I am a radical liberal and have been since I was 14 years old. I’ve been arrested seven times in non-violent civil disobedience protests. I am also a feminist and have been since I was about six years old.
I tell you all of this, as it was incredibly shocking and depressing to wake up in the middle of the night on November 8th and discover that Donald J. Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States of America. I felt my heart crack open. I felt myself close in and shut down. I even cried a little bit. I wondered if I could just stay home for four years.
I completely let go of all of my Diabetes Awareness Month plans. I just wanted to curl up in a ball and pretend that the American people did NOT just elect this completely unqualified man to be the leader of our country.
On Wednesday, November 9th, I could barely smile. I felt a range of emotions: blinding anger, profound sadness, despair. I allowed every emotion to have space in my body. I’ve learned over the years that there is no sense in dancing around difficult emotions. It’s much wiser to actually feel the emotions in my body.
I listened to Hillary Clinton’s concession speech and I cried hard. Yes, I 100% and with great enthusiasm voted for Hillary. I like her. I thought she would be an incredible president. I looked forward to her breaking the highest glass ceiling we have in the USA. It was a beautiful speech. And after all she has endured, it was still full of hope and gratitude. She called for all of us to, “please, please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. It’s always worth it. And we need you to keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives.”
Hearing Hillary’s graceful speech shook me awake again. I knew it would take me a while to move through the grief. And I knew that a willingness to take action would again rise up in me.
I am a white, cisgender, heterosexual woman who is generally able-bodied. I have a master’s degree and both of my parents have college degrees. As a result, I have quite a bit of privilege. I am deeply aware of my privilege, and I take responsibility for the advantages and ease I have as a result of this privilege. And that is another reason I am willing to stand up for what is right.
Facing the news feeds describing actions Trump plans to take once he is in office, keeps overwhelming me. I love our national park system. I love that President Barak Obama put lots of energy and resources into wind and solar power. As a person who lives with the chronic disease of type 1 diabetes and I am self-employed and I am low-income, I directly benefit from the Affordable Care Act. Trump has indicated he will take action to harm and interrupt all of these things.
So I breathe. In and out. I look my fear in the eyes and then I call myself away from my fear. I have spent quite a bit of time in meditation the past six days. Susan Piver taught a weekend writing and meditation class at Shambhala Mountain Retreat that I attended, and she wrote this article and gave this speech the day after the election.
In it, she reminded me of two very important things to keep in mind.
I share them here with you.
Remind yourself that generosity is a gesture of power.
I loved this reminder. I’ve been making an extra effort to give smiles to everyone I meet this past week. I’ve also been telling everyone I know, especially my dear friends, that I love them. I have a long-time, best friend who is dealing with a challenging health crisis and I wrote her a few cards and I’ve gotten a few cool gifts for her. In times like these, it is easy to lose a sense of power.
Reestablish dominion over your world.
From Susan, “A friend of mine sent out an email this morning that suggested we each elect ourselves president. Your life–your home, family, friends, workplace, body, abilities–are your kingdom. You have full rulership here. What can you do for your world? What or who needs tending? What needs to be added or eliminated? This is a time to look squarely at the piece of land that you are responsible for. Because all bets are off, we could feel encouraged to focus on what is really essential. Most important, we could focus on removing every obstacle that stands between us and doing our true work in the world. We need you to own your brilliance, stop pulling punches, and offer your gift.”
I like that! I am President of Mari Ruddy. I take the job of being in charge of me very seriously. I wrote my Manifesto in January and I’m sticking to it. I encourage YOU to elect yourself president!!
On that note, Happy World Diabetes Day! Please wear the international color for diabetes, which is blue. I got my fingernails painted blue in celebration! I also did a few Big Blue Tests. Join in! A Big Blue Test is easy to do and by logging 14 minutes of exercise you will help support three very cool diabetes organizations.
Hang in there. I am going to wear a safety pin for the next four years, maybe for the rest of my life. I want all to know that I am a safe person.
With love and hope,
And, while your at it, be sure to go outside and see the Supermoon! It’s a full moon tonight, 11/14!!!