I experienced an interaction this week that I believe many of you might be experiencing. I woke again with the feeling of delicious relief that we have our country back after such a derisive election. Unfortunately, I immediately lost that yummy feeling remembering a conflict I got into yesterday on an acquaintance's Facebook page. I don't like to quit, but there was never going to be a resolution with someone so out to proudly slay me, in front of her friends, with her misspelled attacks. I finally released myself from the agony of aggravation by unfriending myself from the page and subsequently that particular discussion.
I can't have today be another stressful day that erodes more of my chromosome's telomeres, which once unraveled, can't be returned to their former resiliency. I desire my previous relief, to instill within me the calmer attitude of the man who won and has positive intention (and supposedly finally the essential bipartisan support) to unify our country and our world. I breathe in deeply, and as I exhale I release the attack mentality of those desperate vicious people fuming that they don't have their party back in power.
But where does that leave us? We're not waiting three weeks for a resolution. We're not counting hanging chads. We're not waiting for the Supreme Court to decide our fate. The numbers were definitive enough that the winner was declared much earlier than any of us, on either side of the equation, imagined. This election is over.
No matter how many billions of dollars were spent spewing hatred and lies, now our country must face the future together. High levels of tension and stress are not good for any one of us, certainly not on the continuum. Stress causes 95% of most temporary illness and genetic disease to flare up into dangerous manifestation. Is arguing with someone who is angry they lost worth the continued stress that debilitates my body? I don't think so. Walking away is one solution. We must find other options when struggling with those from whom we cannot walk away. Some suggest hugging trees, some suggest writing letters and never sending them, ancient cultures dig a hole in the ground, releasing the negativity into the inner cauldron of the earth, covering the hole and returning to life lighter with less stress, more hope, and renewed zest to find the solution.
Some of these people believe the end times are near, civil war is in order; revolution is necessary to save our country from the heathens and hedonists hell bent on destroying our patriotic soul. Some are blaming this all on those wanting to take from others. What is that saying? To whom much is given, much is expected? There are many who are taking advantage of the system, and it isn't just those who have little expecting handouts. It is those who have much not willing to share or pay what's fair.
I'm shocked because it seems to me our strongest enemy right now is Mother Nature and we've got nothing on how to defend ourselves from her wrath. No weapon of ours can prevent her power. She will strike out at any time, at any place, without any regard to whose life she is claiming or maiming. We must agree that those who have and those who have not are all vulnerable and without control. This is why we have to work together. Not just the day of the storm, but weeks after until everyone has life again. If one of us is hurting, somewhere inside of us, all of us are hurting.
All our twisted belief systems about prophecy and fighting for the right to pray one way or another, is self-destructive as well as socially combatant.
Negativity is toxic. If we constantly read and listen to those stirring up our animosity, or if we focus on those among us who cause us pain or scare us, we give these negative emotions the power to determine our future. Sure the anger might momentarily motivate us or make us feel suddenly alive, but if we really pay attention to our bodies, we can all perceive the ways these negative emotions are eating away at the core of us, threatening our survival and sanity.
Feeling regret or fighting with others doesn't allow the body to restore and maintain a healthy well-being. How can we survive natural storms and chemical poisoning if we aren't consciously choosing our best thoughts and subsequently consistent actions? Those who want to kill us need to be watched carefully.
If people want to fight, I need to remember to get out of their way and keep on breathing deeply to give my own body mind and soul the spirit it needs to fend off my cancer, and choose carefully where to expend my energy every day for its most restorative benefit. If I choose to fight, my life will be much shorter and less sweet. I didn't come here to fight. I came here to love. I don't like the tension and dis-ease it causes my blood and immune system, not to forget the ancillary vise which tightens every time right between my temples.
I must recognize the fight will go on without me, whether I participate or not. I must claim this time and these hours I have left to be consciously awake and consistently alert. It is my duty and obligation to choose positive thoughts and interactions, to responsibly create and live my unique calling. It is my choice to restore health or destroy it. It is everyone's choice.
There are enough people who came here to be warriors. They are willing to pay the price, of keeping their guns drawn, even when the fight is over and its time to move forward and reclaim other virtues that being an American provides for us. Like Freedom; to believe what you want believe, to congregate where you want to congregate, to live your dream and let others live their dream.
If I'm not minding my own business, my business can easily go off the tracks. This election was all about creating jobs. Every single one of us must, whether gainfully employed or not yet suitably compensated for our skills, wake up every day willing to contribute something positive that deserves remuneration. Focusing on hate and being filled with desire for revenge only causes increased pain and suffering for self and loved ones. Saving a few fully knowing how many others will drown due to selfish pre-existing political protocols is dangerous in today's world. Everyone must have a chance to make his or her life better.
Are you struggling with politically induced toxic emotions? Do you feel like a lone donkey among your tribe's elephants? How are you channeling the anger directed toward you? Do you find that no words are calming your republican friends? They are grieving their loss. It wasn't so long ago that we watched the nightly news with daily disillusionment. Even the last four years many of us couldn't believe how few campaign promises were delivered. We are all grieving, and we are all afraid of what's next if battle lines continue to be worshiped by insecure egos. The 5 stages of grief are universal. We all grieve differently and on our own timetables. But the longer the grief, the more thoroughly depressed our bodies can get if we aren't taking care of them adequately. The more we give power to our fears, the less our strength and inner knowing can guide our steps. We are all in this together, until we aren't anymore. Why can't we find a way to get along?
Lisa Guest studied political psychology at the University of California, Berkeley
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