Marrying Donald Trump

Dad Issues

Last night I awoke in a long, elaborate dream that lasted the entire time I was asleep. In the dream, I was dropped into an engagement with Donald Trump. By engaged, I mean–TO BE MARRIED. In the dream it was Monday, our wedding was slated for that Friday. Married. To Donald Trump. WTF.

In the dream, I went around announcing the impending wedding to all of my liberal friends. I am one of my most liberal friends BTW.  They cringed, they cried, they begged me not to go ahead with the marriage. They held onto my arms and pulled at me to stay “safe” with them. Granted, I was in the middle of what seemed someone else’s life, but momentum had me and the date was set. And so, I went about convincing everyone why I’d be okay, and how it wasn’t that bad.

“He’s all bark, no bite.” I said. “He won’t hurt me,” I told my crying best friend. “It just happened, there was nothing I could do about it,” was another thing I repeated as the days trudged forward and my closest friends wailed, “NOOOOO!” I found myself the day before the wedding embracing a feeling of duty, mixed with curiosity, and dare I say investigative desire–to get into his head and rewire it.

Having studied enough Jungian psychology and having done dreamwork with Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, I knew when I woke up I’d have to write this one down. What was it telling me? Why would my subconscious do this to me? What was it my soul needed to work out on this one?  As I journaled, the insights arrived: Integration, embracing my shadow, and lastly–Trump is the rogue dad who expresses himself, no matter how dangerous. Bingo. Dad issues…again.

Let’s move through these insights, one by one.

  1. Integration. Trump has brought to light a demographic, a mindset, to which many of us feel alien. He’s selfish, he calls people names, he blunders and yells, he sleeps with the enemy, he uses donations for personal gain, and so on. The list of what Trump does and has done keeps growing and yet in the polls, he’s gaining. This has perplexed and greatly confused me. How can a man so selfish make so much progress to get a national stage to air his dirty underwear? Because somewhere in us, we are selfish and haven’t had anyone tell us it’s ok to be this way. Enter permission, a la Trump.Trump makes us ok somehow, because if he can be nominated as the Republican nominee for president of the USA, with all of his obvious bumbling, unapologetic faux pas, clumsy tripping, and raging rhetoric, then we too are ok in our imperfections. He’s like us, but way worse: He messes up so big we can’t believe it. And then he gets right back up and keeps going. Wha?!He sleeps with the wrong people. He gets divorced. He hires and fires people too quickly–showing mistake after mistake in judgement. He backtracks on what he says. He doesn’t do his homework. He takes what he wants without apologizing–something we all secretly wish would be easier for us ourselves to do. Basically, he is a wreck with a big personality, a Narcissist so obvious and so radical, that those of us who haven’t allowed ourselves to openly express what we feel–are now feeling somehow redeemed by him (or terrified!). He is the integration of a large percentage of people’s shadow side. And when we ignore the shadow, it overtakes us.
  2. Embracing the Shadow   Hillary Clinton got blow back for recently calling half of Trump’s followers, “a basket of deplorable bigots.” Yes, she did. How did that go over? Not so well. Why? Because integration demands that we embrace the shadow of our being. And by shadow, I mean those aspects of our nature that are darker, less characteristic of what we hope to be and more characteristic of our current state of ignorance.Trump is calling upon the racists, the ignorant and angry, and they are answering him. He reflects that aspect of their nature which gives them permission to be ugly. Permission to be mad. Permission to embrace the worst aspects of themselves. Because they’ve never been able to air this part of themselves, they now have been given permission. While that’s scary to me, and most of you probably, it’s like mass therapy for a group of people who don’t know what to do with their deepest, subconscious impulses–and they haven’t had a neutral third party to air them to and heal from them.While you and I have probably had tons of therapy and deep transformational work, we have been seeking healing and these people have never had access to it. We can judge them, we can cringe at them, but they have not had the resources to be open about how they feel, much less the tools to heal how they feel. We had Oprah open our inner lives en masse, we’ve had therapy, shamans, meditation retreats, yoga, and maybe even an Ayahuasca ceremony.  They’ve had access to very little support, very little love, very little soul healing.  Instead, they have festered and become more mad.  They are mad about money, as well they should be.  But, instead of directing their anger at the corporations and banks, bad policy and mismanaged faith, they direct their anger at people of other races, which is delusional, but they’ve never been shown nor taught how to direct their anger away from other humans and toward the injustices they have suffered somewhere along the way.

    We are seeing the chasm between realized people who have been able to air their frustration in safe environments and heal from them, taking ultimate responsibility for their feelings and issues, and those that have never embraced the “Oprah” or personal development train of self-reflection, journaling and healing–probably because they’ve been too busy working to take the leisure of healing. I’m not making excuses for anyone, but if I were to look at people exposed to healing and people who are not, I can tell you that the “basket of deplorables” has most likely not been seeking help and most likely hasn’t had access nor exposure to much. These are hard working people who haven’t had time.

    Trump has opened the windows on the dark corners of the American psyche, and instead of naming it something to demean it, we should actually be having a real conversation about how to heal it.

