I join many millions this week as we reconcile ourselves to the election results and what they tell us about our collective evolution and unmet needs. For me, this began with grief in all its manifestations. For others, it began with excitement. Regardless of who you voted for or who your clients voted for., there are strong reactions.
A friend challenged me via social media not to grieve too long. It was good advice, if lacking in sensitivity for the timing. It's never a good idea to tell someone what they should feel or for how long. Nonetheless, it was good advice because at some point, acceptance can slide into indulgence and our feelings start feeling sticky or self-righteous.
Accepting strong emotions is challenging. Find that well of compassion and empathy in yourself. You are going to need it. If you have self-care practices, good for you. Lean into them. They will serve you. We have work to do.
After this election, emotions are high and many are experiencing PTSD reactions. Our clients are coming in with a range of energy from euphoria to despair. If your practice is anything like mine, your clients, friends and family are beginning to talk about the fractures in their families and wondering how to deal with them. Are you prepared to meet them where they are without the imposition of your charged energy or using your therapeutic time discussing the election as you would with a friend?
Some of you may be wondering how do we help our clients accept their charged emotional energy when we may be swirling with our own mix of emotional and cognitive content?
“On a low level of consciousness there are no solutions, and on high level of consciousness there are no problems.” ~ Roberto Assagioli
Making ourselves available to others, witnessing their pains and fears as we walk them back to themselves demands we do our own inner work. If we are to fulfill the promise of our profession, we have to raise our consciousness. We all know that we are more fully available to our clients when we are not working through the filters of our own joys, fears, and sorrows. We also know that we are vulnerable to trauma by proxy and caregiver burnout. Our capacity to create and maintain a solid crucible for transformation is forged in the fire of our transformation
Let’s just pause a moment and acknowledge right here that counselors, coaches and clergy are called to play a pretty high game. We witness and walk with people into and through their pain and fear home to their real self. We open ourselves to the full range of humanity. We can’t do that effectively if we are cluttered up with charged reactivity ourselves. How we are doing matters to our clients.
So, how are you? Seriously. How has this thing affected you?
What are you doing to take care of yourself?
What do you need? What’s been challenging for you?
What kinds of things are you noticing in your practice?
I sincerely want to know. Let’s create community and support each other. Pop a note in the comments.
In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this short meditation. I recorded this after one of my groups last week. This group is focused on unmasking and untethering from the conditioned self through integration of various identities. These women have been deepening their appreciation of emptiness as a mechanism of change. Life changing. Anyway, we start each group with a meditation aimed at allowing our awareness to expand into emptiness. After the election, I added a heart expansion awareness. Perhaps it will help you in some way.
But before you go, how are you? Pop a note in the comments and let’s have a conversation. Let’s share resources. For those of you who know integration methods, share what you’ve been doing. I’ll get the ball rolling and tell you about my personal practice.