Captain’s Log, 3.24.17

Note: This is not a political post. This is a metaphor.

I’ve been giving a great deal of thought lately to the two sides of the argument about whether Trump’s presidency can be framed as positive forward movement because it is rallying people to action. There are those who say “hey, thank god we’re finally addressing all this toxicity in the country, maybe the system will collapse and we can build something better,” and then there are those who reply “yeah but how many people are going to suffer in the meantime, think of all the lives destroyed, why couldn’t we just elect Bernie Sanders and have the country fixed in a sensible way?”

And they’re both right.

Thing is, I see a lot of people who are liberal and compassionate in their politics approaching their personal growth via the Donald Trump route. On some level, they know they need to outgrow their bad patterns, shed their toxic behaviors, and evolve into their own healthier ecosystem, but they just haven’t seen how bad it could get yet and in their stubbornness and curiosity they insist on hitting rock bottom first. They feel the need to come as close as possible to destroying themselves before they can heal.

Are you doing this? If so, why? If you wouldn’t vote to take away healthcare from everyone in this country who needs it, why are you voting to withhold care from yourself? Why do things have to get that bad before you decide to be happy?

You could instead vote Bernie Sanders into the presidency of your heart and allow yourself to grow with kindness and compassion, right now, without having to destroy your life first. You could sit down and meticulously address each problem with the way you’re running your life and come up with a sensible and actionable solution. You could do this with realistic, honest self-assessment and solution-oriented change. You don’t have to destroy your own country to heal it.

Both paths will get you there eventually. But one will cause a lot of needless suffering to you and your loved ones, even if it gives you a sense of completion, and the other will bring far more love and kindness to your life, even if it means resisting the siren call of suffering in your past.

Don’t burn your house to the ground if you don’t have to. You can just decide to do the work to be happy now without needing to be convinced into it by tragedy.

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