I have this one thought. She knew that her husband’s infidelity was going to be thrown in her face over and over again. This is an emotional pain you heal from but never forget. And yet she ran anyway.
This is an instinct most of us never have to grapple with. First responders train themselves to run toward danger. But most of us make choices leading us to comfort, safety, and security, particularly emotional.
And yet, Hillary took everything on — her past, her husband’s past, the future of our country. She has grit.
We saw that last night. It’s such a delicate balance, to reveal one’s inner strength and capacity for power, while still inhabiting and expressing grace.
She is a woman who has personally and professionally both won and lost big. And yet, she’s turned nearly every loss into a win. She conceded the loss, and moved in a slightly different direction to achieve a surprise win. Witness just her appointment to Secretary of State by her formal Presidential rival.
After fulfilling her role as First Lady, she could have chosen to live in an ivory tower. But she is there, campaigning, in the trenches. Facing head on the nastiest things that could be said about her and her life’s work. She has developed a thick skin.
I take strength in this approach. My family is navigating a difficult journey. I’m aware of just how precarious life can be. We know this. Yet, living is a conscious unknowing. If we understand this deeply enough, we become more compassionate, empathetic, generous. Even more driven and compelled to help others.
This is true on a macro and micro level. It’s what makes the world go around, continue to exist. I think of Melissa Gates, who seemingly has everything. And she devotes her days to tackling major problems for girls and women in underdeveloped countries. I think of your neighbor at temple or church or mosque, who brings a meal when you’ve suffered loss, even though they may be dealing with their own pain, too.
One story in this campaign has resonated with me. A man named James Grissom, a beautiful writer, had cancer. His insurance wouldn’t cover his treatments and the hospital was charging him, while he was still very sick. He was possibly going to die, because the entities entrusted were making greedy, callous decisions. At one point his doctor suggested he contact his Senator, who was Clinton.
The story goes that she immediately got personally involved and righted the wrongs, really had a hand in saving his life. You see, whether you love her or hate her, vilify or hold her up, you can’t deny that she has taken extraordinary moments of power to lift others up.
The question I have is what made that physician think of that recommendation. Politicians have such a bad rap, how many of us consider that they might actually care about us. That to me, the intersection of healing and politics, is fascinating. Because so many of us have lost faith in our own humanity.
But we can’t. I’m deep in the weeds right now, and the only way out is asking for God or the universe, and others greater than myself, to help me up. Humility is a hard lesson. Vulnerability even more so.
The truth is, no matter what we build around us, no matter what protections we erect, terrible and inexplicable things will happen to us, as individuals and as a nation, as a global entity. We are in this world together.
Our instincts tells us to save ourselves. But as nearly every parent knows, this is superceded by our primal need to protect and save our children, our future. We know we are capable of running into any force to pull our children out of harm’s way. This, too, compels us to action.
I’ve made no secret that I don’t like Trump, not his misogyny, his racism, and all the isms. But the evolution I’m undergoing in this election is to have more compassion. Even when I know I might not be met with the same.
I really think that is our only hope for survival. I don’t think it’s about winning. I think it’s about loving. Even when the world, or God, or our enemies are against us, have tried to destroy us…we still have to find more reasons to love, to be vulnerable, to hold one another.
We may not be able to forgive or love those that have truly hurt us. But we endure, we can still find more reasons to love. That is our sustenance, that is our path forward.