Last Saturday morning, Melissa and I were sitting outside of our favorite bagel shop having breakfast when a woman at a nearby table suddenly throws her hands up in the air and lets out a loud “Woo hoo!” She says something to her table mate and they both begin clapping.
Melissa and I look at each other puzzled and then it hits me.
“Did they call the election?!” I asked as I grabbed my phone.
For some reason, I didn’t have a cell signal but just a moment later, a flurry of texts came in.
“They finally called it!”
“Joe Biden is our new president!”
I showed my phone to Melissa and we started our own table dance and celebration.
Then I got home and cried. Certainly not what I was expecting, but the tears fell.
“What’s wrong?” Melissa asked. “Are you just so relieved?”
“Yes… and tired,” I said.
I sat there crying while also feeling hopeful again.
Then I put the song “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers on repeat.
Remember last week when I wrote about feeling your feelings instead of numbing, thinking, or running from them? Well, feel them I did, whether I wanted to or not.
The situation here in the States has brought up a lot of shit, and I’ve been navigating clutter left and right. It’s showing up in lots of different forms:
- hours wasted on social media,
- loose boundaries resulting in toxic people puking their poison onto me,
- an old belief telling me to keep quiet and toe the line,
- the unrealistic expectation for everyone else to see things my way,
- and so much more.
Brené Brown wrote in her book Braving the Wilderness: “People are hard to hate close up. Move in.”
I believe that wholeheartedly. People are hard to hate close up. And I know, like forgiveness, it serves me to practice loving people where they’re at. I’m just finding it difficult right now.
What I am getting clearer on is that “loving” people doesn’t mean I have to bring them into my inner circle and be in relationship with them. I can love them where they’re at from where I’m at.
The thing is, right now I’m not interested in getting up close with those who still stand behind the current president and I need to be okay with that. I need time and distance to tend to my heart and soul. Otherwise, I’ll dismiss my own feelings and I no longer want to abandon myself.
I’m also tired of, as my friend and colleague Nancy Levin says, “packaging myself in a way to be digestible to others,” so I will continue to work on my limiting beliefs that tell me I must contort myself to fit others’ needs and opinions.
I’m sure some of you are reading this and rolling your eyes. “Stay away from politics, Kerri. Stick to BHAGs and clutter clearing.”
But you see, that’s precisely what this is — clearing the clutter of old beliefs, toxic relationships, social media channels, shoulds, and more.
This is the real clutter that blocks those awesome trails we want to blaze.
This is the truly messy stuff we like to avoid.
But it waits for you and continues to show up until we face it because after all, “wherever you go, there you are.”
Whatever your political leanings, I’m sure you’re going through a process, too, so I’ll leave you with these tidbits (good reminders for the both of us):
- Be okay with being where you’re at.
- Continue to tend to your heart.
- Protect your precious soul from infiltration,
- Identify your clutter (anything that drains you) and work on sorting it out, and
- Spread some kindness this week.
In the end, I do believe love is louder so let’s work on slowly shifting out of the us vs. them mentality that has been drilled into us and see one another as the beautiful, flawed human beings we are.