I was in my late 20s when I went back to university to study to become a naturopathic physician.
I was a dedicated consumer of only organic foods and had a large organic garden I tended to. I lived on a gorgeous property looking out over world-heritage rainforests in Australia. I danced, hiked and swam regularly, living an active, outdoor lifestyle. When I got a cold or other minor ailment, I treated myself with only herbs, foods and supplements.
I became self-righteous about how well I was and how I lived this uber-healthy, idyllic life. But there was something rotten in the state of Denmark.
Somehow I justified that, within this “pure” lifestyle, it was not a contradiction (or it somehow balanced things out) for me to be eating large quantities of dark chocolate daily, bingeing on french fries and pastries, chronically over-eating, doing some pretty heavy-duty partying with my friends, and working just enough to support this lifestyle. After many years of this way of living, I got sick—really sick, for 18 months. It stopped me in my tracks.
It was not only devastating to lose the health, energy and vitality which I had taken for granted, it was embarrassing. As a naturopathic student I was supposed to be a beacon of health. Instead, I was weak, nauseous, terrified, exhausted and slowly wasting away. No naturopath, healer, or doctor could really say what was wrong with me. I was terrified that I had terminal cancer, and wondered if I would ever feel well again.
I became depressed and forlorn. It was a total exposé on how I was really living—on the many harmful choices I was making and where my life was truly at.
The only response that made sense to me was to embrace this hardship as an opportunity to heal—to see my choices and behavior clearly and far more honestly, and to take full responsibility for my life and my health. I made many loving changes in honor of myself, and in honor of my commitment to humanity to be of true service as a health-care practitioner.
Slowly but surely, I began to heal.
Today I am truly living as a beacon of well-being and I am dedicated to uncovering any remaining behaviours or beliefs which are not truly loving and supportive to myself and to others.
The election of Donald Trump is a similar exposé on where this country is truly at—this country that claims to be a beacon of the best ways of living on Earth.
While it hurts deeply to feel the choice that’s just been made here, what actually hurts more is the deep wound that now lays open for all of us to see and feel more clearly. This wound is something that has long been present—the stench of living without true brotherhood in this country and on this planet. And so this exposé expands out beyond U.S. borders and reveals where humanity is at.
The potential for true healing lies in getting honest about this. Inherent in any expose is the chance to either accept or reject our responsibility. The cause and cure lives within each of us. What that means to me is to not blame others for where we are at, but to understand that the responsibility for being in this soup is something we all need to hold equally. We are all over the fire together now and it is more important than ever to stand by each other, and to speak out when we see persecution, inequality and abuse around us.
We must connect ever more deeply to our own hearts and the love we all equally deserve, rather than disconnecting and dividing from each other even further than we already have. While we may feel sad, angry at the mess we are in, and fearful of what’s to come—or separation from or blame toward the people who voted Trump in—let us dare to keep coming back to ourselves and deepening in our commitment to recognize everyone as our brothers and sisters. The healing power of connecting with everyone we meet, bar none, as our true family—especially when this is most uncomfortable for us—is immeasurable.
In this moment it would be easier to remain in our current (and long-existent pre-Trump) way of disconnected living. But those who voted for Trump are not our enemies. They are people who feel, and they are correct. “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” and they are looking for a way—even if misguided—to change that.
The way forth is not that form of change Trump represents, which feeds deeply on the energy of separation, the way forth is love and unification with all of humanity.
This begins with us, each of us making the choice to first care deeply and tenderly for ourselves, to heal our own lives by exposing our part in contributing to the mess we are in. Only then can we understand how to be of true service to the world around us. This is the real meaning of changing the system from within.
Let us all come together to commit to a more truthful, loving way of changing every day—even if it means we’re more uncomfortable than ever. Let us dedicate ourselves to not merely suffer evil any longer for, as our Declaration of Independence states, “and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”
Let us right ourselves by abolishing the form of disconnected, separative, loveless and harmful ways in which we have become accustomed to living.
In this challenging time, let us be exquisitely tender with ourselves.
Author: Deborah Savran
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren