November 11, 2016

Election Reflection: Inspiration from Henry David Thoreau.

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“What lies before us and what lies behind us
Are small matters
Compared to what lies within us
And when you bring what is within
Out into the world,
Miracles happen.”
~ Henry David Thoreau


Let’s let that sink in. “What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”

Our nation is troubled. We fear the unknown, and we feel vulnerable under the leadership of our new president-elect. What we must not forget is the personal power we have within.

In a world that sometimes feels like it is being overcome with bigotry, hatred, terrorism and racism, it is easy to succumb to negativity and sadness. We cannot change the electoral results. We cannot control what is yet to come. But we can control how we choose to react. We have power over our own personal interactions and the choices we make which support and foster a peaceful tomorrow.

Let us search within for mindfulness and self-control. Let us not riot and cause harm to our neighbors. Causing violence and harm to others is not going to change decisions that we, the people, made. This is not our neighbor’s fault. Engaging in hurtful activities is a choice we make intentionally and solely on our own. When we choose to act in this way, we show that we are no better than the man who we detested and protest against.

Let us search within for compassion—compassion for ourselves, our friends, our fellow human beings, and even for our enemies. Let us search within ourselves to find compassion for our leader. Because, he is going to need it. Running a nation is not the same as running a business. The stakes are incredibly higher. The decisions will be the hardest he will have to make in his lifetime. And the changes he will have to make to be a successful leader of the American people will be painful.

We may not like him. We may not support his views and values. But let’s try to at least show him some compassion and give him the chance to prove he can be a good leader. Let’s approach our friends with compassion. As we see the floods of angry posts through our social media feeds and on the news, let’s step back before we respond with equally insulting remarks and vulgarity.

Our friends and neighbors are hurting, and they are fearful. Let us embrace our friends and neighbors in harmony instead of giving in to the fear and anger. We have to get out of our comfort zones if we are to change into the nation that we envision.

Let’s look fear in the eye, and find the courage to break free from it. We fear a world that is polluted with bigotry. We fear a world that is overcome with racism. We fear our loved ones getting deported or sent off to war. We fear for our safety being breached by terrorist groups. We fear our taxes rising and incomes remaining stagnant. We fear that our voice will not be heard. We fear that our rights and freedoms that we have fought for will be taken from us. We fear feeling defeated as a nation of people. We fear that the democracy which is supposed to make this country great is a dirty falsehood that only benefits the “privileged.”

We need to understand that these fears are paralyzing. We need to remember and believe that when we unite and share a common goal of peace and justice, we remain strong. We need to remember that when we succumb to our fears, we react in ways that portray us as uncivilized, uneducated, unevolved and not worthy of the things we fear losing.

What lies within us is strength. We have the strength to take accountability for our actions. We have the strength within each and every one of us to push past our fears and work together towards establishing peace and justice. We have the grit needed to dig our heels deep into the ground and work hard for the things we want. We just need to look past the fear and do it.

Let’s find it within to trust ourselves and have confidence that we can push through any hardships that might be in our tomorrow. We have made it this far. We all have personal journeys and struggles that have brought us to this moment—and we are still here.

We may be unhappy, and we may still have work to do, but we are here in this place and time for a reason. We have been given the knowledge, tools and support whether that comes from family, friends or divine intervention. So let’s start believing in ourselves.

Let’s believe and trust that we can survive and that we can make our own transformations during this time of change. Trust that whatever struggles and challenges are thrown our way, we will be okay. And if we do that, we might just learn a thing or two about life and ourselves along the way.

“And when you bring what is within out into the world, miracles happen.”

We cannot change the decisions that were made on Election Day. We cannot turn back the clock and change the candidates that were served up. We cannot control our new president-elect. What we can control is how we chose to react today and every tomorrow.

We can either fight fire with fire by igniting violence and spewing hateful words—or, we can take the high road and lead by peaceful, compassionate example. The choice is simply ours. We can change our behavior, our ways of thinking and challenge ourselves to not succumb to the negativity during this time, but to embrace the opportunity to change.

When we choose to share what is within with others, we initiate peaceful unity. We can become one nation, indivisible. It needs to start within, and it then needs to be thrust into the world, one person at a time.

Let it begin with us.



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Author: Connie Larson

Image: Instagram  @milestonescoach

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

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