Trump’s Illness Is A Reminder To Fiercely Feed Your Love

Trump's Illness Is A Reminder To Fiercely Feed Your Love


Now is a perfect moment to check in with yourself about the depth of your own compassion and the integrity of your own bodysoul-stance(s) for participating in the healing our country needs to be the best it can be. The headlines blared out this morning in media outlets across the world: Donald and Melania Trump test positive for the Coronavirus.  What was your initial, immediate reaction? Take a blank piece of paper and write a list of the feelings, the visceral reactions, and if you shared them anyone in your household or in your morning’s events so far…

Second, if you’ve been willing to do that little exercise and not just read it… If you haven’t…please DO the exercise, even if it’s just a notes file on your phone…

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Secondly, do not condemn or judge your reactions. Feel them. Honor them. They come from the most honest place of your own story in this, our collective Story.

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Now…feeling them, honoring them, does not mean wallowing in them or fanning the flames within or around them. The depth of work that We the People need to do in the days, months, years to come will be signaled by your own reactions. I don’t judge mine (or yours), but I do take note of the work I have yet to do.

When I heard the news, as my husband read the headlines aloud over our morning coffee, I smiled. I may have even let out an undefended laugh. Think about that, in the bodysoul of a human being who professes and lives a Christian faith in the world.

This virus, for the many of us who trust science and know its damning effects on a human being’s health, is potentially lethal. It is damaging to health and wellbeing. It is threatening to a human body, particularly with co-morbidities. I have said again and again I don’t wish this virus on any sentient being. Yet, the pain and fear that are a natural part of my everyday life grew lighter in my visceral being upon the news that Trump and his wife tested positive.

There was a sense of what the Buddhists would call karma that drew my conscious mind to a bit softer wondering…even enjoying the irony of the whole thing. I am a huge Kierkegaard fan, and his work consciously points to the ironies that are a part of a living faith. So, I’m attuned to irony in my professional and personal journey of faith. This means something, of course, but it will mean thousands of things in the days and months to come…and that meaning will keep changing. No one can interpret what this means, apart from their own bodysoul reaction and their mind’s drive to make it fit or ease something inside.

Like I said, I don’t judge my feelings, but I will not hide from them either. They signal the state of my own soul and the pain and suffering that controls me inside. So my feelings are complicated and directly related to the ways I allow pain and fear to guide my sense of the present moment. When I am present to the moment, I am simply curious and wondering what the universe–of which we are all a part–is unfolding before our eyes. When I am most present, I refrain from interpretation of any meaning. I refrain from any outward projection into the world, best I can. I tend to my own heart, in this day, in these days. I commit to being attuned to the Good that is around us and within me.

So…now in my conscious Heart, I don’t wish him or his wife harm. I will be holding the whole scenario of our country’s evolution (or necessary de-evolution for the sake of the New) in the Light (as Quakers say), including Donald and Melania Trump. This news is actually a harbinger of awakening for those in the liberal sides of our country to examine closely their own depth and breadth of inner work to do. Do I judge where some of us are on that pathway? I try not to…fail…then continue trying…succeed…then fail again… This is the journey of practice, what one of my communities would call presuming goodwill as a practice.

But take note of y/our attachments here…how they feed or starve your hope, your fear. As the old Cherokee story goes, We have two wolves inside of us–love and fear (sometimes called good and evil). Which one will live? The one we feed. So begin to attend to your own internal work with pain, with fear, with the sadness you may be feeling about the state of our country today. Stay with your own pain, your own sadness, but don’t feed them. Learn how to feel them, hold them, and then let them go unfed into the ether, so to not harm another person. Even a person who is so deeply wounded that he is wounding the entire We the People we thought we were. If I get to this place even once a day, I’ll consider it good work inside me.

All of which is not to say we neglect the hatred, the ill-will, the chaos and crazymaking that he will certainly aim to use this latest development for… None of our outside work needs change–the getting out the vote, the seeking the voices of those silenced, the work toward justice and redress of so much suffering. Everything we need to do out in the world to heal our democracy remains just as it did yesterday, before this news.

But I’ll guess all the media and more will once again, make this about him, which feeds that wolf. We the People need to relearn and remember: he’s the symptom, not the cause. Our work of healing requires each of us to take stock of the depth of our own work, facing grief, feeling the suffering of self and others, and being an active force for the Common Good, even at our own expense, if not of our own life.

Feed the fierceness of your Love this good day. I will try to do the same.

[Image credit: Wallyswoodcrafts, available here.]


Lisa Hess

Lisa M Hess, PhD is a companion, poet & scholar at United Theological Seminary (OH) who has delved into community organizing through Circle-Way wisdom lineages (PeerSpirit and Women Writing for (a) Change). She is also a Presbyterian minister (PCUSA), preacher’s wife, spiritual director, and avid Crossfitter who blogs at www.crossfitatmidlife.com and Reconsidering Citizenship.

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