Hi, friends—it's been a while.
As I'm sure many of you noticed, I took most of November off from posting. It wasn't because I wanted to abandon the blog or I didn't love you anymore—I promise—I just needed a break.
This month has been rough in many ways I didn't anticipate. With a death in the family and the well-known results of the presidential election, it's been a gloomier November than normal.
For the purposes of transparency, my lovely audience, let's tackle this head on . . .
Although I've wanted to post about the results of this year's election so many times, the wound was still too fresh and my emotions too unstable to discuss it in depth. I can only say this—if you were someone who voted for Trump because you find him an inspiring leader for racist, misogynist, bigoted, or xenophobic thoughts, then I will pray for you to see the goodness in people different from you. There's hope for you yet.
However, if you voted for our new president-elect because you believed in his economic and policy positions, and truly are inspired by his message of change and sticking up for the little man, then I offer you my heartfelt congratulations on your candidate's success. I hope and pray that he will succeed and be a good President for the sake of the country I love so much.
Although Hillary's loss cuts me deeply, we must move forward. We must come together to find ways that we can make this country better—that we can make ourselves better—and inspire younger generations to become an empowered, informed, voting public.
We will always be stronger together than divided.
Merriam Webster's dictionary defines compassion as "sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it." In the midst of our selfishness, I think many of us have left behind our fellow man. We have put our own wants and desires above others', and have forgotten what it's like to be on the other side.
Please remember that we are all humans. We are all in this together.
Hope and the capacity for love runs through all of our veins—no matter your race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Democrat, Republican, Hillary supporter, Bernie voter, Trump advocate—it doesn't matter.
We are, first and foremost members, of the same species, all seeking love and acceptance.
It is not an issue of Us vs. Them. This is about what we can do together, as Americans, to ensure that everyone has their voice heard.
So I ask of you, no matter where you stand politically, no matter your feelings on this election—please be kind. Move forward with love for others and hope for the future.
And as Martin Luther King, Jr. once said . . .
"I have decided to stick to love...Hate is too great a burden to bear."
Moments exist in life that serve no other purpose than to bring us back to reality: fights with your best friend where you clearly in the wrong; being rejected or embarrassed; a family member getting sick; a loved one dying.
God or whatever you want to call that Supreme Being above us is a big fan of humility—not in terms of humiliation, which is an entirely different animal, but reminding us that we are not perfect and we will falter.
But most importantly, we are reminded that we can get back up—that there are things greater than our struggles, anxieties, and misfortunes.
In times like this, when I've been knocked down and told to re-evaluate my situation, an overarching theme stands out.
Most of what you think is important doesn't actually matter.
Your job is important. But should you let the piles of undone work take over your family time or occupy your thoughts while outside of the office?
You may fret about your physical appearance. And yes, feeling good about you the way you look is worthwhile. But is it worth stressing over? Are those extra 10 pounds worth the self-abuse you heap on yourself?
You may worry about where you will be in 5, 10, or 20 years, but will that change the present?
Popularity, if you're doing enough with your life, what you eat, how you carry yourself, what your friends think of you, how much stuff you have, and how much money is in your bank account—the list of fascinations goes on and on.
But, friends, this is not the stuff that matters.
Sure, on a practical level, some of it is worth entertaining. (You need money to buy food, so keeping an eye on that bank about might not be a bad idea.)
But the point is, life isn't worth stressing about things that aren't serving you.
When you think about what makes your soul happy, is it really what you wore last week? Or if your friends laughed at your joke? Or if your boss likes you?
Your soul doesn't give a second thought to any of that stuff.
So where does humility play into this?
Humility reminds us of the importance of our life—as well as the experiences and people with which we fill it.
The love you give to your family and friends . . . this is what matters.
The relationships you foster and grow over time . . . this is what matters.
The generosity you bring to the world around you, taking care of anyone and everyone you can . . . this is what matters.
The way you nurture yourself, both body and spirit, so you can better give yourself to your passions . . . this is what matters.
So slow down: appreciate this moment, and remember that life is so fleeting and yet so full.
That is what matters.
Writer, editor, and storyteller living in the Twin Cities.