In the wake of the 2016 Presidential Election, I find myself having many different emotional responses. We don’t comment often on politics around here. My husband often teases me that I couldn’t be any less political than I am. I’d rather be skiing, or hiking, or paddling. But the events of the last 24 hrs have invaded everyone’s world.
My most common emotion is the desire to run away. Sell the house, hit the open road, and never look back. Everything seems more simple among the forest and the peaks.
And while the results of the election are shocking to my mind, what unnerves me more are the responses from people.
Why the anger?
Imagine for a moment that you just stubbed your toe on the foot of the couch. What do you do? You scream, you grunt, and more often than not, you punch something.
Anger is our response to hurt. Hurting people showed up to vote for Trump, and now hurting people are bashing those that did vote for him.
And so the cycle continues. The world is full of hurting people hurting people. The question shouldn’t be, “Why the anger?” But rather, “How can I bring healing instead of more hurt?”
What do we tell our children?
I read an article last week called How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Kids. It said this:
To develop emotional intelligence, it helps if their (children’s) mentors (especially their parents) model good behavior in love and partnerships.
They go on to call parents, during times of stress, to model a “be overwhelmed but don’t freak out” mentality. Every parent knows (or should), that it isn’t what we say but rather how we act that is “caught” by our kids.
Lets just say there is a lot of freaking out going on today. A lot of fear-mongering, blaming, and shame.
How do I be different?
And so I sit at my kitchen table. The kids still rubbing ‘crusties‘ from their eyes, wondering what to say. They are blissfully unaware of the turmoil around them. And I want to preserve that blissful ignorance. But I know I can’t and maybe shouldn’t.
Instead, I resolve to deal with my emotions in a healthy way, rather than vent them on the people around me. I resolve to not let all my fears for the future turn into hate for others.
My friend Annie, at Outdoorsymama.com, wrote this:
So now we need to support organizations that will get deeply impacted by this change. With our family and friends we will come up with a list of our most vital issues for the upcoming years and where we should prioritize our donations and our time.
This is proactive and a win-win for everyone and gives the kids a healthy sense of mission and purpose. And gets them involved in the positivity of building solutions instead of extended wallowing or worry.
Such good words.
Don’t let your fear turn to hate, friends. Let’s build instead of tear down. See you on the mountainside.