This was intended to be a general ‘life is rough’ article, but as events unfold and we reel from the recent election, it seems prudent to change the angle a bit.
I mean, after all, we are a hurting nation at the moment.
Many fear for the security of their lives since it has been threatened, and like most humans, allow their ‘fight or flight’ instinct to overcome reason. I understand the protests. I will never condone the violence.
Many are in shock at the idea that a bully could have garnered enough support as to be elected to the highest, most respected office in the land. They are concerned about international politics and fear permanent damage to allied relationships as well as world economic functions.
Many are happy. They wanted change (I completely understand this sentiment) and they got it. Whether it plays out in their favor or not, time will tell, currently the president-elect is filling his cabinet with very cozy Wall Street employees so I personally don’t hold out any hope.
Some are gloating. In my hometown a high school student was passing out home made ‘deportation notices’ to the minorities in his classes. An elementary lunch room in Michigan was the scene of chants of “Build that wall,” instilling fear and shame into Latino children.
On top of all this, we each have our personal problems to deal with. A friend of mine is a recent widow. Another friend just lost her sister. My niece is bound for lung surgery this week. Someone, somewhere is going through a divorce. Someone, somewhere was just betrayed by their best friend. Someone, somewhere is dealing with a child who is struggling with a heroin addiction.
Life is pain, meanwhile we must be kind to ourselves.
What does that mean? It means giving the world some space. We can’t control everything (we can control very little) so quit trying to control everything and turn inward towards yourself. Allow yourself to validate your own feelings, allow yourself to accept shortfalls as part of the human experience rather than some defective character flaw, allow yourself to just be and gather strength from ‘mental stillness.’ It is empowering.
Go for walks. Getting in touch with nature never fails to put things into perspective. The
leaves are turning and littering the earth right now, another summer is over, another cycle consummated, time goes on, we are but a mere speck within it’s marching. In this bigger picture, our troubles are less taxing.
Meditate. Shut out the world, listen only to your breathing. Connect with the universe as a part of it, not separate from it. Speak gently to yourself.
We must be kind to ourselves at this moment as we reflect on the election and what it means to us personally, so that we have the capacity to be kind to others.
There are many who need it.