I woke up this morning to scary new world. I was hoping to wake up to a world where decency and love prevailed. I was hoping to wake up to a world where we could tell our daughters that the sky is the limit because we had finally busted through the highest glass ceiling once and for all. But instead, I awoke to a world where I no longer feel safe. I awoke to a President who calls women pigs, rates them by their looks, and brags about sexual assault. To paraphrase Patton Oswalt, I learned last night that America is more sexist than it is racist. And it’s pretty fucking racist.
A Trump presidency, if he delivers on his promises, means the fight for climate change will come to a screeching halt, over 20 million will lose their access to healthcare, marriage equality for our LGBTQ brothers and sisters will be threatened, more than 6 million undocumented immigrants will be deported, a wall will be built, Muslims will be banned from entering our country, and women’s reproductive rights will be stripped.
For the first time in my life, I am afraid to be a woman in this country. I can’t imagine what mothers must be feeling right now and how demoralizing it must be to explain to their daughters that we have just elected a man to our highest office who was accused of raping a 13 year old girl.
I can’t imagine what it’s like because I don’t have a daughter of my own. And do you know why I don’t have a daughter of my own? Because a few years ago I had an abortion. I have never publicly shared this, but I feel called to share this now. Judge all you want. That is your right. But up until we elected Trump last night, my right to choose was safely protected.
I was only 4 weeks at the time and the doctor indicated that there were signs that it might not be a healthy and normal pregnancy. I went to the appointment alone because my partner at the time lived in a foreign country and we were doing long-distance.
I broke down in tears when I left her office and sobbed alone in my car. There was nothing about the decision that I took lightly. At the time, I was struggling financially. The majority of yoga teachers in the U.S. are independent contractors and as such, we don’t get employment benefits like healthcare or a retirement plan. I couldn’t even afford my own rent, let alone provide for a child. It was a heart-wrenching decision, but it was the right decision for me.
And now we have elected a man who believes there should be some form of criminal punishment for women who seek abortions.
So don’t tell me not to fear. White male privilege is what allows you not to fear. But if you are any other race, color, religion, or sex, you have every right to fear.
BUT, while I do feel palpable fear, disappointment and anger, I also feel palpable courage and a greater resolve to do everything I can to fight against this inexcusable brand of hatred, racism and misogyny.
I have always found my greatest strength in my weakest hours and I strongly believe that in this country’s weakest hour, we too, will unite together and find our greatest strength.
As a result of the various traumas I have lived through, I have devoted myself to helping others heal from trauma. And yes, a Trump presidency qualifies as a deep trauma. But here’s the thing about trauma – it teaches us our resiliency. It shakes us to our core to teach us what we’re really made of.
What I have learned from my research and work with trauma survivors, is that sometimes it gets worse before it gets better. It’s like a drug addict who finally decides to get clean, but the price of getting clean is the greatest suffering you’ve ever known. You go through debilitating withdrawals. Your body shakes, your resolve crumbles, and you literally feel like you’re dying.
And just when you think you can endure no more, you break through to the other side. Because the truth is that you’re not dying. You’re healing. You’re clearing out every last bit of disease from your cells and setting the stage for your greatest health, recovery and awakening.
May these next four years be just that – a curing of our collective disease. May the darkness that Trump brings, only serve to show us our true light. May his bullying and bigotry be the catalyst for what guides us to greater compassion, inclusion and love.
Yes, I am afraid. But I will use my fear to summon my deepest courage and my deepest strength. I will be a champion for love and a champion for change. This will not be our downfall. This will be our greatest awakening. Together, we will rise.