For a lot of people, today feels pretty awful. In the United States, the Senate has once again shown their contempt for the American people they’re supposed to represent. Four years ago, they refused to hold hearings for a Supreme Court nominee in deference to the election results. This time, they couldn’t rush a nominee through fast enough.
This is disheartening on a lot of different levels. The people who are supposed to be the guardians of the democracy have made it abundantly clear they couldn’t care less. They get their way, pass their limited, largely minority agenda — fuck the rest of us.
If you are not distressed by how the government is currently working — you’re not paying attention.
Certain people will tell you to suck it up. Sore winners, frankly, are a lot worse than sore losers. This feels like shit.
Hopelessness. Feeling bleak. Distressed. Angry. Sad. Pick a negative emotion — lots and lots of people share in that right now.
How you feel is valid. What’s more, it is utterly and completely okay to not be okay.
It’s okay to take a step back, feel those negative feelings today, and not be okay. Talk about it. Let’s share that we’re distraught. Together we are far, far stronger than we are apart. When we are together in this — we are not alone.
But then — let’s turn this thing around.
The impetus for change
If you have not already done so — vote. Unless you are complicit in this corrupting of the democratic process and are okay with an administration and its party showing no empathy for the people they supposedly represent — vote. Mail-in your ballot ASAP. Or vote early. Or vote on November 3rd.
Your vote counts. Now more than ever. I believe — maybe too optimistically — that the majority are NOT okay with this administration, nor its party.
The more votes in favor of Biden and other Democrats running for office (or third parties at local levels) the more opportunity to start fixing the damage. No, Biden is not the ideal candidate. But let’s be blunt — that person doesn’t exist. But in a time of crisis such as this, Biden is the best candidate. He needs to win by such a wide margin that Trump can’t find any way to take it to the Supreme Court — not without a coup.
While your feelings are perfectly valid — and it’s okay to not be okay — you will, in time, need to take this energy and turn it around. Not right now, not at this very moment — but soon. Don’t linger in the depression for too long. That’s how they win.
Take the anger, the outrage, the frustration, and use it to empower yourself. Our so-called “leaders” answer to us. We can remove them when they cease to do their jobs.
What and how you feel is valid. But you also have a choice as to how long you will allow it to take you down.
They want you disempowered. These feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and distress are valid right now. But you have the power to use them as an impetus for change.
Because this is a fear-based society, we tend to also be a reactive society. Seldom do we prepare for this, that, or the other thing — we react instead.
Rather than fix the root of a problem — we treat the symptoms. That’s because the symptoms are frequently relieved by the quick fix.
Great, the headache is gone thanks to the drug. But the cause — the tension in your shoulders — is still there. In time, the headache will be back because you haven’t taken care of the underlying tension causing it.
Dislike the current political situation? Find a candidate to stand for rather than against. Start being more cognizant of how this all works on the local level — and we can break the two-party system. But like everything else in the Universe — you must start at the bottom and work your way up.
Trickle-down never works. Too many, to get to the top, have shunned what’s beneath them — literally and figuratively. So, you and me — in the middle — need to be proactive and do more to foment change.
Being more proactive opens a lot of doors that currently look only like walls. Today we can mourn — but tomorrow let’s start anew to fix this problem.
All of this will change
Thanks to impermanence, none of what is currently happening will last forever. Probably far longer than any of us would like — but not forever.
You and I have more power to impact this change than “they” want us to. History is on our side. The majority always manages to topple the minority. Kings, corrupt politicians, military dictators — all of them fall in time.
I know right now it feels hopeless. Presently, this is disheartening, depressing, unsettling, and generally awful. Trust me — how you feel is valid.
Between the out-of-control pandemic being ignored by the President over his attempt for re-election; the clear-and-present danger to marriage equality, Roe vs Wade, and the ACA; an illogical economy and false equivalencies with the stock market; and the general fear and uncertainty — it’s no wonder things are so insane.
