Last night, I had an unusually vivid dream that Trump won the election.
It was devastating.
I was immediately desperate to place blame on everyone I knew who never registered to vote. I blamed every wasted write-in for weakening our opposition. I blamed the primary election, and our loss of Bernie Sanders. I blamed myself, for taking too long to refocus my efforts and rally for Hillary. I blamed the media, for choosing sensationalism over facts. I blamed America as a whole, for choosing division over cooperation, hatred over freedom.
In this dream, my heart filled with the same resentment, rage, and fear that probably got him this far in the first place. Ironic.
I woke up in tears and rushed to scroll through the news on my phone. The headlines made everything worse.
So I texted my mom about the dream, hoping for some sort of comfort.
What will happen to our country if it all goes to hell? I wondered.
“Americans are great in times of crisis,” my mom replied.
“What do you mean?!” I texted furiously. “LA can’t even handle their shit when it rains.”
As usual, she gave the most adorably Russian response:
“I will let you know when to worry. I have friends in Russia.”
After some whining, soul-searching and inner rambling, the antidote to fear hit me with the force of a million tiny raindrops. It’s so simple, it feels dumb to say out loud.
Everything is ultimately as it should be.
Yes, everything. Even the awful, unthinkable parts.
This is easy to say, painful in practice. But whether we accept it or not, life is happening – with or without our consent.
Perspective is power. That’s all we can control.
Regardless of whatever mess we tiny humans make here, the universe won’t stop moving. This election doesn’t matter as much as we fear it does.
It’s funny that the timing of this fearful nightmare coincided with Halloween. Because in Pagan traditions, Samhain marks all endings (and beginnings). It’s a time where seasons change, leaves die, and cold winds bring on transformation. This theme is present in many spiritual traditions. Whether you observe this holiday or not, the harvest can be an important symbol. We reap what we sow, as they say.
As for our planet, I believe that no matter how severely we destroy ourselves, nature will ultimately win. Nothing short of an asteroid or supernova will completely destroy the planet we live on. If climate change were to wipe us out, the Earth will go on without us, in some new form. Even if the election somehow triggered the ultimate apocalypse, our planet keeps on spinning – mushroom clouds and all.
Humanity’s undoing will be ours alone. Scary, but oddly comforting to think about.
But even if the unthinkable happened and planet Earth was no more, our disappearance would have little to no impact on the universe at large.
It’s nice, in times of chaos, to remember how small and insignificant we actually are.
…How Russian of me, to find solace in the worst case scenario. Thanks, mom.
We can throw whatever we want at each other, but we can’t survive without our planet and the gifts it continues to give us. Our society can’t thrive without cooperation. At some point, humanity must kick in. If it doesn’t, we fail and the species (or country, or government) starts over.
Death is rebirth. Failure is a beginning. Loss is the seed of transformation.
The most important and necessary changes usually happen beyond our control. It’s how we respond that matters.
I’ve lived a miraculous life. How I’ve come this far is baffling. I can’t take credit for who I am because there have been a multitude of contributing factors that came into play without my request. So many worst-case scenarios have come and gone, and it all turned out okay.
The election might suck no matter what side you’re on, but it’s going to be okay. Eventually.
I don’t subscribe to the idea of predestination, but there’s a certain magic in the aftermath of upset. When chaos hits, I feel that there’s a driving force behind whatever comes next. It’s not up to me to define it, but I will accept it. Because we need it.
The things that scare us also build us. If it’s a challenge we need, here it is. Accepting that makes me feel so much less worried.
Fear never leads to inner peace, but the overcoming of it will.
In Paul Coelho’s book The Alchemist, Santiago goes in search of treasure, but his journey stalls when he is victimized by theft. Santiago could choose to mourn and be a victim of his circumstances, or to pause and remember the bigger picture.
“I’m an adventurer in search of treasure,” he says, and then continues on his journey.
If your candidate loses, what will you do? Act, or react – it’s your choice.
In the grand scheme of life and death, this election is a catalyst for change – regardless of its outcome. Rebirth of any kind is tricky, frightening and often painful. But it’s necessary.
So today, I offer love and gratitude to the opposing forces at work within all of us. I don’t know what the election’s outcome will be, but I surrender the ego part of myself that wants to control it. I vow to contribute (in my own small way) to the goodness of humanity, and to trust how nature works. Because in the end, the Earth will outlive all of us.
I matter, and I don’t. How freeing.
Halloween = Samhain = “End of Summer” = Death = Rebirth.
Halloween and Elections have a lot in common: we get to contemplate the things that scare us, learn from them, take action (or not) and do our best with the outcome.
November 9, it all begins again. I’ll see you on the other side.