“Doesn’t it feel great to be right?” My friend Miriam Herschlag said to me, and I felt ashamed. I was going on about some systemic injustice or institutional racism, or just everyday disparagement of my advocacy efforts and she stopped me in my tracks.
“Oh,” I said, ashamed, “I get it.”
She said; “Its not that you aren’t right — but where does that get you?”
“Maybe,” my friend Milton Jones says, “psychology is like God, he’s there even if you don’t believe in him…”
Today, as I am battle-worn with fear of our new political dispensation I have in my heart gratitude for the love of friends and their wisdom.
Today feels like a second Yom Kippur — Day of Atonement. Did we think we would ‘win’ because we were right? Do we somehow think we are smarter people, better people than those who voted for Trump?
As therapists our job is not to judge, our greatest tool is our ability to understand behavior as a symbolic form of communication. When people act out against their own best interest they are letting us know that some need is not being met.
So on this second Yom Kippur I am atoning for:
My lack of empathy for the true sense of victimization his supporters were reacting against — that is their truth.
For the disparagement my party demonstrated
For failing to go high when they went low
For allowing compassion to fall by the wayside
So as the gates of the White House open for Donald Trump, I, who so rarely pray in the truest sense of the word, look to prayer to guide me through:
Hear our prayer
Have compassion upon us and upon our children
Help us bring an end to pestilence, war, and famine
Cause all hate and oppression to vanish from the earth
Inscribe us for blessing in the Book Of Life