Welcome to level eleven of Jumanji! During this level we get to survive the over-exhausted 2020 Election while managing raw emotions and increase levels of anxiety, wahoo!
All joking aside, is anyone really “OK” this week?
There is no way to escape the emotionality that is exuberantly displayed right now. Turn on any form of media and we are bombarded with skewed political commercials. Drive down the road and there are copious amounts of signage loudly exclaiming party candidates. Our phones are constantly buzzing with “reminders to vote!” and beckoning to “volunteer” at the polls, despite declining numerous times.
Everyone is talking about “it”. Family, co-workers, partners, dentists, neighbors, clients, children just to name a few. All firing off their opinions like their opinion is the most righteous one, a fire dancing within their eyes begging for someone to challenge their political stance so they can shout to the heavens about how grand and spectacular their candidate is, and that the other one is some form of scum of the Earth.
There is a different, more unnerving flavor to the 2020 Election. While all the above could more-or-less be poignant of any presidential election, there is something… off. Something that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Something that tips off tempers, insinuates tensions, and creates barbaric distances and alienations from one another.
People are hurting, badly.
The collective systemic trauma we have all endured for months on end has wreaked havoc on us. All of us have experienced some form of discomfort, grief, panic, anxiety, burnout, depression, or loss. The lack of general structure surrounding the response to the trauma has been weak, and everyone is grasping at the faltering foundation. Grasping into thin air, hanging onto anything that provides a sense of security. Irrationality is thrown into the abyss, and suddenly everyone is “right” and everyone else is “wrong”.
Unity has been demolished by our trauma.
Squashed, eaten, evaporated.
The Election is serving as a conduit for the build-up of emotional constipation and suppression. Finally! An outlet for us to express our pain, our discomfort, our invalidated voices.
But, it’s just too much anguish for any modality to handle.
This Election has been blown into a different version of reality. The consequences of this are swirling around us like the tornado in The Wizard of Oz. Conspiracy theories are expanding in faithful and firm believers at an exonerated rate. Political candidates are adopting God-like complexes, debates transforming into practically fistfights. Humble conversation and respectful regard for other’s experiences thrown away like yesterday’s newspaper.
Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4, and let out for 4.
Your experiences matter.
Everyone’s experiences matter.
I am so sorry for your trauma. For the discomfort and pain you have experienced with the world invalidating your voice in one way or another.
Please, don’t let your pain color the lens you regard others through.
Different experiences create different opinions and truths. This has been the way of things since the dawn of time and human’s ability to think abstractly. Please remember the 6 vs 9 metaphor we explored a few blogs ago. This still is applicable.
This week, please exude empathy for not only your experiences, but the experiences of others. Remember, we have all developed our truths through the ways we have experienced our worlds. A lot of people are hurting and are engulfed in their own battles. The safest way for humans to express emotions like these are through anger, rage, and all things aggressive.
You are no more or less human than the person standing next to you.
So folks, be mindful of the experiences swirling around you. If your candidate wins, please do not aggressively gloat or shame. If your candidate loses, please nurture the pain, sadness, or grief that comes along with this experience. Remember that your truth is valid, however it is not the only valid truth.
I beg you.
Remain vigilant of the humanness of others, for that is our ingrained right and worthiness, regardless of the “rights” and the “wrongs”.