This just in…the results of last week’s election has turned America into a madhouse! Wow, just wow. The left is angry. The right is angry. People are scared, protesting, arguing, unfriending, blocking and worse, using memes!!! Now, this is a democracy and we have freedom of speech, so why are people telling others to shut up? Well, I’ll just go ahead and say it. WE. HAVE. LOST. OUR. DAMN. MINDS.
Our mental health, collectively, as a nation is a mess. We are reading articles that fuel our biggest fears. We are openly not being kind to each other. And we are even more so, not being kind to ourselves. This election took a big toll on me. Drained. Exhausted. Anxious. Stressed out. By 1030pm on Election Night, I was so spent I went into self-preservation mode. I stopped watching. Shut the TV. Went to bed! I was done. Nothing, not even who is the next leader of the free world is worth this level of emotional chaos. What would I say to a person who asked me for advice by stating that someone they were with made them feel this way? I would tell them “Get rid of them!!! They are toxic!!! This situation is toxic!!!”
Yes, ladies and gentlemen. We were and still are in a toxic relationship. This entire election process, on both sides, was toxic. I know. Calling our political process, which I fully believe in, toxic is not ideal but it’s the best way to describe our relationship with it. Those whose candidate lost feel afraid. Feel let down. Feel like mourning. Those whose candidate won are boasting. Some are even nervous. Others unsure. Others have all their hopes set on their ideas becoming a reality.
This is not healthy. Family members fighting. Friends accusing friends of racism. I have heard it all. We need to heal. We need this to stop. We are all spent. We need to speak to each other with respect again. Our political conversations need to be courteous and should involve listening.
WE GOT HERE BECAUSE WE DIDNT LISTEN TO EACH OTHER. We only saw our side, our rights, our views and didn’t listen to the other side. Listening does not mean agreeing. It means hearing and validating their concerns. As a person who has friends ranging from gun-loving hunters to gay actors, military veterans to drag queens, I value them all because of the meaning they bring to my life. Do I agree with everything they say? Of course not. Do I respect their right to say it? You bet I do!
So let’s take a few days to color, get a massage, share Thanksgiving recipes and remember that we are still in this together. Our collective mental health depends on it!