Thoughts on an election and stepping forward 

Step 1: Grieve – I told myself (and Russ) I wouldn’t cry over the outcome of this election. I lied. I’ve teared up more times than I can count today. Every time I look at our sweet children. Every time I run across a post of someone hurting and fearful. Every time I see someone I love and respect liking/sharing/commenting on a post of jubilation. It hurts more acutely than any past election loss (and I am a bleeding heart liberal thick in the middle of a sea of red, so there have been MANY losses).
I keep coming back to the hate because man, oh man, does our new President elect have the nation riled up and filled with fear. I believe his every move was more calculated than we can imagine because he isn’t an idiot. He wanted to mobilize voters and capitalize on their fears, and he did so successfully. Part of that strategy was to stoke the flames of hate and polarize us further, and we’ll see in the coming weeks/months/years what the consequences of that strategy will be. Hopefully, the effect is blunted by the pure force of love emanating from those that did not fall prey to the fear.
I don’t expect anyone to read or commiserate with me because the world is a noisy place right now, but I will say this – let us grieve.
I needed to day to grieve this feeling in the air that love is somehow lost. I know it isn’t lost because love always wins, but at the moment it feels a little more out of reach than yesterday.
Step 2: Own my reactions & work on self examination
Living where I do means I am surrounded constantly by people who sit way across the aisle from me. I seldom open my mouth in conversations because I do try to listen. I try so hard to understand. I get tired of listening. Sometimes I want to scream because the people around me wax on poetically about faith and politics as if they are intertwined and those same people have complete moral authority on how certain issues should play out (and yes, I know that happens on both sides of the aisle). I don’t scream though. I listen. Sometimes I do so out of self preservation. Sometimes I do so out of a lack of self confidence. I allow their thoughts to creep in and make me doubt myself. I allow their religious views to keep me from drawing near to God because I let fear creep in…which is entirely my problem, not theirs. I choose that reaction, and I am still working on changing my reaction.
After becoming a parent, my self examination has been at times relentless and more difficult. I’ve come to realize I need to stop apologizing for my thoughts and experiences. I need to have confidence in what I know to be true and not mute that when I’m around those I may disagree with. I don’t know how to approach these conversations with grace, but I will keep trying with my big ol’ bleeding heart because I love my heart. I don’t want to become shuttered and afraid to be honest. I don’t want to close myself off from the world and not speak up because I’m unsure. I don’t want to be scared of emotions, but I don’t want to be a slave to them either. I don’t want to distance myself from a God I so fervently believe in because of other people’s beliefs. I refuse to limit him to any one way of thinking because He is Divine and not limited to our human minds, and there is not a single human that has a complete view of Him. I will do my best to listen with an open mind, and I have faith that others will do the same for me.
I believe in Love.
Step 3: Do something
Tomorrow starts the hard work. I’m finding ways to build bridges. I am finding ways to use my voice. I am going to keep being open with my journey in terms of posting it on social media because at the moment it feels right. I won’t share everything, but I promise you this, I am removing my filter when I do share. I realize I will open myself to criticism by doing so, but at this moment I feel compelled to share with as much authenticity you can have when making noise in this world. I’m learning and I am open.
I’ll close with this, a mantra I have been working on with Preston:
I will do my best to be kind and loving.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s