Not long after the United States election, I was on Instagram and came across a woman I follow who was posting information backing up the voting fraud that Trump was riling people up about.
I follow her because I like her commitment to doing all things with love, but these posts felt out of alignment with that for me.
I felt my ego rise up and I thought, “When I’m feeling fearful, it’s not the time to respond!” So I took it as an opportunity to look at the frustration I felt about people not seeing through Trump’s manipulative behavior.
And when I took a moment to look at it, I remembered that before I had a traumatic experience with someone who was “narcissistic” (I don’t like labels), I may not have seen it either, and that reminder made room for me to feel compassion.
I still had an instinct to write a comment, and it felt loving, so I wrote: “How do you know for sure that the allegations are true?”
As many questions do, it stirred up a bit of drama, but I didn’t let myself get dragged into it. I stayed present and a little miracle occurred.
One anti-Trump guy jumped on “my side” (I don’t do “sides”) and wrote messages along the lines of, “They have no proof, they’re just making it up because they lost,” but his language was attacking.
It wasn’t my intention to make sides or stir up an argument; I was just asking a question to help people get in touch with their own truth or for me to gain more understanding if they had evidence, so I didn’t respond to him.
A Trump supporter obviously felt attacked and defended herself “against” his comments. They went back and forth attacking each other like kids in a playground, minus the hair pulling (as far as I could tell).
All I could see were two beautiful, fearful children fighting to be heard. I took a deep breath and wrote, with love, “Please stop attacking each other. We’re all in this together. Choose love over being right.”
The anti-Trump guy stopped responding, but the Trump-supporting lady continued. She expressed her upset with the way that “the left” had been attacking and trying to shove their opinion down Trump supporters’ throats for four years. I could feel in her words, just how distraught she was and how hard the last four years had been for her.
I suddenly realized that the times I’d made fun of Trump or laughed along with a joke, I was unintentionally joining in with the “division,” and in that way, I was sometimes part of the problem. I had figured Trump wouldn’t care about the jokes, in fact, he would revel in the attention.
But it was in that moment that I realized it was never about Trump. It was about the Trump supporters who were feeling bullied by us.
I apologized to her with a heart full of sincerity. I gently reminded her that I’ve heard the attack from both sides, but to remember that underneath, the love is always there, no matter what.
Her response was filled with love and gratitude and I felt a unity with her. We had moved out of fear and into love, despite differing opinions. And that was the miracle.
Villains cause chaos because that’s their purpose, they’re the antagonists of the story, and it’s the people (all of us—anti-Trump and pro-Trump supporters) who must come together and remind the villain that our love is stronger than hate. And that that love, is in them too.
Bullying the bully doesn’t work. Yelling at people trying to get them to understand us doesn’t work. Listening to people with an open heart—it always works.
We love you America, you got this!
(P.S. The woman who’s Insta account it was has stopped posting political content since the recent Capitol events).