Wednesday, November 7, 2012

3 Ways To Heal Your Heart After This Election

A picture of my heart today
No one is more happy for this day than me.

Politically active pretty much since birth, there was a time when election season was one of my favorites times.

Not so anymore.

The illustration to your right is a reflection of what election season does to my heart nowadays.

Social media and social networks has opened the doors to insights about what people in our circles really think and feel about issues facing our nation.

These revelations have really been heavy on my heart. I took a pledge to not engage in name calling or bickering at the start of season and I don't intend to rehash it now. But I will share what I am doing to heal from Decision 2012

Practice Forgiveness

Despite the hurt feelings or shock and surprise at some of the commentary, postings, rantings- I resolve today to forgive people in my life who have engaged in negative tactics related to the election.  I will not be held captive by my hurt over these things. Forgiveness is something that has to happen. And no, I don't need those people to apologize to extend the forgiveness. Forgiveness is not about them, it's about me. It's about giving myself a new start on the issue and moving forward.                                                                                                 

Acknowledge Friends versus Connections

Ted Rubin, a friend and fellow social networker put it best this week in a post:

Facebook has done an amazing thing – they now own the word “friend”. The problem is that they have devalued the word while adding value to their brand.

To be clear — I am not saying that connecting through Facebook is a bad thing; I’m saying that few of us actually take the time to connect in the ways that a real friend would. We are missing the chance to use social media as a tool that facilitates real relationships and instead using “friends” as points in a popularity contest.

Let’s take the word “Friend” back and fill it with value again!

I could not have said it better myself. I am connected to many on Facebook but not all of them are people I'd call friends. Some are colleagues, acquaintances, neighbors etc etc. But not all those people are friends. What those who are closest to me say and post that is negative impact me, but not as harshly because I know them. I know the heart of the person behind the rhetoric and hurtful things they may post and we have established a RELATIONSHIP that can withstand the disagreement. Even if it's hurtful and disparaging, a relationship allows a safety net to preserve the connection and call each other out to keep the friendship strong through the disagreement. That has allowed me to get to a place of forgiveness quicker. Distinguishing who my true friends are and only having to reconcile their opposing views is much less exhausting than attempting to do that with all 900+ people I'm connected to on Facebook.

Live Your Desire

This final one really reflects the how I started the whole Decision 2012 season - declaring not to participate negatively. We need to be intentional in our actions. With the exception of one Rolling Stone article and my weekly The Onion satirical posts - I did not try and "fact" my connection list to death on my views. People who know me, know what/who I support. And while I have every right to post articles that support that view or candidate, I CHOSE to refrain. Why? Because I wanted to see some different behavior this cycle and what better place to start than my own Twitter stream or Facebook timeline? So many people SAY they want to "stay above the fray" or "take the high road" but could not resist the temptation to jump in and set someone else straight. Resist. Don't fall. Be the change you want to see. Behave the way you desire to behave and do it consistently.

It will be a short recovery for me this election season because I have to get my own petitions in for my spring re-election campaign for Village Lake in the Hills Board of Trustees race by December 24.

Good thing we don't buy TV in local elections.

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