Wednesday, November 9, 2016

After the election, what's next?

I went to bed last night early. I was tired, cranky and not mentally prepared for the stress of watching the poll numbers come in.  I woke up at 5:30am and grabbed my phone to see what happened last night. Out of habit I opened facebook first.

The first post I saw was a long and heartfelt rant by a friend to Trump voters that started with the words, “You have just elected a man who has no qualifications to be president.” From there he says many things about Trumps KKK endorsement, bullying tactics and rude, cruel and offensive comments. Although I agree with what was written, agreeing with him will not change the outcome of this election.

Then a friend I have a tremendous amount of respect for asked the question why? He recognized in his post that America is angry and distrustful of the “mainstream political machine” but he writes that he is baffled by the decision to choose Trump because of his history of misogyny, malicious insults and lack of experience.

So to answer my friend’s question of why, I thought about the family and friends in my life who support and voted for Trump and really tried to see this election from their point of view.

I can appreciate the anger and fear. I can appreciate good people who have felt betrayed and lied to by our government. They don’t trust politicians, they want change and believe that an outsider is the change we need.  They see him as a business-man and the crude and hateful speech is only  “real talk”. They want someone who puts it all on the table and says the things that they believe others are thinking but don’t say. We all have negative and dark thoughts. Trump, just lacks the ability to sensor himself or "play the game."  His lack of tact makes him honest which is a viewed as a refreshing change from the very careful and deliberate, possibly not genuine, words we hear from leaders today.

While I may not agree with the decision our country has made, it is time to stop complaining and arguing and time to move forward.  

My nine year old woke up and said “oh crap” when we told him Trump won the election.  He said that at school kids chant things like “build a wall” and “make America great again.” I told him that it is really important now more than ever to be kind and understand that you can be friends with someone that thinks differently than you do. For example, you love soccer and some of your friends don’t. They are still your friends. I then asked him to join me for my morning meditation practice. He sat with me for 7 minutes listening to Guru Mantra by Marcie Anderson through the app: Insight Timer. He left for school with a smile on his face ready to get back to what’s important to a little boy in the fourth grade; playing with his friends, grabbing some of his halloween candy and flipping water bottles. 

I want to believe that Trump realizes he needs to surround himself with people who can help him be the president he described in his 3am speech. Despite his campaign being about division, he stated
 “Now it is time for America to bind the wounds of division. It is time for us to come together as one united people. It is time.”

I want to believe that can happen.  So what’s next?

It is time to practice forgiveness, compassion and kindness. Those of us who did not want to elect a president who is full of anger, prejudice and hate need to live the values we want to see in this country. Continuing to rant, complain and spew hateful rhetoric toward Trump only makes us part of the problem we need to work on solving. We need to move on. We need to support each other. We need to practice empathy and understanding. We need to come together for the common good of this country.

It is known that what we practice becomes what we are good at. By complaining and vilifying others we create patterns in our mind that keep us stuck in the role of victim and make it much tougher to stop the negative cycle leading to depression and anxiety.

It is time to be show empathy and be kind again. It starts with us. Be what you want to see. Practice mindfulness, compassion and kindness. Be the good you want to see and life goes on...


  1. Thank you for this post, you are correct we need to move on and do better job with supporting our new president. We will have to work hard to not spend the next 4 years in the mindset 'treat President Trump like he and his party treated President Obama' But before we can move on we have to give ourselves permission to grieve and to take care of our internal wounds because if we don't do this we will not be in our best place to help and serve this country.

  2. Chris, Agreed. It is so important to take the time to mourn and grieve a loss or change, especially one this big. Thank you for reminding me to take it slow. It is easy to stay stuck in that mode and not live fully true to the values that are important to us when we are feeling wounded. Thanks for sharing!!! :-)