transpersonal living thinking and living beyond the self

transpersonal living
An Invitation to Heal the Shadow of our Society

The Election of Donald Trump: An Invitation to Heal the Shadow of our Society

By Selena Whittle, PhD

The election of Donald Trump as President of the US has shocked many people, me included. Probably swimming comfortably in denial through most of the election process, I somehow never thought that such an absurdity could actually occur. But here we are. Donald Trump is President-Elect. Now what do we do with that fact? How do we wrap our minds and hearts around this? What is the purpose of it all? What now?

Putting aside the politics for a moment and looking instead from the larger perspective of the continual evolutionary process of humankind, we could ask what purpose Trump’s emergence and subsequent election serves in our collective growth. To begin, let’s look at what Trump represents. Trump sometimes figuratively, oftentimes literally represents fear, bigotry, separatism, ignorance, extremism, domination through misuse of power over others, cynicism, racism, among other traits. The culmination of these traits points to the darkest elements of humanity. He represents the shadow of our culture and, whether we wanted it to or not, our shadow has emerged into the light and will be staying in the light for the next four years. As one of my friends (Tai Carmen) suggested, we are now showing the “maggoty underside” of a rock we would rather not have turned over.

After we get over the initial embarrassment (for it is an international display), we may want to turn away from this dark beast, to berate it, to push it back down into its dark hidey-hole. Trump’s election, however, makes that impossible. He is forcing us to look directly at the darkness. How we respond to the seeing of the dark beast determines if and how we will grow from it.

We could begin within the microcosm of our own psyches, by scouring the dark corners, determinedly seeking to heal our own shadowy recesses. As Trump shows us, what we are likely to find there will not be pretty or pleasant, but the willingness to look, to truly see what is usually hidden is the first step towards healing. Let us clean our own house first.

Expanding into the larger macrocosm of this society (and eventually the world, for Trump’s effect will be international as well), we can similarly help the collective wounds of the People heal. As he has already done with the women’s issue, Trump will raise the conscious awareness first, not only shedding a light on the darkness, but demonstrating decisively how we don’t want to be. Then we can hear and bear witness to the voices of the wounds of the People, both the victims and the perpetrators (for all are victims on some level), and hold a deep compassion and love in our listening. This compassion will help the wounded people lean towards an understanding about the truth of who they are at the Soul level, enabling a closer alignment with the qualities of Soul—the love, light, knowledge, and compassion—inherent within us all. Gradually we heal, we grow, and we evolve.

As tempting and seductive as it may be, berating and beating up Trump because he stands as a figurative or literal representative of society’s collective shadow is not helpful. If we want to counter this negative force that has emerged, that will be on display, and be affecting our society and the world for the next four years, one path of action is to begin to heal the wounds that created the collective shadow in the first place. The primary tools in healing wounds and shadowy beasts within individual psyches (at least in my practice) are Love and Truth. Applying these powerful forces to the microcosm of our own individual psyches, along with the macrocosm of our society here in the US and even our larger society, the People of the world, seems like one valid way to address the dark beast that has emerged. In this way, we grow. And perhaps one day, we’ll be ready for someone like Bernie Sanders.


Dr. Selena Whittle offers psychotherapy and shamanic healing as well as other products and services that assist in transforming your life. Please visit the website at


Comments are closed.