This whole election, I've been laughing that Trump is playing a game of hearts and he's trying to shoot the moon.
Well, he shot it. A jaw-dropping 26 points for all of us, and a slap on the wrist for not taking his "foolish" gambit more seriously.
It seems as if we’re moving backwards, undoing the progress we’ve made since the Civil Rights Movement by electing a sexist, racist, nationalist maniac to be our president. Or maybe we just surfaced what’s been true all along – that fear and hate have always been strong within our collective.
Today I’ve been grappling with big questions. How did this happen? What does this mean for our country? And what do I have to do with all this?
I realize I’ve largely disowned my identity as an American.
I don’t resonate with a lot of what America is about, and I certainly don’t endorse of the direction American politics has headed. It's easy to join my white liberal spiritual friends in shutting out the world as much as possible (at least I voted).
Yet I carry an American passport and was born, raised, and still live here in Berkeley, California, USA. Emphasis today on USA, even though it often feels like Berkeley is its own planet.
I am part of our collective, and to deny that is to abandon my own responsibility and my own influence on the vision and values that we hold as a country.
What exactly could I have done? Offer more support to the Bernie campaign? I'm not sure exactly. But if my heart were in it more, I'm sure I could have found meaningful actions to take in this election.
This afternoon I headed for the Berkeley hills to meditate, reflect, and feel all the shock, anger, fear, and grief in my system.
Then the tune of America the Beautiful popped into my heard and wouldn't go away.
So I looked up it up on Spotify, found a version with a country vibe to it – which reminded me of Trump's base – and even so, my heart opened and tears streamed down my face as I lay on a blanket and looked up at the sky and trees.
It's hard to describe what I was feeling. It was like I was connecting personally with the beauty and promise that I feel in this country, and in humanity. A promise that the manipulations of politics can't ruin for me.
Walking back down the hill, I decided not to further burden the Canadian immigration website. I’m staying put.
I feel oddly more American than ever, as my heart opens to the reality of this whole situation.
Also, I have a confession to make – I’ve never spoken to a Trump supporter in my life. Truly, not one. Now seems like the time for some radical listening to understand why over half the country gave this man their vote of confidence.
I know politicians are supposed to talk about "a country united" in their speeches today, but I think I understand the deeper reason why. It's truly the only way.
As they say, "God bless America."
Well, I'm not sure I'm there yet.
How about, "thank you Universe for the wakeup call."