I'm outraged. And I'm totally allowed to be... for now.
This election feels like a sucker punch to everything that is right and good in the world. The shock of it is numbing. We're told we need to come together as a nation, but I'm not sure how I can do that around a person who ran entire campaign based on tearing us apart. Very few of the values of fairness and equality I hold dear are represented in our new government. I feel hopeless.
In this post-outrage world our first instinct might be to give in and give up. But that’s a corrupt mindset that only perpetuates the problem. When we feel hopeless, the first thing we need to do is go out and create hope. And we do that with mindfulness.
Now more than ever before, we need mindfulness.
We need the quiet, introspective kind of mindfulness, where we work to find peace and purpose in our daily lives. Ignoring the hatred and division that has gripped our nation, in favor of hope and light. Remembering to breathe. Remembering to meditate, do yoga, and get out in nature as much as you can. Remembering to not get caught up in the what ifs and holy shits. Remembering that no matter how many times life knocks us on our ass, we stand back up, we move forward.
We also need the loud, righteous, advocate kind of mindfulness, where we work to create more peace and purpose in the world around us. Using the hatred and division as our motivation to make them a thing of the past. Becoming activists. Becoming champions for our earth, our nation, and our fellow man, no matter what their race, faith, gender, or who they love.
This type of mindfulness isn’t going to just magically appear in your life either. This is the mindfulness you create. Start spreading love to those around you who feel hurt by this election. Start spreading understanding to those who celebrate it, because that’s the only way they will understand why you are hurt.
If you don’t like the direction this country is going in, then start taking the country the in right direction yourself. Volunteer for the causes you support. Educate yourself on the causes you don’t fully understand. Educate everyone else in a respectfully until the lesson takes root. Encourage, no demand, that your elected leaders do the right thing. And when they don’t, organize to vote them out of office the next chance you get.
Make a decision everyday to be a part of the solution by being kind to one another, by respecting all people, by protecting the environment, by becoming a fierce advocate for fairness and equality at every level of society.
It feels a little hopeless right now--we’re not used to seeing the bad guys win. But this is only the middle of the movie. It’s the dramatic part where things go south for our hero. But that tension and conflict is exactly what the good guys need to find redemption. This hopeless moment teaches us how to fix our problems, do better, and win in the end.
So lick your wounds. Be sad. Be outraged. You’re allowed to feel that way for now.
But tomorrow morning it’s time for post-outrage. It’s time to wake up and make this world a better place. It’s time to create mindfulness, and fairness, and kindness from the ground up. And it all starts with you.