Clare’s thoughts: Donald Trump is terrifying. He could destroy the world. He could be the Hitler of the 21st Century.
Reality: You know that he is just a figment of your imagination don’t you? You do know that everything you are thinking about him is made up? And that any feelings of concern and anxiety are a response to your thoughts and nothing to do with him whatsoever.
Clare’s thoughts: But he is actually there in the White House. He is an objective, independently alive entity. He is banning immigration from certain countries. He is sexist and homophobic. And the way I am responding to him is the way that every sane person would respond to him.
Reality: How can that possibly be true? You know that anything you think about even the people you live with that you see every day – your husband and kids – can change from one moment to the next. There is nothing objective or ‘real’ about them in that sense. How could anyone be an ‘objective entity’?
Clare’s thoughts: But I’m so scared of what might happen. I feel like I have to do something. To ‘be on the right side of history’.
Reality: If there is one thing you know after this year of exploring the Inside Out Understanding, it is that scared and panicked feelings come from scared and panicked thoughts and following that path just leads to more of the same and less and less clarity.
Clare’s thoughts: But he is harming people…
Reality: Even if he held you and your family up at gun point in a dark alley, anything you would be thinking would be imagination. And the more you realise that in the moment, the more you will hear the wisdom telling you what to do.
Clare’s thoughts: So how do we ward off the bad stuff? How do we protect people? How would Hitler have been stopped if the Allied leaders had sat around talking about how Hitler was a figment of their imagination?
Reality: the anxious thoughts generate their own stuff, independently of whatever it is we think we are thinking about. There are no solutions to the anxiety. There is just a great deal of division and not listening. Your version of Donald Trump has been created out of your insecure mind. Just as your insecure mind creates your scary tax return or a fear of talking in public.
When you realise that, you come into reality. And you can ask, right now, in this moment, knowing that I don’t need to try to solve my insecure feelings and thoughts, what makes sense for me to do?
Viktor Frankl wrote in his book about his experience in Auschwitz, ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’: “Each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.”
What would it mean if you were genuinely responsible Clare? Owning your thoughts and your insecurities and the behaviour that results? Owning your inconsistency when it comes to protesting world leaders? Owning your lack of support for people who are actually at this moment asking for your help? Owning and acting on all the ways you could contribute to more physical freedom for individuals and groups of people? Standing for love by loving everyone?
When you see Donald Trump as your own creation, then you are in reality for the first time. Then and only then are you creating a space for wisdom. Then you will know what to do, right now. In reality.