Friday, November 11, 2016

Dealing with emotions

I have tried not to do it, but I will go ahead.  Comment on the aftermath of this volatile election.  I'm sure a lot of voters on both sides felt like they needed to shower after they voted.  I personally pinched my nose.  It's been a hard election on our country, all of country.  Families and communities divided, covert supporters, "spys".   I have friends on "both sides" and on both extremes.  It's almost like the Civil War....

Except it's not.  I have intentionally avoided Facebook.  The raw emotions, the anger, the vitriol.  The feelings of despair.  Yeah, I don't have to willingly engage in that.

Let's look at my son.  He's learning about emotions.  His newest saying is, "Don't talk to me."  I'm sure there are many of us who feel that about the election and politics.  I try to tell him, "It's my right to talk to you and it's your right to walk away or say I have a headache, but you can't tell someone else what to do and it is their right to have a voice."  I'm not sure how much of that gets through a 3 year old's brain, but I have to remind myself of this when dealing with the population with different opinions.  We all have a right to talk.  We have a right to be mad, sad, despairing, you name it.  The other side also has a right to rejoice (but maybe not with too much bragging).  It's been a difficult election, everyone has a right to blow off steam, but not at the expense of others, not with rioting.

Just as I tell my son his emotions are valid when he says, "I'm mad that you are making me leave the park" because it is a  legitimate feeling, it is valid for the population and media to share their emotions.  I do feel like our nation is at a difficult, almost schizophrenic time.  It reminds me a lot of times when I'm at work and I grieve with a family when they say goodbye to their four-legged family member of over 20 years and then I close the door and have to rejoice in seeing a cute new puppy just starting vaccines.  It's an emotional ping pong and it's just not healthy.  A couple of days of mourning for the mourners and a couple of days of rejoicing for the happy people and then lets please try to reach an emotionally equilibrium and heal.

The grace shown by our leaders should be a model for how we should behave.  We may differ, we may have wounds from the past, but we need to move forward.  We can choose hope or despair.  I choose hope (and to stay off of Facebook for a while).

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