Grief, Action and Gentleness

Oṃ śānti śānti śānti Oṃ

(a prayer of peace to the planet)

Like many of you, I’ve been in a state of shock and disbelief in the aftermath of the election. My heart hurts with collective grief for the country and for the world. There is a part of me, like I’m sure many of you, that wants to pull the covers over my head, unplug, and pray that it’s all just a bad dream.

As I exhale deeply for the umteenth time today, I try to see a way out, a way through, that is neither self-destructive or avoidant. It was with tear stained cheeks and a broken heart I became aware of the profound need for self-care today, more than most days.

I went on a long walk today, just to be in the stillness of nature and at one point up ahead of me on the path saw a deer. It jumped into the woods before I got close, but I thanked her for showing up all the same; this would be the first of three deer I saw today. As the day went on I found myself again checking the news and social media, but there had been a shift. While shock and disbelieve still prevailed, another theme began to emerge; a call to action.

I became resolute to the fact the time for complicity has passed. Idle procrastination will NOT see us through. Admittedly my Facebook feed has a leftist liberal bias, and so what I am seeing is not necessary reflectively of a trend. But I am seeing that despite fear for ourselves, our loved ones, our fellow humans known and not known, I hear, I see a call to action. An inner, yet collective, call to act and give; be it our time, or our money, to create a better world. (I started writing this before the protest throughout the country began tonight and by action, I don’t just mean in the streets – though that can have its place).

There is a growing cry to bring love and light to the collective, for the good of the whole, for our future and the future of those decades away from being born. I see a resilience and a determination that is brewing and bursting at the seams, a digging deep into the roots of our souls to: “Say NO not in my name; the last 100 years of sociocultural progress will not be overturned while there is still breath in my body. I will rise up and I will stand with my fellow humans. To quote Lin-Manuel Maranda:


I was going to end this post with a bit of astrology, but there is something more pressing for me to share.

As the day went on and the heartache continued, I spent the afternoon with a friend and her daughter, just needing to collectively grieve with loved ones. On my short walk to their house, another deer crossed my path and then a third on my way home. As someone who as looks to the Medicine Cards for decades, I remembered that Deer is about gentleness. And so I took her showing up 3-times as a sign to be kind, while still being in disbelief.  But it was not till I got home and read some on Deer’s meaning that the power of seeing her 3 times gained the proper potency.

Paraphrasing the book that comes with the Medicine Cards:

Deer encountered a demon who was blocking the way to Great Spirit. The Demon wanted all creatures to live in fear and believe the Great Spirit was not there for them. But Deer was not scared, and this confused the Demon. He tried harder to scare Deer, but nothing worked. Deer simply looked at the Demon with love and compassion – no matter what the Demon tried Deer projected love and gentleness. And slowly the Demon began to shrink. He shrank so much so that he no longer blocked anyone from Great Spirit, and creatures no longer lived in fear they could not reach Great Spirit when the needed to.

I cannot adequately express how true this story is to today; how much we all need to apply the power the teaching of Deer. “Deer teaches us to use the power of gentleness to touch the hearts and minds of wounded beings who are trying to keep us from Sacred Mountain.”

As I type this story I must acknowledge that with the action that is needed, with the call that many are feeling; the refusing to stand on the sidelines, we are to step up, step in with love, with kindness. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”


Love and Light to you all