How the US Presidential Candidates Got Me Unstuck
I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that one of the US Presidential Candidates was a woman that I have admired since the late 1980s. She stood for what I believed in and everything that I wanted the world to be for my grandchildren.
I watched the 2016 POTUS and his behavior, and the more shocking they were to my sensibilities, the more I worried about the future.
Some might say as I am Canadian that it has nothing to do with what happens over there. But it does matter because my viewpoint colors my world.
The US is an influential nation, and for me, it has stood for freedom, liberty, power and protection for a long time. I have many relatives who have proudly served in the armed forces for their country. That doesn’t discount my loyalty to Canada, and I love that we are a nation of accepting, peaceful people.
But I wanted to do what I could to help the candidate that I envisioned winning the US campaign and creating intelligent, compassionate and rational actions in the Oval Office.
I eagerly excepted invitations to be an admin on Facebook pages, to share her messages and create memes supporting her views. I felt proud to help her campaign even in the minute way that I was. My vision of a utopian future balanced with the knowledge that it would take colossal support to get her to the Oval Office.
I had already called the FEC and learned I could not donate financially, which I suspected, but a month later, I called back to ask if I could purchase her products and got a very curt and foot-stomping no!
I apologized and thanked him for the information and hung up. It was hard not to think of the current POTUS and all the underhanded things that were happening, and the multimillion-dollar campaigns at his disposal.
The campaign I was supporting was one of integrity, honesty, intelligence, and much needed 21st-century thinking, which would slowly move the needle towards peace.
I felt shocked and deeply saddened when she announced she was stepping out of the current race, and what was even harder for me was that it was due to finances. Money, again, was still the superpower.
I moved in a downward spiral into ‘it’s all about money,’ ‘the bad guys always win’ and what’s going to happen to my fantasy future, which was now looking more like a post-apocalyptic movie.
My sleep was disturbed; I became obsessed with the Facebook posts about the other candidate, all while worrying about what the future held.
My mood pulled up when I saw people opposing him and pulled down when I saw people praising him. I was the emotional puppet on the end of the string, reacting to something that was out of my control. I tried to reason with myself, but my feelings wouldn’t let go.
I met a friend at the coffee to talk about something unrelated to US politics. My lukewarm latte sat to my right of the two-person booth. Her tiny body sat across from me.
We chatted, updating each other on our struggles and triumphs and another friend joined for a few minutes, and the conversation was flowing. They were both complimenting me on the coaching I had done for them, so I didn’t want to share what I was privately going through. One of them looked at her phone and announced she had to get going. The last sip of my latte was cold, and the cup clanged onto the saucer as I abruptly put it down.
After she left, my eyes moved around the room while I explained my feelings to my other friend. I told her that I didn’t want to appear weird, but I was having a visceral reaction to what was going on in the US campaign.
I could hear my voice outside of myself, showing me my hidden fear. It felt dramatic as a ten-foot wave might be to a non-swimmer and tried to hold it down, but I could feel a slow, deep sensation crawling through my body and almost involuntarily, I started to cry.
Being a sweet soul that she is, she teared up.
In my squeaky voice, I told her that I recognized that the fear I had of the other candidate winning was my fear of his darkness. Even as I retold my anxiety to my friend, I imagined his victory and could immediately feel how easy it would be to once again be on the edge of that slope.
Then that other voice outside of me reminded me that the only way to defeat darkness is with Light.
I thought of how easy it could be to lean on the candidate I admired and was about to give all the power of change to her, but this voice kept telling me I was playing small and needed to remember my Light.
As the tears streamed down my face, I recognized that I was playing small by holding back until my webpage was perfect, hiding my newly gained weight behind the camera, being unsure of my choices, and that’s why his darkness was able to create that fear in me, and I unknowingly was adding to it.
I immediately began to feel the wave wash over me, and I saw myself at my candidate’s side, fully acknowledging her lesson after her withdrawal from the race, that to hate him or fear him was giving him more power.
My friend had also been playing small, and as the Universe would have it, we both benefitted from our coffee meeting. We wiped away our tears, and as we hugged goodbye, I recognized that by standing my Light, refusing to play small, that is a more compelling way to affect change.
I spoke to my shadow, my love to whom I can rely on to change the trajectory of my life through her pain, and lovingly let her know that she cannot drive the bus. She’s welcome to sit in the front row and offer directions, but she must keep her hands off the steering wheel.
So, I can let out a long, slow exhale now, knowing it is within me to create change in something so powerful and seemingly out of my control. I have to be me wholly and without reservation. I need to be more cognizant of which fire I place the wood.
I can shush that darkness and take control of its unrelenting bullying.