Everything is going to be okay.

I woke up yesterday morning, Wednesday November 9th and immediately broke what had become my daily ritual over the last several months. I did not take my early morning dose of social media with my coffee. I did not look to see the final results of what had been a foregone conclusion when I went to bed the night before. I did not obsessively read article after article confirming my “white elitist” beliefs of the current political landscape. I did not listen to the speeches given by the President elect or the Secretary of State.

I hugged my partner and told him how much I love him and how grateful I am to share this beautiful life with him. I went into my basement and did some laundry. As I transferred the clothes from the washer to the dryer I began to cry. I cried thinking of my thirteen year old son who called me the night before from a friend’s house to deliver the blow I wasn’t ready to hear. He was calling me in utter disbelief– his bubble (even more isolated and perfect than mine) had been completely burst. He wanted to hear from his mom that everything was going to be okay– and that’s exactly what I told him. “Everything is going to be okay.”

And it will be.

There is simply an immense amount of healing that needs to take place.

Our country has just received a massive wake up call. And it is up to us to open our arms and accept it and all the consequences that come along with it. A veil has been lifted– our underbelly laid bare– and it’s teeming with hatred and bigotry. It’s fueled by ignorance and fear. And it’s pleading for our attention. It is begging for acknowledgement and a voice and a way forward. It’s like a small child coming out of a dark closet that it’s been locked in for years– and it’s full of rage.

I work with clients all the time connecting to fear. Fear is a necessary part of our humanity. Often the key to our healing lies in our fear. It is natural, and useful. It gives us powerful information about ourselves if we acknowledge and allow it into the light. But when it is allowed to fester in the darkness and is fed only fear and denial it becomes like a caged beast. It loses all grip with reality. It becomes aggressive and reactive.

We fear what is unfamiliar. When we don’t have context for something– it becomes scary because it is different. Our country is polarized and divided. We are lacking a common ground– and both sides are certain that their perspective is RIGHT. But the reality is there is no such thing as right or wrong. We are each a compilation of our own personal history. We know what has come before us. Hatred and bigotry are passed down and bred by ignorance. Communication is the only way past the great divide that separates us. We must begin to connect to each other as fellow human beings. Regardless of our personal stories, we must find the common humanity between all of us and remember that it is the way forward.

Walking around Portland today was a bit like walking around the site of a natural disaster. Many people were unable to see past a foot in front of them, clearly in shock– trying to make sense of their world that appeared the same but felt intangibly different. Others were ready and eager to make a connection– searching for the humanity in the aftermath. I did my best to meet my fellow human’s eyes with love and understanding. I connected with whoever was open and willing and radiated love and kindness. I smiled. And people smiled back.

It is so important in this historic time to remember our humanity. It is what connects us with every single person in this country and on this planet. We are all human. We are all fallible. And we all deserve LOVE.

We as Americans are at a historical intersection. The road leading here has been long and divisive. It is important that each and every one of us allow ourselves to feel whatever we need to feel to move through the shock of what has just happened. It is necessary to acknowledge our fears. But then we must move forward with love and gratitude. We must find the commonalities between ourselves and our fellow Americans and celebrate them. This is not the time to run away. This is the time to dig in and figure out how we can find our connection to ourselves– and make our way back to the place we believed we were. It is time to actively recreate our reality– because that is all we can do.

I am grateful today for my beautiful family. I am grateful for my business which is the most amazing place to go everyday. I am grateful for all of the people who surround me in my Portland bubble– and help me maintain my reality, as privileged as it may be. I am grateful for that privilege. I am grateful for my education and the opportunities it has provided me that not everyone is provided. And most of all I am grateful to Donald Trump for laying bare just how broken and dilapidated our country has become. I am grateful to him for bursting my bubble and reminding me that there is a larger context to the life that I’m living. And I’m grateful to him for reminding me that I have the ability to affect change on a much larger scale.

To truly rebuild something– it must first be completely broken. We have an opportunity to collectively rebuild what has shattered. We must allow ourselves time to process– but then we must hit the ground running and take this massive opportunity to EXPAND our capacity for love and understanding beyond what we thought we were capable of. We ALL deserve love and understanding.

And everything is going to be okay.