As I write this, the votes for the next U.S. President are still being counted. Tensions, and hopes, are high. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and a little edgy…you’re not alone. No matter what side you’re on, or how involved you are in politics or the issues, it’s intense. I know I was feeling anxious about what I would wake up to this morning, fearing the way people will respond.
Let’s face it. When the votes are all counted, half of us will be doing victory dances and half of us will be heartbroken. Half of us will feel like our voices weren’t heard and that the things we care about most are in jeopardy. We’ve been split down the middle for so long and this election has only highlighted the divide. We’ve grown so far apart that it’s hard to be civil with even our closest friends.
The fact is we all have different life experiences, and our perspectives and needs don’t always match up. Sometimes we are right and sometimes we haven’t yet realized we’re wrong. Sometimes there’s no right or wrong. We’re all perfectly imperfect, a kaleidoscope of personality traits that swirl around to create a unique presence in this world. I believe most of those colors are beautiful, and the rest keep things interesting.
Whatever happens in this election, I hope we nurture the best of who we are. I hope we are respectful winners and graceful losers. I hope we take this opportunity to listen to one another and really heal our communities. I hope we choose to see each other as neighbors and friends working together, laughing together, and building each other up. I hope we choose to be kind and open to understanding where others are coming from even when it makes no sense to us at first. More than anything, I hope we build bridges to connect to one another and remember that we share more in common than we think.
If you’re anxious, remember to take care of yourself. Watch the sunset, take a walk, or pet a dog. Do something that reminds you that there is so much good in the world…and inside of us. Because there is.