I know that for many of us 2016 has been an extraordinary challenging year. For me personally I saw the loss of Harbin Hot Springs, my spiritual center, my teacher and mentor Steve Carter, and the breakup of a very meaningful personal relationship. I also supported a dear friend through a series of extraordinarily challenging circumstances that many of us would not have survived.
On top of all of this, I witnessed, like you all did, the people of this country choose a racist, misogynist, xenophobic, real estate mogul TV reality star to be the leader of the free world over the most qualified candidate to ever run for President.
I am angry and scared, and have been having dreams of Nazi Germany and angry white men in pick up trucks randomly shooting women, gays, Blacks. Mexicans, and Muslims as they drive through the streets of our towns and cities. I fear for our earth, and our water, and our children and grandchildren.
Indeed, I have spent the last two weeks supporting many of my female clients who have been experiencing trauma and triggering of their PTSD because of this election.
While I pondered what I was grateful for this year, I realized that my gratitude, which typically is focused on my own work and life, has a much more expansive view in 2016.
- I am thankful that we live in a democracy and that despite not liking the results of our election power will pass peacefully without any bloodshed. This is not something to take for granted as our friends in the Middle East and other parts of the world can well attest to.
- I am thankful that this election has brought to light the deep seated racism and misogyny that has always been a fabric of this country but has been repressed and suppressed since the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Without facing it head on there is no possibility of changing hearts and minds.
- I am thankful that those of us living in our comfortable and safe bubble are no longer feeling as comfortable and safe. That many of us are realizing, perhaps for the first time in our lives, that our future, and our children’s futures, are not secure and that we need to get off our ass and do something about it.
- I am thankful that we can now see how our economic, trade, and education policies have helped to create a great divide in this country and how we are literally leaving behind those who are not as highly educated, lack the skills necessary to thrive in this new economy, and also fear that their children and grandchildren will not be able to have a better life.
- Finally, I am thankful that I live in the great state of California where women will always be able to get abortions, saving our environment and preserving our natural resources will always be a central principle, every race, nationality, and sexual preference will be welcomed, pot will be legal, and we will continue to take care of those in need.