Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Time for Healing - and Action

Though Hillary won the popular vote, the electoral college system awarded the presidency to Donald Trump. I won't bother attempting to tone down my dismay. I called in sick today because between not getting any sleep last night, and being stunned by this turn of events, I can't think straight. I'm a proponent of positive thinking and the value in choosing to focus on what's possible, and what's good, especially when it's most difficult to do so. But today I'm granting myself much needed space to grieve - not just for the loss of my candidate, but more so for what this "Republican" win means for my country, my family, and myself. I was not pleased (to say the least) when Bush won the highest office in the land twice in a row, but that feeling just doesn't compare to how I feel on this day. 

Still, the show must go on. These are the moments that Tarot was made for - when you are stumbling around in the dark, confused and unsure of your surroundings. So I shuffled my Zombie Tarot and pulled two cards:
Where does healing begin: 4 of Pentacles (rx)

A man sits in his supply room, surrounded by food stores, and cradling a rifle. His ears are plugged against the group of people banging on the boarded doors, seeking refuge from a coming onslaught of zombies. He is safe, and isn't willing to take the risk of opening his stronghold to invite others in. He doesn't want to share his resources with anyone else, either, otherwise he won't last as long as he might on his own. This card tells me that it's okay to take some space apart to process the significance of all that is happening around us, but it's also critical that we not shut ourselves off from each other as we move forward. Sharing with others who feel the same way that we do helps to weave strong bonds of solidarity; helps us remember that we're not experiencing this pain in a vacuum. We may question our community, and the fabric of our very society. We may look at our surroundings with new eyes. But ultimately we must connect with each other - and that includes those who see the world differently than we do. If we are going to heal as a nation, we have to forge bridges, even where we feel they've been burned.  And if they crumble, we have to be willing to rebuild them, or find a new path to understanding. This is not simple or straight forward, but it's necessary. 

How do we take the first step forward? Queen of Pentacles (rx)

This woman sits in a drawing room with tear-stained cheeks. She has no arms, and a chain reaches from a chair leg up under a blanket to close tightly around her neck. I am sure that many in our country feel momentarily powerless; at a loss for where to go from here. Indeed there have been many tears shed in the last 12 hours, and a deep sense of disenfranchisement. There are vibrant fears at the idea that racist police protocols such as "stop and frisk" may be revived, and that Muslims may be discriminated against through the application of a broad (and vague, and un-American) "Muslim ban" on immigrants. Furthermore, the opportunity to break the glass ceiling in terms of the ability of women to achieve the highest office in the land was hugely important to many people. Knowing that the new President-elect is a man who disparaged women in a variety of ways, who touched and kissed women against their will because he believed that his power and prestige awarded him such liberties - that has been hard to swallow. Awareness that women's health issues may come under fire, and that marriage equality for all humans may be at risk, is high in the minds of a large segment of America's population. Many discuss the possibility of relocating overseas, or to a neighboring country more friendly to progressive ideologies. But is that the best way? At some point we have to recognize that we do have a voice, and there are contexts in which our advocacy is still needed - perhaps more now than ever before. Rather than resigning ourselves to a new order, or giving up on our country, it may be just the right time to get our hands dirty. We are in fact not powerless. 

Find a cause and dedicate yourself to it. Be selfless, and show kindness to strangers. Speak up when you witness bigotry in action. Ally yourself with legislators in your area that are fighting for you. Advocate for immigrants and refugees. Bring cross-cultural trainings to your workplace. Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer. Remember that one person can make a difference. 


  1. apt, but creepy choice of cards...

    1. Hah. Thanks. I feel like a zombie today, so it seemed appropriate ;)

  2. Great post. I love that everyone is coming to this same stand up and fight conclusion. So important right now! We need to harness our personal power.

    1. Thanks, Alaina! Yeah, it takes a moment to sort of reassess....everything. And then refocus. But we will get there!