Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Naomi Klein: Killing the Trump Within

This is another part taken from the conclusion, titled "The Caring Majority Within Reach", in Naomi Klein's latest book, No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump's Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need. Naomi calls this piece "Killing the Trump Within." Although I personally would prefer to use the word "transform" rather than "kill," this is still a powerful part of the conclusion of this book. The invitation here is to turn those fingers that may be pointed outward onto others back upon ourselves with a self-reflection that is rooted in truth-seeking and going deeper, in integrity and courage, and in compassion and humility. The root intention is to gain insight into that which can help us to be more deeply loving, truthful, wise, and more able to work together toward creating a world which will work for all.

It is my experience that having this courage, value, and commitment to doing our own individual and collective shadow work is what will heal and transform ourselves and our world. What does "shadow work" mean? It means to embrace with curiosity, compassion, humility, and perseverance the deeper work we come here to do - the work of lifting the veils which unknowingly maintain our ignorance, our indoctrination, our sense of separation, our anger and animosity, our projections and fears, our apathy and despair, our blind spots and biases, our misperceptions and illusions, all of our unattended and neglected wounds. These are the inner places that hide out in the shadows of our minds and hearts just beyond our conscious awareness. The good news is that this is also exactly where our unclaimed unique gifts can be found - if we look. To engage in shadow work is to engage in the lifelong journey of making the unconscious conscious. We do this so that we may remember what we have forgotten and embody the Sacred being that is our essence. If we are alive and breathing, my belief is that we all have more work which we have the opportunity to do. This is the process of increasingly shedding that which obstructs our being more fully in our own bodies, in our relationships with one another, and in this beautiful world we share. This is what empowers us to be present with greater and evolving wholeness, grace, and individual and collective purpose.

Bless us all on our journeys - Molly

Killing the Trump Within

For me, and this may sound a bit strange, Trumps rise has also prompted a more internal kind of challenge: it has made me determined to kill my inner Trump. We have already seen that the new regime in Washington has led a great many people to try to understand and overcome our own latent biases and prejudices, the ones that have kept us divided in the past. This internal work is crucial as we come together in resistance and transformation.
There are some other, often-overlooked ways that many of us can do more to confront our inner Trump - something, anything, that's just a bit Trumpish in our habits. (And to be clear: I'm not saying these omissions make all of us responsible for the outcome of the 2016 elections - this is not about who voted for whom and why.) Maybe it's the part that has learned to see ourselves as brands in the marketplace rather than people in communities. Or the part that sees other people doing similar work not as potential allies in a struggle that will need all our talents, but as rival products competing for scarce market share. (Given that Trump's presidency is the culmination of corporate branding's insidious colonial logic, perhaps it's past time to leave all that behind.) Or maybe it's the part that can't resist  joining a mob to shame and attack people with whom we disagree - sometimes using cruel personal slurs and with an intensity set to nuclear. At the very real risk of bringing on on the kinds of attacks I'm describing, is it possible that this habit too is uncomfortably close to the Tweeter-in-Chief?
Or maybe it's the part that is waiting for the billionaire to ride to the rescue, except this one will be kind and generous and concerned about climate change and empowerment for girls. The liberal billionaire savior may appear very far from Trump, but the fantasy still equates great wealth with superhero powers, which, once again, is just a little too close for comfort to the Ministry of Mar-a-Lago.
If some of these impulses and stories seem hardwired inside us, it's not because we're terrible people. It's because so many of us function within systems that are constantly telling us there are not enough resources for everyone to thrive, so we'd better elbow our way to the top, whatever the costs. Willingly or not, anyone who consumes and produces media swims in the cultural waters of reality TV and personal branding and nonstop attention-splintering messages - the same waters that produced Donald Trump. There are different parts of that fetid swimming pool, to be sure, and some people are in zones with no lifeguards and with way more waterborne diseases than others - but it's still hard to get genuinely outside the pool. Recognizing this can help clarify our task: to have a hope of changing the world, we're going to have to be willing to change ourselves.
The good news is that as we de-Trump - perhaps resolving to spend a few more hours a week in face-to-face relationships, or to surrender some ego for the greater good of a project, or to recognize the value of so much in life that cannot be bought or sold - we might just get happier. And that is what will keep us in a struggle that does not have a finish line in sight and indeed will require from us lifetimes of engagement.

- Naomi Klein
Excerpted from No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump's 
Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need

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