As I logged onto Facebook one day, I came across one of those cute smiley faced pictures that claims, “The first four words you see describe you.” As I read the comments below I gazed excitedly into that smiley face’s eyes. What will I be? Elegant? Passionate? Charming?….Lazy. Great. Not really what I was looking for. But thanks for the reminder. Actually, I would not consider myself a lazy person. Rather, I’m fairly active. I try to keep up with my daughter, the dishes, the daily grind, etc…but in this particular context I took it as a huge wake up call as to the way I have been handling my emotions. So thank you smiley face who briefly came across as a dick, I appreciate your slap upside my head.
These past 2 weeks have created a whirlwind of emotions around me. Normally when I log onto Facebook I hope to start my day right with some cute pics of my friend’s kids, a witty cartoon that explains that it’s ok to drink wine every day of the week, or a lovely update that makes me believe that I may still get my chance to meet the New Kids on the Block. I’m afraid that doesn’t really happen during election season. This is where my laziness comes in. I find that I am bombarded with articles, rants and opinions from both sides of the spectrum and I begin to get incredibly lazy with my emotions. And by that, I mean angry. Anger is a very healthy emotion when handled correctly, but when fueled by the internet and media, it becomes an emotion that can quickly become addictive and self harming. Being in the middle of this epic battle, I find, can be extremely disconcerting especially when one is involved in loving relationships with both Republicans and Democrats. When I hear searing jabs against “Republicans” or “Democrats” I take it very personally because I have deep love and respect for both of those people. When I hear that one is a “terrorist” or one is a “racist bigot” I feel angry because those are my friends. And you know what? Neither of them are. I find that when I log onto the internet in the morning, I am constantly preparing myself to go off on a mental rant protecting my respective friends and that anger is fed by the feeling that someone out there is asking me to choose which people to like more. Anger is an easy, defensive emotion to fall into. And I have been extremely lazy falling into it. So instead of picking a side, or calling others names or liars or any of the other things I see on the web each and every day I am going to go deep within myself to listen with an open heart, allow each piercing comment to open my heart a bit more…knowing that anger comes from fear and confusion. And knowing that that is not what any of us want right now. It has saddened me to see that the war over the last few weeks has truly been at home, ending friendships of love, respect and understanding. That each side is bullying each other. That each side is bullying my friends. I am not going to get angry anymore. It’s too easy. I am going to embrace this difficult time we are all going through as a country and really listen, and learn and grow. And vote not because I believe I am going to die, but vote because I believe that all of us desire the same outcome, to live safely, happily and free. And I don’t know how the fuck we’re going to do that, but I have to believe that there is a better way than this.