those initially amazed by Trump’s nomination who continued to underestimate the possibility of his victory, and those Hillary supporters most certain of her success are surely among the most stunned and upset by the outcome. There’s a lesson in that for us – to keep the back doors of our psyches open to even the slightest possibilities, to avoid being severely shocked by life’s quirky twists and turns. But even Trump supporters were surprised. And I suspect that the Donald himself was, indeed, a bit gobsmacked by his own win.
This element of surprise is a significant factor for us to consider, now and ahead, because when we are in shock we often don’t see things as they really are. Our perceptions are limited and distorted by our natural defense systems, in order for us to survive whatever disturbs, disrupts, or threatens us. If we admit that most of us are feeling at least a little disbelief and/or distress over recent and current events, and that some are really hurting, angry, or afraid, which further distorts our perceptions, then regardless of our personal perspectives, perhaps we can temper our reactions to each other with patience and kindness as we try to cope in our own unique ways.
Since the election there’s been an avalanche of analysis, from many imaginative perspectives – political, academic, demographic, statistical, theoretical…. And avid, detail-obsessed historians will, undoubtedly, happily continue to dissect and debate the causes and fallout of this unprecedented election long after we are dead. But it’s conjecture. Fascinating and/or frustrating speculation. No matter how many times or how many ways we examine and evaluate it, I don’t think it’s possible to ever know, definitively, exactly why the election turned out the way it did. And though some introspection can be beneficial, getting lost in the dismal abyss of analysis isn’t constructive. It doesn’t help us get on with our lives.
I was stuck in the muck of retrospection until I came to look at events from a metaphysical perspective. At first I was caught up in issues of unfairness – that Hillary won the popular vote by an impressive margin, but not the Electoral College vote. Well, the Electoral College has been an accepted thought form of our government since its beginning. And maybe we need to look at it, to see if we want it changed. But Trump won with our current system.
Doing a little research, I was surprised to read that presidential elections in the United States weren’t intended to be by majority rule. Some of our founders wanted Congress to elect the president and others wanted the people to decide. Thus, the compromise of the Electoral College. That got me to thinking that no vote can represent all the people in our country. What about non-voters? And what about people in other countries? If we believe that everything is energy, then everyone’s will, worldwide, must be represented in the dynamics of any election, anywhere.
There are all kinds of influential forces all around the world. And beyond. Celestial energies. Physical, mental, emotional, cultural, political, economic and religious energies. These and more, all at play, ever shifting, moment to moment, in the Universe. Looking at the election from this energetic perspective, I felt that it finally made some sense – that the outcome was the legitimate result, a reflection of the essence, and the only possible effect of all the combined energies, visible and invisible, interacting at the time. And it’s beyond the scope of any human capacity to know what it’s all about. It’s not for us to figure it out.
These were comforting thoughts that helped me accept that Donald Trump is most likely to be our next president, and to be more willing to participate as a citizen during his administration, to continue to serve my country and my fellow beings, regardless of who is in the White House, or the Senate, or the House of Representatives, or on the Supreme Court. It may seem that we are overpowered as individuals sometimes. But we can be quite powerful within our political system if we set ourselves to work with things as they are, rather than wishing them to be different.
Whenever I feel discouraged or blocked by obstacles or limitations, I try to size up the situation and look at it in terms of what I can do rather than what I can’t do. I have a favorite quote that hangs by my desk. It says, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are today.” Those words have inspired me in many a difficult moment, and I plan to keep them in mind, moving forward.
I’m determined, especially, to watch my thoughts, to keep them as positive as I can, because everything we think will manifest somehow, influencing all those energies that move through the universe. With our thoughts we create our own fate, the fate of our country and our planet. It’s all connected, all united. We experience that sense of unity with every breath, whether we are conscious of it, or not.
It’s easy to forget this, easy to feel disconnected, especially when we feel that our leaders and our government are forgetting us, excluding us, not serving our basic needs. With all the changes in our world today, especially with the shifts of our recent, controversial election, unprecedented in so many ways, it’s easy to lose our place, to lose sight of who were are and why we are here.
Let’s not let that happen. Let us ask -“What makes the United States of America the United States of America? With all our deep and expansive diversity, what do we all have in common? One answer is that what we have is this country and the principles on which it was founded. The United States of America. The U.S. US. This country is us. What we have is ourselves, each other, and freedom. Freedom is the essence of spirit, and it is our purpose to serve it. And so, with a renewed sense of unity, let’s accept the amazing, challenging opportunities of this perplexingly incredible time in our history.