RELIGION
11/06/2012 12:29 pm ET Updated Nov 06, 2012

Election Day Peace: Helpful Advice To Stay Spiritually Centered

Living in a world of passionate, opinionated people can cause serious stress so we reached out to our community for their advice on staying spiritually calm this election day (and perhaps longer if there are recounts).

Here is advice from the HuffPost Religion community to help navigate the diverse viewpoints and political tension in the world today.

Happy voting!

Taking deep breaths. Focusing on the work that is important to me. Breathing. And trying not to listen to the news too much!
- Carla Naumburg, PhD, HuffPost Religion Facebook fan

I'm not personally invested in this election. I'll do my duty and vote, but, the election is out of my control overall and I'll just roll with it.
- Heather Goodman, HuffPost Religion Facebook fan

As I walk into the voting booth on Election Day I pause for a moment and study two Jewish texts. The first comes from a teaching in Pirkei Avot (the Ethics of the Sages). "Hillel taught: Do not separate yourself from the public." Hillel reminds me that the civic act of voting is a value that I must uphold and not take for granted. When I cast my ballot I am declaring that I am a vocal part of the community.

The second text comes from Maimonides and reminds me of the importance of being free to choose. In his Laws of Repentance, Maimonides taught that making a choice is a central principle and a pillar of the Jewish faith. "As the Torah states: 'Behold I have given you this day a choice between good and life, death and evil.' It is also written in the Torah: 'Behold, I have set before you today the blessing and the curse.' In other words, the choice is in your hands. Any one of the deeds of men which a person desires to do, he may, whether good or evil... The Holy One, blessed be He, does not force people or decree upon them to do good or evil – rather, everything is left to their own choice."
- Rabbi Jason Miller, HuffPost blogger

Everyone wants what's best for their country. To imply otherwise is silly and does nothing to help. Be gracious.
- Andrew A Loser, @SAadshrew13, @HuffPostRelig Twitter follower

Ignoring the media as much as possible. Doing my civic duty and voting my conscience. Understanding that others are dong the same, and not necessarily agreeing with me. Breathing.
-Jocelyne Berengaria Hougton, HuffPost Religion Facebook fan

It's important for American people of faith to remember that God is bigger than this election, these two candidates, and even this country. No matter what happens tomorrow night, the most important thing for me and other Christians to remember, is what God commanded of us; to love our neighbors as ourselves. Even if that neighbor is partly responsible for the victory of the candidate you voted against. How we as Americans, and Christians, treat each other tomorrow, and every day, has more impact on this nation than the results from tomorrow's election.
- Emily Timbol, HuffPost Blogger

Read some Anne Lamott and maybe go to a movie.
- Bill Strehlow, HuffPost Religion Facebook fan

I've already voted but began today with prayer for our nation. I hope everyone who can vote does so. Such a huge decision before us.
- Jeanie Wallace, HuffPost Religion Facebook fan

I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them, 1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy: 2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against: And, 3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.
- John Wesley, October 6th, 1774 as shared by Lauren Dubinsky, HuffPost blogger, Founder of the Good Women Project

Whoever said spirituality was calm? I worship a troublemaker who threw the moneychangers out of the temple & got crucified for stirring up the masses.
-Pauline Alama, HuffPost Religion Facebook fan

It doesn't matter who wins tomorrow. We're all in this together as one nation, and we need to accept that.
-Mary Jo, @manjo1997, @HuffPostRelig Facebook fan

Don't despair if your guy lost; don't gloat if your guy won, and remember the office that matters most of all has already been permanently filled with eternal omnicompetence.
- John Ortberg, author of “Who Is This Man”, HuffPost blogoger and pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church

A New Serenity Prayer by Father James Martin, SJ
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the people I cannot change,
which is pretty much everyone,
since I'm not you, God.
At least not the last time I checked.

And while You're at it,
please give me the courage
to change what I need to change about myself,
which is, frankly, a lot, since, once again,
I'm not You, which means I'm not perfect.
It's better for me to focus on changing myself
than to worry about changing other people,
who, as You'll no doubt remember me saying,
I can't change anyway.

Finally, give me the wisdom to just shut up whenever I think
that I'm clearly smarter than everyone else in the room,
that no one knows what they're talking about except me,
or that I alone have all the answers.

Basically, God,
grant me the wisdom
to remember
that I'm not You.

Amen.


Father James Martin, SJ, HuffPost Blogger

What are YOUR tips for staying spiritually calm on election day? What out-of-the box actions can people take to make their political practice peaceful? Pray for the candidate they don't intend to vote for? What mindset can people adopt? Resting on the providence of their higher power? Comment below and let us know how you're making election day peaceful.

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