May 12, 2017 at 2:11 pm #149255
Normally I'm triggered or rattled by very little- I've been through a lot, and at 60 years of age have had a lot of time and experiences to give me a pretty calm attitude about anything.
Until November. I don't want to get into a political argument with anyone, but just for me personally the current American president represents everything I oppose in human behavior and governmental conduct, and feels to me like he's setting out to single-handedly undo all the social and environmental change we've made over the past 40 years. He's endangering the entire planet, and all that matters to him is feathering his own nest. As I said, everyone is absolutely entitled to their own opinion- that's mine.
My problem- and question- lies in how to handle the hatred he provokes in me. I've only felt anything even slightly close to hatred for a few people in my life, and I've always forgiven them, and have actually mended fences with most of them. I realize hatred is toxic, and I do not like feeling this way. Health-wise, I really can't afford the stress! I try to channel it into doing as much as I can to support resistance activities, and other creative activities such as art & writing to divert myself, and I even force myself to take days or even weeks when I detach from all news as much as possible & concentrate only on activities which give me peace.
Yet there it is. His moves get bolder, more dangerous and damaging, and harder to ignore. (Talk about the “elephant in the living room!”) I feel like it's eating me up inside, which almost makes it worse because I know it would probably feel like a victory to him to hear that!
If anyone has any suggestions on ways to deal with this, I'd love to hear them. I live in a rural area, & the nearest sanghas are too far for me to drive to with any regularity, my health being what it is. Any ideas or insights are appreciated. Thank you!May 13, 2017 at 5:28 am #149287
This is what I would do, if I was you: extend what you already did, “take days or even weeks when I detach from all news”-
As a matter of fact, I do not have a TV service, I do not watch or listen to the news at all. No images of politics, no sounds. Nothing.
There is nothing, really, that you can do about the president of the US being who he is, is there? You have no power on the matter, but the matter has a lot of power over you. Much of it is avoidable if you remove the images and sounds and stop discussing him with others. These activities keep your hate going and going.
No matter how strongly you believe he is worthy of your hate, the hate you feel makes no positive change in real life and it harms you. Can you see yourself disengaging in the ways I suggested?
anitaMay 13, 2017 at 8:37 pm #149347
Hi Anita! Thanks very much for taking the time to respond. I understand what you're saying in principle but I'm afraid in practice it would be going against an essential part of my character that is so deeply-rooted that I doubt I could change it at this point in my life, and in all honesty I'm not sure I'd want to. I guess growing up during the 60's & going through my teens in the last of the residual social change movements in the 70's stamped it on me ineffably that I have to try to do what I can to make positive contributions to my community, country, and planet when I can. It affected my choice of career, and in my spare time I've always been involved in some kind of nonprofit that I can feel is somehow contributing. Part of my frustration now – which is probably amping up my feelings against the POTUS- is that my health has me nearly housebound, and prevents me from doing all I'd like to be doing: the me of 20 years ago would have been at all the marches and meetings, and probably secretary on each committee and bringing coffee and donuts! As things are now, I can share information on social media – but because that's what I CAN do, I feel compelled to do it. I have no delusions that what I'm doing is going to change Trump, but who knows who a tweet or a post might touch, and what they might accomplish? And I'm not sure I could live with myself if I detached completely and did nothing… I feel a debt to those who have fought for change in the past, and an obligation to the generations who will come after us. It's important to me, when all is said & done, to be able to say “I cared, & I did my best to do what I could do.”
I just need to figure out how to de-personalize it somehow, to care about it without letting it eat me up inside, to do what I can and at the same time let it go. Like I said in my original post, I'll almost be ok, and the he takes his ghastly assaults on democracy to a new depth, and I'm seething all over again.
Again, thank you for your thoughtful response, and I will continue to consider it.May 13, 2017 at 8:59 pm #149355
You are welcome and I understand that my previous suggestion does not fit with who you have been for so long and who you are.
I am thinking: underneath your hate for him is fear of the harm his presidency is causing and will cause. That fear fuels the hate. There may be a way to deal with that fear and as the fear lessens, so will the hate.
I will be back to your thread tomorrow morning, hopefully with something new. I hope another member, or other members reply to you as well.
anitaMay 14, 2017 at 6:36 am #149373
Good morning. If you want to explore the fear factor, that which fuels, I believe, the hate, let's do that. You wrote in your original post: “He’s endangering the entire planet”-
If you choose to, will you list what you believe the entire planet is likely to look like/ be like following his presidency?
anitaMay 14, 2017 at 8:30 am #149389
We are living in The Upside Down. It is inexplicable that Trump is (still) President. But he is. On paper.
What we can do is forge our own reality. In your home Trump can't touch you. And even if he does (lack of health care that now affects you, fracking in your backyard, etc.) you can still maintain a Trump-free zone. And encourage our young people to become part of the local community and take up causes! Even if you're house bound, could you take in one immigrant? Or give to your local nature conservatory?
It is maddening, but we deserve our emotional well being. Do your part and don't give him even a thought.
