Before I attempt to say anything…. I just want to hold your hand through time and space, squeeze it and tell you that I know how you’re feeling.
If you’re part of my community, it is highly likely that you were hoping that the outcome of this week’s election was one of peace, hope….and love.
Turns out, it was one of shock, desolation and hate for MORE THAN HALF the country.
For the past couple of days, I have been hibernating emotionally.
Hopefully, you have also been doing what you have to do to find your footing once again. To feel more grounded with each passing day. But If you’re on the floor still and need a bit more time to process this all, go ahead. Take your time.
How I’ve Been Coping, Which Is a Actually NOT The Best Way To Do So
Even though words are my thing, I have said little to very few people. I Whatsapped a friend. Talked to my mom over the phone . FB messages two other friends and my brother. Instagrammed an acquaintance. But I haven’t talked to anyone face to face about it. And it’s felt lonely.
And I think that’s how we feel with our emotions.
Like we put all our hope, all our will and all our might for this result to be a positive one and we were cheated of the win. To say that we were blind-sighted is an understatement.
So now, what we’re really left with is suspicion.
Of who we can trust.
Of who’s on “our side.”
Of who’s open to love.
Of what’s gonna happen.
Of whether we should have faith.
Of whether we even have any faith left to cling on to.
What I Learned Really Matters From This Election
Even though words are my thing, it’s almost like there are no words to process this all. And it’s only through really digging deep within ourselves that we can find some answers and make a teeny-tiny little bit of sense of this situation.
I get that there are changes that the political establishment needs. I really do.
But what’s surprising is that it seems like America snapped and demanded change instead of politely asking for it. And yes, I also understand that maybe politeness in a tense time like these is the last thing you think of. But man! We don’t have to be savages when wanting our voices to be heard, right?
“Our desire to be heard shouldn’t have to inflict hurt on others.” – Haydee Montemayor
Ironically, I think that the best thing we got out of this election is actually several things:
- The notion that we have to be more strategic about how we communicate not only as citizens, but in our own relationships.
- Waiting until we snap….is not the best way to communicate.
- Insulting isn’t either.
- Nor is marginalizing.
- Nor is it minimizing.
- Nor is it making fun of one another.
- Nor is not taking people who pose a potential danger seriously.
- Because when we ignore these things. we run the risk of letting hate win instead of tolerance, unity, acceptable and love.
So What Did You Learn?
As you can see, processing this ordeal takes courage.
We need to come to terms with our hurt, how we communicate it and our hope.
“Before we can state our hopes, we need to process our hurts.” -Haydee Montemayor
In large part, we will have less hurts if we learn how to communicate better.
So let’s explore what’s going on inside of you.
Before we blame others (which is VERY tempting, especially if you’re in the losing side of this election) ask yourself:
- What didn’t YOU do?
- In what way did your communication fail?
The 11 Biggest Lessons From The Election Results That I Learned Regarding Communication
1) For me, I wish this blog, Love and Treasure, could have reached more people than it has and be more than it is. Since I created Love and Treasure, I knew that love was a topic that deserved and needed the spotlight. And yet, sometimes, I admit that I was worried that everything I wanted to say about this topic would feel cheesy. So I held back a little. Actually, a lot.
2) Several months ago, I had the “grandiose” idea of wanting to ask more famous people and famous entrepreneurs to voice their political preference as a way of convincing more people to vote for love, not hate. But I didn’t ask them. Why? Because I thought that I would be an inconvenience and I assumed people were smart, and could see through the candidate that was trying to con them.
3) I created a meme about this election that I didn’t promote enough because I didn’t want to be “in your face” about this issue and because at that time, I was a little afraid to speak up more than I did and more than I could have.
4) As Oprah says, what we focus on expands.
I always had a feeling that we were focusing way too much on the guy that we didn’t want instead of the Madame we did.
I was guilty of this too.
It was fascinated and even mesmerized to see the ineptitude of the guy we didn’t want … and to see how popular he was.
It was, and unfortunately is, a very bizarre phenomenon of luring a moth to a flame that I still can’t quite get my head around.
For more information on how it literally all went down, I suggest that you reconsider what media you watch. I loved watching an independent news show called The Young Turks because these guys really DO bravely (not cowardly) tell it like it is… about all of the candidates, and about the issues that most deserve our attention. You should check them out!
But I’ve learned that next time, I should focus mostly on what I DO want and be more proactive about sharing my reasoning for moving TOWARD something instead of against it.
5) Almost after every election someone comments that there should be an amendment to the electoral college.
That’s an understatement, to say the least.
Too late now, right?
Well, yes. At least for this time around.
6) “Just like being a witness to generosity, brings joy to the heart, being a witness to insults should make you more empathetic.” -Haydee Montemayor
We don’t have to be a woman, a Jew, Muslim, a Mexican, disabled, gay or ugly to know that an insult to one of us impacts the rest of us.
7) Words written in The Constitution matter.
8) What we say we endorse or disavow reflects on us.
