Now What? Hallelujah, Come Together

Margaret Moore's picture Submitted by Margaret Moore November 15, 2016 - 12:54pm
Now What? Hallelujah, Come Together
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"Love is not a victory march. It’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah,” sang Leonard Cohen, who sadly passed away last week. Last night, actress Kate McKinnon opened Saturday Night Live singing the song as a Hillary Clinton look-alike, closing with pain that will last a long time: I'm not giving up and neither should you."

The SNL host, Dave Chappelle, an African-American satirist, ended the show by saying, “I’m wishing Donald Trump luck. And I’m going to give him a chance, and we, the historically disenfranchised, demand that he give us one too.” These are among many poignant moments after last week's election was said and done, leaving half our nation feeling like winners and half feeling like losers.

Besides the passing of Cohen, and a polarizing election, something else precious feels lost. It seems we are missing a sense of collective togetherness in navigating the tough journey ahead. Many people love the outcome and feel a victorious “hallelujah.” But “it’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah” because many people hate the outcome and just feel cold and brokenness.

Cohen goes on to sing: “All I’ve ever learned about love was how to shoot at somebody who outdrew you.” This is the state of our political world. Winners become losers and losers become winners. There isn’t a whole lot of love going on in the winner/loser game, where we shoot at people who outdrew us.

Newton’s 3rd law is alive and well. Every force has an equal and opposite force. Despite a love of country as common ground, the divide between those whose candidate won and those whose candidate lost is forcefully polarized. It’s like looking down into a ravine that has no bottom. Here’s just one example. If your life’s mission and livelihood rest upon an industry that is on the wrong side of a sustainable planet or drivers of a global marketplace, you may want to shoot those taking away your livelihood. If your mission and livelihood are focused on killing said jobs, you may want to shoot those standing in the way of your mission.

The deep conflicts are like chasms we can’t bridge. But the truth is that just like our country, the human psyche carries multiple, diverse, and often conflicting agendas or life forces. One part of the psyche wants autonomy, to serve self-interest. Another part wants close relations that serve others and put others first. One part of us wants stability, while another part wants big disruptive change. One part wants to get organized while another enjoys spontaneity. There is nothing to be gained without eclipsing its opposite. Every change and development that moves us forward serves some parts of us and neglects others.

Come Together,” sang John Lennon. This is a way forward, certainly better than shooting at our opposites. Carl Jung, the famous Swiss psychotherapist, still inspires us to honor the differences within the human psyche, embracing and integrating the opposites. His work laid the foundation for the widely used Myers-Briggs personality types, made up of opposite forces. Furthering the work to embrace and integrate opposites is psychologist Dick Schwartz, who founded internal family systems, a process of self-leadership to settle and integrate polarized parts of the mind. Dick’s teaching led me to develop a strengths-based model of multiplicity of mind that helps people tune into multiple and often conflicting parts of our minds and arrive at more calm, clarity, and wisdom in our daily lives.

The way toward personal and societal growth then, if we allow it, is to not to reject but to embrace our differences, respect and appreciate seeming opposites. Invite them in, have a drink or cup of coffee or tea together, really listen, walk in the others’ shoes, be moved by good intentions. Only then can we integrate the diverse and multiple perspectives inside and outside, and move, and grow, forward.

Let’s welcome our opposites. Let’s integrate these powerfully opposite forces into a new order that lifts all of us up together to a new and better place.

Onward and upward.

Coach Meg

This post originally appeared on Psychology Today.