An exploration of the rise of Donald Trump and his ilk, and the opportunity it presents to create a better world, for everyone:

I have a spent a great deal of time since the US election in agony. I’ve shed many tears, felt enraged, depressed, and have even practiced some denial and bargaining; all the stages of grief, minus acceptance. I’m honestly quite surprised I’ve been so deeply affected. I mourn for my country, I cry out for my world. My heart aches, my friends.

Yes, I am American, so perhaps it falls on me harder than it might others, but as America’s actions often disproportionately affect everyone else, I am trusting that speaking out now is not yet another instance of self-absorbed American grandstanding. Or maybe it is. Perhaps the more important question is, will it serve the greater good?

I have read many articles, blogs and tweets from around the globe over the last couple of years. People have written so eloquently and poignantly, riveting me and comforting me and sometimes making me laugh. And while I, too, have been moved to share, I’ve been held back by the idea that it’s all being said, that I don’t have anything of value to add to the conversation. While that may be true, what I can do is describe my process honestly and trust it will be what one of you needs to hear right now.

I recognize, as is the case with all seeming tragedy, that we have an enormous opportunity presenting itself here. A chance to self-reflect, to acknowledge our shadow side, to open, unite, take a stand together, and wake up. That’s all that Life is ever trying to do—in myriad forms and with infinite patience—wake us up.

It may actually be our last chance, as here we are, standing at the precipice it would seem. At a time when life on earth as we know it, and have always known it, is at the very edge of its ability to self-sustain, we have forces coming into power that oppose any efforts towards diplomacy, balance, or even self-preservation.

So now is the time for us to start living like there’s no tomorrow. Not as squanderers, of course, quite the opposite: we need to live as if every breath is a prayer, every moment an offering, every day a ceremony. Because, you know, it is. Or at the very least, it has that potential.

I am shocked that so many people can support these demagogues, these reactionaries, these seemingly insane, grotesquely greedy madmen. Like many others, I am trying to understand what the fuck is happening.

Like any conscious person, I started with looking inside myself, and the first thing I became aware of is how important it is to start looking outside—
outside my bubbles, outside my hip liberal progressive affluent enclaves, outside of my group of enablers, for it is the lack of us not paying attention that allowed this to happen. This is what I see.

We don’t talk to our neighbors. We’re scared of them. We’re too busy to spend the time with anyone who doesn’t think like us, share our values and reinforce our beliefs. We’re just too busy, period. We believe that we are better than others, often subtly, often unconsciously. Things like Facebook work in much the same way as our personalities, with a confirmation bias, looping back to us only what we have already chosen to agree with. We see the world as we are, not as it is, as the old saying goes.

As I continue to look, I see how we are all complicit. Our smart phones are made by Chinese laborers in slave factories. Our cheap online purchases are packaged in brutal conditions by citizens of the wealthiest country on earth. The United States is as powerful as it is because of genocide, slavery, and militarization. Etc., etc., etc.

Many people, increasing numbers, are desperate; so desperate they are wiling to try just about anything that offers even a faint flicker of hope, as everything else has failed them thus far. Cue The Donald.

As open and inclusive and aware as I try to be, it is still easy to forget that the world is set up for me—a white heterosexual affluent male with a globally accepted passport—in ways that I don’t often notice precisely because there are no obvious impediments to my movement and progress. But pretty much everyone else, be it my brothers and sisters of color, my otherwise gendered and LGBTQI friends, those who’s bodies don’t appear healthy or ‘normal’ face subtle and overt discrimination every day. My sisters of all persuasions often can’t allow their radiance to shine forth as they can’t trust men to play their role as those who honor and protect. And the list, the list goes on…it’s so long that it includes the majority of people on this planet. I invite you to sit with that for a moment—the vast majority of human beings are in this category! And on this list I also include the so-called less educated, less sophisticated, rural whites in the US who, seemingly, voted Trump in. They are no less important, valuable, or worthy than anyone else. They are One, too.

All of these members of our human family have to look over their shoulders and wonder if they are being judged, or are in danger, if they can even go into certain places, and if they will survive come what may, while still trying to live in a way that brings pleasure and allows them a sense of peace and belonging. They have to struggle towards self-acceptance, as we all do, with the added burden of having others hate, fear, resent, or loathe them for simply being who and what they are.

And guess what happens? They suffer, we all suffer, we are all lesser for it. We are cut off from the beauty and diversity and innovations and feelings of togetherness that come from embracing the entire human (and non-human) family, and it hurts. It’s an almost unbearable pain, because we can’t feel whole without each other, because “no one is free until we’re all free”.

No more. Know more. This is our world, for all of us, for every single person who is here, now. It’s our world to steward, to explore, and to be profoundly connected to.

In all of this introspection (which I invite you to do as well. What judgments might you carry?) I am looking at how I can use this current reality to create positive change, as I can longer stand for the way we have been letting these politicians and their gluttonously wealthy backers divide and control us. I can no longer sit on the sidelines benefitting from the status quo while the beings I share life with on this planet suffer. I recognize that, even though I have so little time left, if my efforts don’t change our destiny in the big picture, at least I lived in as much alignment as I could, which, by definition, includes helping others to do the same.

I am donating more money to support causes that need it. I am recommitting to honoring women and the feminine principle in this world. I am reconnecting with old friends. I am spending more time with my mother. I am doing my very best to make this world a better place, because, at a certain point in our evolution, it becomes obvious that we are all here to serve all beings who cross our path, in the best way we can, in every moment possible.

I am not going to live in a world where we don’t honor our duty as stewards of this planet—not without a “fight”. In other words, I am going to stand my ground (rather than take sides) with a clear sense of loving-kindness in my heart, knowing that the gods have my back, that the ancestors are at my side, and that the spirit world is alive within me; all my relations.

If we all do the same, if all of us who believe in a better way use the election of Donald Trump and the rise of other demagogues around the world to give more, to serve more, to love more, we will manifest a more beautiful world right before our eyes, bringing forth a wave of evolution that will dramatically outshine the political structure, that will make their efforts pale by comparison and ultimately raise their vibration. All are welcome here. Even you, Donald, you poor, suffering, diseased soul. Even you. I send you love and mercy.

What gives you hope, faith, the feeling that “it’s going to be ok”? Get in touch with it. Now.

Take care of yourselves. Take care of those around you. Take care of our world. Really and truly, we are all we have. If not us, then who? This is our great honor and responsibility. This is our time. Some say, this is exactly why we are all here, to give birth to a new era.

If we serve well during our tenure, someday, in a more enlightened age, we as humanity will be able to look back and feel enormous gratitude for our ancestors who were brave enough, connected with Spirit enough, and concerned with the fate of our world enough that they took a stand. Ancestors who shared, hugged, loved, fed, and protected. Ancestors who were great warriors.

And yes, someday, even with our best efforts, our planet will die, galaxies will collide, universes will come and go, and yet, we will still behold each other through the same eyes. Look deeply, and you will see that those eyes always reflect the beauty, the power, and the majesty of what we are. Be it, now, so that all children of Mother Earth will have the chance to see that they too are worthy, precious, and loved.

–Troy McFadden