My president hates me. I awoke this morning and lay in the darkness as my dream-state lifted, and consciousness gently returned. Do I have to get up for work today? No, it's my Sunday off. Oh, good. But then I was aware of a wave of sadness still lingering from dreams, where I realized I had been under attack all night. In the dream, I was at work, being verbally assaulted by a fellow administrative assistant who is normally kind and respectful. Over the course of a few minutes, she shouted out lies about me, some work-related as well as personal. Afterwards, I was instructed to do some extremely difficult tasks, sorting through patient records in the hospital where I work in real life. But what caused me the most anguish? As I looked around at the faceless spectators in my dream, no one cared. No one cared that lies had been told. No one cared that I was disrespected, slandered, attacked, and emotionally distraught. Back in my bed, my brain did its morning reboot and instant-messaged me that Oh, it was just a dream. But in truth, it was so much more. My spirit could not reboot because, like every morning since January 20, 2017, it was helping me to rise above an inner knowing that something is horribly wrong. My president hates me.
For sure, it's not personal. So what, that he never met me? He doesn't know or care that I didn't vote for him. And he doesn't know or care that I'm a Baby Boomer. If he ever saw my picture, I envision a Carly Fiorina moment, "Look at that face!" I'm a few years younger than him, but yeah, I'm aging and he hates all women who aren't young and beautiful. But what does he hate the most about me? My spirit. The inner essence of who I am. I am a spiritual nerd. Like many of my fellow nerds, I believe deeply in truth, in good, in doing what's right. I believe in kindness, caring, and respect for my fellow humans, animals, as well as the planet. I hold open doors. I hug trees. Pick up trash at the park. I pay my taxes. And I pray. A lot.
The fear that I feel isn't just for myself, but for my children, grandchildren, and fellow sojourners on the road of life. And it's almost paralyzing. Because, I remember seasons. There were 4 of them, which have been replaced by something called "daily weather tragedies" on the evening news. Let's see-- I also remember kindness and respect. But now, my president possesses the uncanny ability to project a sneer in a tweet. Wow. There's power for you. His every attack puts every reader at risk, whether or not we were the intended target. It's because we care for others, that we share their pain. We care that they were wronged. Because we care, we share in the trauma.
The images of immigrants turned away at airports are burned into my brain while their cries have been assimilated into my soul. The protests about pipelines, health care, education, racial and gender equality, nuclear issues—the list is endless, as the optics shift from my brain to my spirit. I wake up in the morning feeling uneasy and then I remember what's wrong. My president hates me. As well as people and issues that I care about. He hates the things that are me. And the things that are you. Meanwhile, he resides behind a veil of secrecy, supremacy, and superiority. As the threads of that veil begin to unravel, he attacks us like the coworker in my dream. Because the media is us. Journalists of integrity and character have spirits that strive to bring all of us critical facts... truths that affect us all. But he attacks facts. He attacks truths. He attacks all of us.
It sure doesn't help that my daughter and I are Reiki Master Practitioners and energy healers. Both of us are sensitive, intuitive, and empathetic. And it's a really lousy time to be an empath. While we empathize with those impacted by changes in the laws, we also see and feel something more. Simply put, one cannot enjoy a spirited discussion about what is happening right now. It's not about politics, where I believe this and you believe that. Because, at the highest level in the Oval Office, there is an absence of belief. Instead, there is a darkness which threatens to extinguish the light which has defined the country that we love. I don't know if my president can love. If he is capable of love. But I know he hates. And for sure, he hates me and many others. Let us pray.
Barbara Ricci is coauthor with her daughter Shawna Ricci, of The Betty Dog Series, a children's middle grade book series which promotes kindness, empathy, and inclusion. The books are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble online. She is also a Reiki Master Practitioner for Ricci Cat & K9 Behavior (formerly The K9 Spirit), a business owned by her daughter Shawna. She resides in the Philadelphia suburbs.