I have shared this meme before, but it popped up again today on my Instagram feed (and if you aren't following @ThugUnicorn, do yourself a favor and follow them now), which got me thinking about what makes some people turn their past trauma and healing journey into advocacy for the oppressed while other people turn theirs into the perpetration of abuse.
Why when two people have gone through similarly difficult times—an abusive childhood with a parent who humiliates and destroys or various other types of trauma, does one person go on to become a champion of the hurting and another go on to spread fear and hatred through dominance and control?
I believe that when we go through difficult times involving "jet black inky darkness" we have a choice to make. We can either transform the "wicked shambles" of our lives into empathy and action to fulfill our "cosmic mission," using our painful past to develop a heart for the hurting, an eye for tortured souls of this world and an unrelenting, uncompromising, unleashed passion for the oppressed, or we can pull back, insulate ourselves, hunker down and find some convenient scapegoats. The first response relies on a belief in abundance, the second, on a belief in scarcity.
I am a wicked shambles. I have endured healing that's been "f*cking messy." "Bat shit crazy" messy. I have survived alienation, detachment, and yes, jet black inky darkness. I used to pretend I was whole, but I knocked that sh*t off when it finally dawned on me that my brokenness, my inky darkness, my wicked shambles are the very things that connect me to others and fuel my cosmic mission.
My choice has been to make pouring into this world and making it a better place a part of my healing journey. I will not pull back, I will not insulate myself, I will not hunker down and I absolutely will not find convenient scapegoats to ease my pain and help me feel better about myself.
When I heard Trump's speech last night at the rally in Pennsylvania I was horrified. I can think of no other word to aptly describes my reaction. Sheer horror. Not only did Trump blatantly lie throughout his speech, but he worked himself into a lather of bullying and hateful rhetoric, feeding off the same hateful energy of those in the crowd cheering him on.
I have finally realized that I cannot convince the Trump supporters who embrace his hateful rhetoric to transform their own wicked shambles into advocacy, but what I can do is try to convince those in the middle, those who find safety in neutrality, to draw on whatever difficult times they have experienced, and transform their wicked shambles into action.
Have you ever felt powerless?
Have you ever felt humiliated?
Have you ever felt hopeless?
Then please step out of your comfort zone and do whatever you can to help those being scapegoated by Trump and his ardent followers, who have nothing else in common with you than their own powerlessness, humiliation, and sense of hopelessness.
You won't be alone because I am walking up next to you in the dark. Together let's let our wicked shambles raise the goddam roof on this whole thing, because that is the only choice we have at this point.
Together, let's raise the goddam roof!
I'm an educator, author, blogger, artist and mom. I came up with the idea of my Aging Naked blog when I hit 50 and my need to be more transparent and authentic overcame my fear of being more transparent and authentic. I'm on a journey, and love the idea of it being a collective one, so let me know if you're here, and feel free share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.
You can also find my blog posts featured on