What a day, January 6 was. I thought back to election day 2016 when Donald Trump won. I was living in Northern New Mexico on 10 acres. I was living alone, struggling with demons, and fighting the consequences of avoidance. My personal journey left me alone that night in 2016, with three dogs and a cat and hours alone in my head. During that time alone, I wrote often and completed my first book, learned to like myself again, and at that time in my life, I became committed to becoming the best partner I could for my person. I had actively ignored my personal responsibility of self-reflection and self-care and allowed my past traumas to inform my present (I have a point, I promise). Because of that awareness, I chose to spend two years living alone in Northern New Mexico. I spent so many mornings at 2:00 AM laying out on the porch staring up into the stars. I was far enough away from any city lights that the stars blazed. Many of us have never really seen the night sky without city lights. Go do it. Do it today. Drive out and just stare up. Take some hot tea, music, and someone you love, and stare at the stars. My time of contemplation allowed me to also validate many of my feelings. While always an emotional person, I took the time to embrace how I really felt. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t anger. Nonetheless, this emotional rollercoaster of self-learning manifested on election day, in 2016
The day before the election, I had taken one of my little Chihuahuas to the vet, where he had most of his teeth removed. He was heavily medicated, and we all spent the night on the couch, in the living room, watching the election results roll in, with my little dog’s precious head in my lap. When the election was called, I remember falling to the floor and I sobbed. I cried like a child. I was horrified that so many people were willing to support a racist agenda. I cried because, at that moment, I knew January 6, 2021, was coming. I saw events unfolding in my head, and I realized that we were in far more trouble than I had previously understood. One of my Black friends posted on Facebook, “They don’t want us here.” I cried that day for the twenty years of my life I had given to breaking down barriers for people who are different. It seemed so fruitless. I thought back to the hundreds of people who sat through cultural competency training (and I give good training, so we’re talking some heavy stuff). How many of them simply acquiesced and nodded along because there was a box to check?
Yet, January 6 was not a surprise to me. After four years of what it always looks like in America when White privilege is challenged, the culmination was a coup attempt. While it may have been a marketing ploy for Donald Trump to continue to fuel his fundraising, it has backfired on all of us. This country went to the polls, and in a frightening statement, almost half of the country voted for this. They actively and intentionally chose this. I can’t tell you how many Republicans have demonstrably demanded that we take their perspective seriously. I read the other day something like, “Assuming all Republicans can’t make an educated decision is unfair. We just don’t like liberal policies.” Or the other gem, “My sister keeps calling me a bigot and a racist. We have to stand up for our choices.” Undeniably, the choice was always there to be made. However, the consequences are also there to be had. We cannot simply extricate ourselves from the party’s policies and become instrumental in a coup because we don’t like the consequences. It was a coup attempt. Without question. What would we be doing today if it had succeeded? What country would we be living in? Which, I guess, begs the question, what country do we live in?
So, if you are sitting in your living room in disbelief, staring at the television, wondering what went wrong, then it’s time to turn off the television. We are addicted to drama, and I say it is time to turn it off. Get out of your head. Just for a minute. Take a deep breath outside and let yourself remember that our time on this little rock is short. We are virtually meaningless in the cosmos. See the stars…I told you I had a point. As I stared up at the stars for so many nights, I always stumbled over the nature of our reality. All those points of light have traveled for millions of years, and they are a window into a present that no longer exists. By the time the universe hears our story, all of this will be over. We will be but a distant point of light in someone else’s night, and our legacy will have been forgotten. From a Quantum Physics perspective, we create our own reality. From a spiritual perspective, we can learn to live with the reality we created. From a mental health perspective, we sit in the cradle of responsibility. So, what are you going to do next?