Unless you have been living under a rock, you have seen, or felt, or somehow experienced some sort of intense emotion related to the current political environment. Not only in America. But around the world.
Social media gives us the ability to be bombarded with tragic events and news stories 24.7.365.
Some days it is hard to turn away. We would much rather live with the stress than close the browser. Or maybe we aren’t aware of the stress eating us from the inside out.
But it is this stress, that we need to take a hold of before it ruins everything we touch.
The 2016 election has had a insane grip on my happiness. I didnt realize it would wound me like it did. And I definitely didn’t realize it would close me off to the world. Maybe I felt guilty for being judgmental and mimicking the exact behaviors I was so angry at.
I would bring up a point that I debated with my inner voice. But as soon as someone questioned me, I would quickly retreat and not be able to defend my position. Which then caused me to be on the attack. And then I lost friendships. Which led me to not following one of my cardinal rules – taking responsibility.
Which gave me horrid soul burn.
This realization (understanding?) has unknowingly been my long game.
At first, I was so angry. I was blind with rage. And I let it consume me.
And then I started reading everything I could…as long as it was in support of my beliefs and values.
And then I got sad and depressed. Our family one of those vulnerable populations the other side is attacking carelessly and without regard.
And then I got angry again. How dare they not take the time to actually look at the other side and get to know us and that we just want to be loved as much as we love.
And then I got despondent.
It was at that moment that I stopped listening to, reading about, viewing, consuming….anything and everything related to politics. No matter how small.
I stopped following pages. I would scroll faster past people posting political things that I didnt agree with. I would not look at a TV if there was politics on.
But I couldnt avoid everything all the time. So I started following pages that are more neutral or give more proof. I have started reading posts from other viewpoints (I had to force myself to never respond. But. Baby steps).
And that brings me to this current point. This spot I need to take a rest at. A point in my journey that I need to reevaluate and recharge.
I wrote the following on my personal Facebook page last week:
I have been watching Hurricane Michael unfold since it began to form.
I have never done that about any other hurricane or storm or national coverage of anything. I just get a little curious to see the destruction afterwards.
But for some reason, this one has been on my mind constantly.
I just. I cant. It’s gone. Millions of lives have just been shattered. Destroyed. Just like that. Gone.
I am here sitting on my front porch, 3000 miles away, listening to the birds chirp and the kittens run across the green grass.
And my heart is being ripped to shreds due to what is happening to my fellow human beings.
Maybe it is because I feel our nation has hit rock bottom and we need something to bring us together. A national tragedy (unfortunately) that will bring us back together.
We have all been so divided. So stuck in our beliefs. That everyone, regardless of our beliefs and political backgrounds, is at eachother throats.
Tensions are high. America does not have a voice to unite us. We are being steered in a stormy night and the lighthouse just got taken out by a hurricane.
But maybe this time, this powerful storm, might help us remember that we are all in this together. That we are all humans. That we all rely on each other to become stronger.
All of our lives intertwine like roots under a forest.
155mph winds do not care who gets in its way. They will be taken out.
Now is the time for us to reach across the aisle. No matter how much pride we need to swallow in order to listen to eachother.
Now is the time for us to be brave. No matter how scary it is in order to make that first step.
Now is the time for us to take responsibility. No matter how shameful it will be in order to start healing wounds.
Now is the time for us to open our ears. Our mind. Our hearts. Our arms.
Because now is the time we need to come together. No matter how gut wrenchingly hard it may be. No matter your political values.
We need to start healing. Healing brings strength.
And strength brings change.
I will make the first step. I am ready to open my mind to listen to how other people think about politics. If you see the world differently than me, please share with me. I take full responsibility for shutting out views that are different than mine. I wasnt ready. But I am now.
And I now understand why the other side, doesnt take the time to understand my side.
Because I havent treated them like I want to be treated.
And by doing so, I will be able to align my conscious and my soul with my morals. Thereby eliminating as much cognitive dissonance as possible.
Being at war with the other side, and internally, is causing too much pain. And in order for me to continue on in my journey to figuring out how to love myself, I need to relieve as much pain as possible.
And that begins with opening my ears and my heart to the experiences of others.
We share at least 1 similar trait with each other. And that is that we are all human. There must be other commonalities that will help us unite.