Sometimes I forget that I’m stressed because of the racist, sexist, anti-environment, anti-knowledge, anti-all-but-the-rich, let’s just say it, deplorable administration and think that there’s something wrong in my life. But no, all is well. Well except for this persistent discomfort; kind of like the feeling you have when your stomach starts to signal its opposition to your eating choices. Or maybe like the feeling you have when you drink tainted water or breathe polluted air. There isn’t good; there are just degrees of bearable.
It’s certainly not just me. In just about every conversation I have the name t- comes up, followed by that person’s litany of his latest offenses. There’s no stopping these discharges, and I am certainly as guilty as anyone—and as strident (okay, more). As much as I want to resist going there, it seems impossible not to. This is the rage that cannot be stilled or contained for long. It’s not conversation, it’s a back and forth release of the thoughts that have collected and solidified in each of our brains since learning the latest news since the previous release. This outlet is essential because the outrages are continuous—and the build-up of tension cannot just keep growing. Between the sharing of the hit list of offensive offenses and marching (Yeah, Earth Day marchers for science! I went to protest ICE deportations) we have each been propelled to defend a moral and ethical compass. We will not be swayed or manipulated by the scales of hate, greed, and ego.
But my goodness! The imposition that politics can have into and onto one’s psyche. The horror of being faced with policies and people that represent the exact opposite of what I value leads both to that constant ache as well as a powerful need to protect and defend. There is no escapism. How do you escape from your conscience? (Thank goodness there are so many of us with consciences that encompass compassion!)
I know that throughout human history there have been times of trial, and this, unfortunately, seems to be our trial. It is not on the scale of the degradations people have faced—and are facing in other places, but faced with the potential of worse to come, it is uplifting to see that the rage simmers within so many of us. The rage that cannot let our minds rest. The rage that is a paroxysm of openness opposite one that confines. This is the time when we must answer our pull to make a positive impact on our world, in whatever ways suit us. This is the time when frustration and anger need to be converted into the acts that will define each of us, and which, together, will create a groundswell for good.
We need to create a world of individual Venn diagrams that overlap in wondrous layers where we interconnect, interact, and stabilize—ourselves and each other—to resist that dark vision, and to create one that glows with hope and potential.
The potential to transform our stress into engines of growth that outstrip his/their push to suppress is the truest driving force. A transformation that (fingers crossed) happens before we all have nervous breakdowns.