Let’s start with some rapid, shallow breathing.
As you gasp for air, picture your fears and anxieties entering your lungs. With each quick exhalation, push out any positive thoughts until your mind fills with nothing but dark, howling chaos.
That’s it… yes… can you feel it? Keep taking shallow breaths and focus on the feelings in your body. Search deep inside for your inner strength, for any last reserves of security, hope, and comfort. Can you still feel them? If so, you’re doing it wrong. Now pant like a dog.
That’s it…. You’re getting it now…… feel your chest and throat tighten with every movement….there you go…… stay tense….. You’re getting it now.
Next, pick up your phone and open your Twitter feed. Let the images of militias, voter suppression, Amy Coney Barrett, and violence in the streets surge through you. Clench all the muscles in your body and hold them until you start shaking. Feel your bones tremble. This is the intended effect of the Pre-Election Guided Meditation™.
Squeeze your nose with one hand and cover your mouth with the other. Good. Now try to inhale deeply. You can’t, can you? Good job. Let yourself panic. This is natural. Keep breathing like this. Before you black out, release your nose and mouth and exhale. But only for one second. Now repeat.
Remind yourself that you are but a small speck in the universe, that nothing you do matters, and your ballot will surely be rendered invalid, and that the outcome of the election will be overturned by the Supreme Court anyway, and that even though you are utterly powerless, you are also still completely to blame when it all goes down in flames.
As we come to a close, accept that it could be like this for quite a while—days, weeks or months, depending on how long it takes to count the ballots. Repeat this meditation twice daily, or whenever you feel a shred of hope. And remember: No matter what happens, this is going to end badly. ❏
The Rubin-Rottenbergs are the highest ranking Gold Star Catastrophic Thinking™ family in the North America.
Photo by Omid Armin