I hadn’t realized how stressed I’d been these last 4 years until the presidential election results came in. My shoulders almost immediately released the tension I’d been holding. I felt lighter. Hopeful. The heavy months since the coronavirus were revealed changed our world even further adding to my stress. Mostly, I felt as if I was on the defensive, cautious when outside, exhausted at home. In talking to so many other like-minded friends and family I heard they, too, felt a collective sigh of relief Saturday.
I have no doubt that those who supported the president’s re-election do not share our jubilation. They wanted something else. But I cannot endure more divisiveness. I don’t want to live defensively anymore. I’m hopeful we can come together to create a change that is good for all of us.
It would be easy to wait for January to see what happens. However, I believe in my heart that the first steps are not to count on leadership to make changes, but for each of us to start repairing the relationships that can bare the hard work in the name of peace. I know that I can do better at being gentle with myself when I get defensive. And, in turn, be kind to others understanding they have their own pain.
We are not strong when we compare ourselves to others to feel better about ourselves. We are strong when we bring love, compassion and consciousness to our relationships and our shared lives. I know I could stand to be less judgmental, less reactive. I may not be able to stop altogether, but I can take steps, like pausing to ask myself what I’m feeling in that moment. Then attending to those feelings. We can start now to let the healing begin.
- Give yourself a moment of silence. See what it’s like for you when you have that small space in time. What do you feel? Is it uncomfortable? What are your thoughts?
- Write down an apology. You don’t have to send it. But write down something for which you are sorry. Then write what, if anything, will change now that you’ve apologized.
- Forgive. Think about someone or a situation for which you’ve held a grudge. See if you’ve already secretly forgiven that hurt. If so, acknowledge that for yourself.
- Take your vitamins either as part of the food you eat or as a supplement.
- Be part of the solution. Think of something that bothers you and take an action that brings you closer to an outcome you desire.