Gratitude Challenge For The Presidential Candidate You Oppose

Seeing Value in the Behavior of Assholes


My 13-year old son has been an asshole the last couple of days. I know he’s learning to regulate his testosterone. He’s usually a very pleasant kid, so I get easily frustrated by these days. He is writing short essays for application to high school (something that only happens in public schools in New Orleans) and doesn’t want to play the “impress the admissions board” game. He wants to go to a different high school and is addicted to being right about this other school being best for him, and the one that requires an essay being categorically unfit. I called him intentionally myopic and choosing to ignore other information that is readily available to him. He threw that insult back at me, along with our front gate.

I was talking with a social worker friend about my book proposal recently, and we joked that the title could be Assholes Have Trauma, Too. We mused on the generational and past traumas of Donald Trump, a possible lack of nurturing as a young child, and discussed how this is a very serious issue in pedophiles and domestic abusers. These latter two populations don’t have a place to go to work through these issues without the risk of going to jail, so they keep it all bottled up, too often acting upon impulses and repeating criminal behavior.

One of my friends, a recovering alcoholic herself, says that “the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, it’s connection.” Whether we are addicted to our power, to being right, or to our low self-worth and harmful thoughts, we all need to be connected. Assholes exist on all sides of the political spectrum, though I most wonder who Donald Trump talks to – who is his BFF? Does he meditate or do anything to connect with himself? Hillary Clinton, through all controversy, has friends that speak publicly about their fondness for her. I also wonder about her self-care practices.

The “punishment” I exerted for my son’s asshole behavior was to write a list of 50 things for which he was grateful and 25 things he appreciated about art. He won’t admit that it changed his mood, and maybe reading his list just changed mine, but it led to a much more pleasant atmosphere in the house and the completion of his essays in a thoughtful manner.

I am always amazed at the power of gratitude and appreciation. Personally, I like the word appreciation better because its very definition is for what is to become more. I have been intentionally grateful for the cantankerous behavior of my son. I take it as a sign that he won’t be living at home when he is 30. Just in the last two weeks, appreciative thoughts have resulted in an extra $850 in my life, with little to no action on my part. Recently I have written and made a video on the power of changing yourself and getting others caught up in your vibration.

The last couple of days of undesirable behavior do not reflect the big picture of what a fine young man my son is becoming. I will not allow these conflicts to define him, nor will they define me. There is always something else that is true, in any given situation. My favorite person who explores other truths for her job is a social worker employed by a circuit court. Her job is to humanize defendants in capital murder cases. She interviews their family members, neighbors, teachers, and classmates. She says rarely is one a sociopath. They are not monsters. For the most part, they are broken little kids that grew into big bodies and out of control situations. Whatever our situation, Pam Grout, in her book Thank and Grow Rich, says the way to transform our lives is through radical, unbridled gratitude, and it really IS that simple.

Now I am off to write a list of 50 things I appreciate about my son, so he can read my list. I am also writing a list of reasons I am grateful for Donald Trump. I voted early and did NOT vote for him. I challenge you to write a list of reasons you appreciate the major party candidate you will NOT be voting for next week. Snarky ones don’t count – you can’t be grateful for a mistake that one makes and results in increased support on the other side.

Here are my first five reasons I appreciate Donald Trump and his candidacy for President of the United States.

  1. Donald Trump is highlighting many wounds that need to be healed.
  2. Donald Trump inspired me to have discussions with my 12 and 13-year-old sons about sexual assault, respect, and slang words for genitals, thus strengthening an open dialogue and close relationship with my kids.
  3. Donald Trump showed me the Law of Attraction can be misused in ways that I had not perceived previously.
  4. Donald Trump helped my son understand his ability to see auras and interpret them. (DT’s aura is black with a dim red light in the middle)
  5. Donald Trump is strengthening my mission to change the paradigm of love in the world.

I will share more tomorrow. Please share yours in the comments!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

5 thoughts on “Gratitude Challenge For The Presidential Candidate You Oppose

  1. I love your “punishment” idea. I will keep that in mind for my future children. I also like your comment about transforming our lives through gratitude, which I 100% agree with! Have you ever used the app Stop, Breathe & Think?

  2. Donald Trump has brought thousands, perhaps millions of ordinary women to talk about how common his particular kind of misogyny is. And this in turn has touched many, many men. Even those who thought they understood this issue are amazed at how prevalent it is.

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