Political Processing: A Time to Heal
At eight months pregnant, I woke up this morning with the worst hangover of my life. Though I didn’t have a sip to drink last night, all the usual feelings were present: anxiety, fear, uncertainty, guilt, grief. The events and outcome of recent months will take some processing. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far…
Today, we must feel. Feel all of it. Take inventory of the myriad feelings that both brought our nation to this election and will now stem from it. The disappointment and shock. The anger and sadness. For some voters, perhaps it’s the affirmation of feeling seen and elation of being heard for the first time in a while. Whatever this election elicits in us individually, the brave path forward starts with striving to see our shadow and survey both sides of this experience with compassion.
Today we feel, and tomorrow we heal. Rather than continuing to wallow in the base levels of shame and blame, now is a time for rigorous understanding and uncompromising courage, along with an unprecedented level of personal reckoning and collective responsibility.
Our country and world are clearly at a critical point of grieving deep losses that have accumulated at a staggering rate in recent memory. The resulting rawness and vulnerability can also make way for wounds to be healed, but that depends on how we carry ourselves in the moments that follow.
Now is not the time to deepen the divisions that got us here by making ourselves good and our perceived opponents bad, us right and the other wrong. Rather than reinforce the mental framework that created this deep chasm that separates us, we must seek to create common ground from which we can begin to build bridges and foster healing as a whole.
Rather than be paralyzed by anxiety for the little girl my husband and I are bringing into this world next month, I elect to combat hatred with vigorous connection and confront fear with relentless courage. For myself and my daughter, and for ourselves and all of our children, we can choose to fight the sometimes-overwhelming sense of futility by stepping up, not shrinking back; leaning in, not checking out.
I invite you to drop your retaliatory unfriending of Facebook connections in the other camp. This moment demands inclusion and community, not further distance and isolation.
All is not lost. This moment can serve as a catalyst that calls upon our voices to become clearer and our intentions to become purer. The path forward is still being blazed and what happens next depends on how we proceed. Be courageous and compassionate, my friends. Yes, all of you. Sending love to all of us today.