I have a character flaw that I’ve often seen in myself, but rarely in others. There was a time that I thought it was one of my best qualities and it’s a hard habit to break. It is the propensity to take bad things, painful things, anger, grief or sadness and wrap them up with lovely sentiments and tell myself I’ve worked through them.
After losing my father, I didn’t properly grieve. No one shows you how to do it right. I was happy he was finally free of years of confinement to a wheelchair after the accident. He is in a better place now. After losing my mother, I certainly didn’t know how to properly grieve. She is still with you. You are lucky to have had her. I always tried to look on the bright side. I constructed a belief system around the idea of victimhood. A distaste for it, really. In myself, mostly. I didn’t even realize then how far back it went.
By 11pm on election day, I decided I couldn’t watch the news coverage anymore. I went to bed knowing it would be him. I woke up vulnerable and achy. I was sad about what that decision meant for women, what it meant for my son’s future and his freedoms. My heart broke for the people who have dedicated their lives to protecting the environment. And although I was stoked to tell my son that I voted for a girl, it was less about Hillary and more about an ideology, a direction of our nation that the bleeding heart in me loves. A place where everyone has a place.
I was coming to terms with the fact that maybe there were things I didn’t know or perceive. I let myself be open to the unknowingness of what I kept referring to as the cosmic long run. I had to summon the grace to watch this unfold. I knew there would have to be grace.
When I decided to check out Instagram and Facebook, I saw that we were already being called to step in line. And not only by the other side.
Peace and love so quickly? People urging others to move on. Healers urging others to evolve past it as if our deepest sensibilities are only fleeting thoughts. People were called to transform their beliefs as if it was the enlightening thing to do. I felt the lure of it too but red flags were going off in me. I recognized a familiar drawback in our culture and the disservice we do to ourselves when we allow disconnection from our grief.
I had an experience driving home after casting my vote. It sits here at the end of this blog post because I don’t know how to incorporate it. It more than likely doesn’t belong here at all.
I live up the hill from Danbury airport and oftentimes the planes come in for a landing uncomfortably close to the car while traveling on Miry Brook Rd. That day, the plane came so close to my car that I stopped the car in the middle of the road, heart pounding, and looked back at my son with a sort of knee jerk reaction to see if he was okay. Split second were the only two words that kept going through my mind. I carried an uneasiness the rest of the day that, strangely enough, I kept attributing to election jitters.
The day before the election, I had walked up to a tree on my road to photograph how the light was touching the tips. As I got closer I saw these angel wings. If there was any parallel at all that could be drawn between my close call with the plane and the results of the election, it was that there was an inward process that I had to be willing to be uncomfortable with. I no longer have to mistake my vulnerability as a lack of strength. It just isn’t necessary that I appear resolved to the world anymore. That is transformational, and from what I have learned, infinitely more honest.
Thanks for reading!
I am taking this whole weekend to be a little sloppy and unmotivated before getting on with anything. Hope you find some happiness in wherever you find your truth this weekend (and that is genuinely non-political).