Nothing like this has ever happened in my lifetime before. That’s true for the majority of us. Right now, I am not okay. I’m angry. Frustrated. Disturbed and distressed. How did it come to this? How did we go from five decades of forward progress to this back-asswards present? What does the future hold?
Nobody knows. But it will change, one way or another. And you and I have the power to direct that.
Same storm, different boats
This storm of uncertainty impacts everyone. It’s not even just the US, but the world in the middle of this situation. We are all in this together — this being the storm. But we’re not all in the same boat.
If you are a black, gay, transgendered woman you are in a very different boat from the white, straight, cis-gendered male. You are both weathering the same storm — but not only are you in different boats, but you may also be in utterly disparate latitudes.
Because of this, we need to recognize that while we share in some of our feelings, the place they come from is different. My experience as a cis-gendered straight white middle-aged male is NOT the same as that of anyone not white, not cis-gendered, not straight, and young or old.
Different boats, different latitudes. But that doesn’t lessen our ability to be in this together. We need to ally ourselves — despite imperfections — to stand for our beliefs.
It’s not enough to stand against “them.” We need to stand “for” ourselves.
You have more power to control your life than you probably realize. What you feel today is completely and totally valid. I get it — I’m not okay, either. But we must choose to release this sooner rather than later to empower change for the better.
Starting with yourself is not selfish
Your feelings are valid. If you are not okay — that’s okay. But know that you are worthy and deserving of calm, content, and the good feelings presently eluding you.
“They” only have as much power and influence as we allow them to have. But are they inside your head? Can they think, feel, or act for you. No.
You ultimately control your mindset/headspace/psyche. You are empowered with the ability to do veritably anything you can imagine.
Self-care is too often associated with things like massages, spa days, indulgent meals, and so on. But that’s not self-care at its core. Self-care is literally caring about and for yourself.
Let your feelings out. Be angry, sad, frustrated, depressed. Don’t hold back for anyone else’s sake — release it. Because once you do that — you now make room to bring in new feelings.
Maybe you are not okay today. Perhaps you won’t be okay tomorrow, either. But that doesn’t mean you can’t and won’t be okay soon.
Self-care is about taking time and energy to be mindful. Get in touch with and feel your feelings. Then open yourself to change.
This is not selfish — because if you do not care for yourself, how do you expect to care for anyone else? Like a car, when you run out of fuel you go nowhere. Self-care is the fuel.
Starting with yourself is not a selfish act. It’s okay to not be okay — but it’s also okay to find new strength. And it’s okay to be okay, too.
How and what you feel is valid
Whatever you are feeling — you feel it. I can’t tell you what that should be. Yes, I can suggest you should be outraged and angry at what the Republicans and Trump are doing. But I can’t make you feel. Nor can I invalidate what you feel — because it’s about you.
This is not selfish, nor entitled — this is human nature. Feelings are complex, multifaceted, and possess components of both how and what. Whatever and however you feel is valid for you. Nobody but you can control this.
But you can control it. You can use mindfulness to be conscious of what and how you feel — here and now — and change it. That’s got nothing to do with validation of your feelings — they are yours, yours alone — and valid as such.
Okay, not okay, angry, content — your feelings are valid. Remember that when you look at other people — you cannot get inside their heads. You only have control over yourself.
I share what I do to both release MY thoughts and feelings and to inspire. Maybe you agree with me — and maybe you don’t. Are you thinking about it? Did I cause you to consider something? Then that’s all I can ask for. I can’t empower you — all I can do is hold up a mirror so you might see it for yourself.
You are not alone. Okay or not okay, your feelings — how or what they are — are valid. But if they are not serving you — recognize it is wholly in your power to change them.
You are an amazing being of potential and possibility. Even if you don’t see it for yourself — I see it in you. Whatever and however you feel now — it’s a valid feeling.
Don’t be discouraged. Thank you for being you.
Thank you for reading. I am MJ Blehart. I write about mindfulness, conscious reality creation, positivity, and similar life lessons.
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