I’m not the first to say it, this election has been triggering. For immigrants, for People of Color, for women, for men of conscience. For, well, almost everyone.
In preparation for this blog I found this post. The 25 Worst Quotes from Donald Trump. Wow. And this list does not include the most “recent” comments that have been leaked to the media.
No one is off limits. Literally no one.
Women, Men and women of color, immigrants, prisoners of war, people who pay taxes, people who are on welfare, women who weigh more than 90 pounds, men who make less money than he does. You get the idea…
The anxiety is heightened, through the roof with everyone. We cannot turn on the TV, radio, look at social media or have a conversation without being “triggered” by something.
Being “triggered” basically means you have an emotional reaction to something that is from your past. It’s like PTSD only hopefully on a less severe level. It could be anything. Smelling old spice aftershave that my grandfather used to wear. Spelling the cologne your rapist was wearing. Hearing a man describe sexual assaulting women (just as a… you know…. random example) and be deported emotionally to the moment in which you were, your mother was, you friend, and bam! You’re feeling the weight of the trauma.
The thing about being triggered is even the most self-aware people can be triggered and not know it for minutes, hours, days. Over time I have developed internal “check-ins”. “What’s bothering me?” Oh… that explains it.
Think… anything that comes out of Trumps mouth for the people he is talking about.
From any and all we ask,”Can this election be OVER already?!?” We’re tired of being raw, tired of being exposed, tired of being triggered by everything every time we turn around!
In other words, we are in desperate need to be in control of our emotions.
When you hold an entire country and possibly an entire world emotionally hostage only bad things can happen.
We have become prisoners to our countries election cycle, even if we chose not to participate because *everyone* is feeling this way.
We have lost hope in a system, yes, but we did that a long time ago, did we not?
This time it’s different. The world is on it’s knees ready to pray and we don’t know what to pray for. Is there even a way out?
I have started a practice in the last few weeks. I hate that this man has taken over my and so many other’s emotional lives. He is tearing us apart. I have taken the opportunity to feel the triggers and begin a healing response. I can use the trigger to extend forgiveness, or to process more deeply, or to extend a little more sympathy.
As Christians we hold fast to a belief that God showed up, literally incarnated, in the depth of night. At rock bottom God came in human form to show us the way out. I don’t know what to pray for besides for light to enter this dark place.
I will use this dark night to shine a light of my own, to the best of my ability not get lost in the shadows, but expose myself to healing, forgiveness, grace. I will attempt to hold fast to what I know is true and return no one evil for evil. I will put my faith in God before my faith in process or a system created by humanity.
In 2 Timothy 2:9 Paul writes from prison, “…I suffer hardship, even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained…”
I believe that God cannot be contained and so my responsibility is to extend the peace within myself even while taking on a full frontal assault from the triggers of the outside world. I may be chained to this dark day, but it will not have the last word.
I pray it gets better, I pray that this election cycle truly is rock bottom, but no matter what happens, we will continue to deal with this emotional chaos that ensues around us.
How I respond to it is the key. So my prayer is for us to raise our voices in the public square. LOVE, MERCY, JUSTICE! Let us turn this emotional takeover into a time of healing and grace.
To read a more personal version of this blog please read Pulling the Trigger
The Reverend Shannon Meacham is the mother of two exhausting children Maggie and Gus, and she currently serves Ashland Presbyterian Church in the safest part of Baltimore, the suburbs. You can find her musings about any and all subjects on her personal blog pulpitshenanigans.com.
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