We live in a stressful time, and that’s no surprise. We are living through possibly the biggest election in history, a global pandemic, extreme racial injustice all over the world, and so much more. And sometimes, even just our everyday, personal lives feel stressful too.
The combination of the big national and international issues, plus the stressors in our everyday lives, can be so overwhelming. I know I feel like I have an endless list of stuff to do. Along with that, sometimes it feels like the weight of the world is just unbearable, and it seems as though it’s hanging right over my head.
Let’s get specific: there’s one very stressful reason why so many people around the world are watching our country. The election.
This election sparks a lot of emotions. For some, it brings joy and hope. And for others, it brings anger and fear. There is uncertainty of what our future holds, and many people are worried about what the next few months will look like. But when all is said and done, no matter who our president is, and no matter what our government looks like, we still have two big positive influences that play a massive role in our lives: people and love.
Despite our uncertain emotions, we need to stay focused on the things that really matter. We will always have our families and friends. We have our hearts and the people around us to love. It might be hard to see past certain people’s beliefs, but it’s what we have to do to stay connected. There will always be people we disagree with, and that’s ok. We have to agree to disagree and understand that we cannot force ideas and thoughts on other people. If there is a candidate they don’t like, you cannot force others to like that candidate. If you don’t like one of the candidates, nobody can force you to change your mind. And we need to accept that.
Why do we need to accept it? Because no matter what happens, we’ll always have our family, friends, community, and the love that holds us together. Sometimes it’s good to take a break from politics and focus on the good, to connect with one another, and to be in the moment. Your relationship with people matters and whether you agree on the president or not doesn’t always need to hang over your head. So, you have different political views. The people in your circle are people, and people deserve love, even if you don’t agree on everything.
That’s all easy to say. But let’s be real: most of the time, when you don’t agree with someone, moving past your disagreements is easier said than done. Sometimes looking at the stuff you don’t believe in makes you angry. People can start to feel distanced when they start explaining stuff, whether they’re discussing political beliefs or medical advice, and sometimes that just feels difficult, and heavy. But at the end of the day we are people, and we need to move past our disagreements.
Let’s think of it another way: if you lost a family member tomorrow, you wouldn’t remember her for her political beliefs, would you? You would remember her character and her personality, and the memories you made together. That’s why sometimes, it’s good to put politics on the back burner.
I’m not saying you need to be friends with everyone no matter their political beliefs. If someone is too vocal about something you strongly disagree with, take space. Do what is best for you.
But remember, if you let your outlook on world affairs take over your life and your friendships, then how are you living? Are you waking up thinking about the heavy conversations ahead of you, or are you waking up thinking “I’m going to make this a great day no matter what comes across my path?” Live for the good. Live for the memories and the moments. Take space from someone if you need to, but don’t get into big fights about politics. But always remember, if this were your last conversation with that person, is that really what you would want to be talking or fighting about? Love everybody ALWAYS. Enjoy the moments and conversations that bring JOY.
And remember, when you’re feeling like you need to express yourself, VOTE!!! Vote in the runoff elections if you can. Every election matters. Whether it’s the president, a senate or a house seat, or literally anything, MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!! VOICE YOUR OPINION!!
Despite the arguments, chaos, and disagreements, voting is the way you can make your voice heard. It’s a way of expressing yourself that you can hold on to, even when you have to work hard to on to your relationships and feel the love during divided, stressful times.
Your friends matter. Love matters. YOUR. VOTE. MATTERS. Hold on to what’s important, and remember, everything will be ok!