As a psychotherapist and coach practicing in the liberal Republic of Boulder, CO USA I might be considered suicidal were I to ponder writing something endearing about Donald Trump. OK, “endearing” is probably not the right word but considering the number of my clients who have brought his name cynically into the therapy room in the last three months, I feel a certain responsibility to at least be curious about our reactions to “Trump”. There may be something we could learn and after all, he has us angry and he has our attention.
Donald trump says exactly what is on his mind. Although the actual content is often rubbish, contradictory, and inhumane, consider how we might feel were we to allow a more refined version of this into our own lives. Imagine a world where we said yes when we meant yes, no when we meant no with the interior freedom to change our minds without apology. Imagine not being paralyzed by political correctness or pretending to be nice when we feel pissed off, where we could speak passionately even if what we said was unpopular.
Donald Trump reveals our relationship to power. Because he is such an easy target to fire our projections, there is a great opportunity to reclaim and process our undigested material here. For example, some of us may feel bullied or victimized when past experiences of losing our power emerge, generating a fight or flight response. In some cases, Trump may show us our expectation or even reliance on being rescued by those in power. For others, we notice our triggers leading to black and white thinking about men, hierarchy, leadership and even privilege.
Donald Trump shows us a common spiritual bypass. He provokes our anger and self-righteousness as his behavior rubs up against our belief system that the world should be more compassionate. This is ironic because the “should” implies it “should be different” (which is basically aggression) and how interesting that we go as far as to disown our anger and believe “he makes us angry!” This may reveal a powerful contradiction in spiritual types. If our orientation is to becoming compassionate and “all one” Trump shows us where we are at the very least limited by, if not contradicted by our belief system.
So, is there something I could say that is endearing about Donald Trump? Well, not really. But at the very least, he has our attention!