A few weeks ago we had an unexpected storm. Truth be told, I expected the storm. I just had a feeling that no matter what the weather report said, Hurricane Matthew was going to hit us and hit us hard. I had been feeling that way for quite some time, ever since the storm was a small pressure system in the ocean. I was on a vacation in Nantucket, Massachusetts when the storm path looked like it would work its way up the East Coast and potentially pose a threat to our beach town. I’ll admit that I concentrated so much on the storm that I was enjoying the last day of vacation less and less as I began to stress more and more. I was on my phone and checking the forecast. I was logging into Facebook to see if my friends back home were equally concerned. I was consumed by a storm and thought of little else.
I felt that way about this election too. It was going to hit us and it was going to hit us hard. Didn’t you feel it coming?
Wait. Hold on. Don’t click the X or red circle on your browser and close me out just yet. Hear me out.
I know what you’re thinking. A “Christian blogger" is about to go off on some pro-Trump tangent and I can’t read it anymore. No, I promise. I’m not about to do that.
I can’t tell you how to feel. I’m careful to never expect someone else to share my views and I’m careful to make sure that I never assume that I know how someone feels.
Especially when I am confused too. I am finding myself in tears for those that are fearful for their marriages. I am lost in thought that someone might be forced to leave the United States of America and go back to a place that they cannot bare. I am finding myself concentrating on the storm again, some sort of pending doom.
Have we nothing to be grateful for? Should we feel no joy at all? Are we not among the most free and fortunate nation? When we concentrate solely on the storm, we cast away all of the sunshine and all of the good that is here right now.
The morning after the election I logged into Facebook and was immediately exhausted by the flood of posts, both boastful in victory and angry in loss. I couldn’t turn away. I just continued to scroll through the news feed and read post after post and then I started reading other peoples comments on my friends posts. I lost all of my energy and motivation for the day. My to-do list wasn’t getting crossed off and more work was piling up and I was quick to react to stressful situations with anger and a furrowed brow. I felt lethargic and weary and saddened by what I was reading. I spoke to my sister on the phone and could barely make words into a sentence because of my foggy mind. I even tried to back out of an evening commitment that I had with my family. I just wanted to turn off the lights and take a nap. So many people are angry and scared and sad and my heart was hurting for them. I don’t want to ignore that but I do know that the media certainly isn’t doing us any favors in allowing us to find a common ground.
But so many times today I found myself typing a reply to a hateful and hurtful post.
“Be a graceful victor.”
“For someone who didn’t run in the election, you sure feel like the winner today, eh?”
“Is this the Christ-like reaction to someones honest concerns?”
“ARE YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW?!”
“Oh come on, those of us that accept everyone for who they are seem to be having a hard time accepting the electoral votes process.”
“Only women with perfect butts look decent in pantsuits anyway.”
You get my point.
I typed these replies only to delete them before posting. These responses aren’t going to fix anything or make anyone feel better. They are just going to stir the pot.
Today, I have to step back and be still. I must free myself from the mental prison that the media desperately wants me to live in. I must be silent. Not so that I can listen to others but so that I can recharge my batteries. After a day of social media, reading the good, the bad and the really really ugly comments, I have to step back. I need to pause and focus on the good that I can do in my own community and within my own family.
I’m stepping away from social media. I am committing to a 7 day cleanse and I invite you all to join me: 7 days of silence and stillness. Don’t read it. Don’t react to it. Don’t let it steal your energy and joy. Find a focus for the next 7 days that allows you to inhale and exhale and come away in a better place. It can be anything! For me, I’m going to focus on my own home. I have little projects and tasks that I know I have been putting off and while I complete them over the next 7 days, I will be praying for the United States. For months we have been exposed to the media turmoil and now, as we sit, we are in the eye of the storm. Let’s spend the next 7 days here and declutter our minds and our hearts. I’m not asking you to lay down like a rug for all of America to walk on. I’m asking you to stop adding fuel to the fire on a day that is already scorching hot.
What can you focus some positive energy on in the next 7 days that will make a difference in your life or in the life a friend or family member that needs you?