Self-Care in Times of Darkness
Many of us have been negatively impacted by the results of the U.S. presidential election. It has been extremely mentally and emotionally taxing for me and those of around me to wrap our heads about the nation’s decision. We are entitled to be upset. We are entitled to be angry. We are entitled to feel hopeless. I urge all of us to take the time to actually experience these emotions – to sit with them, to feel through them, to understand their roots and their layers.
As human beings, we are prone to running away from discomfort. Furthermore, we live in a society where emotions and their accompanying expressions are not necessarily respected or seen as productive. Emotional expression reads as weakness and all that any of us want is to be strong. What we don’t realize is that strength lies in our willingness to wade through the murky waters – of our minds as well as our material realities – while having faith that we will eventually arrive at a better understanding of ourselves and our world.
My last post, which I scheduled to publish days prior to the election, was about my journey with meditation. I discuss the value that I’ve found in the practice since I’ve made it a part of my everyday routine. Wednesday morning was the first morning in almost two months that I did not do a morning meditation of any form. After having wrestled with my thoughts (and my tears) all night, the idea of trying to find some inkling of mental clarity seemed like a fool’s errand. After not meditating the following morning or the morning after, it finally occurred to me that my response to this situation was backwards for it is in these times where I need to seek mental clarity the most. It is in these times where I need to sit with myself – all of my baggage – and work towards a higher understanding of me and my relationship to the world around me. It is in these times that I need to remind myself that I am energetically bound to all beings – despite their political beliefs. Thus, there is no version of freedom that exists for one of us and not all of us.
As we move forth, I urge you to really check-in with yourself despite the discomfort. Reckon with your emotions even when you’d rather push them to the side. Despite what our political system would lead us to believe, there is only one freedom. It is only through a rigorous commitment to understanding this idea and its implications that we begin to manifest the world that we want to live in.