It’s okay that you want Trump to die from COVID-19. It’s also okay if you feel bad for him, like you would anyone suffering.
Your internal world isn’t social media. There’s no “right” or “woke” feeling. You’re probably not an elected representative or a corporate CEO. You don’t need to release a statement one way or the other.
There’s room inside of you for all your thoughts and feelings. Infinite space for resentment, sadness, anger, disbelief, apathy.
We forget this spaciousness when an emotion hijacks our nervous system — and these are particularly emotional times. A pandemic. Wildfires. Hurricanes. Unemployment. Evictions. Isolation. Massive change, yet lingering restlessness.
That restlessness woke me up last Friday at two in the morning. A friend had texted, “Trump has covid.” I anxiously (and excitedly) checked Twitter and Facebook.
When eventually my eyes closed, my mind churned. Part of me wanted Trump to die a slow, painful death for the pain he’s caused. But another part thought that was bad, wrong, immoral. Another part was anxious about losing sleep.
Yet fortunately, underneath all the thoughts, I didn’t feel the need to choose one over another. Instead, I felt the spaciousness. I felt compassionate acceptance. Everything I was feeling was okay.
Maybe it was the meditation I’d done before bed. Maybe it was the therapy session earlier in the week. Maybe it was luck. Who knows? The point is, conflicted feelings aren’t a problem.
It’s like that Japanese Zen Buddhist story about two monks watching a flag flapping in the wind. One says, “The flag is moving.” The other says, “The wind is moving.” Another monk overhears them and says, “Not the flag, not the wind; mind is moving.”
What difference does it make how we feel about the president’s health? It only changes how we feel inside. How we carry ourselves throughout the day. How we treat family, neighbors, coworkers, and friends. The stuff where we can make a difference.
That resentment you feel towards Trump (and capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy, etc.) is totally okay.
“If you’re feeling gleeful, making jokes about Trump,” wrote immigrant organizer Aly Wane. “Well, feel that. Anger at an oppressor/abuser is not only valid, it is healthy. It is a tool of survival.”
That love you also feel for all humans, that longing for all living things to be happy and free is totally okay too.
The more you allow thoughts and feelings to come and go without judging yourself or picking one over the others, the more focused and grounded you’ll be in the struggle for a better, safer, and fairer world — which will continue regardless of what happens to Trump.
I’m a writer, meditation teacher, and host of the Meditation for the 99% podcast. If you’d like to work with me on your meditation practice or being more mindful, reach out. Get my writing straight to your email inbox here.