Self-Care Challenge (Day 314): Understanding POTUS

On day 314 of my 366-day self-care challenge, I did my best to understand POTUS.

I didn’t vote for Donald Trump, but like it or not he will be my president on January 20th, 2017.

While many Americans feel compelled to protest this new reality, I don’t feel the need to resist the inevitable. Like many Americans, I have an interesting frame of reference. I grew up in Appalachia Ohio, and thus have a deep understanding of the struggles that my family, friends and neighbors have faced over the years. Likewise, having lived in Florida, Texas, and now Washington State, I’ve also absorbed a handful of other micro-cultures that make up this nation. I’ve learned that what’s important to people living on one coast is very different from what others are experiencing on another.

I’ve also learned that each of us lives in our own safe little bubble, surrounded by other people living in similar bubbles, who mirror and echo our beliefs. We get mesmerized by those bubbles, and we find it easy to bounce away from (or pop) ideas that conflict with our own.

These bubbles are the reason the election results were so shocking for many of us. I admit it: I just wanted him to go away. And I honestly thought he would, given the outrageously hurtful comments he made over the past few months (and years, really). I was certain that America would decide he isn’t what we stand for. But I was wrong.

My false belief caused me to avoid learning much of anything about him – well, anything that wasn’t reported by major news outlets or those voicing their opinions on social media.

Even so, no matter what my pre-election opinions were (or are), I realized pretty quickly when I woke up yesterday morning that I needed to know who this man is. I needed to understand the positions, values and beliefs of our new POTUS, and that’s why I bought and read two of his books.

I wanted to know what he believes in, what he doesn’t believe in, what he cares about, how he talks about other people when he isn’t on a stage, and what he sees in the future for America.

To me, learning is one of the most important acts of self-care.

This blog is not intended to be political (I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind about anything), but instead to be an example of how we can integrate learning into our self-care practice. We must learn if we want to grow.

For me, it’s time to pop my own bubble and begin accepting this new reality. I don’t have to love it, but I have a responsibility to do my best to understand it — though I doubt that will ever be possible in this instance.

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