9) Education matters
“Ignorance is the root of many things, especially the disassociation of that which is really sacred, such as our essence and our heart.” -Haydee Montemayor
Said another way,
“Ignorance is the antithesis of the ever-increasing potential of the wisdom of the heart.” -Haydee Montemayor
10) “The labels we so cowardly put on others are often what we are ourselves. ” -Haydee Montemayor
For example, if we call somebody “crooked, ” we are projecting that we ourselves are crooked.
The same goes for “dishonest.”
The same for “liar.”
You can truthfully describe someone. But if you repeat the descriptive word again and again and again, without concrete evidence that you can use as unbiased examples for why you’re calling someone that name….then guess what? You’re not telling the truth about other people, you’re simply projecting what you think they are.
It’s like we’re taking our dirty little secret, the characteristic we hard the most about ourselves and momentarily saying to the world, “I’m not ____, THEY are.”
And in the end, when we do this, we do one of two things.
1) We only fool ourselves OR
2) we attract other fools who have this same issue with themselves to make our projection a little bigger and to think that our way of seeing the world is our absolute truth.
But in the end, repeating our projection more and more doesn’t make it a truth, it’s just makes it a more annoying projection.
11) And perhaps my favorite lesson is that words of gratitude matter. It is beautiful to watch Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Barrack Obama do so much for the people. To truly become invested in their well-being. And we owe so much to them. And a thank you may not seem enough for everything they’ve done, but it’s much better than nothing.
So as you live through the many stages of grief, which if you’re like me… Aren’t sequential but all over the place…. Ask yourself: What did you learn about your communication and communication in general?
If You’re Scared To Look Within, Listen From An Answer From Within
If you’re in a state of shock so big that you haven’t really been able to process what the beep just happened… try this:
What Does My Soul Want To Say?
In my case, it pisses me off when the bad guy wins.
Like what the hell?!
I’m all for the underdog winning, not the dog.
So What Does Your Soul Want To Say?
Listen to your soul.
Resist the temptation to sensor it.
Simply listen to what is wanting to come through you.
And once you’re ready, talk to whomever has earned the right to hear your story.
“Communicate because words are the way we make sense of the world.” – Haydee Montemayor
Communication is your way out of the fog you may feel. Even if you’re only communicating with yourself.
Rip The Bandage Off, If You Need To And When You’re Ready
If your soul is still resistant to speak up. Ask yourself:
What Hurts The Most About What Just Happened?
In my case, the result is pretty bad in and of itself. Having to explain it to my son… is just too much! I haven’t had the heart to do it. Just the notion that he lives in a world where this could be happening made it very difficult for me to want to get up on November 9th.
Trying to make sense of all of this as an adult… is super hard. Trying to explain it to a little one… seems almost impossible. This is really messed up.
Another thing that hurts me quite a bit is this:
I’m sure that people on both the winning side and the losing side have lost in the past.
“Losing sucks. Losing unfairly sucks big time.” -Haydee Montemayor
You know what I mean?
If the electoral college really gave the ultimate victory (which it hasn’t voted on and will do so until December 19, 2016), to whoever got the greatest number of votes, then justice would be made.
But instead, we’ve decided to play Bingo and grant the victory not to the person that actually filled most squares of the card, but to the person who filled in the least number of fields. Like helloooooo?!
Who DOES that?!
Apparently, we do.
And unfortunately, we do this more times than they’re acceptable.
Or fair. Or just.
Let me explain. Since the beginning of this century… This “phenomenon” of putting the losing candidate into the White House has happened twice in 5 elections.
So Let’s Do Some Math, Shall We?
2 divided into 5….is 40%
That means, that the people of the U.S. get a leader that we DON’T vote for 40% of the time!
That’s outrageous! Insane! Shitty! Totally, Absolutely and Painfully Unfair!
Yes, of course there are way more years to the century (if we all survive that long, know what I mean? Wink, wink) … But STILL!! Being stuck with someone who you didn’t choose for the second time in just a little over a decade and a half is unimaginable… Preposterous.
So it’s no wonder that we’re hurting!
How this can happen in a “so-called” democracy beats me! Yes, I know that the electoral votes are the cause behind this, but as it’s REALLY clear, that electoral college system is archaic. It was used as a safeguard that no longer applies. And that quite honestly, reduces the value of the vote.
For example… why should someone’s vote in New York be less important than someone’s vote in Oregon? People who live in large cities or crowded states already compete for and literally pay the price for living there. They shouldn’t be cheated out of having their vote be worth less. They shouldn’t have to compete for the value of their vote.
So yep, the electoral college should be removed. And when it is, the value of someone filling out the space on a BINGO card, will be exactly the same value as someone else filling in another BINGO card.
That, is called fairness.
We all need an even playing field . Whether were women, men, someone voting for the 8th time or the 1st time regardless of where we live, what our race is or what our socio-economic status is.
So, on the brink of doubting what freedoms you have still and what you can control, take advantage of the fact that you still have the chance to feel and the chance to express your emotions. You still have the chance to connect with yourself. And to extend your hand to someone else who might be needing you to reach out, squeeze their hand and help them heal.
Now It’s Your Turn
In the comments below, share with us what your biggest takeaways were from this election. In times like these, like in every “so-called” failure, we can make the “failure” a little less of a “failure” by asking ourselves what we learned and applying those lessons in the future.