We are powerful.
I woke up with that knot in my stomach. Yeah, that one. Over the last few years, election Tuesdays have felt “dread-full” to me. And I woke up with that dread, that knot in my belly.
Many years ago, I stopped watching American Idol. I believe it was in season three. I could not handle the tension. I could not handle the dread. I did not like the drama, the anticipation and possible loss. I could not handle loss in the face of such high hopes and desires. That is how I feel on election Tuesdays multiplied by 1,000.
Yet, angels always come along. A friend reminded me this morning of many things, including the fact that I do not yet know the outcome of the elections, and that I have an obligation to hope, even when hope seems like a pretty lame thing to do.
So, I hope because hope is deeply powerful.
I hope for my candidates today. I hope for freedom for all of us in this country. I hope for honesty and truth in the election process. I hope for people with the right kind of competence to win. I hope for leadership that is decidedly inclusive. I hope that every one that can vote, votes. I hope for character and honor in leadership to uphold this country.
I hope for all the machines to be in good working order. I hope for good weather across the country, so that we have the highest voter turnout ever. I hope for peace for us as a country and physical safety for all of us.
And I pray.
So much is at stake: Who are we as a nation? Who do we want to be? How are we collectively handling inevitable change? Are we an inclusive people or are we exclusive? What does democracy mean to us?
And sometimes, I feel that there is nothing I can do. I feel overwhelmed and over stimulated by it all.
I can take my next breath.
I can notice the tension in my body.
I can slow all the way down.
I can appreciate nature all around me.
I can focus on my hopes and not my dreads.
I can pray.
I can love.
I can go for a walk in this lovely weather.
I can call a loved one.
I can hug a loved one.
There is so much I CAN do to regain a sense of my own power.
So, I take steps to regain my own power and do what I can do.
I do not feed the monster of doom and gloom and dread.
And here is the thing I remember: We went through the unthinkable in 2016. And we are still here. Not only will we be here, whichever way it goes today, we will continue to work to build our democracy and to reduce polarization, and create inclusive communities.
I know we will. You know how I know?
Because that is the kind of people that we are. We want a better world for ourselves and our children and so we create the world that we want to see. We have done it in the past and we will keep doing it again, and again. We know we are powerful and we find ways to exercise that power in constructive and productive ways.
And that is why I hope. My hope is not fully in who is at the helm of the various leadership positions that we vote for today. My bigger hope is in you, in our common humanity, in our compassion for one another and in the fact that we are powerful human beings even when we think we are not.
Please go vote. Some of us cannot. You vote for those that cannot.
And keep hope alive!
And practice some self-care today. You are valuable and we need you around.
Hugs, if that is your thing.