Of course, I don’t realize that as I stumble to the bathroom.  I figure it’s just my nightly bladder call.  But as I settle back into bed, I find there is no going back to sleep.  I can’t get comfortable; in fact, the left side of my body is filled with pain.  I try deep breathing and clearing my mind, rearrange the covers and wait to drift off.  But I’m not going anywhere.  I am HERE, NOW and I am not comfortable.  OK, what’s this all about?  

My little girl is not happy.  This time she’s not jumping up and down shouting as she usually does.  She is hurting.  To be exact, she is scared, sad and mad.  The fact that I read the news before I went to bed didn’t help.  My little girl is so very scared of losing the democratic country that she loves.  I never realized how much the ideals set out in our constitution are imprinted in my DNA.  I feel as though someone is ripping away a part of who I am.  The sadness of this loss is wrenching my core.  Once I focus on what’s really going on in my body the sadness overwhelms me, and I cry.  I cry the tears of a child, sadness welling up from my inner being full of pain.  In the end I realize that I am also really mad.  I am mad at everyone who wants to tear down the dreams of what I believed my country to be.  

I realize now that I was living my version of the democratic dream.  I believed that everyone was equal, had equal opportunity and were an empowered part of the democratic process.  I know now that this is not the case. The last four years has shined a light on how unequal and unjust our country is, and I realize that the loss of my dream began when I opened my eyes to other peoples’ reality. 

Over the past two years I have come to realize that we are all feeling fear, and fear is what is tearing us apart. Last night I used every method I have learned to release the fear that was overwhelming me.  I began by acknowledging my feelings and accepting them.  My opening EFT statement when something like this:  Even though I am feeling scared, sad and mad, I thoroughly love and accept myself.  I know that acknowledging our fear is the first step to releasing it.  And as I tapped through the points on my body, I came to realize that my little girl needed more.  She needed to feel heard, understood, accepted and cared for.  Just as I would do for a small child in my care, I reached out to my little girl and embraced her.  I held her tight and told her it was OK to feel the way she was feeling and that I was there with her.  Again, I cried.  I acknowledged that the changes we are going through are scary.  They make me feel bad.

Lest you believe I am a saint, think again.  Somewhere along the way I wanted to strike out at the man who brought all of our problems into focus.  I wanted to write an ugly angry letter to the Senator of my state who is leading the effort to tear down the constitution. I wanted to scream at everyone I know who supports these people.  I had to realize that they are scared too.  Their fears are different from mine and yet the same. They have a fear of loosing the life they have been living, their dream of democracy.

Until we can acknowledge our own fears, we are unable to acknowledge other people’s fears. In order to move forward we need to lay down our defenses and see each other, scared, sad and mad as we are. Only then will we be able to look for common ground on which we can build a better future, a future in which everyone is valued and empowered, and everyone feels safe.