InkyMay 14, 2017 at 5:06 pm #149419
I agree with prior advice. Take a break from media. Like it or not, agendas rule our media sources. Regardless of political per view, studies (can't quote) indicate that people gravitate towards news sources that will fan their anger. Anyone who is focused on personal wellness consumes measured quantities of news. Can you be content with grabbing the top stories from your media outlet of choice in the morning and then moving for the day? You will stay informed without being consumed. IMO political hatred is toxic. I grew up very aware of the politics of Northern Ireland and I lived in the Balkans for five years from 1997-2002. There is no good that results from political hatred. A quote from a person in NI who lost a close relative that I find informative is “we will learn to live together, or die apart.” Good luck.May 15, 2017 at 11:03 am #149533
Anita, you're absolutely correct that mingled in with the hatred is at least as much fear. Very little of it is for my own well-being, although the worst-case scenario of his ideas on health care could be dire for myself, and even worse for some very dear friends, for whom it could conceivably become life and death very quickly. But beyond that, the consequences of his total regard for how his actions will impact the environment, and the acceleration of global warming, is both sad and terrifying. Honestly, I'm not at all one normally prone to apocalyptic thinking, but I truly fear that four (or *shudder* eight) years of his deregulated corporate oligarchy will leave us with a planet nearly unrecognizable and uninhabitable and well on the way to a man-made extinction event. And that's only if his ignorant and blundering foreign policy doesn't end up destroying the planet in a nuclear WWIII first.
So yes, he scares the sh¥t out of me – and two years ago I'd have said while I was concerned about the environment, the only thing that really truly scared me was the idea of losing my daughter or one of my cats. (That's one part of non-attachment I have yet to master!) And I don't doubt that the fear and anger are tangled up together: I resent him for making me feel afraid, for his total disregard for reality and the consequences of his actions. Honestly, as a father and grandfather, I don't understand how he can live with himself: he has to know on some level what he's doing to the world his grandchildren and great-grandchildren will inherit… I guess it's the ultimate demonstration of his narcissistic pathology, that even that doesn't matter to him.
As time goes on and he becomes more ensnared in this web of his creation, and is forced to step beyond the small number of catch-phrases and the persona he relied on to get elected, I almost begin to feel sorry for him, and as dangerous and destructive as he is, that glimmer of compassion may be what saves my sanity. He's a spoiled child who's gotten the biggest toy he ever wanted, and he's suddenly realized it's too hard for him, he doesn't trust his friends and even some of his family, he's lonely even though he's surrounded by people all the time… the man who has it all is realizing he can't actually have it all – and worse yet, there's a lot of people (“fake news!”) who not only don't like him, but would just love to take his ultimate toy away from him. I don't think he's happy, fulfilled, or feels the least bit in control- and for a pathological narcissist like him that must be torture. So on the days he really shows his backside, I'll allow myself to take a little pleasure in knowing he's not enjoying himself, even if it's not very metta, and the rest of the time, I'll do my level best to temper my anger with compassion, and continue doing the small things I can to help him do less damage before he's out of office , and do what I can to make his time in office as short as possible, for everyone's sake!
Thanks again for your input- mulling it over helped me get to this internal compromise.May 15, 2017 at 11:33 am #149537
To Inky and Kevin –
Thanks for your thoughtful input and for taking the time to share your thoughts. I'm pretty much in agreement with everything both of you say, and I am rationing my “news & news-related social media ” time more & more carefully, and working hard on cutting myself some slack for being limited in my involvement (due to my health) compared to what I would have done. I realized that frustration is also part of the big ball of anger, but that's not his fault, that one's on me to control and ultimately let go of.
If you read my last reply to Anita, I think you can see I've begun to wend my bass-ackwards way towards a bit of an understanding/strategy that hopefully will make my life a little more liveable and maybe bring down my blood pressure a bit.
It's actually a gross oversimplification of a small life lesson about compassion my mom taught me when I was very small. I believe it only happened once, but it stuck with me from that day forward. We were shopping in a somewhat pricey department store, and the middle-aged shop clerk who waited on us was very rude and abrupt. After we checked out & walked away, I asked my mother (who was always exceedingly polite in public) why that woman was so mean? Without missing a beat, Mom said, “oh you never know what can be bothering people. Maybe her girdle is too tight, or her shoes hurt.” So from this point on I will do my level best to remember that the man in the White House is probably actually tremendously unhappy. And try not to enjoy it too much…..May 15, 2017 at 12:19 pm #149543
I read both your recent posts. I very much like your mother's answer about the shop clerk. It is worthy of being framed and hung on the wall.
I agree: he is most likely tremendously unhappy. The few photos I saw of him do show an unhappy expression, didn't see that unhappiness in photos of presidents before him. There are other indications, to me, of his unhappiness.
A note of caution, if I may: not only do you need to watch your blood pressure but notice the affects of your online involvement, on the matter, on other people. If other people are as helpless regarding the president as I believe they are, coupled with increased and maintained state of fear can cause them such distress that they may drive inattentively, have accidents and maybe their blood pressure too will go up.
I understand your long time passion of being involved and I understand it can be helpful to the common good, at times. But notice: it is not always so. The combination of fear (the most powerful emotion) and the experience of helplessness is often overwhelming and leads to the very thing you try to prevent: harm, accidents and even death.
In one's passion to prevent harm, one can create harm.
I am not recommending the attitude of: let's ignore the danger, pretend it doesn't exist. I am recommending a realistic discernment between what we cannot change at any one time and what we can. As well as considering unintended affects and effects.
I visited a “Preppers” group not long ago, a non-militarized, harmless group (not advocating or engaged in violence, and focused on survival without modern conveniences in case of end-of-the-world scenarios)- thing is, as people there learn and practice canning food and starting a fire, a few of them were morbidly obese and had the resulting health issues. They didn't attend to the current, more immediate danger to their lives, but focused on end of the world scenarios.
As people focus on ONE danger most passionately, other dangers are often overlooked.
In a similar way, keep your attention on politics regarding what is realistically in your power to do to help, but focus on your day-to-day health and your contribution to others' present, daily health.
Post again, anytime.