Life is full of defining moments, opportunities to consider our options and choose once again how we show up in the world and what realities we create. The morning of November 9, 2016, was one such defining moment for me. On that day, I found myself in the process of waking with a sense of intense devastation, which I was not, in that moment, prepared or willing to confront and process. I was clear this was deeper than the disappointment of “my preferred candidate” not winning an election, as I understand and honor how democracy works—sometimes you win, sometimes not. So, I was able to isolate out that part of my emotions. But this feeling that the whole world had lost its mind and the very Soul of humanity had been jeopardized was beyond anything I could wrap my mind or heart around. This was bigger than the outcome of an election and ran deeper than who was right or who was wrong.
Being empathic, intuitive, and imaginative by nature (all of which are tools I have developed in my career as a life-enhancing facilitator, spiritual teacher, and stage director), I knew if I was feeling this deeply out of sorts, disconnected, and unable to ground myself, something monumental was occurring. I honestly didn’t know if I had it in me to face what we had queued up for our cultural, national, and global path.
I have navigated my share of walks through the dark side of the human experience—having hit rock bottom, lying broken and bloody, and knowing which way was up only because I had landed on my back. Nothing is more unnerving and disorienting for an empath/introvert than feeling disconnected from the internal guidance of my faith. And on this morning, I found I had landed face down in overwhelming despair, unlike anything I could reference.
So, I had a conversation with God. Lying in bed curled up in the fetal position, the covers pulled up over my ears and around my head, I announced with a sense of profound defeat, “I can’t do this. I don’t want to be here in this world anymore.” This moment had presented itself on the tail end of four years of intense life experiences that had left me depleted and, at times, struggling to grab on to my faith, feeling raw and fatigued. “So, I’m not moving from this spot until You give me a clear understanding of the part You want me to play in the healing of all this chaos … and Your reassurance that You are going to be there guiding me each step of the way through this.”
Five hours would pass before I stirred in my cocoon, the angle of the sunlight streaming through the divide in the bedroom window curtains indicating it was now midday. I could hear birds calling to each other from the trees in the back yard and our dogs exchanging barks with their neighboring counterparts, a reminder that their lives had not been affected at all by any of this. So far, anyway.
As I awoke, I felt a sense of, if not peace, at least purpose in my mind and heart. I didn’t know exactly what had happened, but I knew the reality of the election results had not changed. The sense of chaos triggered by the results still had, as I saw it, a chokehold on the heart of our country and—somehow—on our humanity. This day was indeed the beginning of a journey we individually and collectively were going to take. And as much as people needed to believe it was all “the other side’s fault,” the truth was we were in this together.
Sitting up in bed, it was clear to me. I, like everyone, had a part to play in all of this—a contribution to honor and a purpose to fulfill. My life’s journey to date, and my work as a life-enhancement facilitator and spiritual teacher, had prepared me for this. Even—and especially—my work as a stage director (leading a team through the creative process to manifested desired results) had trained me to step up into this purposeful work. I had an intuitive knowing and, without understanding the details of how, knew we were not only going to survive this storm but—depending on how we played our cards—we would come out the other side having redefined our potential to thrive. I was assured of this understanding in my head, and I trusted the guidance in my heart.
A teaching in A Course in Miracles says that everything is either Love or a call for Love, and the appropriate response to both is Love. This insight invites us to consider that when someone is “acting out,” they are doing so in reaction to their experience of a perceived disconnect from Love. “Acting out” is a desperate call for Love created by a hunger to feel connected—a hunger so strong that even if the connection is manifest in violence, we would rather be abused than ignored. When we act and react in Love, we dispel the illusion of separation and honor our eternal connection, and in this, we heal the multitude of perceived gaps we have created between us.
Our cultural experience over the time leading up to the morning of November 9, 2016, had been fueled by a gradual dehumanizing of each other in the name of righteousness. This fear-based pattern was nothing new to the human experience, as history has repeatedly shown this behavior to be consciously and intentionally practiced as part of the art of manipulating a culture mindset to obtain and retain control of the masses. However, this time I sensed we had reached a peak—a tipping point unlike any other time in the history of our humanity. With the progress in technology and the ability to communicate globally in a matter of seconds, we were forced to wake up individually and collectively in “real time.” The Soul of our humanity had reached its limit for accommodating fear-driven fatigue and was held hostage by a toxic perception of lack and the delusion of separation. It was no longer appropriate for us to remain in a deep sleep of complacency and continue to hit the snooze button on the awakening of our potential. We were queued up for a breakthrough in our evolution—the likes of which would forever change the world as we knew it. It would either reveal a thriving version of ourselves that we were designed for but had not yet imagined possible—or trigger the slow death of our democracy along with our humanity. Everything was in place to support us in this shift of collective consciousness, and the choice was ours as to which way it would play out.
Sitting on the side of the bed, I was curious as to why we couldn’t have chosen a smoother, more graceful, enlightened version of our awakening process. Bowing my head, I surrendered. “Oh well, we didn’t. We have chosen this version; there’s no point in resisting. Let’s get to it.” I knew I had my part to do: my part assigned to me by God in God’s plan. For now, that part looked like closing the perceived gaps between us by hitting the reset button on our humanity. Only when we change our mind about what’s possible are we in a position to change the world. In that moment, I had done my part to change my mind, and now it was time for me to sit up, suit up, and show up—to realign with Atonement and get into action with our At-One-Ment—reclaiming our humanity.