Somebody's candidate is going to lose on November 8th. It won't be mine, but I'm here if you need a virtual shoulder to cry on.
It seemed the perfect timing to write a post on preparing oneself for disappointment. This election marked the first that I have invested myself in an election. It's arguably the most involved and divided voters of this nation have been in quite some time.
Inexcusably, the most mean-spirited dialogue has raised it's ugly head from this election. At the end of the day (November 8th) we have to succumb to a win or lose scenario.
"Whatever we do, is spurred on by others. This can bring out the best in us...or the worst."
Besides moving to Canada or buying extra guns and ammo, there will be ways for us all to move on. (I'll get to that in a sec..)
I am a mother of two young children, which makes our household a democracy at times and not at all a successful democracy if I'm being honest.
I recall a day that I woke up to a full blown sibling catastrophe over a piece of string.
I saw my 4 yr old throw a 2 yr old tantrum (much worse). And I had the privilege of witnessing my 8 yr old resemble our surly old Chihuahua (Have you seen a Chihuahua do a full-snarl face?)
All this over a piece of string.
My kids have other toys.
They are generally level-headed and well-behaved.
However, the string incident got me thinking. Something this small and insignificant caused a hell storm in my household.
It's no wonder bigger problems in our world- race, cops, POLITICS, terrorism, and other issues- cause outright violence and ugly argument.
If my kids were able to justify WWIII over string, then the tragic events we see today or the politics being played out currently are all easily justified as well.
Side note: (only 10% of crimes are committed by genuine criminals. The rest are seemingly justified circumstances).
Feeling threatened and fearing a loss of self is in essence what it's all about right now. Opposing candidates couldn't be more different and we've encompassed our identity around our chosen guy or gal.
The string between my kids wasn't just a string. It represented all the other toys, time, and love my kids have had to share- the injustices they've experienced before the string. The string got very personal just as this election.
If it comes from within, it can be fixed from within.
The real world can get very personal too- A police man enforcing the law as he sees fit 'I am the law'. An African American defending his entire race. 'I am black and my ancestors suffered in slavery'. A terrorist fulfilling his greater ideals 'I am a vessel of my beliefs'. A mentally ill person feeling unstable in the world 'I want to be normal but nobody will ever see me this way.'
All cause for over-the-top actions, arguments, and lives to be taken. What I've witnessed over this election year, is a lot of the worst brought out in us. If our candidate was so good, why are we at our worst?
Its a problem that is making headlines nearly every week. It's a problem you can see on your newsfeed.
Love and laws are proposed solutions you'll hear. I got rules in my house and love all the time for my kiddos BUT sh*t still goes down.
Opening an even wider gap of love and tolerance to incorporate everyone feeling good 99% of the time isn't the answer. Political correctness may be displayed as words of nicety, but they do little to combat justified feelings. Be a parent for a day and you'll know what I mean! Laws can only protect the civil-minded citizens. Otherwise, we are left to our own devices!
I am pretty damn close to being one of the world's greatest moms and my husband has a mug that reports he is the 'world's greatest dad', but this is not going to stop a fit.
Our job as parents is to take the high road and not lose our sh*t right along with them. We have insight. We have perspective. We are responsible for our own actions.
We still fail.
It's easy for us to say, 'That's not us.' 'I would never do that'. However, we mistreat each other over elections. Over ridiculous inconsistencies in thought. It is us...and there's only one way out! Personal responsibility.
(Side note: Don't believe decent people like yourself are capable of justifying harm? In the spring of 2011, Americans celebrated in the streets following the killing of Osama bin Laden. Why? Because it was just! An eye for an eye. We, as a people celebrated the death of another. Wrap your head around that.)
Back to the string- It was easy to throw the piece of string away. It's not so easy to throw away the problems of the world or the outcome of our very important election. There are plenty of people who will justify their own suffering by making someone else suffer more.
The best revenge though, is to improve yourself.
Keep this in mind next time someone or some situation provokes you to justify your worst side.
NO matter what you're fighting, walk away a better person. Show them...by being the best you!
For those of you working to improve yourself, I commend you for taking the high road called personal responsibility.
As for a disappointing election outcome? Grieving takes 1-2 weeks. Children pull themselves out of a tantrum in 1-2 minutes. You will feel disappointed if your candidate is not the winner. The feeling will pass. The better you manage small disappointments in your life, the easier big ones will be to move on from.
For example, imagine starting your day behind schedule…you’re already frustrated. On your way to the office, traffic delays cause you to be even more behind. Then, when you finally get to work, you find out that someone threw you under the bus for your latest assignment or project. Later you realize someone was gossiping about you. You finally get some coffee but spill it all over yourself.
Each of these little things separately are just annoying, but when they pile up it becomes almost unbearable. During the election year, we have been facing multiple social issues, personal values, possible revisions of laws, and projections of how we see the outcome of whoever wins. It's been piling up.
Tomorrow, that anguish of a 10-car pile-up, funnel of feelings will be over and you will also get over that initial disappointment. You will call upon yourself, as the parent and/or adult, to take personal responsibility of your life and focus on that for a change.
Rather empowering, don't ya think?!
I'm passionate about no-nonsense self-improvement. Too many of us are plagued by faulty thought patterns- I aim to change that!