Normally I don’t check my phone as soon as I wake up. I give myself time for coffee, to write a bit, to ease into the day. And then I look.
But this morning was different. I had gone to bed not knowing, and wanted to know. I wanted to see the results much more than I wanted to see the birthday wishes I knew would soon pop up on my FB feed.
It’s hard to start your birthday with tears. It’s harder still to consider the implication of the election results.
I arrived at my internship demoralized, despondent, depressed. Early this morning, the shadow side of the nation was exposed for all of us to see. It’s not new; it’s always been there. It’s just that now we are all able to see the emotion that lies inside the endless tract houses and identical strip malls that pass for modern America.
And then words of wisdom reached through to me. From the ED of our organization. From my former roommate, from former colleagues, from friends.
Words of love.
I was reminded of the advice that Hercules received from his teacher when he set forth to slay the Lernean Hydra:
“We rise by kneeling; we conquer by surrendering; we gain by giving up.”
His weapons powerless against the terrible beast, Hercules had to kneel in humility in order to penetrate to the belly of the nine-headed Hydra. Once he surrendered to the monster and allowed himself to be overcome by it, he could hold it up to the light and thus destroy it.
It is in this same way that we will destroy the darkness that has split apart our society. We may need time to grieve, but after the grieving is done, we must also heal, for we cannot heal anything in another that we have not healed in ourselves. We will heal by humbly acknowledging and approaching the fear and darkness in our own hearts; by surrendering to it so that we know it truly; and then by holding it up to the light, see it completely and watch as it loses its power over us forever.
Inside each of us is the Hydra. Inside each of us is Hercules. We have the privilege of choosing our battle, and of deciding who shall win.
©2016 Teresa I. Sivilli. All rights reserved. No portion of this material may be reproduced or copied in any way without permission of the author.