    In shadow work, we are called to bring out the side of our nature of which we are most frightened and ultimately to embrace it. As a country, if we were to look at what is happening, we would see that Trump has been the catalyst for a wound healing. His words and existence have lanced the boil of untreated, unhealed resentment and deep-seated ignorance which have shown us that we are not integrated. When I look at how lucky we are as a country, and how angry we are in contrast, I can understand why the stress is so high. After spending a month in Bali, I came home and the energy was still mad–although we have more than anyone else as far as resources and comforts–and yet we are mad. Why? Because we lack perspective, we lack healing and real, heartfelt conversations.

    Bringing out the dark side of our country’s nature, displaying our ignorance, being unapologetic about our language and mad mindset, that’s what Donald’s energy has created on a more open stage. He’s a shadow teacher, showing us the parts of our psyche that need examining and healing. We cannot heal the shadow by hiding it or running from it. Donald is demanding we look it squarely in the eye and somehow find a way to embrace it and perhaps even love it through its terrible twos. He’s shown us that racism, hate, and fear exist–the genie is out of the bottle and now we need to engage it to give us our three wishes–health, happiness and freedom for all would be my vote. But first we will have to create a space for healing, which will hopefully and swiftly proceed the reckoning.

    Never before have we had such an obvious person leading a group that shows us our problems so clearly. Bush was more subtle and we didn’t at all heal from what happened, we just went to war. We need a national healing to occur now, and that starts with a conversation about integrating these sides of our country’s identity and healing the dark layers of unrest on display through the Trump candidacy.

  3. Dad Issues I think it’s fair to say we all have dad issues.

    When I was in Bali, I would glance at the news and find myself wondering, “How can a guy with this many gaffes and flaws still be in the running, much less narrowing the gap??” I watched my most liberal friends poo-pooing Hillary and hating on Trump. Facebook was a study in duality for certain. I found myself scratching my head in perplexity until this dream occurred. “AH, now I get it! “Our dad’s never were really taught to express themselves. Maybe your dad did, but my dad didn’t. When I look at Trump, he’s yelling and making a mess of speeches; he’s persistent and consistently messy, and no matter how he might sound, he cares less and just keeps talking confident rubbish.Trump is a poor communicator with a big personality. He’s not only fearless in inspiring fear in others, he’s the embodiment of throwing “caution to the wind!”  He really could care less about what flies out of his mouth. I think my dad would be a different person had he had a little Trump in him. He’d probably have stood up for himself at work more. He’d probably have bought that ranch in Montana sooner. He’d probably have embraced his manliness and fired the slackers more swiftly. Trump is the rogue, blundering, but ever present father figure of the election. He embodies what a lot of older men wish they could.

    And Hillary is the mom who set the rules and made us eat our veggies. While Trump is screwing up, he’s getting rewarded (because the standards are pretty low, presence is fatherhood for many), and while Hillary is outlining real policy and discussing concrete plans (other than pouring a concrete wall), she’s being pelted with that side of our nature that hated our mom for making us be good kids.

    Hillary is the mom who raised us to be good neighbors, and Trump is the dad who came to get us on weekends and taught us how to drink beer and shoot guns. You think the email debacle would be an issue for Trump? Nah, he’d tell everyone simply to f*ck off and it’d be a thing of the past. But not mom, we hold her to higher standards, we can’t forgive mom as easily, never have.

    Hillary is Responsi-Mom and Trump is Disney-Dad.

    What does it mean for us as a country that we are showing a deep-seated preference for a man who screws up everything, hates openly, disparages people who have lost everything for this country, and openly breaks all of the taboos as easily as a peanut shell in a bar? It shows we are a mess and we need to clean it up if we are going to remain a leader in the world that is happening around us.

    We need to integrate the shadows by knowing them. We need to pray for forgiveness and create compassion from transmuting our anger. We need to cultivate interpersonal skills and create communication forums where everyone feels safe. We need to replace our parent issues with a states person’s cultivated character and perspective.

As the wedding day arrived, I woke up. I hadn’t actually married him just yet. I hadn’t actually gotten in my dress. But I was there, we were conversing. We were in a high rise in New York discussing the ceremony. I was nervous and shaking like a leaf but going to do it. I had no choice somehow. In the dream, I was marrying the shadow and that was that. And although I didn’t, I think these insights were a gift. I’ve been perplexed beyond belief, but somehow this dream helped me see the purpose behind the plunder.

My wish for our country is that we learn to make friends with the “basket of deplorable bigots” amongst us first by stopping the name calling and second by learning that the orphan issues in our psyches are at play here. Many a guru has said, “There is no one else out there,” and so what would that mean if you looked at this shitshow of an election and examined what it’s bringing up for you? Are you scared of your anger? Are you mad at your dad? Are you running from your shadow? Do you hate your mom for messing that one thing up? Time to do the work. Time to examine your issues. Time to integrate your inner mom/ badgirl or dad/ badboy lest they get a hold of you and run rampant with your soul…and regardless of where you stand politically, do this one thing for me: Vote.

And if Trump is elected, I’ll meet you in Bali.