Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Trump in All of Us

I have enough lefty friends filling up all the feeds covering him so I don't think I've actually posted anything at all about Trump. Like ever. I generally don't feel the need to chime in on a subject that's already getting enough attention. But I just wanted to share with you that this exact moment is the one I've been waiting for: The conversation to legitimately shift to mental health.

This is where the conversation should have been from day one. And I'm certain many would say that it has been but it doesn't feel that way to me. We've had a sea of left-leaning citizens referencing his mental health as an attack, which, to be quite frank, I found at best sad and, at worst, insulting.

It saddens me that the subject of mental health comes up when people are angry and are looking for a way to fling insults. The public discourse was more focused on catty attacks. The liberal side has felt powerless because we have less guns, guts and bravado, so we turned to intellectual bullying. And we continue to be shocked that the other side of the fence is not listening to our "logic" which mostly comes at them packaged in Hollywood-washed late night snark.

The mental health conversation loses all it's teeth because we, as a society, are still stigmatizing the shit out of it without realizing it. It loses gravity when we only focus our intellectual triceps on those that are hurting us. If you are under the impression that you don't have loved ones in your life, at this very moment, who are experiencing the world through the lenses of PTSD, psychopathy, narcissism, depression, anxiety and a wide variety of other diagnosable levels of consciousness extremes, you're in for a rude awakening in the new millennium. We have loved ones, who have been important contributors to our life journey, at this very moment, who probably could have easily become a Trump had they had access to some of the finances and professional connections that he had. Easily.

It continues to be a source of frustration for me (which I'm working and meditating on regularly) that our culture dismisses these mental health issues as long as they're working in our favor. People seem to feel that there are people with PTSD, psychopathy, narcissism, depression, anxiety and a wide variety of other diagnosable levels of consciousness extremes out there... But they're just like on TV or something. They're not right here in front of us. And we continue to enable these mental health time bombs. And over time these people either crash terribly or, in the worst cases, rise to positions of power.

And their mental health challenges only magnify.

Have you ever used this phrase? "Yeah I know person X sucks and has done XYZ to X number of people... But they've never done anything to me." I'd suggest it's time to reevaluate some thought systems.

As with all things, the answers are absolutely not black and white. We all have our journeys, our families and complex relationships with complex people. My vision for our future is one where we learn to discuss these mental health issues, as a society, with less judgement. A future where we can look at these things, then look at our own biases and agendas, and make decisions about how best to navigate our friends, families and society by doling out even handed positive reinforcements. One where we can look at a person we think very highly of, who's presence has been the source of many rewards, and see their shadows not as something wicked or evil, but a part of who they are. A future where we have the guts to bring that shadow to the light rather than convincing ourselves that those shadows aren't even there simply because they haven't been cast on us. I promise you, reader, Trump has not been an evil man to his loved ones. He commands deep and passionate loyalty from his closes circles and that loyalty came from somewhere. He was not always this person.

And the process of being able to see our loved ones shadows, to be able to bring our awareness to it without judgement, to be able to see their mental health challenges with loving compassion... That process can not begin until we can look at our own shadows. The darkest parts in us. With love. With compassion.

Of all the gifts Trump has given the collective unconscious of humanity, this is the one I'm most grateful for.

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