Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Why Donald Trump Needs Compassion

OK. I know ...  But if you're reading this already, why not continue? Let me assure you I am not a Trump supporter. I simply do not believe he has the qualifications to become our next President. But I do believe that everyone  — yes, EVERYONE — is deserving of compassion.
Young Donald Trump
from http://whoisbiography.com/donald-trump-biography-life-education-career-facts/
Of course, I don't know Donald Trump. Frankly, I didn't watch the debates because I couldn't stomach witnessing a train wreck. I'm not a politically-minded person. I rarely watch the news at all. But I do know a few things about human nature and I can assure you this: No matter how obnoxious, offensive, deceitful, or downright cruel a person is, he or she was once an innocent child. At some point in his life, Donald Trump was a helpless babe who cried out for attention and cooed and smiled when someone soothed him.

I don't know when he took on the ego that he still posses, but his ego began to form sometime in his formative years, during childhood — most likely around the age of five or six — as it does for us all. Around that time, little Donny Trump was wounded emotionally, perhaps even physically, and it caused him to put on the thick suit of ego armor that we've been witnessing for decades now.

Somewhere along the line, he heard the message: "It's not OK to be vulnerable or to trust anyone else."* Maybe he learned that directly from his very successful, real estate tycoon father. Or maybe he heard that message in his own mind when he experienced a slight or betrayal by an older sibling or playmate. It doesn't matter what happened, what matters is that the sweet, innocent child that was Donald Trump could not reconcile the reality of a situation with his idea of how his life should be and he suffered — just as we all suffer when reality and our ideals don't mesh. This is what it means to be human. And we must go through this "wounding" in order to continue our natural trajectory of growth and maturity.

No, I don't know Donald Trump, but because of his public personae — intimidating, authoritative, commanding, etc. — I can deduce a bit about his personality before he was wounded, before he became the tyrannical 3 a.m. Tweeter.

Before he experienced his wounding, Donald Trump was vulnerable giver. As a young child, he gave out of joy and without any sense of manipulation. He had a great need to be loved. He was the child who offered you a taste of his ice cream cone or proudly gave you his best crayon drawing. He might have tried to cheer up his mother when she was sad or tired or lonely. He might have tried to help his older brother or sisters, or to defend his younger brother. Indeed, he wanted to be valued and loved for this service. Perhaps it was because he did not receive this validation as a child that his ego came to the fore.**

Whatever happened to him along the way, his ego formed and is still raging against the injustice that occurred so very long ago. It's sad, really, because he is not aware of how his ego impacts those around him. I honestly believe that Trump's greatest problem is that he is unconscious and from my experience, people who remain unconscious of their own egoic nature tend to continue to rail against reality — and suffer

I think all those fact-checkers at NPR would concur. Trump is in a deep state of denial. And the more his fellow Republicans denounce him, the worse he will become because those cancelled endorsements only serve to validate his long-held internal message, "You can't trust anyone."

 That's why he's a loose cannon. He refuses to allow anyone to "control" him, even his campaign managers. He is so afraid of being controlled or harmed that he will lash out at everyone around him.  So Trump's rants are not filled with strength, but with fear.

In his mind, Trump is trying to defend America. He sincerely wants America to be great; and he wants to defend his country against all threats — perceived and real. But along the way, he has forgotten how to take care of anyone — especially himself. He has lost all compassion — the very gift he was given at birth.

So while roasting Donald Trump for all his ridiculous antics is fun, it is also fanning the flames of his egoic self — which is just going to make things worse. Indeed, what Trump really needs is a large dose of compassion. I'm not sure he will ever find compassion for himself, but that would go a long way to healing his long-held wounds. I'm not saying he should be President. I'm not saying that we should ignore the hideous things he's said. I'm just saying that we should see him for who he really is: A wounded child with nowhere to turn.

* From The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Don Riso and Russ Hudson
** From Becoming Conscious: The Enneagram's Forgotten Passageway, by Joseph B. Howell, Ph.D., Chapter 12, "The Soul Child."