In the Winter of Peril

“Conflict is seductive- navigate it consciously.”  Lee Harris

So fellow travelers, one week ago here in the United States, new leadership took charge of our country, and in the week since I have become gradually aware of waking up with a growing sense of relief and a marked absence of background anxiety, even as we begin to navigate what President Biden calls our “Winter of Peril”

Not that this shift in leadership means a herd of magical unicorns will bring rainbows of namaste that “heals our country.” Given the backlash I’ve seen so far, a herd of enlightened T-Rexs might be more useful. (Yes I know that is a triceratops in the photo- but come on- have you ever tried to get a T-Rex to stop roaring long enough to take it’s photo? )

Hyperbole aside,  that backlash has done it’s best to reinstate the anxiety created by the trauma of being, as I referenced in my previous post,  “held hostage” for four years. I have struggled to find the balance point between judgement and compassion. While recognizing the intricacies of what forensic psychologists refer to as “shared psychosis” it is still difficult to dig up compassion for people still posting vitriolic comments in response to posts my friends have shared. My own social media feed is fairly calm mainly because I have zero tolerance for BS. Civil discourse on differing opinions are welcome, everything else gets deleted and persistent purveyors of misinformation are unfollowed.
Understanding why  “people who harbor delusional narratives tend to bulldoze over reality in their attempt to deny that their own narrative is false,” ( Scientific American ) has not given rise to the level of compassion I have come to expect of myself.  The best choice I can make right now is to disengage from the irrational diatribe, at least until I have more clarity on how to engage without escalating anger.  So, I will, as a personal mentor recently recommended,  simply “stay in my lane” for a while and draw inspiration from the words of Rev. Silvester Beaman’s inaugural benediction*, “In discovering our humanity, we will seek the good in and for our neighbors, we will love the unlovable, remove the stigma of the so called untouchables, (and) we will care  for our most vulnerable…. Neither shall we learn hatred anymore…”

Walk gently on the path my friends and may Peace settle in our hearts

 Note: *Rev. Beaman’s prayer is well worth hearing in its entirety. Listen to it here

Deborah H Rahalski


  1. I am experiencing similar feelings. It is good to refuse to “feed the trolls” and not engage. Hopefully the next 100 days will give a clearer picture of the direction we need to go.

  2. I’m appreciating your thoughts, nodding in understanding, noticing less of that background anxiety as well. here’s to moving forward. may we all…

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