Can you love Donald Trump and company? Do we need to love them in order to get a better world?
There are times I have felt compassion for trumpsters, including my sister. With her birthday next week, I battle with whether I contact her. I know that one moment I may feel compassion, however, I may quickly regret such contact. I don’t feel the strength to be able to deal with all that supporting him entails....approving of kids in cages, tax breaks for the wealthy while everyone else suffers, undoing regulations to keep us safer, lying non stop, calling people names, putting unqualified people into positions of power, his love for dictators, his selling out our country, moves against women, civil, lgbtq rights. I’m no saint.
Maybe just send your sister a birthday card. Then you have done something positive that doesn’t need to devolve into anything contentious. I constantly have to walk this line with certain family members and it is difficult. I’m trying not to compromise my beliefs but at least maintain minimal ties to people who I know aren’t inherently evil until this storm passes. Good luck!
I’ve been watching this remarkable British detective series on PBS called Unforgotten, about the solving of cold cases. It is helping me with the issues we are discussing about the criminals in politics, who are not murderers, but have caused unspeakable pain and committed other crimes against our country.
Each set of episodes begins with a murder victim who died decades earlier, followed by five episodes in which they find suspects until they solve the case.
There are usually several suspects and you as viewer go through the shifts in perspective as the detectives uncover the truth.
Your perspective of the suspects changes from suspicion that they are evil to a more human view of them as the detectives uncover their stories.
People falter. They hurt people, mostly innocently, and then there sometimes is a true perpetrator out there who is a sociopathic force of darkness. I feel that way about the dark money politicians and their enablers. Most are motivated by their own pain, then some are sociopaths.
I struggle with all of this—with uncovering the dark out there and the dark in myself that arises when I judge.
As an empath, I sometimes don’t know where I end and others begin. I want to stop the pain out there because it flows through me. I believe that like the trees, I'm feeling their need and sending healing. But if my own thinking is off, then I suffer.
When the GOP leadership is about to launch an attack, I feel it like a great dark force rising up, like a blackening storm system moving in.
I often react first with fear, then judgement and anger.
But those feelings work like poison in me.
Anger also keeps us weak. It reaffirms a belief that those people are separate from us, but whether we like it or not, their feelings, their judgements, flow through us and are within us. We will all be better off if we can see them in all their complexity.
Meanwhile the detectives in Unforgotten still have to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
But the truth of people is rarely black and white. And it gives me more comfort to see the light in people than to close my heart to them.
Still I falter and I wish I didn’t have to keep learning the same lesson over and over again, like Sisyphous pushing that rock up the hill only to have it roll back down again and again. It's an ongoing struggle to love.
While I was writing my post, Anita’s, Unk and Deetoo’s popped up. Anita, my heart goes out to you. You are such a beautiful soul. Along with UnkP and Deetoo’s responses I am so grateful for this community. And laura thank you for your beautiful honesty. I resonate with you too. Feelings are complex.
I’m so sorry that your sister is so closed-minded. If she causes you that much pain, then by all means protect yourself and don’t engage. I guess you could pray that she opens her heart. In any case, whatever she does is on her and not you. There are also toxic people in my family. When they attack me, I tell myself that I can only control my behavior, not theirs. As painful as it is, I guess this is one of the lessons in our life that we have to learn or repeat in the next one (if you believe in reincarnation). I’m sending light to you in the hopes that you find a solution that will give you peace.
Am I the only one who feels like some of these threads need to be collected in book form and printed for posterity?
Nope. You’re not the only one, Coyote. There are times when I want to find some gem of wisdom that I’ve read in one of the posts, and have a difficult time finding it. Such an insightful community from which to learn and grow.
I have been thinking of you throughout the day. Relationships are so messy, family relationships can be really messy. I think many of us can relate on some level to the pain you are courageously addressing in your posts.
I think we not only have a right, but a responsibility to maintain healthy boundaries in our relationships. For me that means mutual respect and safety for starters. Not only physical safety, but emotional and spiritual safety as well. If someone I’m in a relationship refuses to maintain those boundaries, it’s a deal breaker for me. That includes family members. I love them enough to not tolerate ongoing unloving behavior that is present each time we have contact.
I hope that you will lean into the people who love you, respect you and value you.
Please know that we love and appreciate the beautiful woman that you are.
Your email came at a very good time. I’ve gotten depressed with the sudden change in weather and have been ill several days. I had therapy this morning and my own
self hatred came up. Of course, my sister issue as well. Maybe they are entailed somehow.
To know you were thinking of me at different times today warms my heart. Too often i
feel forgettable. That means so much to me. Your last sentence is a tough one for me to accept today, but it means so much to me.
thank you so very much.
I live in a blue state but directly next door to a very hateful family (they have 4 boys and 1 girl who are all able to drive or drive dirt bikes). They purposely drive their dirt bikes next to our pool when we are outside just to annoy us. The "kids" are also now driving jeeps with "Trump 2020" flags waving on them. They are the absolute most obnoxious people and they mirror their "leader" in every way. My husband and I are looking for another home because we can't enjoy ourselves here any longer. I do "hate" them but I do not wish them harm nor am I even rude to them.
I "hate" DJT and the evil GOPers we have erasing abortion laws etc. I HATE what they have DONE to women, minorities etc. I hate their actions and don't wish them harm but HATE what they do and stand for. I couldn't be happier if the USA split into Blue and Red state America, fine by me because I've lost my zeal for thinking they will ever change (at least in my lifetime).
I am a believer in Christ and his teachings but I don't like to say I'm a "Christian" the way so many bible thumpers in this country do because they ring so false. Many people in this country go around claiming to be "Christian" but never apply his teachings to the way they live their life and act toward others. For me Christ always forgave and never judged and asked that we do the same. My aspiration is always to not be judgmental but to also be strong and have a backbone, just like Jesus did when he lost his temper in the church and overturned the tables.
I'm not sure hate or love are accurate terms to describe my feelings. I do not wish ill on the trump cult - I simply cannot want others to suffer. That said however I do not want them around me. It's harder than it looks as certain family members are either supporting trump (one step cousin is even running for mayor of a NJ town as a republican - on the anti facts ticket) or support other family members who do, and don't understand my instinctual and deep seated revulsion. I would be happy to never ever meet one of these people again - but then I ask myself how they became the way they are.
Several things stick out to me that seem to be true about all republican voting people I've ever met. They lack empathy for others - not even maliciously, it just doesn't occur to them to care about others. They like to bully others, if they can get away with it they will trample you. They like to judge people, and they have flexible standards for judgment that change with them - so hypocrites. They have a unique way of being able to explain away things like children in cages at the border as either not happening or somehow justified. So they are complicit. They have a unique ability to ignore uncomfortable facts or claim that those facts are fake and intended to slander their leader - they are a cult.
All of this also describes the Russian people I know that love Putin -it's the same mental gymnastics at play here. I'm guessing it's the same mental hallucination that all cult leaders invoke in their followers - its just tragic to see how much of humanity yearns for these figures.
I don't love or hate them - I try to have empathy for them and often fail, but I still try. I see them as a danger that needs to be contained and at best kept far away from me.