I, along with almost everyone I know, was horrified by the campaign rhetoric of fear, racism, sexism, xenophobia, and hate. I physically feel the pain caused by world-wide cruelty, and fight despair over the violent hostility that’s emerged in my own United States. Yes, I was shocked at Trump’s election.
But long experience with psychology helps me see the positives in today’s turmoil. It’s all about The Shadow.
During psychotherapy, the movement to good health begins with the emergence of our Shadow side, that hidden cauldron of hatred, fear, anger, hostility, hurt, desire for vengeance, or maybe even fear of some of our own good but challenging qualities. Its forces cannot be integrated in healing ways as long as they secretly and energetically chew away at our inner selves,
So, what does that have to do with the situation now that Trump has been elected? Let’s be clear, the campaign didn’t cause the racism, sexism, xenophobia, rage, and violence, i.e. the Collective Shadow. It helped unleash it. And as a therapist I can see that as a good thing.
Good thing? Yes. When all those Collective Shadow toxins are operating outside our awareness they cause their damage without control. Now they’ve been released. It’s awful to see the monster side of our humanity being displayed, but we know what we are dealing with and we can get to work healing our country. Processing it won’t be a matter of short-term therapy. The work of change will be long and terribly painful. But as individuals we can reduce our own stress and strive toward solutions.
How? By focusing on the present and action for the future. By taking whatever personal control is most appropriate for each of us. No one of us can solve everything, but we can avoid despair (lack of hope). The lesson from successful therapy is to choose a few things on which to focus and take action based on our own capabilities. Keep informed; maybe join protest marches if that’s our thing, or perhaps subsidize others; sign petitions; donate money; write letters; make phone calls; discuss with friends and neighbors; perhaps just meditate or pray. Do something to prevent, promote, or protect the issues that concern us.
Remember, the Shadow gets hidden because all that’s good in us doesn’t want to see it. And that “good” side is pretty darn powerful. Right now the Shadow side is making a scene, but its counterforce is quietly and powerfully active.
There are more good psychology lessons to be shared as we enter this historic period. Today’s theme is The Shadow, and taking personal control.
Mr. Trump won the presidential chess game by pulling in the critical segments of the political map.
Mrs. Clinton won the affirmation of the country as a whole.
Is there a lesson in that?
One quick photo to prove I was in Egypt. It will take a while before I get my other photos together.
Just back from a fabulous Smithsonian trip to Egypt, I’m way behind, of course, in almost everything that needs doing. I’m not even ready yet to post the photo of me standing by a camel. No, forget it, I’m not brave enough to ride one.
Anyway, this link leads to a long article, but you may find it helpful. I especially recommend the material at the end on forgiveness. In fact, I wish it would lead you to my books on forgiveness. But, no matter what, I hope you have the time to enjoy it.
Science Backed Strategies
I’ve been absent for a long time from my blog — and you should see what a mess my study is — all because I’m totally focused on “My Father’s House.” But I love this article on six ways to buy happiness with your money and just wanted to share it. It’s long, so maybe you’ll want just to read the headings. It would still be worth it.
Another nice review of “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses” has been posted on amazon (both US and UK sites.) Many thanks to Arpad B. When you go to the site, be sure to scroll down and select newest review first.
I received this book free in exchange for a review. I really enjoyed it and am happy to recommend it. I felt drawn into the story straight away. The author quickly and effectively builds the world of Dara and her family. You warm immediately to the characters and their story and I found this book difficult to put down as I wanted to know what happened next. It’s very skillful writing as the author depicts the images and colours of the world, the hopes and fears of the characters and moves the story along.at a good pace. Although it’s based on the story of Job you don’t need to know anything about this to enjoy the story.
Also, I’m happy to report that we had a nice group at yesterday’s party for the anthology “Where Rivers Converge” by the Carver County Writers Group. The readings were fun, interesting, and often moving. The atmosphere at the Sower Gallery at Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church in Chaska, MN, was lovely, even fascinating, with it’s great display of local art.