It is the night before Election Day 2020. The tension in the air is palpable and the collective anxiety feels like a dark cloud overhead. No matter what the outcome of this election is, many people I know are going to be crushed. There has been so much passion, on both sides, throughout this election season. With that kind of emotional investment, comes the price of potential devastation.
As someone who has lived through the unthinkable, I want to reassure you, if indeed, you fall on the spectrum of disappointed to devastated, you are going to be OK.
Losing my daughter meant losing my sense of security. The very thing I worked hardest at keeping safe and whole and secure was irrevocably broken. Losing my daughter meant the loss of hope; hope for the way her future would play out. Losing my daughter made the world an unrecognizable and scary place. In the days after her body was recovered, I remember waking and sitting up, turning to get out of bed and just staring at my feet. I thought ” I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to get up and drink coffee and brush my teeth and talk to people like there hasn’t been this seismic shift inside of me. Like I haven’t been completely rocked to my core.” I stared for a little longer, then got up and drank coffee and brushed my teeth and talked to people.
That may have been all I accomplished in that day. But, here I am over three months later and I am writing this blog, a thing I never thought would happen. My family is sitting down together for meals that I have prepared with love for us, something that was normal in the before times. I am back on my yoga mat–I started with a goal of practicing for 10 minutes and tonight practiced for nearly an hour. I am seeing friends and family, and finding moments of happiness with them.
I am pursuing resilience. My circumstances suck. My circumstances are also beyond my control. The world I spent so much time weaving together and perfectly crafting completely unraveled. But not into nothing. Its all still there, in pieces. Resilience is seeing that tangled mess and figuring out the new way to put it all together in a new way that makes sense.
You can do that. You can do that no matter who is elected by the rest of the country. Elect yourself. Take that passion you poured into this crazy political freak show of 2020 and pour it in to the only thing you have any control over.
You want to see a better world, don’t wait for some politician to make it so. Step off that bed and make it happen. People are created for resiliency, to adapt, to change and grow. And in the midst of a crushing blow, ordinary moments that require extraordinary strength are the beginning. They are the hope and hope is fuel for growth, for the future.
So, Wednesday morning, when the circumstance is beyond your control, use that passion, that hope as fuel. Be kind and gracious. Ask more questions. Learn a new hobby or rekindle an old, comforting habit or behavior. Volunteer somewhere. Start attending local political happenings. Unplug and pour your focus into your family. Pursue resilience. It might be the end of the presidential race, but with endings come beginnings and you’re in charge of yours. You are going to be OK.