Sunday, November 13, 2016

To My Friends Who Voted For Donald Trump

They told me that I shouldn't be hurting. 

These things happen. 

They told me to stop overreacting. 

I should've seen this coming. 

And I did. 

Even in my most perfect world, I had always known this was a possibility. 

I wrote the above in my journal last weekend.

Friends, it has not been an easy week. Last Sunday, I received some news that really shook me and impacted my heart much more than I ever thought possible. I found myself a puddle of tears much of Sunday afternoon and Monday.
And then on Tuesday at 2:30am, I woke up sick and threw up *7* times between 2:30am and 10:00am. Again, the tears from how badly my body was hurting.
And then on Wednesday, while still trying to recover from "the sickness from hell", I woke up and realized that Hillary Clinton had not won the presidential election. And in that moment and in many moments since then, I've wanted to cry.

Last week was hard. 

And as I tried to explain some of the pain I was feeling in my heart, some of my people just didn't get it.

That happens sometimes. And I can't always blame them for it because sometimes, people just can't understand.

But here I was, feeling some pretty awful feelings regarding a personal matter in my life and then signing on to my social media sites to see awful posts about how I'm a cry baby and how uneducated I am.
You may not have known you were directing those comments at me but you were.

I may not be protesting Donald Trump but I am still trying to figure out how I'm going to support him as the elected president.
I may not be telling you that YOU are racist/sexist because I don't believe that voting for him makes you those things but I am not going to tell you that I don't believe those things about Donald Trump.

And every time I see those posts about how Hillary Clinton supporters are baby killers and idiots, it hurts---because I've known for months that I was going to vote for her and although I didn't want to debate it with others, it wasn't a decision I made because I am uneducated.

Hillary has flaws and you can say many negative things about her but I have yet to hear of her sexually assaulting other human beings or wanting to divide those of other races in our country.

And although it is not the only reason I voted for her, I went to bed last Tuesday night believing that we were shattering a glass ceiling that is long overdue to be shattered into a million tiny pieces. I was looking forward to telling my daughter about our first woman president and how great this was going to be for our society to see a woman in the highest job title in America.

I had a hard time feeling compassion for others on Wednesday. It seemed like every social media post was another slap in the face, another one of my friends reposting hurtful memes that felt directed straight at me.

And it was painful to witness.
It still is.

Because what a lot of you might not understand is the raw emotion a lot of us have been feeling.
Or the fear that our country is going to take steps in the wrong direction instead of what we believe is the right direction.
What you may not understand is that those of us who truly believed we knew the outcome based on polling data and our own high hopes now need to take the time to mourn and reprocess how we view all of this.

It may not make sense to you but it does to us.

Last Wednesday, I wrote a post on Instagram that said this:
"What I've learned throughout my life and even more so today is that you've gotta let people mourn their losses. You've gotta let people express their victories. But it is possible to do so while still loving.

I'm not happy today and maybe you are. Can we still be friends? Can you let me voice my sadness without telling me I'm wrong or uneducated? And in that same breathe, I will allow you to be excited, to share your joy without calling you wrong or uneducated.
You did what you believe is best and so did I.
One of us was going to be happy and the other one, sad.
But in the end, we are apart of something much bigger than this election.
We are Americans.
And right now, we're kinda sorta not acting like we are on the same side.
So let's give that a try and see how it feels."

I felt like it was the only thing I could say while watching so many of my friends tear each other's beliefs apart.

Because although I've not had an easy time with elections since I became of voting age (I've actually NEVER been on the winning end---go figure), this has been the first election where I've really been scared, where I've really questioned HOW this could ever work out without our new president truly damaging our society.

The reality is, I'm just going to have to wait and see. 

And the even bigger reality, the one I really like, is knowing that I still have the power within me to make a difference in this world. I can still be loving and kind and empathetic toward others. I can still teach my children what I want to teach them and raise them to be kind and honest and loving toward the people in their lives as they grow up.

I am not powerless just because my voice didn't feel heard in this election. 

I have the ability to make this world a better place and that is what I plan on doing.

My hope is that we can all take some extra time and think before posting on social media in the future.
Is what I'm about to say directed negatively at others?
Is what I'm about to say kind and loving?
Is what I'm about to say something that I would say to a person in real life?

And my personal favorite (and the one I use when helping my children decide whether their choices are aligning with how we are striving to live),

{What would Jesus do?}

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