Election Thoughts: The Rumble, Jolt and Surprise

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We’re all shocked after the elections.  Some are truly happy, some are devastated and there are others that were lacking enthusiasm for however the results panned out either way.  But I think we all can agree that we are surprised by what’s happened.  What has been interesting isn’t the jolt that we’re going to have a presidency that will be dramatically different from what we’ve had maybe ever.  What’s surprising is the manner in which so many of us have handled the rumble.

I see statements that now America is putting behind a corrupt political system.  That if you voted democrat you are for corruption, murder and lies in the White House.  If you’re a democrat you’re okay with letting ISIS into our country via the southern border. Or if you voted republican that you are a misogynist, a racist, anti woman, homophobic and it’s likely you didn’t get a bachelors degree and you’re white. If you voted third party you’re sheeple, a self righteous purist, an idiot for throwing your vote away and it actually was a vote for the bad guy.

Congratulations, we all have been called things that are untrue.

I have some sincere questions and thoughts to share with you my dear reader for whom I have empathy and a deep respect for.  I get how exciting, joyful, apathetic and maddening it all is right now and I want nothing more than for you to feel heard. I know that your view matters greatly.  But I want you to consider how much your opinion matters.

Where do we consider drawing a line in the sand to rein in our opinions?  How much value is in the weight of your words and is it worth polarizing yourself from the other half of the country?

By your passion to let your voice be heard you’re enjoying the right we have to a voice as Americans and it’s at the cost of your respect for a significant portion of the people you share life with.  Here’s the hinge that this ramble is about.  Does your opinion cut you off from others?  If it does, is it seriously worth it?  If your opinion requires insults, belittlement and costing relationship with half of the country I’m sorry, but you are closed minded.  I find it genuinely confusing to see so many say that others need to have an open mind and yet after the election I see the very same people say that they will have nothing to do with anyone who voted for opponent of their favored candidate.

And finally, have you even considered how hard it is to hate someone and what their views are if you were looking them in the eye while trying to prove them wrong?

Don’t let this be the beginning of division.  Let this be an opportunity to stop commenting on every post that provides an opposing argument and instead suggest meeting that person across the table for coffee so you can find a window of understanding into how they formed that view.  Challenge yourself.  See if you can call someone a racist to their face after you take the time to really see them.  I’m thinking it would be tough to call someone an ISIS promoter if you found out why they feel the way they do.

Take the chance to see people.  Use this season as the means to become more loving, more empathetic and to not forget that the other half of the country that voted differently than you are authentic and good people for the most part.  They’re parents who want to see it better for their kids and grand kids.  They’re owners of that business you love in your community.  They’re your coworkers, employers and customers.  They’re your family.  Your children.  Each person despite of who they voted for is a chance to love and honor them for being as human as you are.

Handle the the surprise with grace.  Recognize the jolt and be humble.  See the goodness of so many people who are different than you.  Realize we’re all gonna grow from this.  See that as individuals we face the choice to make America be great not because it ever lost greatness but because we are what makes it such if we’re in it together.

 

With so much love,

Sara

Stop Pursuing Passion.

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“Pursue your passion.”

“Find your bliss.”

“Reach for the stars.”

We’ve heard them all before.  We even give credit to those little nuggets as words to be guided by.

Is this why we might be in a state of discontent?

Lately I’ve been drawn to unpopular thought patterns in which I question all these little sayings and wonder why I feel an aversion to them.  Shouldn’t  I want to do something I’m totally passionate about?  Don’t I want to be blissful?  Okay, reach for the stars. . . that one has never made much sense to me; not even when I was little.  Maybe I’m too literal but that looks weird if you try.  It only looks cute when you’re two.

I feel like we might give all our credit to only the underdogs of our culture.  Take for example the untalented kid who decides to join the team and when he gets a home run the crowd stands to their feet cheering.  I like those scenes of the underdog winning, but why is it that we feel gross when we see the other kid who has the talent keep succeeding by literally hitting the ball out of the park every time?  Don’t we resent that kid and call him lucky?  Why are we not inspired by him and want to share his picture all over Facebook with sayings like “if he can do it so can you”?  The other kid who didn’t seem to have what it took but did totally is cuter to talk about.

I feel like we have this idea that you need to be passionate in all you do all the time so therefor only pursue what gives you that feeling.  I also feel like this idea is why most people feel guilty for what they do that doesn’t involve much passion on a daily basis.  We feel that we’re the ones missing out if our jobs aren’t what people want to see on Instagram.  I think we have been cultured to feel like the moments in our life that we don’t want to post about are not worthy of praise and for that reason we are on the wrong path in life.  If we have a talent that isn’t from a source of passion but rather from hours of discipline and work we have a tendency to look at it as lesser grade of gifting?

Have we misplaced value with passion?  Where has the word dedication gone in our daily vocabulary?

I don’t think we should be in loveless, soul sucking work.  If you really don’t feel like you’re in the right place than trust your discontent because it’s your gut telling you that you have settled for something safe and that could lead to an unfulfilled life. You know when you are in the wrong place and if you are in something that has caused you to lose sight of real goals than get away.  But consider what influences you in your understanding of being in a job that is right or not.  Do you think public servants are in public service because service equals consistent passion, or is it that they have a dedication to serve others despite of the dispassionate moments?  Do you think case workers in child protective services go to work everyday saying that they’re passionate?  Or maybe do you think it’s because they’re committed despite the good and the bad feelings that arise daily?

Maybe we could trade out passion for value.  What if we pursued value?  I sincerely feel that if we can find ourselves in something that is pouring out into the world what we are called to give than what will be returned to us is passion and joy.  Maybe we’re putting the horse in front of the cart by saying “pursue your passion”.  By handing in the passion card you aren’t giving up on anything but rather you are realizing that life is about so much more than what we are feeling.  Life is about choices in which we can garner feelings as a direct result of what we give.  Passion comes from hours of work that is motivated by the value we add to others and to our own lives.

So don’t give up on yourself by comparing to others on social media.  Don’t look down on who you are because you’re not the perpetual passion energizer bunny.  Instead maybe adjust your lenses a bit to see that you have what it takes to be exactly where you need to be by realizing what value you add.  If you feel like you’re in a spot where your talents aren’t being utilized than go somewhere else.  If you feel like you can add so much more value than what you are than put in the two weeks notice.

Before you can feel passion, maybe you need to first give, recognize and add your value to the world around you.

With so much love,

Sara