Just when it feels like 2020 couldn’t get any crazier, it keeps making our jaws drop. It’s unbelievable, right?? Every day, newscasts feature a dumpster fire of horrible headlines about COVID-19, civil unrest, economic hardship, the start of a school year like no other, and political divisiveness. It’s all so heavy that the shocking death of actor Chadwick Boseman over the weekend feels like a crushing blow nobody has the energy to process. We’re all just desperate for a little light.
It’s part of the reason I’ve decided to get back to blogging. This space launched me into my work as an artist, writer and intuitive mentor 14 years ago — but with the advent of social media, I have found myself sharing there but writing fewer long-form stories and insights here. Now feels like the perfect time to recommit myself to sharing more with you, as we are in such turbulent times and could use an extra dose of goodness now and then. So, welcome back.
In recent weeks, I’ve received numerous requests for access to the text of THE AFTERGLOW, which was a lengthy message from Spirit (the swirl of heavenly angels and guides that sometimes speaks to me and through me) that was delivered on the eve of the United States presidential election in 2016. They had asked that I receive their message prior to the election results being announced, and then share that message — alongside my dear friend and Infinite Purpose co-creator Lori Portka — in a live call shortly after the election.
Like the vast majority of Americans, I expected Hillary Clinton would win. All the polls showed her in the lead, and those who supported Trump were pretty quiet about it. So when Spirit delivered its message, I looked at it through that lens. When it turned out Trump had actually won, the fever-pitched reaction of shock and confusion gave Spirit’s message a whole new meaning for me — and it brought comfort and insight to hundreds who gathered to hear it that November. Clearly, Spirit knew what the outcome would be and wanted to call attention to all kinds of spiritual lessons that came with it.
Four years later, as I read the transcript, it is stunning to me how it still holds up; they could have delivered this very message today and it would still speak to us. Below are several paragraphs I found particularly relevant.
Excerpts From The Afterglow, ©2016
As a country, you have learned that at the first sign of uncertainty, you run for cover or cast blame or hurriedly patch together half-solutions. But these ego-based tactics leave little room for growth, little time to adapt, and little chance to cultivate trust in one another. Without an awareness of common ground – from shared pain to shared passions – you keep conversations at the surface level, or develop a bond of aggression, built on shared dissatisfaction.
You need not be vulnerable in this kind of connection; all you have to be is angry or adamant about your views – and this is appealing for many. When it feels like you’ve been spinning your wheels, unseen and unheard, the addictive adrenaline rush of hatred or indignation temporarily feels like forward momentum, but it has you fooled and, far more times than not, you wind up spinning your wheels again, even angrier, heels dug in deeper, unable to see the light.
It’s as if a bandage has been ripped off your collective skin to expose long-ignored wounds that refuse to heal without proper care. It may have seemed better, more civil, less painful, to pretend they did not exist. But there they are, for all to see: normalized misogyny, deep-seated prejudice, unspoken fears, overwhelming greed, woefully impoverished communities, and pervasive mental health crises. These are the results of hurried healing, of rushed evolution without widespread empathy. Your country has experienced rapid change from the time it was established, just over 200 short years ago. Long before this land became a country held together by the rules of a constitution, others called it home. And before them, still others, who could not know – could not even imagine what would become of this land and its inhabitants — the stunning progress and mind-bending challenges. They could only focus on their present moment and just beyond, on what was needed to thrive, to love, to tend to the land with what they had and what they knew and with a faith in benevolent forces at work to guide the way. Keep in mind, dear ones, that these politically divided United States are in their adolescence compared to nations, cultures and governments that have existed on this planet for much longer – some for thousands of years. That you would experience monumental growing pains is a given; it’s how you address them that matters. Will you transform pain into possibility?
You are part of a nation that is relied on by many others in many ways to lead but not dictate, to guide but not rule. A nation indivisible that pledges liberty and justice for all, and cares about the wellbeing of the world it inhabits. History shows that generations of trailblazers have given their lives or committed their hearts to the cause of making that your country’s legacy, for the highest good of the people. There are many ways to goodness. Your well-established founding fathers, and the founding mothers hovering over their shoulders and whispering in their ears, laid the groundwork but left the future wide open to interpretation and innovation. And now, it is your work to take up where they left off.
Contrary to popular belief, your young nation is still establishing its identity – not only in how you interact with the rest of the world, but by defining who you are in the comforts of your own home. No revolution begins at the top of a hierarchy. It begins in coffee houses, at bus stops, in libraries, around dinner tables. It begins with connecting, finding common ground within your families, with your neighbors, and with perfect strangers – and then inviting them inside to bear witness to your pain, your passions, and your gifts – and asking to see theirs.
Let uncertainty be the birthplace of goodness. Let the causes that move you, the fears that rattle you and the injustices that shake you be what leads you into inspired action. As we have urged before, begin every conversation with radical compassion. If it is empathy you long for, embody it. If it is justice you seek, be fair-minded in every interaction. If you shudder at how the misunderstood can be treated like second class citizens, be conscious of the derogatory ways you approach or regard those you do not understand. For as long as the others are treated as Others, you will live in a land of the lost and lack the collaborative momentum and mindset you need to rise.
A revolution need not be a violent clashing of ideologies. It can be an attitudinal, energetic adjustment adopted by the masses for the betterment of society. And in every uprising in modern history, change has been led by the people, not the politicians. Your elected local and national leadership is meant to reflect the people they serve, not to dictate what those people should think. Heal each other, and let the positive momentum of that intention rise up to the highest ranks, lift up all who feel unheard, dig up the roots of hatred and plant something new, seize up when there is friction so you can find a better way, show up in whatever way feels universally good and kind. You are the ones we’ve been waiting for. You are the ones who have the power to create peace, choose light, walk with grace and lead the way. You are the afterglow.
I’m curious how Spirit’s words speak to you today. I pray we can find the energy and focus to turn pain into possibility, as they say. If you’d like to read the full transcript from 2016, you can do so here. And if you’re not sure what your plan is to vote in this year’s election, everything you need is at Vote.org.