How to cope with shock, fear, and confusion

Shock.  Fear.  Confusion.  What is going on in the world?  2016 has taken us for quite a loop.  As we march into the home stretch, into the holiday season, and winter doldrums, there is one thing to keep in mind–love and communication will help you through whatever crisis you’re facing.

In America, we have just found ourselves in a history unlike any other.  Half of the nation is in celebration that the world will be different.  The other half is in shock and dismay that the world will never be the same.  The interesting (no not “bad” interesting–my friend Michael says he has been using interesting instead of bad lately… as I’ve started to notice many have) thing is that both sides are saying the same thing.  Both sides wanted something different; wanted change; wanted a breath of fresh air to lead our country.  While it seems that we are split in two, we are simply two arguments for the same side.

I’ve been talking, and talking, and talking to friends and strangers this past week about the drama that was the Presidential Election last week.  Honestly, that is the most AMAZING thing about this election for me–that so many of my friends are in shock and awe of what happened, that we are opening up conversations with each other.  As my friend Alex says, this is only creating safe spaces.  So as we heal and breathe through our shock, fear, and confusion, and we start to come back to a rationale, we need to start this discussion with those who oppose us; with those who think differently; to those who saw this coming.  Just like in any crisis that knocks us on  our asses, we need to reach out to the ones who have a different viewpoint so that we can see the world through their eyes.  By doing this, by seeing a different view, by hearing someone else’s thoughts on the situation at hand, be it the Presidential election, any number of debatable human rights, or even just a terrible personal choice, we MUST reach out, not to just those who care about us, but to those who oppose us.  We must listen.  We do not have to agree, but we need to come to an understanding of the what and the why of what happened.  Half of America was so sure that they’re candidate would be President, that we stopped listening to the other half.  It is when we stop listening and understanding that we become divided.  It is when we stand together–whether we like each other or not–and are whole, that forward motion can happen.

Shock, fear, and frustration always pass when we seek knowledge and understanding.  I encourage you, now or in the future to go out to listen and discuss your thoughts and feelings with those with whom you disagree or fear.  If you create a learning space, or a safe space with an opponent or someone who sees things differently, it will be uncomfortable.  It will be frustrating.  It will be HARD.  But we live life to make decisions that lead us on to bigger and better things.  So breathe and sojourn on.  Get answers.  Start discussions.  Make new friends.  Learn new information.  Keep an open mind, and move forward.  Together.

With all of my love and understanding,

–Clare

 

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