My most difficult person

Dear President Trump,

Along with brushing my teeth twice a day and writing to you once a day, saying a morning LKM prayer for you is another noncontingent activity I’ve faithfully hewed to all these long months since the election. I have no idea whether wishing you, my most difficult person, safety, happiness, health, and peace every day is helping anything or even helping me cope with you, but my guess is that without this practice I’d be in a lot worse shape. It’s like when my patients tell me that using new coping skills isn’t making them feel better when huge stressors hit and I ask them how they think they might be doing had these stressors happened and they didn’t have those strategies at hand. This generally helps shift the conversation to the merits of damage control. Well, that’s where I am these days and I dare say I’m in good company.

I think there are millions of us (actually ranging over most of the political spectrum) who are doing our level best to hold on and not get swept away by the crazy drama and embittered rancor that is inundating us constantly. Actually, I think there are millions of us who are simultaneously trying to do damage control and work to address the ills that got us into this mess in the first place. As I’ve reminded us both over the past year plus, this didn’t start with you and your GOP props – you all are symptoms and until we address the root causes (systemic racism, sexism, wealth inequality, religious intolerance, etc.) we are going to cycle in and out of these fights and won’t be able to effectively address the collective challenges we face.

Although I generally keep the words of my LKM prayer for you pretty stripped down, I want you to know that there are larger hopes for you under the surface of the single words. When I wish you safety, I am really wishing that you will feel secure (as in not feel insecure) and that your actions towards others, especially children, will be safe. When I wish you happiness, I am really wishing that you could experience happiness that is not at someone else’s expense. When wishing you health and strength, I am wishing that you somehow miraculously wake-up the next day with health and strength that is imbued with morality and integrity. And finally, when I wish that your life unfold and intersect with peace, I am really wishing just that.

So, here you are:

May you be safe.
May you be happy.
May you be healthy and strong.
May your life unfold and intersect peacefully.

Tracy Simpson

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