Healing From An Election

Healing From an Election

Jimmy G. Owen

Last night I went to bed with a pit in my stomach. That pit has grown into a ball of fear, sadness, disappointment and anger. What am I do to with the understanding that, as a result of the election, myself and so many people I love have been relegated, once again, to second class citizens? That the majority of America gave their trust to a man who wants to take my freedoms away? Will I be safe? Will my family be safe? Will I lose my right to be equal in the eyes of the law? How do I process this information?

To try and process this without judgment of self or others, to feel these emotions without vilifying others – that is the task before me. My heart hurts. I am numb. I want to, need to, get to the other side of this grief to heal. How do I help others work through this while in my own process?

I am reminded of the Bush/Gore election when so many people came into my office angry and hurt, feeling betrayed by our democratic system, and yet this is different. The Band-Aid was torn off in one night. No waiting of weeks for the courts to decide the fate of a nation. The people made a declaration strong enough it cannot be refuted. No uncertainty about the decision. My team lost.

I will take the time to lick my wounds, understand healing from this grief is a process and find the hope inside that is hiding amongst the rubble. I will shore up my dismantled sense of security and protect my hope. I will hold it up to be the guiding principle, my light as I see what this all means to me and to those I love. I will take time for myself and be with my tribe as we look for ways to hold on to hope while holding each other up

I will gather up my hope and courage and use it to give me the strength to be in the ‘now’ and face an uncertain future. I will continue choose to trust in a democratic process even though, right now, I feel so betrayed by it.

Most importantly, I will take this experience with me and remember nothing is certain. I will become more active to protect my freedoms. I will go that extra mile to keep what is mine and not be complacent. I will not allow this loss to fester apathy.

But for now, I will honor my grief, be kind to myself, our country and those who voted differently.

Jimmy G. Owen, LCPC, CDWF

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