It’s been nearly a month since electionpocalypse. I am still searching for understanding, for words, for dialogue and for insight in this post-election season. The search feels like a massive and daunting expedition. But this is what I do. It’s what I’ve always done. I lurch toward meaning and understanding wherever I can as a means to anchor myself loosely enough to survive in a chaotic world that is always in flux.
So I am still searching for new understanding. I am unpacking the theories related to the rust belt region of this country. I am attempting to move through my anger at the 81% of the evangelical vote, the white male vote, and the white female vote so that I can try to understand the why and how this came to be. Attempting is the operative word at the moment. I am weighing the insights offered by psychologists, historians, political analysts, sociologists and others. I am trying to gain understanding from 35,000 feet while also sitting with the impact on the ground in the stories I read and hear from friends and colleagues and friends of friends. I am committed to this work not simply because I’m desperate for some anchoring in this new political reality, but because I feel more compelled than ever before to be a part of a movement and force of love in this deeply fragmented world.
These are the big thoughts. The lofty hopes of eventual understanding and being a part of a movement. And these big thoughts matter- they orient, they organize and at their best, they can inform and inspire action. These thoughts and insights matter. But there is still a significant chasm between my lofty hopes and my current emotional experience. So I am allowing space for both the searching and the feelings. Because if my experience in therapy (both on the couch and in the chair) has taught me anything it’s that feelings must be felt. There’s no other way through them.