rise up

each week I spend time thinking about what has taken place in my life over the past seven days and transcribe the events into a blog post. it’s not only an opportunity to slow down and reflect on all that took place in the last week, but it also allows an opportunity to appreciate the good, time to heal from the not-so-good and identify opportunities to change course. plus, regardless of what my title may be, I am a writer at heart. I process through writing. I celebrate through writing. I heal through writing.

this week, as I thought about starting this exercise, I found myself struggling. how could I put into words the pain and disappointment my heart is feeling as a result of this week’s events? and, if I did find the words, how could I do articulate them in a way that would not seem soapbox-y or preachy or insensitive to others’ points of view, no matter how much I may disagree with them.

my answer? do it in the best way I know how — honestly and from the heart. put it out there and know it’s from a good place and that I can’t control how others will perceive my words.

so, in the spirit of being completely raw, I will admit I cried a lot this week. on Tuesday morning, I cried tears of joy as I dropped my ballot. I had been waiting for this day — the day I would cast my ballot for the first female president. it was finally here. FINALLY.

just 12 shorts hours later, tears streamed for another reason. tears of disappointment, tears of fear, tears of frustration, tears of confusion, tears of anger, tears of helplessness. the tears continued. on Wednesday, I cried on the train behind big, dark sunglasses. I cried as I watched, with a room full of fellow colleagues, the woman who I thought would be the first female president give her concession speech. the tears continued as I crawled into bed very early that evening because all I could think about doing was being warm and comforted and drifting off to sleep.

with each passing day, the tears have lessened but the fear, frustration, sadness and confusion remain. I suspect this will be the case for a while.

last month  I went through a pretty difficult breakup. when I discovered my ex had betrayed me, my first instinct, as I suspect is the same for most of us would be, was to lash out. I was angry, hurt and betrayed and I wanted to make him feel like I was feeling. I wanted him to suffer —  like I was. but, instead, I sat calmly and listened as he hurled words my way that were meant to sting, damage and break me. I didn’t react in the way he was prompting me to.

me saying the terrible things that were bubbling up in my mind would not change who he was and they would not make me feel any better. in fact, they would like do just the opposite. so I sat calmly. and I cried. and I grieved.

and, while I don’t want to seem I am making this all about me or that my breakup is anywhere near as significant as what happened this week, there are many parallels between the two. I am terribly sad. I grieved on Tuesday and I continue to do so. I grieve for the lost opportunity to live in a country led by a female president. I grieve because we were SO close. I grieve because, in this instance, the opposite of the first female president is a man who ran on a platform of misogyny, bigotry, racism, discrimination and hatred. I grieve for those who feel betrayed. I grieve for those who are scared for their rights and lives.

but, just as that night in Italy a month ago, I won’t lash out. I won’t turn to negativity. I will grieve. and I will heal. and I will have hope that the worst things — the things that have kept me up the last few nights — will not happen. I will have hope for the future.

and, I would ask anyone else who is having difficulty dealing with the outcomes of the past week, that you would do the same. just as we are all unique individuals, we all grieve and react in different ways and while I can only control how I react, I would ask that your actions not come from hate but instead from a place of love and understanding.

have hope. love. forgive. treat others wells. respect and have compassion for each other. live your life as something you can be proud of. live your life based on hope that the future will be better. don’t lose that hope. keep going and keep fighting, even when your efforts seem futile — especially then. do it for yourself. do it for those whom you love. do it for those who look up to you. do it for the future of our country. and, as you do all of these things, be patient with one another — and yourself.

rise up. unite. be a champion of strength, love and hope. regardless of what the future holds, we’ll get through it together.of this I am certain.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~ MLK

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